Central Christian Church Message Podcast

The Effect of Generosity | Free To Give | Pastor Cal Jernigan

February 14, 2021 Central Christian Church of Arizona
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
The Effect of Generosity | Free To Give | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Chapters
Central Christian Church Message Podcast
The Effect of Generosity | Free To Give | Pastor Cal Jernigan
Feb 14, 2021
Central Christian Church of Arizona

To get a FREE year of Ramsey+ and more visit: https://www.centralaz.com/enrich-path-to-financial-freedom

Why is generosity so important?

Many of us believe that we can only be generous when we have enough for ourselves. The problem with this belief is that few of us know how much is enough. We often find ourselves thinking that we are the source of our own provision. But God says, “No, I am the source.”

Join us this week as Pastor Cal Jernigan shows how God wants to bless our lives through generosity.

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

Show Notes Transcript

To get a FREE year of Ramsey+ and more visit: https://www.centralaz.com/enrich-path-to-financial-freedom

Why is generosity so important?

Many of us believe that we can only be generous when we have enough for ourselves. The problem with this belief is that few of us know how much is enough. We often find ourselves thinking that we are the source of our own provision. But God says, “No, I am the source.”

Join us this week as Pastor Cal Jernigan shows how God wants to bless our lives through generosity.

Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)

[00:00:00] Welcome everybody. Hey, before we get any further, can we just give it up on all of our sites? Can we just give it up for the people who make the worship happen around here, the band, and then the worship leaders? Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, one more time. Welcome. Happy Valentine's day to each and every one of you and tomorrow happy president's day.

[00:00:22] I don't recall these two coming back to back probably happens more often than I ever paid attention to, but two holidays in a row. So hey, glad that you're here. And again, wherever you are, whether you are on one of our sites or you are online joining us from the room I'm in, man, we are just really, really glad. Every week, what we do

[00:00:40] is we pick a couple of people from a literally around the world to say hi to. Just to give a shout out. So Aretha from Chicago and Rebecca from Huntington Beach, California, we welcome you guys as representative of wider online community.  Thanks for being with us. So here's what I need you to do. Let's get our Bibles out and [00:01:00] let's open them up to Deuteronomy

[00:01:01] chapter eight. Deuteronomy is not a book you often turn to. And so if you're going, I have no clue. Here's the deal. Open your Bible from the beginning. You're going to go five books in. All right. So it's probably, I'm making this up. I don't know. It's probably about a quarter of the way through the old Testament.

[00:01:16] You're going to find the book of Deuteronomy when you get to that book, find chapter eight and just hold on to it. We'll get there in just a moment. Okay. And so today what we're doing is we're continuing a series that we began last week. It's called free to free to give. Okay. Now that, that just sounds funny.

[00:01:32] Okay. Because you don't use the phrase free to give. You, you don't see that anywhere. That's why we chose it. It's a series on generosity. All right. And so we're just talking about that before I go any further with this message today, again, to you in the room to you on our campuses to you online. I want to issue a word of warning.

[00:01:52] It's kind of sober. I don't normally do this, but I feel the need to put a little bit of a, kind of a caveat on this whole [00:02:00] subject and tell you this one's a little bit dangerous. Okay. So straight up, just so you know, if you take seriously, the stuff that we're talking about today, it is it's addictive. All right.

[00:02:16] It can really change your life. It could really, I mean, like, I'm just telling you, you don't want to mess with this one, unless you're really seriously thinking about maybe a different direction with your life, because I'm just telling you the subject we're going to talk about today could really redirect the way that you go in you're life.

[00:02:31] All right? Now, free to give is a counter cultural concept. Free to take, is kind of how we live. All right. We live in a take take, take culture. In fact, one of the primary things that we're motivated by is what's in it for me. And it's just human nature. What's in it from what am I going to get out of it?

[00:02:49] Because of that, when we talk about the subject of generosity, it kind of goes against our instincts because we think if I'm generous, it is not going to be for me. It's going to be against me. And that's what I'm [00:03:00] trying to deal with in this series. That if you want to know what the Bible says, it's exactly the opposite.

[00:03:05] If you want to get ahead, learn to give. If you want to get ahead, learn to be generous. It biblically speaking, it's a paradox. It's like so many things in the Bible. It's confusing because it just doesn't seem to add up, but that's the way it is. So last week, what I did when I started this series, I always have titles.

[00:03:24] Okay. And titles are for me as much as anything because it helps me to break kind of the thought and the direction I want to go each week. And we plan these out in advance. So that title of the message last week. And let me just review for a moment was called the, the essence of generosity. And I never put that up there, but that's what I was talking about.

[00:03:41] The essence of generosity, what is the essence of generosity? And, and here's what I want you to understand. Just by way of review from last week, the essence of generosity is trusting God. That is the essence of generosity. See if you don't trust God, you won't be generous because what'll happen is, is you're going to have a scarcity mindset.

[00:03:58] There's a fixed supply. And [00:04:00] once you run out, you're out, but if you trust God, then you start to see things a little bit differently. That you're actually a steward of what he has and that it's going through your hands. Kind of a really, really important, important point and this, this paradox that, that is confusing.

[00:04:19] And I understand if like you don't believe in God, I might, my guess is you're not going to follow this. You're just glad you're here, but you're going to go. I don't get, I don't, I don't agree. But the thing you've got to understand is the way that God's kingdom works is it's not more of the way the culture works that we live in.

[00:04:35] So the wisest man, whoever lived is a guy named Solomon. Solomon said it this way by review fo you from last week, he said this, the he's a one person gives freely yet gains even more. Another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

[00:04:56] And you start to understand that there's this give and take kind of thing that's going on [00:05:00] here that God is basically going to give you so that somebody can benefit from you and that as, as you, as you take what he gives, he gives you more and then you can take more to give. And I know it's confusing. I know it makes very little sense.

[00:05:14] Now we're going to build on that today. We're gonna take it further. It's going to make sense. Trust me. Before we do though. There's two things I had to point out last week because we can get lost on this. Two things that generosity is not. And let me, let me be really clear about these two things. All right.

[00:05:28] Just by review. Generosity is not about the size of your bank account, because we want to go look, I don't have anything. Therefore, I can't be. Generosity is not about the size of your bank account. Generosity is about the size of your heart. It's about a willingness to find a way to help somebody who needs something.

[00:05:47] That you have that they don't have it, but it's not about the size of your bank account. All right. All of us could, could, could give if we wanted to. All right. Now the second thing it's not about, it's not about tithing. [00:06:00] Now, if you weren't here or you're not sure what a tithe is. A tithe is the first 10th of what you make.

[00:06:06] Okay. Now I want to explain something to you. That in the Bible, if you're a God person, all right. If you're a Jesus follower, you got to understand a principle that the first and the best of all that you ever produce is always God's. It's not yours. It's never yours. The first and the best always belongs to him.

[00:06:25] And all the way back with Abraham, there was a principle established that I'm going to choose to give, but I'm going to choose to release, I'm going to choose to trust. Now here's the confusing part. When I say, choose to give a tithe, I'm really not telling you straight. I don't ever give to God the first 10th. I bring to God his tithe.

[00:06:51] I'm not giving God anything. I'm acknowledging what I have was given. And I'm bringing back to God the first and the best. [00:07:00] And it's not about it's not about generosity. And I got to be really clear. But because the first 10th is his to start with. Never mine. It's about faithfulness. It's about worship, but it's not about generosity. All right.

[00:07:16] Cause it's he has his anyway. So today what I want to do though now is don't want to take this further. So the essence of generosity is trusting God. The message today is the effect of generosity, the effect of generosity that's what I'm going to work with. So to get us going, I want to tell you a story. I wanna tell you a true story.

[00:07:33] All right. This, this happened. In fact it happened just a couple of months ago. And as I tell you this story, what I would encourage you to do is just wrestle with what I'm saying. What do you, what does it make you think? What does it make you feel feel as I tell you the story I'm about to tell you, so pay attention to the story and we'll go from there.

[00:07:52] Okay. So you I've heard of Dave Ramsey. All right. Dave Ramsey's organization is called Ramsey solutions. Alright, now Ramsey solutions is [00:08:00] an organization that dedicate is dedicated to helping people like you and me get our money right. What you need to understand is Dave Ramsey had no intention of ever starting Ramsey solutions.

[00:08:10] All right. Dave Ramsey, when he was a young man aspired to be a real estate tycoon, a rich real estate tycoon. He, I know this because he's told the story. And so when he was very young, he went into real estate investing and very quickly he made multiple millions of dollars and he was on the ascendancy.

[00:08:30] And then hard times hit and everything that he was building just crumbled to rumble. I mean, rubble. All right. It just re it was reduced to nothing. And on his way down, God got ahold of him. When he hit rock bottom, he had a change of heart and he made a decision back then that he was going to live differently and he was going to take what the Bible taught about money and actually choose to apply it to his life.

[00:08:56] And that's what he's done. Now since then, if [00:09:00] you're not aware, he has become very, very successful. He's far exceeded the wealth that he had in his early investing days of real estate. And now he's given himself, he's got a radio talk show. I know, you know, all this, he's got a radio show. And then he provides for churches, a course and money management called financial peace university.

[00:09:20] And we've run that here as many churches have done. Okay. So all of that is just by way of backdrop. In a recent conversation I had with him because just frankly, he's, he's a friend these days, but he and I were talking and he's, he, he said something that literally blew my mind. And I want to tell you about that conversation.

[00:09:44] He, we were talking about some stuff, which I'll tell you a little more detail about this a little bit later, but we were talking and I told them I was going to do this series and this is in December. I said, yeah, we're going to do a series. And then I I said it's going to be on [00:10:00] generosity. And then Dave is one of the most generous people I've ever met in my life.

[00:10:04] And so I asked him, I said, Hey Dave, Hey, Dave, what have you, what have you done generous lately? That's why I asked him. And he would the answer again. He said, well, he said It's funny, you should ask that. And he goes, my organization, Christmas is a big deal. And every Christmas, right before Christmas, I was talking to him.

[00:10:24] He said, we throw this big, huge party, man. And I've heard about this part. It's legendary. I mean, he pulls out all the stops, generous beyond measure. And it's one of the funnest times to work for Dave Ramsey apparently. Right. And so he was telling me, he said, Hey, for this year because of COVID we couldn't do it.

[00:10:39] And he goes, I just felt bummed. I felt like we took something away. And so we got together with some of the leaders and we said, you know what we ought to do. And then he told me what they did. This is what they did. He said, I went to two collection agencies and I said, I want to, by all your debt. Now you don't understand [00:11:00] what that meant a collection agency is

[00:11:02] if you fail to make good on a loan and they get tired of hassling with you, which they will quickly get tired of, they'll sell that. To a collection agency who will collect as much of it from you as they're capable. But what it means is you get a bunch of phone calls and get hounded to death. The most miserable phone calls you've ever receive in your life.

[00:11:19] And so what Dave did was he went, okay, now we're ready for this. He bought in full 8,000 people's debt and I went, what, what that cost you? He said $10 million.

[00:11:41] He said. Yeah. And I go, okay. Like a stunt. And he said, and then my gift to my staff was I want you to call these 8,000 people and you get to be the one to tell them their debts paid for. [00:12:00] Okay. I had all kinds of questions. How many of you would like to get a phone call like that? Just wouldn't that be awesome?

[00:12:07] Actually, he called me and I was going to Dave. I've heard about this. I was kind of hoping it was me.

[00:12:11] How many of you, you would like to be the one to make a phone call? Would that be seriously fun to get, to make that phone call? Okay. Now here's the reason I told you that story. Deep down inside what do you think about that? And what does that make you feel? If you're like most people, you probably dismissing it behind something like, like this, what got, Dave's got a lot of money.

[00:12:39] Come on. What's $10 million to Dave Ramsey. This is what we do. We, I have a tendency that, yeah, well, rich people can be generous of course. And they should be and good for them when they are. And yet, somehow we don't see that generosity is something that all of us could, could display and be [00:13:00] involved with.

[00:13:00] If, if, if we want it to now, here's the big idea that I'm going to lay out here and challenge you with. All right, ready? Here. It comes ready. It's so simple, but it is so profound. Listen to me, here's a simple idea. We are defined by our generosity. W w what? Yeah. Yeah. We're defined by our, what, what does that mean?

[00:13:20] See if you don't know the definition of something, you'd go to a dictionary and you look it up and they'll say, this is what it means. Let me explain to you what generosity means. Generosity means this. If I can discern your attitude toward and your application of generosity, I will understand you. I will figure you out.

[00:13:41] What, what's your attitude towards and your application of? How generous you are, how generous you're not, I'll figure you out. I could read, I can, I can read you by your generosity. Now, again, this might sound grandiose and grandized or whatever, but I'm telling you, you're defined by your generosity.

[00:14:00] [00:13:59] I'll show it to you in just a few moments. It'll make sense. And that's why it's so important that we wrestle with this. What is my attitude towards generosity? What is my approach? Well, how do I apply it? How generous am I or am I not? Cause it'll say a lot about what's actually happening in your life. And if you want to get beyond it, dangerous addictive, I'm telling you be careful.

[00:14:21] Then you want to take the principles of the Bible and you want to apply it. Now let me change subjects for a minute. I want to talk about something that inside your chest, it's called your heart. It's a little off to one side. I got it, but it's kind of central to who you are. Okay. Let me tell you something about your heart that you might not realize.

[00:14:39] So just let me do a little research here. Let me give some numbers. All right. Your physical heart beats nearly 100,000 times a day,

[00:14:47] [heart beat sounds], 100,000 times a day. All right. That amounts to 35 million times a year. Your heart pounds in your chest, 35 million. [00:15:00] If you live in an average lifespan, That means your heart is going to be two and a half billion times over the course of your life. Now let's just go a little further. All right. Your body was designed to hold only six quarts of blood.

[00:15:17] That's it. Only got six. That means your blood. That same blood has to travel 12,000 miles every day. Why? Well, here's why listen that blood, that six quarts of blood circulates throughout your body three times non-stop every 60 seconds. Three times nonstop, every 60 seconds it's got to move. Okay. That's why you get the 12,000 miles every day.

[00:15:47] 12,000 miles every day is four trips across the United States back. That's your blood to doing that. And I want you to understand something that thing in the center of your life [00:16:00] is a thing directing it. Okay. That thing that we call heart, alright, it's receiving blood and it's giving blood. That's what it does. It takes in.

[00:16:10] And it gives out moose into your heart, moves out of your heart. It receives, and then it gives. Your blood. Don't miss it. Circulates. It's the same blood going around and around and around it around. Okay. And I want you to understand something about your heart. This is real important. If all your heart did was receive, it would explode if all your heart did was horde blood that came its direction.

[00:16:38] If all you did was retain what you were given. Your heart would explode. Game over. You're dead. The only chance you have of being alive is have a heart that gives, as it receives, it moves what it gains. It gives it gains. It gives it gains. It gives. And it [00:17:00] goes around and around and around. If your heart becomes a hoarder, it's over. Now

[00:17:07] okay, let me go. Okay. Why are we talking about, okay, let me ask you a simple question. Where did what you have come from. I'm not talking about your blood, I'm talking about your stuff. Where's your stuff come from or whatever you call yours, where did you get it? And I'll tell you what most of us say. I'll tell you I was, I'm a self-made person.

[00:17:27] I've earned everything. I deserve everything because I am the reason for it. And it's exactly what Anthony was talking about in that little video. It's just the way I am the reason I earned this, I made this, my life is a result of my hard work and we are so quick to want to assume it's all from me. And of course you don't need me to understand how that's then on the brink of pride, because we get all caught up in that.

[00:17:52] That's pretty obvious, right? You see, here's our dilemma. We all tend to think we are the source [00:18:00] of every good thing that's happened to us. We're the reason. It was up to us to make it happen. Therefore credit for it goes to me. I did it. Now again, you might not want to say this stuff out loud. Well, what's circulating inside you.

[00:18:17] This is mine. This isn't anybody. This is mine. I made it. Earned it, deserved it. It it's mine to decide. Now we jump into Deuteronomy eight. So if you took the time to find this verse, this section in your Bible, I'm going to do so I don't normally do what I'm about to, I'm going to read almost an entire chapter of the Bible, but don't, don't, it's fascinating.

[00:18:41] This, this is a passage that was given just before the Israelites were going into the promised land. You remember the Jericho deal? Okay. So this is like, Hey, when it makes sure we get the rules, may make sure we understand how this is going to work. All right. Because the last 40 years you've been wandering around this [00:19:00] desert with nothing and things are going to change.

[00:19:03] And I want to make sure you understand what's coming. So if you'll allow me, let me read to Rami eight. I'll read most of it. Not all of it, but most of it, but this listen. Okay. Always bring a Bible. It's easier if you just read it long, but it's too much text for me to put on the screen. Here we go. So God says, Hey, y'all be careful.

[00:19:22] To follow every command I'm giving you today so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land. The Lord promised you on oath. All right. And do your ancestors remember how the Lord, your God led you all the way in the wilderness, these 40 years, to humble and test you in order to, to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands, he humbled you causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna.

[00:19:51] Which neither you, nor your ancestors had known. To teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord, [00:20:00] your clothes did not wear out. And your feet did not swell during the 40 years. That's awesome. Same pair of shoes. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines, his son, so the Lord, your God disciplines you. Now observe the commands.

[00:20:16] The Lord, your God. Of the Lord, your God walking in obedience to him and revering him. Okay. Now listen. Okay. It's about to get really good. All right. For the Lord, your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with brooks and streams and deep springs gushing into valleys and hills, a land with wheat and barley vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey, a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing.

[00:20:44] A land where the rocks are iron. The rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. I mean, you've been living over here, but you're just about to enter into the promised land. It's going to change. Then he says this. Now when you have eaten and are [00:21:00] satisfied, praise the Lord, your God for the good land that he has given you, but be careful that you do not forget the Lord, your God failing to observe his commands.

[00:21:10] His laws just increase that I'm giving you today. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied and when you build fine houses and you settle down and when your herds in your flocks grow large and your silver and your gold increase, and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud. And you will forget the Lord, your God who brought you out of Egypt and out of the land of slavery.

[00:21:32] Now he led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness. I love this section. Okay. I love this when I'm about to read. I love this is in the Bible. Okay. Because Arizona's in the Bible. Okay. All right. Ready? Let me, let me start that section over. Okay. Let me, let me find it. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness that thirsty and waterless land with its venomous snakes and scorpions.

[00:22:01] [00:22:00] Arizona is in the Bible right there. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness. Something your ancestors had never known to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. Now you may say to yourself, now listen carefully. My power and the strength of my hands has produced this for me.

[00:22:22] But remember the Lord, your God, it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. And so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors as it is today. Folks, I'm just telling you, it's just in our hearts when it's good. It's going great. Me. I did it. I got what I deserved. I worked hard. This is the payoff.

[00:22:44] Now let me go back to the question. Where did all you have come from? You see the problem with us is we see ourselves as the source. I'm the source of all of this. I'm the reason for all of this. And once you see yourself as a [00:23:00] source, pride will take over. David when he was giving to this incredible offering, he gave this amazing offering, which would be like Bill Gates, kind of giving.

[00:23:10] He said these words in first Chronicles 29, but who am I and who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this, I'll tell you how it happened. Everything comes from you. And we have given you only what has come from your hand, David got it. Incredibly wealthy. And he goes I didn't deserve that.

[00:23:31] I didn't earn this. This was a gift from you. Now okay. Very important idea. Right here. Ready?

[00:23:41] We think of ourselves as the source and therefore we get everything wrong. Here's here's here's the God is the source. So you can be the resource. Huge difference. See  if you're the source. It's all about you, but if God is a source, then [00:24:00] you can become the resource. Let me explain it to you. If I had, in my hand, a water spicket, like on the front of your house and I held this water, pick it up.

[00:24:06] We would all understand what that water spigot, but see that water spigot is worthless if it's not attached to a pipe and there's a resource or a source going through there that the spigot can then resource and you can resource it with a hose. You can go water the garden over there. You can go get those bushes over there.

[00:24:21] You can put it wherever you can, but it's coming through a pipe. Through your spigot. So you're the outlet that the source is feeding. That's what God is trying to teach us. All right. And the question becomes, how are you going to resource what the source gives you now, this gets really, really big. Let me, let me explain to you.

[00:24:44] Why, why does this matter? Let me tell you something. Jesus said, okay, ready, ready? Give. And it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap for, with the measure you use. It will be measured to you. Paradox [00:25:00] what, what, yeah. I'm going to give you

[00:25:02] but however it is that you give it is going to be the measure I'm going to use to give you more. And by the way, given it will be given, keeping it will be kept from. Keep and it will be kept from. So Paul said it this way in second Corinthians nine, remember this, whoever sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

[00:25:26] If you, if you take a little tiny scoop and put a little seed out there, you're going to get a little tiny return on it because that's all it's going to happen. Right? Now went on to say, and God is able to bless you abundantly so that in all things at all times, having all that you need. All that you got, you will abound in every good work.

[00:25:43] So you got to go and look, let's let's, let's enter into an agreement here. All sorts. You, you resource I'll make sure the supply is good. You make sure that is going to where it ought to go. That's going to be how this is going to work. Rick Warren said it this way. He said most people fail to [00:26:00] realize that money is both a test and a trust.

[00:26:03] From God. God uses finances to teach us to trust him. And for many people, money is the greatest test of all. God watches, how we use money to test how trustworthy we are. The Bible says, if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches of heaven. God says that there was a direct relationship between how I use my money and the quality of my spiritual life, how I manage my money, worldly wealth, determines how much God can trust me with spiritual blessings.

[00:26:30] True riches. Life is a test and a trust. And the more God gives you, the more responsible he expects you to be, how much source has God provided you? Well, the trouble is for so many of us. We think of generosity simply as an afterthought. Hey man, if I have any leftover, if I have any, I don't need. All right.

[00:26:55] If I have any, I don't want, I'll give. [00:27:00] That's usually the motivation behind our giving what's left. I remember a story I heard a long time ago, a woman, right before Thanksgiving was getting ready to go buy a Turkey. And she was going through a deep freeze in her garage and she discovered she had had a Turkey.

[00:27:13] She forgot about it. She had a Turkey in her group, so she pulls it out, thoughts it out, gets ready for Thanksgiving. And then she looks at the date on the Turkey and she realizes that it had expired about seven years ago. And so she had a dilemma. I used just so good. I've, there's a lot at stake here. And so she didn't know what to do.

[00:27:34] So she actually called them the butter Butterball Turkey company and called them and said, Hey, I got a question, got customer service to, Hey, I got this turkey, like seven years old. There's been the freezer deep, free seven years. Still good? And the person she talked to said, Oh, I have no idea whether it is or not.

[00:27:54] And this is the answer you said it's probably edible, but it's probably not going to taste [00:28:00] good. So she said, so it's not going to kill anyone. Nope. Not going to kill anyone, but it's not going to no, one's going to enjoy it either. So it's pretty much expired. Yeah. Seven years ago it expired. She said, that's what I thought.

[00:28:13] Okay. I won't, I won't feed my guests. I'm going to give that to my church.

[00:28:21] Interesting thought. Can I explain something about God, he never gives you expired manna. His blessings don't have a shelf life. He doesn't run out John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish. I gave his very best, nothing cheap about it.

[00:28:47] First Peter 1:18 for, you know, that it was not with perishable things, such as turkeys. No, no such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious [00:29:00] blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect, you know, sometimes our problem why we don't give well is we don't receive well.

[00:29:09] Let me explain what I'm talking about. Goes back to Dave Ramsey. So Dave so as I was talking to him about this he said, It's like, why would you do this? He and again, I've since read some stuff about this, but what I can tell you is Dave, didn't do this to enhance his name. He didn't do this to enhance his company's name.

[00:29:31] He didn't do, he did this to exalt Jesus. And when pressed for an answer in the press as to why he did what he did, this is what he said. You see this whole completely forgiven a debt thing has been done before. W when the ultimate gift was given and will no other, well, no gift could ever compare to that one.

[00:29:52] This is a small way we can continue to pass on that love. See you are defined by your generosity. It, it explains you [00:30:00] if we get you or, or, or we get you all right. Now, some of us right now are frustrated. I only wish man. I only wish, Hey pastor, I'm not fighting this generosity thing. I feel like I'm in a cul-de-sac.

[00:30:14] I wish I could be generous. I wish I had, I feel like I got nothing to give. Now, let me again, take heart. It's not about money. It's about heart. Take heart. You can give your time. You can give your energy and give your leadership, your creativity, your influence, but deep down a lot of us go. I wish I had money to give. Now again, the sad truth is we don't have money because we've mishandled the trust that was given to us by God.

[00:30:43] We, we spent that on us. We didn't give it where it should. We use the source for ourself. We have no resource to give and that's a common frustration, so you're not alone, but I want to ask a simple question. Wow. Like how far [00:31:00] do you have to fall before you hit rock bottom before God gets your attention?

[00:31:04] Like he got Dave's attention. At what point do you go? I'm going to live a different tomorrow. I'm done with the paths. And I'm going to start doing what God said. I'm going to start living with a different mindset. If that's you, and you're you find yourself frustrated like I wish I knew more how to manage.

[00:31:21] I don't manage money well. I want you to understand something. This church right here provides a resource to you. A resource of God's source to you. We have a ministry called enrich and our church it's very premise is simply helping you do what Dave Ramsey is doing, helping you learn how to manage money.

[00:31:40] We have, uh, Dave, we have our own Dave. Dave Briggs, he heads that up. He's got a team of people that are coaches that are professionally trained to help you. He's got a little videos that they've shot. That'll give you insight. He's got a dedicated email, a dedicated email address [00:32:00] that goes directly to him it's Ask Dave, and you can ask him any confidential question you want.

[00:32:05] He will answer it just as confidentially. So that's one source. Now, the other thing I want to tell you about that other resource is that that phone call I was telling you about with Dave Ramsey, he was calling me to tell me about something he wanted to do for you all. He said, I want to, I wanna give your church something.

[00:32:26] And he said, I want to give them for free a year of financial peace university. I want to give them some software if they want it. I want to give them all of the resources of Dave Ramsey solutions. It's all you gotta do is just tell them about it. That's what started the conversation. I just need you to just let them know.

[00:32:47] So people get online. It's all yours. It's Dave Ramsey has given it to you because we're defined by our generosity. That's how it works. And you might be going, man. I just it's. It's too late. [00:33:00] It's too late. I've said this many times when, when is the best time to plant an orange tree? When's the best time to plant orange tree?

[00:33:08] No 10 years ago.

[00:33:13] but if you didn't plan it 10 years ago, when is the next best time to plant an orange tree right now, right now could it be a great day to make a decision to say I can't change? Hey, listen, Ebeneezer Scrooge could. The Grinch could. You better than them? You could change. So I want to close this message. I want to tell you a story.

[00:33:39] In fact, I'm going to do, I'm just going to read this. If I, if I read it, you'll get it better than if I try to tell it. So just forgive me for reading it. It's it's a thing that Sebastian Younger wrote. Now he is, he's a famous author. You maybe I've never heard of him. He wrote the perfect storm and death in Belmont.

[00:33:55] But long before he became a famous writer, he decided to hitchhike [00:34:00] across America just to get the experience. All right. And he tells a story that occurred while he was hiking his way through the aftermath of a blizzard in Gillette, Wyoming. So he's backpacking across America just went through a storm.

[00:34:17] So he says, so after two or three hours, I saw a man working this way toward me, along the on-ramp from town. He wore filthy canvas overalls and carried a black lunchbox. And as I got closer, I could see that his hair was matted in a way that occurs only after months on the skids. I put my hand on the pepper spray in my pocket and turned to face him.

[00:34:37] You've been out here long? He asked. I nodded. Where are you headed? California. Oh, warm out there. Yep. You got enough food? I thought about this. Clearly he didn't have any. And if I admitted that I did, he asked for some that in itself, wasn't the problem, but it would mean opening my backpack and revealing all of my obviously [00:35:00] expensive camping gear.

[00:35:01] I felt alone and exposed and ripe for pillage. And I just didn't want to do that 20 years later. I still remember my answer. I got some cheese. You won't make the California with just a little cheese said you'll starve. At first, I didn't understand. What was he saying? Exactly. I kept my hand on the pepper spray.

[00:35:24] Believe me. He said, I know, listen, I, I live in a car back in town and everyday I walk out to the mine to see if they need me and today they don't. So I won't be needing this lunch of mine. I began to sag with understanding in his world whatever you have in your bag is all you got. And he knew a little cheese would never get me to California.

[00:35:43] I'm fine. Really? I said, I don't need your lunch. He shook his head opened his box. It was a typical church, Miller bologna sandwich and Apple, a bag of chips. And I kept protesting, but he wouldn't hear of it. I finally took his lunch and watch him walk back down the on-ramp towards town. [00:36:00] He said, I learned a lot of things in college.

[00:36:02] I thought, and I learned a lot from books on my own. I had learned things in Europe and in Mexico, in my hometown of Belmont, Massachusetts, but I had to stand out there on that frozen piece of interstate to learn true generosity from a homeless man. We are defined by our generosity. You want to get someone, watch how they give you'll get them.

[00:36:31] Oh, I'm going to pray in all of our places. We're going to continue with the campus pastors will come back up online pastor will come back on. Don't go anywhere. God help us to just realize we have something to give. It's not a matter of stuff. It's a matter of heart. And you put this thing within our chest and it beats, and it does its thing.

[00:36:48] But God, if it ever decides to keep what it was given bad, bad things are happening and the worst is yet to come. So God, our hearts would explode and not a good way. [00:37:00] Father. We think we can hoard the blessings you poured out. We want to say, we earned up their own mind. I deserve it. Nobody else has a right to it.

[00:37:08] God, we're getting it wrong. You, you are the source behind everything that we have that we could resource put plenty enough for what we need, but God can move through us. You watch to see how we do it. It's, it's a trust and it's a test and God, I just pray for us to think through how are we defined by our generosity.

[00:37:33] I pray for this in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you all.