Cultivating Generosity

Description

We were created to overflow; to live the adventure of a generous life. It’s grace that teaches us about a lifestyle of kingdom generosity.

Alright, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek Church. We are so glad that you’re here with us. Wherever you’re at today, Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, The Venue, and extension site, watching or listening online, can we just welcome each other together for a moment. We are so glad that you are here with us. And this week is our Thanksgiving Grocery Week. This is our week as a church to go ahead and bring groceries to the Next Step Center so that we can feed more than 1,000 families over Thanksgiving week who are in need. My hope and my challenge to you is that every family in Valley Creek will participate in some way, shape or form. My encouragement to you is just give what you can. If all you can afford is one canned good then get one canned good. Maybe you can afford a car load of groceries, go ahead and do that and bring it to the Next Step Center because we want to be people who serve those who are in need the same way that Jesus has served us. Last year, we were able to feed more than 1,000 people because — or 1,000 families because you all chose to be generous and participate.

So let me encourage you to do that. If you didn’t get one of these cards, grab one of these cards on your way out and as all the groceries, you can bring it by the Next Step Center. Listen, this is what it means to be involved. And I know a lot of you, your life is busy, it’s hard to be involved in anything else. So these are those moments that you can take a next step that you can participate. Parents, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for way to teach your kids how to follow Jesus and not be caught up in the things of the world, this is a great way to take them to the grocery store, buy a few things, drive it over to the Next Step Center. You don’t bring it to your campus. You bring it to the Next Step Center. And part of it is because that’s where we’re doing it, that’s where the need is, that’s where we want to bring it. We can do things together that none of us can do on our own. We’ve made a commitment as a church to serve the city. To serve the region through the Next Step Center. So let’s feed a-thousand families. I can’t do it without you. This is faith in action. All the details are on the website. I’ll be there a bunch. I hope to see you when you bring your groceries and give you a high five and say, “This is who we are and this is what we get to do.”

So Jesus, thank you so much for the way that you have provided for us and our lives. And we want to be generous and feed the world that is hungry because you feed us every single day. So Lord, we want to feed thousand families with love, with hope. And we pray that they would come to know you, Jesus, through our small acts of kindness. In your name, we pray, amen. Alright. Last week, we started a series called Overflow. And we’re taking a couple weeks to talk about living with a spirit of gratitude and generosity. And we said last week that you are created to overflow. That God made you to live the adventure of a generous life. That within you are rivers of living water. Not stagnant ponds. Which means you’re meant to receive and release. Not gather and hold. And we said that gratitude and generosity are simply the normal response to receiving God’s grace.

And we kicked it off by saying, before we can talk about overflow, we have to talk about obedience. Before we can talk about generosity, we have to talk about tithing. Because generosity starts where tithing is resolved, and we said that tithing is a kingdom thing. So can I just encourage you for a moment. I am so grateful for how you leaned in to a big message last week. I am so grateful that you decided instead of — if you were here last week, instead of saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” You leaned in for what Jesus wanted to say to you. Our campus pastors told me that at every campus and every service, people were leaning in. Can I tell you something? That’s maturity. Maturity chooses to lean in even if we don’t get it, even if we don’t understand it, and especially when we don’t like it. That’s maturity.

Maturity says, “I want Jesus to be Lord over every area of my life.” Maturity says, “Jesus, I don’t understand it but will you help me.” Maturity says, “Jesus, I want everything that you’ve got.” You don’t have to understand to obey. You simply have to have the faith to follow. And I am so grateful for the maturity and the attitude that we, as a church, exhibited last week by leaning in. You see here’s what I want to tell you, when you talk about kingdom things from a kingdom perspective, it’s not condemning. It’s refreshing. When you talk about the Kingdom of God from a kingdom perspective, it’s refreshing, it’s bring you freedom. Jesus says, “You will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.” And the Kingdom offers all of us deeper levels of truth. You see if you track with us here at Valley Creek, if you’ve been around for any period of time, by now, you’ve figured out we don’t talk a lot about money here at Valley Creek. It’s not a topic that we spend a lot of time talking about. But have you ever asked yourself the question, why?

Why don’t we talk about it a lot? Because if you’ve been in church for a long time, you know it’s often talked about a lot. And we don’t talk about it a lot. So that should stand out to you. Why? Because at the end of the day, we really believe that generosity is a response to receiving God’s grace. At the end of the day, we whole heartedly believe that when you receive the grace of God, you can’t help but start living a generous life. Like if you look throughout the bible, people that had encounters with God, they couldn’t help but be generous. People that were touched by Jesus, their instant response was to turn around and be generous. So we don’t talk a lot about generosity and money. We talk a whole about Jesus and his grace. Because we believe when you get Jesus, it’s going to be a natural response in your life. I mean this is why Titus 2 says, grace teaches us to say no to ungodly living and worldly passions and living up rise self-controlled life in this present age. Do you know what that means?

It means grace teaches you to how to live a kingdom life. It means if we will teach people grace, grace will teach people how to live a kingdom life. If we will teach people Jesus, Jesus will teach people how to live a kingdom life. I mean, there’s a great example of this. This is a story of the sinful woman. And there is this woman, she lived a sinful life. She was broken. She was beat down. And she has an encounter with Jesus. He saves her. He heals her. And he sets her free. And one day, Jesus, simply at a dinner party hanging out, and in comes this woman with a jar of perfume worth an entire year’s worth of salary. And she walks in and she finds Jesus and she pours it over him and she anoint him. And she’s weeping with her hair and washing his feet. And in that moment, she chose to be generous not because she was asked to be. But because the grace of God has overwhelmed her life. No one has to tell you to be generous when you’ve received the grace of Jesus.

And what we discover in that moment is generosity is worship. Generosity is this sense of not reckless abandon when we give something to God. It’s considered this extravagant worship. And though it had a great cost, it wasn’t costly to her because the grace of God was flowing through her life. And all of a sudden as this perfume begins to go in the atmosphere, she changes the whole atmosphere. Everyone in that entire house was impacted by the fragrance of her generosity. Can I tell you something? When you’re generous, you release the fragrance of heaven into the world around you. And what’s amazing is she didn’t keep it for herself, she decided to give it to Jesus. Instead of using it for her own pleasure which she had every right to, she decided to invest it into her legacy. Because Jesus says from then on, that story will be told for the rest of history.

And while that’s happening, the whole crowd is watching this woman and they’re saying to their selves, “What a waste. He shouldn’t give that to Jesus. She ain’t poor. That could have been given to poor people.” They didn’t want to give it to poor people. They wanted it for themselves. Can I tell you something? The poverty mindset will always be offended by radical generosity. People with a greedy soul will always despise the generosity of other. And I’m telling you that because that’s who I used to be. Like, growing up, my dad was one of the most generous people I’ve ever seen in my life. As a kid, I watched my dad give away cars. I watched him give away money. I watched him give stuff to people that they promised to give back and they never did. And when you give stuff to people, I would always say, “Why are you doing this? They don’t deserve it. Don’t give it to them. Keep it for yourself.” What was my point? It’s like, “Keep it for me.” You know, it’s really what I was thinking.

That’s really what I was thinking. And my dad would always says the same two things to me. He would say, “First of all, what do you care? It’s not yours anyways.” And second, he would say, “The Lord has blessed me.” So I want to bless others. It’s grace that leads you to generosity. Can I just ask you a question? Do you ever get offended by the generosity of others? Do you ever see other people’s generosity and think it’s a waste instead of viewing it as worship? See, it’s grace that creates a generous spirit within us. In fact, that’s why we give at the end of service. Some of you, maybe you’ve come here and you’ve wondered like, “Why don’t we pass baskets or plates or bowls or cups or – I don’t know — containers of any sorts down the aisle?” Why? For two reasons. One is because when you bring your lost friends, neighbors, and family, the people in your life, I never want them to be confronted by giving because God doesn’t want anything from them. God wants everything for them.

So we don’t want them to have any sense of obligation. And then the second reason is, is because when we meet with Jesus, our response should be a desire to give as we go at the boxes at the doors or online during the week. It’s the hard posture of receiving his grace that makes us want to become generous people. Are you with me on that? See, God cares how you use your money. It’s a big deal to him. In fact, one day, Jesus went into the temple and he sat down at the temple treasury in front of the offering boxes. And he watched everybody come by and drop in their gifts. As busy as Jesus was, somehow, he had time to sit for a day and watch people give their offerings. Now, can you imagine how intimidating that would be. You’re coming up to give your gift and Jesus is looking at you. “I know how much you make.”

That’s not what he was doing but he watched. And it says he watched for awhile until a widow, a woman who barely had anything, came and dropped in her two small copper coins. And after that, he grabbed the disciples and he drew their attention to her. And he said, “You see this woman? She gave everything she had to live on.” That’s the sacrifice. And what I think is so fascinating in that moment is that Jesus draws our attention to her. Why? Because she gave from the depths of her heart and it teaches us that it’s not about how much we give. It’s about the spirit in which we give. I don’t know about you but I want God to be moved by my generosity. And the reason it’s such a big deal to God is because money is attached to your heart. At the end of the day, money reveals what’s going on inside of you. It reveals what you worship. Let me say it to you like this, money is an overflow of your identity. How you use your money reveals what you actually believe about who you are.

See, you will either use your money from a restored identity or you will use it to try to restore your identity. If your identity is restored in Jesus, you will use money for your kingdom purpose. But if your identity isn’t restored, you’re not sure who you are, you use money to try to define who you are. You’ll use money from significance or for it. You’ll use it from approval or for it. You’ll use it for acceptance or from it. It’s one or the other. You’ll use money for your purpose or you’ll use money to try to find a purpose. So it matters and it reveals what we really believe. In fact, in Luke 16, Jesus says, “No servant can serve two masters.” Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Jesus says you can’t have both money and God as the love of your life. He says, eventually you’ll use one to serve the other.

You will bring one down to elevate the other. Here’s what Jesus is saying, Jesus is saying, money is a great tool but it is a terrible God. Are you with me on that? He’s saying money is a tool that empowers your purpose. It’s a cruel master. We were never meant to be enslave by money. We were meant to steward it. So here’s the question, do you see money as a tool or a treasure? Do you go where God ask you to go or do you follow what money promises? Would the people in your life say that you’re giving your life to money or to God? Because you can only do one or the other, Jesus says. In fact, have you ever wondered this question, like, what is the purpose of money? It’s probably a question we should answer because we spend most of our life chasing it. The world’s system is built around it. We’re often stressed and anxious and fearful about it. But what is the actual purpose? This is really quick. Let me show you the purpose of money. The first thing is just simply this, money is for provision. Money is for provision.

Philippians 4:19, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” God gives you money so you can take care of food and shelter and clothing and needs and healthcare and relationship. He knows your needs. And he is a good father and he wants to provide for you. The second purpose that we can sum money for is, money is simply for enjoyment. Some of you are like, “Now you’re talking?” Listen to this verse, 1 Timothy 6:17, “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money which is so unreliable.” Their trust should be in God who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Wow. God doesn’t care if we have stuff. He cares if stuff has us. God gives you money to enjoy life. He wants you to enjoy his creation. He wants you to enjoy his beauty. He wants you to enjoy the life that he has given you. He is the God of abundance and joy.

He doesn’t care if you have stuff. He cares if stuff has you. And the problem is there’s two extremes that we like. We talked about the poverty gospel and the prosperity gospel. The poverty gospel says, your spirituality is measured by how little you have. Prosperity gospel says, your spirituality is measured by how much you have. The poverty gospel says, you should have nothing. The prosperity gospel says, everyone should be a multimillionaire with a personal jet. How about just the gospel that says, godliness with contentment is great gain. And oh, by the way, I’ve been blessed in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing there is in Christ. In other words, I’m content when I have nothing. But in Jesus, I always have everything. So God don’t care if you have stuff. He cares if stuff has you. And he wants you to enjoy it but he wants you to enjoy it with him. And he wants you to share it with others. Which brings me to the last thing and it’s simply this, money is a tool to glorify God and serve people.

It’s a tool. God has given it to you as a tool to glorify God and serve people. 2 Corinthians 9, “Yes. You will be enriched in every way so you can always be generous.” Pause. If you’re sitting here saying, “I don’t have enough money to have a generous spirit.” That verse just told you, you already have everything you need to be generous right now in this moment. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving, the needs of the believers and Jerusalem will be met, people will be served and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God and God will be glorified. All throughout the bible, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, the First Century Church, God filled their life with resources. So those resources could be used to glorify God and serve people. So do you use your money that way?

Or has money become security, safety, significance, and success? See, it’s impossible to live your kingdom purpose without a generous spirit. Your destiny, your calling, your divine created potential is meant to have a generous spirit. You say why? Because you are here to represent or re-present the God of grace and generosity to a stingy world. So it’s impossible to represent the God of grace and generosity with a poverty mindset. When we think about Genesis 1:28, the first thing God ever says to mankind, he says, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it using its vast resources in the service of God and men.” The first thing he says, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Do you know what that means? Work really hard and give it away. Be fruitful. Work really hard and then what? Give it away. A tree spends its whole life growing fruit it can’t eat.

Be fruitful and multiply. Use your resources to accomplish God’s purposes in the lives of men. You’ve been blessed to be a blessing. See here’s the reality, all of the resources and all of the Kingdom of God are over here. And all the problems in all of the world are over here. And you know what’s right in the middle? You. And like a hose, God wants it to flow through your life. And if you will align yourself with his purposes and his plans, he is looking for people that he can channel his resources through to meet the needs of a hurting, broken and dying world and he’ll draw your attention to where that hose is supposed to flow so needs can be met. The problem is, for a lot of us, a kink ends up somewhere in here. And you know what happens when a hose kinks, right? It starts going — don’t make do that again. I hurt my voice.

Right? For a lot of us, our hearts are kinked. Stress, anxiety, fear, greed, worry. God wants to open it up so it can flow. So how do we position ourselves to have an overflowing life? The spirit of generosity. The adventure of your purpose. Are you with me on that? Okay. Four things. And I got to go fast on this. Here’s how you position yourself to have a generous spirit, first thing is this, freely receive. Freely receive. If there is no overflow in your life, you don’t have a giving problem. You have a receiving problem. If there is nothing coming out of your life in terms of generosity, your problem is not giving. Your problem is receiving. Because you can’t give what you have yet to receive. Matthew 10:8, Jesus says, “Freely you have received. Freely give.” There’s an order. How about 1 Chronicles, David says, “But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this?”

Everything comes from you, God, and we have given you only what has come from your hand. You can’t give what you have yet to receive. Again, think of a hose. A hose is not a generator. It’s simply a conduit. A hose doesn’t create the water, it has to be hooked up to the spigot and then it just allows it to flow. But if it’s disconnected, it doesn’t matter how hard it tries, nothing is going to come out on the other end. That’s us. When we’re not receiving the grace of God in our life, we have nothing to offer the world. I mean, here’s a question I would ask you, how good are you at receiving? Do you ever think about this? Like how good are you at receiving compliments, encouragement, kindness, love from the people around you? How good are you at receiving? I would bet you’re terrible.

Because I’m not that great myself. Most of us stink at receiving from people around us. Unfortunately, that reveals how good we are at actually receiving that which God offers us. You see the problem is we get saved by grace and then we want to live by effort. We receive to get in the Kingdom and then we want to achieve to live in the Kingdom. And the problem is, is we want to do it through effort and performance and behavior. But you have to understand, like, it’s really easy to receive when you’re desperate and broken and in need. But all of a sudden, when your life is good and God offers you more and more and more, we kind of stop it. Usually out of pride saying, “Let me go take care of it myself” or out of unworthiness, “God, I don’t deserve it. I can’t accept anymore.” But we’ve missed it. Salvation and grace is the overflowing abundance of all things into our lives.

You’re not just supposed to be saved by grace. You’re supposed to live by grace. And here is the reality, only lifestyle grace leads to lifestyle generosity. If there is not the grace of God flowing through your life and all things, not just for salvation, not just for the forgiveness of your past, not just for the thing back there. No. For all of it. It will be impossible for you to be generous. But that requires humility doesn’t it? See, God wants to heal the orphan spirit within us. We all start with this orphan mindset thinking we’re on our own. We’re by ourselves. I have to take care of myself. I have to hold on to what I’ve got. An orphan is unwilling to receive so they are unable to give. And he wants to give you the spirit of his son. The spirit of his son says, “I freely receive. I fully trust. And I completely depend. Everything in the universe belongs to my father so I receive and give. I receive and release because I know that’s what brings his heart pleasure.”

You can choose to live with closed hands or open hands. Closed hands, “I can’t receive. I have nothing to give.” Open hands, “I receive and I give as it flows through my life.” And you get stressed out about saying, “You can’t tell people to start by receiving.” Listen, we have a responsibility to give that which we have received. That’s why Jesus says, “Freely receive. Freely give.” Have you ever said, “God, I open myself up and I want everything you offer to flow through my life.” Lifestyle grace is lifestyle generosity. Are you with me on that? The second thing is this, after you freely receive, return your tithe. Return your tithe. We talked about this last week. We said the tithe is the first and best ten percent portion of your income that belongs to God. We don’t give our tithe to God. We return to him because it belongs to him. And we talked last week how for ten cents on every dollar, God wants to be your business partner.

He wants you to give the Kingdom of God franchised on this earth. The problem is, is when we choose to keep that ten cents, we’re getting out of alignment with God. When we choose to keep that ten cents, what we’re doing, the bible tells us, is robbing from God. And hear me, when you rob from God, you invite the robber into your life. When you keep the ten cents, you are inviting the devoured to have access to your ninety cents. Think about this for a second, do you remember the story of Nehemiah? Nehemiah is a guy who went back and he helped to rebuild the City of Jerusalem. Everything has been ransacked and had been destroyed. All kinds of darkness had moved in to the city of God. And Nehemiah shows up and he wants to set everything right. He wants to rebuild the city. And one of the things that Nehemiah discovers is that a guy by the name of Tobiah, who is the enemy of the people of God. He is the guy that’s there oppressing them. Bringing fear into their life. Keeping them from their destiny. He is their enemy. He hates them and he is literally defeating them.

And Nehemiah shows up and he discovers Tobiah, their enemy, is living in the storehouse. Tobiah is living where the people are supposed to bring their tithes and offerings. So because the people decided to keep their tithe, a vacuum was created and darkness moved in. And darkness was empowered to bring fear and oppression and resistance on their life all because they decided to do it their way instead of God’s way. What was supposed to be an environment of blessing turned into an environment of darkness because they empowered Tobiah to hang out in a place that should have never been open. Because if they brought their tithes in, there would have been no room for him to be there. Does that make sense to you? That is a physical picture of the spiritual truth. When we choose to keep our tithe, we’re inviting, in a sense, darkness into our financial realm.

What we’re saying is, I’m going to choose to keep this so I’m literally inviting the very thing that is there to oppress me, bring fear in my life, keep me from my destiny. I’m creating space and inviting him to move in. That’s why 1 Timothy 6 says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” When we love money more than we love God, all kinds of evil show up in our life. See, remember, Satan is only empowered through human agreement. And when you keep the tithe, that’s what Satan wants you to do with your money. So you just agreed with him. Now, you just empowered him to move into your life and literally bring oppression and resistance and darkness and all kinds of things. I am convinced, the bible teaches us that if we would just give back to God what belongs to him, there would be no space for that darkness in our life because it would now be full. And we would be back in alignment with the Kingdom of God. Are you with me on that? And then we wonder why our life is so hard sometimes. I mean think about it. This is what it says. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money. They want money more than God have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves. He’s saying, “You bring it upon yourself. And I don’t want that for you. So what do we do?” You’ve wandered away, how do we come back? Malachi 3, the famous tithing passage, God says, “Return to me and I will return to you.” But you ask, how do we return? Will a man rob God yet you robbed me? But you ask, “How do we rob you?” In tithes and offerings. In other words, when we choose money over God, we wander away. But when we give our tithe back to God, we return back to him. We put him first in our lives and all of a sudden there’s no more room for darkness. That we’ve empowered to be there.

Tithing breaks the love of money off of your life. That’s why God wants you to do it. See, some of you, you’re sitting here and you’re like, “Yeah. But we’re under grace. We don’t have to d it.” You’re right. You’re under grace. And guess what grace does. It not only saves you. It changes you. It empowers you to obey. Grace empowers you to give more under grace than you ever would under the law. So if you want to use the logic of, “It’s grace. I don’t have to give.” That’s awesome. That means you’re going to give more than ten percent because grace raises the bar of what we’re called and created to do. Are you with me on that? And even when we’re under grace, there are consequences for choosing to directly disobey God. Life is too hard, man, to keep the ten cents to invite more darkness in our lives. All kinds of things would go if we would just give back to God what belongs to him.

See, tithing is worship. And worship is warfare. So when you tithe, you’re walking in financial victory. In fact, think about this, Romans 11:16 says, “If the first fruit is holy, the lamp is also holy. And if the root is holy then so are the branches.” You say, “What does that mean?” First fruit is the tithe. If the first fruit is holy, we give God the 10 percent, the 90 percent is just made holy. In other words, when you give God the ten percent, you just aligned your 90 percent to be used for Kingdom purposes. When we tithe and give God what belongs to him, you just took unrighteous money and turned it into a righteous tool. You just took money that was used for pornography and addictions and brokenness and death and destruction and tearing down and destroying. And by giving it to God, he calls it holy. And now it is positioned to save, heal, free, bring breakthrough, bring hope, bring deliverance, bring all kinds of things in people lives.

So in a sense, how cool is this? Tithing weaponizes your 90 percent. Your like, “Weaponizes?” Yeah. We’re called to destroy the works of the devil, man. We have a kingdom purpose. You tithe. You weaponized your 90 percent. You got now an arsenal to go out and live out your kingdom purpose. Are you with me on that? Okay. Third thing, it’s simply this, you got to learn to have an abundance mindset. If you want to live with a generous spirit, you got to have an abundance mindset. Because one of the biggest problems that we all struggle with is a poverty mindset. A poverty mindset is focused on what’s not, what isn’t, what we don’t have. It thinks there is a finite supply. It’s afraid. It lives in fear. It gathers. It holds. It hoards. The poverty mindset focuses on what we don’t have instead of on what God does have. And so, the poverty mindset say, “I got to hold on to what I got because I don’t know if I’ll ever get anymore.” That’s how children live.

Have you ever seen a kid try to share? It’s poverty mindset in action. They can’t share their toys. They can’t share their stuff. Have you ever seen a toddler try share Cheerios? They sit in their little chairs. You know, they can’t go anywhere. And they’re sitting there. And the parents would be like, “Oh, why don’t you share your Cheerio?” You get a little cup, “Why don’t you share your Cheerio?” And the kid — there’s not a chance the kid is going to give one Cheerio. And yet the parent is standing there with an entire box of Cheerios thinking, “If you would just give one, I’ll give you, like, 50.” And the kid won’t do it. That’s a picture of us. We’re so afraid to give our Cheerio and yet the Father is standing there with a box. And then behind him is like a whole cupboard full. And he’s kind of just saying like, “If you just give one.” Right? Okay. Because the problem is, we look at our finances by sight instead of faith.

We look at our money based on what we can see instead of what we actually believe about God. But remember, you’re supposed to move in every area of your life by faith, not by sight. Think of the story The Feeding of 5,000. That exposed the disciple’s poverty mindset. Jesus is teaching all day. It’s a great day. The crowd is hungry. The disciples want them all to go away because they’re hungry. And then Jesus says, “Well, hey guys. Let’s give them something to eat.” And they panicked. “That’s like eight months of wage. Are we supposed to give? We don’t have that. Jesus, we’re hungry and don’t do this.” You know like — he’s like, “Okay. Like, chill out.” So Jesus says, “What do you have?” God doesn’t ask you what you don’t have. He asks you what you do have. And he wants to know what you’re willing to do with it. They say, “We have five loaves and two fish. We don’t get enough for us. Please don’t take it away.” He says, “Give it to me.”

They give it to him. He prays for it. He blesses it. He gives it back to them so they had to receive. That’s where it starts. And they go out and they start passing it out. Jesus didn’t multiply it and create a big mound for them to look at and be like, “We got plenty for everybody and leftovers for ourselves.” No. It was as they gave it away, the abundance flowed into their life. But it always takes faith to give when you don’t believe you even have enough for yourself. That’s why Luke 6 says, “Give and it will be given to you.” Or Proverbs 11 that says, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger. The world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” And so, as they gave, they gave away. And guess what? Five fish and — five loaves and two fish fed 5,000 people and had 12-basket full of leftover. Jesus handed them the whole box of Cheerios when the whole thing was done and said enjoy. A generous spirit comes from an abundance mindset. See if you can track me on this for a second.

There is poor. There is rich. And there is wealthy. There are poor people. There are rich people. And there are wealthy people. Okay. Poor people feel entitled. Rich people feel proud and think they earned everything they got. Wealthy people feel grateful and know everything they have has come from God. Poor people expect other people to give them stuff. Rich people use people to go get more money. Wealth people use money to serve people. Poor people never feel like they have enough. Rich people are always trying to get more. Wealthy people are constantly content. Rich people — poor people are focused in what is not. Rich people are focused on what they do have. Wealthy people are focused on what God has. One more, poor people dream about stuff. Rich people dream about money. Wealthy people dream about the Kingdom.

Who are you? So hear me, wealth has nothing to do with how much money is in your bank. It has everything to do with the mindset that you have. Wealth is not about money. It’s about having the Kingdom perspective in every area of life. It’s about saying, in Jesus, I have access to everything. Jesus was the most wealthy to ever walk on this earth and yet he didn’t have a single dollar in his pocket. Not a single dollar. You say, “How is it possible?” He was wealthy beyond belief. Because he knew that he could call a fish out of a lake with a coin in its mouth. He knew he could tell the disciples to throw a net over a boat and fill it — so full of fish that everyone could eat for a month. He knew that five loaves and two fish would feed 5,000 people. Why? Because he knew everything the Father had belonged to him, he had access to at all so he was wealthy beyond belief. Does that make sense to you?

It’s not about money, it’s about access. And guess what? In Jesus, you’re wealthy. You say, “No, I’m not.” You sure you want to say that to me? “Look, I didn’t say it.” But you thought it in your heart. Okay. Let me show you this real quick. Look at it. This is you. You have the spirit of God inside of you. God has given you the spirit that created all of the universe that has created all of the stuff that we enjoy. And guess what? That lives inside of you. Second thing, you have been given the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, “Do not be afraid. It is the Father’s joy to give you the entire Kingdom.” You own the entire Kingdom of God with him. How about this? You have been given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, which means you have the authority to access and unlock all of the resources of heaven and bring it to earth. You have the mind of Christ, which means you can have Jesus’s perspective so you can walk as if you were a person with the wealth of the Kingdom. You have been blessed, which means supernatural powers working on your behalf. You are an heir to the fullness of the Kingdom of God, which means everything the Father has is your inheritance. And you have the treasure of heaven living inside of you.

So why are you not wealthy? Why can’t you be generous? Why do you have a poverty mindset? We got to stop focusing on what we don’t have. And start focusing on what he does have and what he has entrusted to us. Come on, are you with me on that? You are wealthy. You are wealthy. That’s got nothing to do with what’s in your bank account. It’s got everything to do with what’s in between your ears. Which brings me to the last thing to bring it all together and it’s simply this. Start using your money as a tool. Stop worshipping it as a treasure. It got real quiet in here, so I’m not sure what you’re all thinking. When the Israelites left Egypt after 400 years of being slaved, God gave them the gold of Egypt. Four hundred years of being slaves and they walked out and they have all the gold of Egypt, why? Because God was giving them what they needed for their purpose.

What was their purpose? To build a tabernacle so that the people could meet with God. The problem was, is they never surrendered it to him. And because they never surrendered to him, they turned it into a golden calf and they begun to worship it. You will always worship what you haven’t surrendered to God. Whatever you have yet to submit or surrender to God, you will ultimately worship. None of us set out to build a golden calf but it happens so much easier than we’d like to believe. So here’s the question, have you ever surrendered your stuff to God? Have you ever said, “God, I’ll give you my business”? It’s yours. God, I give you my bank account. I give you my possessions and my stuff and the things I hold dear. I give you all the things that belong to me.” Have you ever done that?

And it’s not about doing it once. It’s about doing it ongoing so it doesn’t creep back into our hearts. See, what you have to understand is that when you get saved, you get kingdomized. It’s a new word for the day. You get kingdomized. You say, “What does that mean?” That means, when you get to become part of the Kingdom, everything you have now belongs to the King and the Kingdom. Everything is kingdomized. It’s now there for the purposes of the King and his Kingdom. That includes your stuff, your house, your possessions, your gifts, your talents, your time, and your money. See, in Jesus, money is a tool to accomplish your kingdom purpose. It is not a treasure and it is not meant to be worshipped under any circumstance. In the Kingdom, God is the treasure. And he treasures people. So if God is the treasure and he treasures people the way I treasure him is by using what I have to serve the thing he loves.

We said last week that God is looking for people who don’t love the world so we can entrust the world to them. Here’s the question, would you give you more? If you were God, would you give you more based on how you used it? Not your intent. How you actually use it. And if the answer is no then why not make a change? Just start doing what he’s telling you to do. The secret to a life of miracles is just whatever he tells you to do, do it. Go on an adventure of generosity with God. Say God, “I’m terrified. I have no idea how to do this. But it’s yours. I’m going to give it all to you and then watch what happens.” Money is a tool. It is not a treasure. You hold money in your hand and you keep God in your heart. Don’t put money in your heart and keep God in your hand. Come on, did I lose you? All of the problems in the world are over here. And all the resources in the Kingdom are over here. And you’re right in the middle.

Sometimes we got to get the King side of our heart so we can flow. The First Century Church received radical grace so they were radically generous. They gave their land, their houses, their money, their time, their possessions, their life. And they’re not just an example for us. That’s our calling. But it’s impossible for it to flow without receiving the grace of Jesus in your life. You see the last question I just want to simply ask you is this, are you using your money to glorify God and serve people? If not, what are you going to do about it? So close your eyes with me and let me just ask you, what is God saying to you? God is not in the business of making us feel guilty or bad or condemned. in no way. God is in the business of setting us free and making us whole. Money is a tool that’s meant to empower your kingdom purpose. But until you figure out who you are in Jesus, you will use money to try to define who you are. You see God wants to set all of us free from the love of money so we can live in the love of the Father. What is God whispering in your heart? Where is he trying to unknot some of those kinks?

God wants to set you free. And he wants to give you tools so you can live your destiny. So Jesus, we ask that you would give us a different perspective. We ask that you would give us the courage surrender our gifts and our passions and our talents and our business and our stuff and our bank and all the things that we hold so dearly. Would we open up our hands and surrender them to you, Lord. And say, now, show us where you want that to overflow. Show us how we can use this to glorify you and serve people around us. Thank you, Jesus, for unlimited unmeasured grace that changes our lives. In your name we pray, amen.

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