Growing Up in Giving – sermon video audio notes

Growing Up in Giving -- sermon video audio notes. What I want to talk about today is what most say to be the number one universal immaturity issue found in Christ followers. What do you think that might be? That number one immaturity is financially giving to the kingdom of God. Let me ask you a question off the top. Will a mature Christian give financially the way the Bible says to give? Giving tithes, offerings, and alms is the number one immaturity of Christians

What Is The Greatest Gift A Father Can Give His Child – Father’s day sermon video audio notes

Growing Up in Giving -- sermon video audio notes

Growing Up in Giving - sermon video audio notes

Scriptures: 1John 2:12-14, Hebrews 5:12, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Matthew 6:21, Matthew 12:35, Luke 12:34, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 2 Corinthians 9:6, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Malachi 3:8-10, Matthew 6:1, Matthew 6:3-4, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Matthew 23:23, Matthew 10:8, 2 Corinthians 9:6, 2 Corinthians 9:8

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Life Gate Church Reaching Up and Reaching Out

Growing Up in Giving - sermon video

1. Growing Up in Giving - By Pastor Delbert Young

Growing Up in Giving - sermon notes

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Scriptures: 1John 2:12-14, Hebrews 5:12, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Matthew 6:21, Matthew 12:35, Luke 12:34, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 2 Corinthians 9:6, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Malachi 3:8-10, Matthew 6:1, Matthew 6:3-4, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Matthew 23:23, Matthew 10:8, 2 Corinthians 9:6, 2 Corinthians 9:8

We will begin a new series today that I am titling GROWING UP.

1John 2:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

We see from these verses that there are maturity levels in the Kingdom of God. At what level do you think you might be? Are you a little child, young man, or father? You will have a good idea if you attend over the next few weeks.

Have you ever met someone who had Arrested Development Syndrome? Arrested Development Syndrome is a mental condition where a person’s mental development stops – arrests. Though the body continues to develop physically, aspects of a person’s mentality do not develop. For example, a person might be fifty years old, but act and think as they did at sixteen years old. Physical growth can also arrest, such as Emmanuel Lewis of the television program Webster and Gary Coleman of Different Strokes. Many, perhaps even most, Christ followers experience Arrested Development Syndrome in the spiritual dimension. We stop GROWING UP.

Hebrews 5:12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an INFANT, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the MATURE, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and GO ON TO MATURITY…

Those Hebrew Christians were stuck at the elementary level. In the natural, it would be like a 40 year old person acting like and thinking like a 6-12 year old child. Our parents would have been extremely disappointed if we stopped maturing at 10 years of age. Our parents would have continued to love us, but we would never enjoy the wonderful things that mature people enjoy. We would never learn much, never marry, never procreate, never have what most consider a successful life, etc. The writer was telling the Hebrews there is much more to learn, more to create, more to enjoy, and more to celebrate if we will but mature in Christ.

So, what I want to accomplish in our series is to talk about GROWING UP. The way I want to do this is by looking at what a mature Christian does and then we can look and see how we align individually. What do you think? We can sort of give ourselves a spiritual maturity test. I suspect you will pass with flying colors.

What I want to talk about today is what most say to be the number one universal immaturity issue found in Christ followers. What do you think that might be? That number one immaturity is financially giving to the kingdom of God. Let me ask you a question off the top. Will a mature Christian give financially the way the Bible says to give?

The Gallup polling organization says, “Two-thirds of Americans claim to be members of a church or some other religious institution… Gallup concludes, about two-thirds of the population claim to attend services at least once a month or more often… Thirty-six percent say they attend once a week.” 

About 66% of Americans attend church, but how many give as a mature believer gives?

“Barna’s data [Barna Research Group] shows that only 3 percent of adults contributed 10 percent… Among born-again Christians, the decline was similarly steep, from 14 percent in 2001 to 6 percent in 2002.” 

This particular Arrested Development Syndrome is the cause for the #1 battle of every local church including ours. It stops churches everywhere from fulfilling their God-given purposes.

I want to talk to us today about giving. If I am successful, I will help you mature and will help Life Gate advance toward its God-given purpose by helping us all to become better givers. I am not going to teach this from the aspect of a “command” or condemnation, so you can relax. Mature people do not need a command. Mature people function from doing what is right – righteousness. So, off the top, where are you in your giving maturity level? Well, Delbert, I can’t afford to tithe. That is exactly what I mean. You have not matured in the area of your finances so that you can contribute to the kingdom.

What I want to accomplish is your getting a sense of stewardship. I want you to become a consistent financial supporting part of Life Gate Church of which the Lord can count on. For that to happen, it will require our GROWING UP IN GIVING.

ATTITUDES OF GIVING

The Bible shows us several attitudes and emotions that a mature Christ follower will have when it comes to giving. One attitude is, giving to the kingdom is a happy thing and makes our hearts happy.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as HE PURPOSETH IN HIS HEART, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a CHEERFUL giver.

A person’s giving to the kingdom is purposed in his or her heart. The Greek word translated purposeth is proaireomai (Strong’s #4255) and means to choose for oneself before another thing (prefer), to propose (intend). A mature Christ follower gives on purpose from the heart. When it comes to giving, we wrestle with our hearts. Your heart tells you one thing, but your head tells you something else. Your heart says give. Your head says you cannot afford to give. I promise you, if you will do what your heart tells you, God will take care of the rest. We have a wonderful feeling in our hearts when we give to the work of the kingdom. It truly is a cheerful thing because giving is a heart thing.

Let me share with you our story about giving. My entire family was born again in 1978. We would go to church and put something into the offering, but we did not tithe. My heart was telling me to tithe, but my mind said we could not afford it. On paper, we could not afford to tithe. One Sunday, we began to tithe. Since that Sunday, we never missed paying a bill or missed a meal. Do not hear me incorrectly. Money did not fall out of heaven. We had to GROW UP in our finances. God took care of what we could not because we followed our hearts. My point is following your heart is important when it comes to giving.

Jesus was emphatic about the “heart connection” to giving.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your HEART be also.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of THE GOOD TREASURE OF THE HEART bringeth forth good things…

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your HEART be also.

A person’s lack of giving is not a bank account problem. It is a heart problem. We allow our minds to stop us from GROWING UP. God’s character is to give and if we are his children then we give. “For God so loved the world that he gave…”

Giving is a serious matter and we must take it seriously. Did you know that the only thing Jesus talked about more than giving and money was the kingdom of God? Why was that? It is because giving cannot be separated from how I truly feel about the kingdom. Our hearts link the two together.

Giving is about the attitude of the heart. The Greek word translated cheerful is most interesting. It is hilaros (Strong’s #2431). Of course we get our English word ‘hilarious’ from it. Hilaros means propitious or merry (hilarious) i.e. prompt or willing. Giving is a therapeutic experience. We know that we are GROWING UP when giving makes us happy.

Let’s look at another attitude found in the mature Christ follower.

2 Corinthians 9:7 …Don’t give RELUCTANTLY OR IN RESPONSE TO PRESSURE. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. [NLT]

Immaturity is giving reluctantly or in response to pressure. It is important to give with the proper attitude.

GIVING DONE WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE OF CHEERFULNESS AND JOY COMES WITH TREMENDOUS PROMISES OF GOD.

Let’s read the context of 2 Corinthians 9:8. As you can see, we are not pulling out a scripture to make our doctrine on giving work. The Bible directly connects how we give (sow) to how we receive (reap).

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And GOD WILL GENEROUSLY PROVIDE ALL YOU NEED. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. [NLT]

Giving with the correct attitude is a tremendous identifying mark of a mature believer. Interestingly, we find blessings attached every place in the Bible where God instructs us to give. Let’s look at a few. Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament. So, from it we can find the sum total of all Old Testament giving scriptures.

Malachi 3:8-10 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. IF YOU DO,” says the LORD Almighty, “I WILL OPEN THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN FOR YOU. I WILL POUR OUT A BLESSING SO GREAT YOU WON’T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM TO TAKE IT IN! TRY IT! LET ME PROVE IT TO YOU! [NLT]

God gives a personal challenge to his people to “TRY IT!” He is so confident that he says, “LET ME PROVE IT TO YOU.”

Jesus also told us there are rewards when we give properly which includes alms giving.

Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have NO REWARD of your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 6:3-4 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret HIMSELF SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY.

Alms giving is giving to the poor and needy. We need to include alms giving in our giving. A mature Christ follower gives alms. Jesus said, “When you give alms,” not “if.” Alms giving is actually one of the “tithes” (plural) in the Old Testament and was a separate tithe given every third year (Deu 14:28).

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and SO THAT THE LORD YOUR GOD MAY BLESS YOU IN ALL THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS.

This special giving was to help support traveling ministry, transients, widows, orphans, and the poor. Notice the very special blessing attached to it. THE LORD YOUR GOD MAY BLESS YOU IN ALL THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS.

Another attitude of a mature Christ follower is consistency.

1 Corinthians 16:2 ON THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY WEEK, EACH ONE OF YOU SHOULD SET ASIDE A SUM OF MONEY IN KEEPING WITH HIS INCOME, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

The scriptures have always taught consistent and proportionate giving as to when, where, and the amount of giving. In the Old Testament, the times to give were during feast times (Deu 12:5-6). The place of giving was the Temple. After the cross, the place became the church on the first day of the week.

The amount in the Old Testament was always the proportionate tithe or ten percent (10%). It never changed. I believe that Paul referenced the tithe when he said, “EACH ONE OF YOU SHOULD SET ASIDE A SUM OF MONEY IN KEEPING WITH HIS INCOME.” There is no other guide for us to go by in all of scripture. It was a tithe before the Law of Moses (Gen 14:20; 28:22). It was a tithe during the law and Old Testament (Lev 27:30-32). Jesus agreed and said that we should tithe.

Matthew 23:23 How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law -- justice, mercy, and faith. YOU SHOULD TITHE… [NLT]

The KJV says, “…these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

Jesus said we should tithe and we should give. We should also do other important things. However, do not leave out the tithe.

In a church, we have different levels of givers. There are the abundantly financially blessed “high capacity” financial givers. There are the “committed-to-the-core” tithing faithful members of the church no matter their income. Then there is everybody else. However, the consistent, proportionate, standard Biblical amount to us all is the tenth – the tithe. It is no more a burden upon the financially blessed than it is upon the financially challenged. God expects EACH ONE to give.

I want to make one more point about giving. From time to time there will be need for a “capital campaign.” This is giving for special things. Moses had a campaign to build the tabernacle. Solomon had a campaign to build the temple and Ezra and Nehemiah had capital campaigns to rebuild the temple and walls. Paul had capital campaigns for church plants and needy believers. It is a time when God challenges us to make a special financial thrust for the kingdom’s advancement.

I want to challenge you today in your giving, but not legalistically. I want to challenge you to lay a foundation upon which you can mature. Imagine what Life Gate Church could accomplish if EACH ONE gave Biblically. We could truly create IRRESISTIBLE ENVIRONMENTS that would impact this region in ways yet to be seen. God wants us all to become a steward of the vision. God needs you to give and he will bless you if you will.

Jesus sent out his disciples and said to them,

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

I felt that some of us might want to take God’s challenge from Malachi and Paul’s challenge from 2 Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And GOD WILL GENEROUSLY PROVIDE ALL YOU NEED. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. [NLT]

So, we are going to receive the offering now. Remember, there is no condemnation. Do not give grudgingly or feel you are being manipulated. I truly am far more concerned about your GROWING UP than I am about today’s offering. Let’s bless it. Amen!

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How do you see the world today concerning PEACE? You probably see our world with the strong and wealthy eating food while the weak go to bed hungry. You see violence filling the news. You see weapons of mass destruction becoming more and more available to evil countries and terrorists. You see a war in Iraq and Afghanistan. You see terrorist striking terror into all… and you see everyone afraid. You hear of predators molesting our children. You probably see the world in bad shape and getting worse every day. How close am I? Is that how you see the world concerning peace?

Have you ever wondered exactly why you see the world this way? Is it because the world is in bad shape and getting worse every day, or could it be society trained you to see the world this way? Even church teachers/leaders teach you to see it this way. According to some preachers and theologians, the world is in the “last days” of existence, as we know it. They say at any moment, God will rapture the church because things are so bad. Someone called the “antichrist” will appear and the world will spin into a nonstop, 7-year, worldwide chaos heading for the mother of all wars called “Armageddon.”

I have this great cartoon clip of Calvin and Hobbes.

cartoon clip

It’s winter time and Calvin made three snowmen. However, they are all melting away. Each snowman is holding a sign. The first melting snowman’s sign says “REPENT SINNERS!” The second says, “THE END IS NEAR!” The third melting snowman’s sign says “SPRING IS COMING!” (Spring would be Armageddon for a snowman.) Calvin’s mother joined him and Calvin explained his artwork. He said, “They’re snowmen prophets of doom.” His mother replied, “You certainly take the pleasure out of waiting for Daffodils.” This is somewhat how I feel when I hear the “rapture,” “great tribulation,” and “Armageddon” prophet of doom thing. They sure do take the pleasure out of the advancing kingdom. They certainly remove the truth about the Prince of Peace and the God of Peace.

Nonetheless, this is how many preachers and “Bible scholars” train Christians to think. Instead of thinking as the Bible teaches, preachers train us to think as the world. I went fishing the other day and on the way, I saw a sign in front of a church. The sign read, “We’re gonna be outta here like bottle rockets when Jesus comes back.” Today, this is the message of the church.

Are things bad and getting worse? Is it doom and gloom? Will things get worse and worse? Is the end near? Is it what the Bible teaches and the way we are supposed to think concerning PEACE IN THE WORLD? Now is a good time to look at the following scripture.

Luke 2:10-14 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

Does the angelic announcement tell you things will get worse and worse ending in “Armageddon?” Or, does it tell you things will get better and better until there is ON EARTH PEACE and good will toward men? Please notice the historic mission of the savior isPEACE IN THE WORLD.

Isaiah the prophet had a vision/prophecy about PEACE IN THE WORLD.

Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE. OF THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT AND PEACE THERE WILL BE NO END. He will reign on David’s throne and OVER HIS KINGDOM, ESTABLISHING AND UPHOLDING IT WITH JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM THAT TIME ON AND FOREVER. The zeal of the LORD Almighty WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS.

I do not know how this reads to you, but to me it reads once the child is born and the government given to the Prince of Peace, his GOVERNMENT AND PEACE WILL INCREASE AND THERE WILL BE NO END. No seven-year interruption or anything like it. He will establish and uphold his kingdom FROM THAT TIME ON AND FOREVER. The word says the Lord Almighty WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS. Put it in the bank! Am I missing something? If John 3:16 is true, this is true. My point is things are not getting worse and worse. Things are actually getting better and better, but you must think Biblically to see it. For example, before Christ, one world empire/dictator after another ruled the world. How many world empires/dictators have there been after Christ and the termination of the Roman Empire? No world empires existed, though many tried, because Jesus became King of kings and Lord of lords. Let’s read further into Isaiah’s prophecy about the Savior bringing PEACE IN THE WORLD.

Isaiah 11:6-10 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for THE EARTH WILL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; THE NATIONS WILL RALLY TO HIM, and his place of rest will be glorious.

Is Isaiah really talking about animals and reptiles? If so, then why does Isaiah make an immediate transition into the nations will rally to him? Allow me to give you a larger thought.

Genesis 49:27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.”

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Luke 10:3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Revelation 13:2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. (Empires/nations of Daniel 7)

Deuteronomy 32:33 Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras.

When the Bible talks about wolves, lambs, leopards, cows, bears, lions, oxen, snakes, etc it is not talking specifically about those creatures. It is relating their natures to those of humanity/nations. Isaiah saw a day when all types of humanity experience peace on earth and good will toward men. It is a day when all colors of people lie down – dwell in peace – together. The strong and powerful do not sink their teeth into the weak. It is a day when little babies and children are safe from predators. It is a day when no one is afraid, and the earth is full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. It sounds like a fairy tale, a fantasy from a children’s story. Will there ever be this degree of PEACE IN THE WORLD? Yes and the world is moving in this direction as we speak and breathe. Let me show you.

Martin Luther King relayed Isaiah’s typology in his magnificent speech titled, “I Have a Dream.” Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood… I have a dream…”

It is an aspect of the lion eating straw like the ox. What happened since that day in August 1963, when Martin Luther King spoke those words? It may be slow and not where it should be yet, but today we are a thousand miles from where we were then. The world we live in today is far different and far better than the world our parents lived in concerning racism and peace. Today, forty years later, on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I want to ask you a series of questions. Was it moving toward PEACE ON EARTH to make a certain race of people sit in the back of a bus while all other races sat in the front? Was it moving toward peace to make certain people, because of their skin color, drink from different water fountains, use different bathrooms, or go to different schools? The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, eliminating legal segregation. I went to a segregated school until I was a junior in high school. I will never forget in 1964 when the first four black students came to my high school. This was a thousand miles ago and foreign to the thinking of students today. HALLELUJAH! My point is the world is getting better, not worse. You can always find the bad and we should to fix it, but the world is better today and closer toPEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN than any time in history.

So, how will PEACE IN THE WORLD come? This, my friend, is the purpose of the church. Jesus said he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Mat 16:18). As the church does what it was created to do, the earth will fill with the correct knowledge of the Lord. We read it previously.

Isaiah 11:9 …for the earth will be FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Martin Luther King was a preacher and he preached his message to the church. It was theknowledge of the Lord. As mindsets changed, PEACE came. The problem is the church is doing little today along those lines? Jesus told a parable in Luke 11. It is a parable about persistence in prayer, but it is also a picture of the church – the sleeping church.

Luke 11:5-8 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

The parable takes place at midnight. Midnight speaks of the transition and change from one day and time to another day and time. It is always midnight just before the next day. On one side, it is darker and darker until that day ends. There is war, disease, starvation, fear, anxiety, and depression. Colors loose their sharpness and become only silhouettes. On the other side, it grows brighter and brighter. Colors become more and more brilliant and beautiful. Things look different. It is transition time in the parable. The transition is from the dispensation of Judaism and before Christ to the dispensation of AD – Anno Domini – the church and kingdom of God (Eph 1:10). It is midnight in the parable and the darkness is deep… but, day is coming and there is hope as a knock interrupts the darkness. Somebody is waking the sleeping church. The person will not stop knocking until it gets its lazy self up and provides bread for the hungry midnight travelers.

There are more midnight travelers than ever in history. A stunning 33% of the earth’s population is today Christian and the number is growing daily. Mega churches are common in nearly any country. Even in the once atheistic Russia and China, millions of hungry people are midnight travelers. We project the church as a friendly place for the midnight traveler – bread. We say the church offers answers bringing peace for a confusing time – bread of life. Midnight travelers seek a little bread – 3 loaves – the bread of the kingdom – righteousness, PEACE, and joy.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, andPEACE, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

As the church brings the KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, PEACE IN THE WORLD comes with it.

Who is the one knocking on the door? Of course, it is Jesus himself (Rev 3:20). However when the knock comes, he is greeted with an unfriendly reply.

Luke 11:7 Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’

Those inside the sleeping church say, “I’m comfortable. My family and children are comfortable. My part of the world is comfortable. I am not going to worry about the rest of the world.” Allow me to ask you a question. How many of us are truly active concerning world peace? I am not talking about bringing peace to wars. Wars are only a fruit of missing peace. I am talking about the family in Africa who has no peace and goes to bed hungry – no bread. How many of us are truly concerned about the victims of the 2004 Tsunami who lost their homes. DON‘T BOTHER ME. THE DOOR IS ALREADY LOCKED, AND MY CHILDREN ARE WITH ME IN BED. I CAN’T GET UP AND GIVE YOU ANYTHING.”However, do you know what? Jesus is going to keep knocking, asking, and seeking until he gets his lazy church up to provide bread – righteousness, PEACE, and joy – to the hungry midnight travelers. I was watching The Late Show with David Letterman. His guest was Oprah Winfrey. They were talking about all the things Oprah does for humanity such as building schools in South Africa. Oprah said everyone is not able to do what she can do, but everyone can do something. Think about this. Could there be PEACE IN THE WORLD AND GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN? Yes, nearly overnight if everyone would do something. However, we would rather sleep and produce children who sleep.

I want to end by saying, though there are bad things happening, the world is better today than it has ever been. We are closer today to PEACE IN THE WORLD than ever before. Jesus will continue to knock on the door of your heart until you do your part. The world is not ending and you are not a bottle rocket. You are an Ambassador of Christ put here to preach the historic message of PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

Growing Up in Giving -- sermon video audio notes

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