Is Your Faith Genuine?
Good morning. Welcome. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And I want to start by thanking Tony, because if you're not new here among us, you know, he preached a great message last week. I want to start this morning by sharing with you a connection card. So we have these things in the seatbacks called connection cards if you're new, and so we encourage you to fill it out, especially if you're new. We want to get to know you are that kind of church, a family oriented Community Church, sometimes we will put prayer requests on there. And sometimes they treat it like a comment card. I just want to encourage you with something. It's not a comments card. It's a connection card. Okay, so this one's interesting. This one begins addressed to me. Dear Pastor Jean, nice. Your jokes are not funny. Sign. Britney Spears. So there you go. Oh, I'm glad I was worried about that one. Because it's not a lot of people laughed, it means you're not paying attention, or you're coming to church really late. All right. So we are going to dive in today. There's a lot to talk about today. So I'm going to kind of dive right in. I'm going to go quick in some parts. Again, this is the word of God. That's it. This is the hill. I'm going to die on every single time. So I encourage you to dig in for yourself. I never believe anything that any man oh man like me, says all right, especially about Britney Spears. But the Bible is even more important than that. Alright, so last week, we looked at First Corinthians. And so we saw where that letter to the church in Corinth turned right. So right on chapter 15. And the resurrection, this is what it's all about, guys, there is what Jesus did for us. And it ends with what that encouragement. So we had all that doctrine, all that stuff. We're not supposed to divine over why Jesus is accurate. Let's just hang on that guys. Right? That's the most important thing, then what? Well, your response, right? So at the beginning of every week, like Sunday, you know, we're going to have the collection. And so there's this whole collection in Jerusalem going on. So this week, we're going to look at the response. That's kind of how First and Second Corinthians works. You see, Paul lays it out, tries to get unity going on over all these different issues, tells us about the resurrection, what's really important, the central tenants of the gospel, and then how we should respond. Second Corinthians written for two basic reasons. So well, I'll get the subject line, two basic reasons. So he's playing the church is plagued with false teachers. And that's, if you read the New Testament a lot, you're going to have a takeaway, you're going to eventually go, there is this redundant like this, he just keep rebuking false teachings and false to over and over, and there's a lot of it in there, right. So if it sounds like I'm doing it a lot, it's because I'm trying to be faithful to the Word of God talks a lot about it. It's important, you can lead people astray. So he's even snarky in here. He calls them super apostles, he gives them like names. It's kind of funny. The other thing is this, this offering and will happen is it's not so cut and dry, he'll kind of weave through and I'm going to help you with that. So he has both of these things in mind, Paul, when he's when he's constructing this letter, of course, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Quick note. It is what I like to call third Corinthians. Because we're missing zero Corinthians we talked about that. Right? So if you read very clearly, he says it chapter five, First Corinthians and a letter I wrote to you before I told you not to associate. So there's one we don't have, and we just got to deal with it. A lot of people are uncomfortable with that. It's called Faith, right? So we're good with that. Are you good with that? Don't say no. Whatever, I hit those like questions, rhetorical questions, and then you get the answer wrong and whatever. So we don't do that. Yeah. I don't like when churches turn to the person next to you and say, you know, like, whatever is Jesus loves you. It's like, what if they don't want to say that? What if I just don't feel Eric? So anyway, subject line, this is going to be a tough one. So today's going to be tough, right? So that's what I talked about Britney Spears tried to break the ice. So subject line here, test yourself to see if your faith is genuine. Now remember, it's about the false teachers and money. So it's going to be really this is where a lot of pastors are like, Oh, Lord, help me like can we skip Second Corinthians is No we cannot. Right. So we're just there. And so I'm going to say as much of this in love as I can. Alright, so let's just jump right in. Second Corinthians one. This letter is from Paul chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother, Timothy, I'm writing to God's church in Corinth and all His holy people throughout Greece. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace, very similar opening right? Grace and peace, grace and peace Paul uses that a lot setting a tone. Timothy bringing in Timothy with and we saw a lot about St. Matthew, we're going to see Titus coming in here too. All right. First topic he brings up so. So the false teachers right that's that That's kind of got to be in your mind right now. So remember, everything he's saying is to that end is he's so he's going to use his sufferings here all throughout the letter to show the difference between him and the false teachers. All right, and so the money issue will tie in there as well. Right? So it's all in here. So just be thinking of this when you look at it. So I'll just kind of paraphrase. God offers comfort to all what he says is, the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ, even when we are weighed down with troubles. It is for your comfort and salvation. For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you, then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. Remember, we saw that in Philippians, right? We want to join Christ, even in his suffering, Christ says himself, pick up your cross, deny yourself and follow me. Those are his requirements. Now, another thing that I really like about Second Corinthians easy snatches so many false teachings, when you read this in full, it destroys them, like there's no way you can believe some of this stuff after a plain reading of Second Corinthians. And if you're a real nerd, I'm using NLP because it's in a language everyone can just understand. Alright, so when it varies a little bit, I'm going to point that out because I'm reading from the best translation. The original, right? So good. It's a Greek. So I kind of chime in and give you that nerd stuff. So here's a false teaching, ever hear the phrase, God doesn't give you more than you can handle? Lies, okay. And here's why. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure. And we thought that we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learn to rely on God who raises the dead false teaching smashed, right? It does, it's, it's kind of the word tribulation, like in Greek thlipsee. Like it should make you think of being crushed, like the Salem witch trial, the crust under rocks. It's horrible, right? So that's kind of the language he's using here. So sometimes God will let these things happen, why? To cause us to rely on him and we're going to see Paul talks about this again, right? Sometimes it's a smash our pride, he's going to bring that up. So now there's topics of a practical nature. Paul has a kind of a change of plans here, right? And so he's going to he knows it's like a pre argument to an accusation. There's, oh, you're partial. You don't love us you don't care about he's has these things in mind. Right? So he's kind of going to let them know if in the text, your Bible says, verse 14, proud of us. So you'll be proud of us. I call this an innocent idiom. It's just I don't want to say like somebody there wasn't thinking. But when you think about it in your Bible, it's a misunderstood thing. Pride is always a sin. Period. There's always good pride. Wrong. It's always a sin. Pride is a sin. Right? If you're more traditional, remember, the seven deadly sins prides in there because it's kind of correct, right? That right? So proud. It's kafheemah in Greek, it's like to boast I've talked to you guys about this. It's not eeparaphanos, which is pride or (alazoonea) which is arrogance. Those are the words used for that. That is not here in the text. I checked, right? Got the better translation here. So anyway, if you see that just it confuses people, and it doesn't help the confusion sometimes. So when I point that out to you, you can make a note on your belt. So what he's going to do is he's going to say, Look, I'm not partial in this visit. I'm not flaky, whatever it is, he's going to say, Let your Yes be Yes. And your no be No. Sounds like Jesus. Right, Matthew Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 537. James echoes this and James 512. So let your Yes be Yes. And your no be known. So that's where he'll go with that. And it's about this visit that seems like he's skipping, you get to chapter two. So I decided that I would not bring you grief by another painful visit. So what is going to lead to is First Corinthians topics, right? So he's going to be referencing things in there.
I like to think it doesn't have a name. So I can't say definitively I like to think he started talking about forgiveness for this one sinner, right. I like to think it's the guy that got thrown out of the church, remember handing him over to Satan in chapter five. I like to think it's him. You can debate about it, but whatever. But God wants what reconciliation so we're hoping that the guy came back. So but he wrote to you, I wrote to you as I did. And here's the steam remember the subject line to test you? And see if you would fully comply with my instructions. So what did he tell him? Kick them out? Right if that's what he's talking about. And now I like to think he came back and don't you know, he's already suffered enough, that's fine, forgive him. Now what he's going to do and this is typically very, very hard to understand as you continue reading, he's going to bring in a lot of Old Testament imagery that I'll help you with and he weaves it through pretty quickly and you can get confused number first Corinthians seven he's talking about marriage and divorce a lot of stuff and all sudden he talks about circumcision, right? Like where did that come from? What was because you know, don't change the way you were when you came to Christ. If you just stay that way. Sorry, if you're like circumcised Don't try to change it. If you're not, you know, I'm not going to get into that. But anyway, So he's doing the same he's making these references that can be confusing I'll try to unconfuse it. So what he starts saying is in remember this kind of like overlying themes here, the fake teachers, the super apostles, right? So he puts himself up like our lives are a Christ like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and those who are perishing, so those who are perishing we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. So think about it like in the sacrifices God you know, and in Old Testament it's a fragrant aroma pleasing to God. Right. So we're this Romans 12 living sacrifice that's pleasing to God, but being sacrificed it's crazy number First Corinthians, this is crazy to the Gentiles like it's nuts, like, why would you? Why would God die on a cross? It doesn't make any sense. So, so it's perceived that way. It's like a procession, you know, when an army would take prisoners and stuff and they would parade them around and the smell of death and doom, it's perceived that way to them. So problem number one, right, you see, we are not like those many hucksters. hucksters who preach for personal profit, we preach the Word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us, right? Like, it's going to tie in nicely for next week. But it's like someone selling you something you don't need are like little trinkets or something like that. We're not like these people are trying to sell you something you don't need, right? We preach with sincerity, another Old Testament thing, a couple of things like all brought together. So like, we don't need a letter of recommendation that these false teachers are coming with, right? So think of it like this in the martial arts, we call them paper, black belts, or they can't do it. They just, you know, they just have the black belt. So it's like paper pastors. They're a lot of paper pastors, if we're being honest out there, they don't really know the word very well, like they should. And so they shouldn't be here right doing this. So they're paper pastors. And so this is kind of what Paul's getting at here. We don't need those letters recommendation, but it gets difficult to understand. If you don't know the Old Testament a little bit. Ezekiel 36. You know, we are we're the letters of recommendation written on your hearts or our hearts. Right. So what happened with the law? So the law was written on tablets of stone, and then that gets brought in, like, on stony hearts. But you know, I will write all my commands on your heart. So Jeremiah 31, to Hebrews eight, we looked at that stuff. So he kind of gets into that, like, we don't need these letters. We're on your heart, and you're on our heart, right? So that's where he's going. But he's bringing in all this Old Testament imagery here, which brings into the law, right? We're not under that Old Covenant. Because remember one of the false teachings, what was the first heresy in the church that oh, all the Gentile Christians have to be under the law, they have to do all these different things like us know, James, just these four things he says, so early false teaching, that's why Paul would start talking about this. But Galatians dispels that Hebrews a dispels that we're no longer under the law. So the old way, which has been replaced, so if people there are crazy people out there still teaching, we're still under the Law. Read this, which has been replaced with glorious, how much more glorious is this new, which remains forever? Now? If you remember, right, Moses is in the presence of God's faces like shining, right? Yeah. So where the veil and all that stuff, so he's going to bring that imagery, he's assuming everybody reading knows the Old Testament, right? So can you say we are not like Moses, though, right. So Moses was the mediator of that covenant, who put a veil over his face of the people of Israel would not see the glory, He brings in these false teachers, right? So the same veil covers the face faces of those who cannot understand the truth, right, so all these people are buying into the false teaching, doing the false teaching, they're just like these Israelites, their faces veil, and they don't have this like relationship with God. It's not about that for them. So that's where he's going. We're not like them. So as he continues to get to for one, Second Corinthians four, one problem want to get therefore, since God in His mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the Word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all are honest, know this, if the good news we preach is hidden behind the veil, and that's what he's talking about. It isn't only for people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don't believe they're unable to see the glorious light of the good news. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. Great statement there. Right? So here, you have this whole theme that Paul goes into a lot heavenly things versus worldly things, right? We're not We're not like them. We have our minds there. These false teachers distort the Word of God. They're agents of Satan. That sounds really like cruel. But Paul says this more than once, and he's literally they're working for Satan. Like they're not good, you know. So it's really bad. So the idea here is Satan is the god of this world. And it's worth mentioning Satan can bless us too. Remember that? What happened? Like Matthew for the temptations of Christ? What does he do? He tempts him with blessings that are going to say I track him. Right? But what does he say? Don't put the Lord God to the test right? So that's going to come up later. So just remember that, for all those who have fallen for the worldly teachings or blessings by the hucksters who want money, Paul's going to really clear that up here and want to share this with you. You want to see the Second Corinthians four, seven, we now have this light shining in our hearts. So think about the veil, right talked about light, the light of the gospel light shining in our hearts. Right. So now this thing that was on stone is not in our hearts. Do you see how that works? But we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. We're fragile. These bodies are not going to last forever guys like so. We're our human state, what should we be praying for? Well, not these bodies because they're just fragile. Klages. This makes it clear that our great powers from God, not ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down. But we're not destroyed through suffering. Our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death. But that has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith that the Psalm has had me said, I believe God. So I spoke. We know that God who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great Thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present, troubles are small, and they won't last very long. Yeah, they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them, and will last forever. So we don't look at the troubles we can see now. Rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen for the things we've seen now will soon be gone. But the things we cannot see with will last forever. This is true Christian perspective. Remember, he was 11 face? What's the definition? About the things we cannot see? Right, the hope and those things, it's not the hope in now the present and think about what's Paul saying is very, very powerful. And we as we continue you're going to kind of notice this, right? For our troubles are small, like they're nothing. We can see what he's going through. shipwrecks, you know, like, we get a cold, right? And it's like, ah, you know, like, I'm dying. It's me. I'm dying, right? Like shipwrecked, beaten with rods, and we saw an axe, like they counted as a joy that they got to suffer disgrace for Jesus.
True Christian perspective, right? He's not he's like, Whatever, whatever this body is dying, I'm out. Just want to go home, be with Jesus. Remember, Philippians write better for me than just go home and be with the Lord. He's focused on heavenly things. So we sell ourselves short, when we buy into the perishable gospel. So remember that. And there are no chapter breaks in the original. So in case you weren't convinced by that, Second Corinthians 514. We know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down, that is when we die and leave this serves the body. We don't have a house in heaven and eternal body made for us by God himself and not human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing, for we will put on heavenly bodies, we will not be spirits with our bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies we grow inside. It's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us rather, we want to put on new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God Himself has prepared us for this. And as a guarantee he has given us His Holy Spirit. So always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies, we are not at home with the Lord. A lot of false teachers need to hear that one. As long as we're hearing these bodies, we're not at home with the Lord we're not truly home yet. The Saint home if you're preaching that this is home, you're a false teacher, right? So if we live by believing and not by saying we live by faith, not by sight, yes, we are fully confident we'd rather be away from these earthly bodies for then we'll be at home with the Lord are we absorbing this? Is this getting redundant right so whether we are here in this body or away from this body our goal is to please him got from us all stand before Christ to be judged. We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. So much layer right. So to the worldly prosperity teachers, right. False right. So debunked, right that no good. Yes, we can have nice things. But we do not. This is that's not where our hope is, right? So if they come and go when they come and go when we lose them, just you we're not like broken. Right? So no, no, no, no, no, no, that's not the appropriate Christian response. straight up, I can have it great, I'm happy. It makes my life easy, right? If I don't, I'm not broken over it. It's the perishable gospel to not put your hope there. We're not truly home or in this body. Now remember the other thing here on the other side of this, what you do with your body while you're here, we've talked about this in this series, and you've seen it a lot. Christians will be judged, we who is he talking about him? I think Paul is a Christian, thank you. I will be judged out to stand before Christ and be judged. Now to a lot of people this may sound hard, but well, you know, like, well, how are they going to judge for this sinner? That's, well, you're going to be first and foremost judged as to whether you were a Christian or not. That's the first thing so careful. So he goes into we're God's ambassadors. And there's another statement and they're proud, it's coffee mug. It's not real pride. It's just an innocent idiom in the section. So we're supposed to be like, Okay, so now how are we supposed to live? We're going to be just like ambassadors of Christ. And that's what the next section is all about. He makes a brief statement. Remember about like, First Corinthians one through four, don't judge one leader at the expense of another right? This is an American Idol guys, like cut it out, you know, you just these people are preaching the Word, they're working hard for you. It doesn't matter what you think of them, or they're a good speaker, whatever. She goes into a little bit. So we've stopped evaluating others from a human point of view, right? We're all we're all ambassadors of Christ. And that's what's important. In Second Corinthians six, three, so we live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us and no one will find fault with our ministry in everything we do. We show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every time we have been beaten. We've been put in prison faced angry mobs work to exhaustion endured sleepless nights and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding our patients, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us see how many like kindness, patience was the sound like the fruit of the Spirit, right love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, self control, all those important things. We faithfully preach God's truth. God's power is working in us we use the weapons of righteousness, right? Remember the armor of God and the right hand for attack and the left for defense? We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slanderous or praise us. We are honest, but the calls imposters we are ignored. Even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we're still alive. We have been beaten, we have not been killed. He doubles down that beating thing. Our hearts ache, we always have joy. We are poor. But we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing. Nothing. We have everything. So remember this. He few refuses pay. Remember why he did that? To show up the false teachers, right? I'm not about the money. So they're having a problem with that now. So do you still believe in the hucksters who preach the fake prosperity gospel? Don't ask, don't say yes, please do not. Like I just don't know, he really gets me sometimes when you just read. That's why I read these things in full context to you both. Because when you really read it, you're like, Oh, nice. I'm not plugging verses here. I'm giving you the whole thing and the context. All right. So they're being unresponsive. He says, I'm asking you to respond and act as if you're on my own children open your hearts to us problem too. Right? They're not being responsive. Now you're going to get something if you remember first Corinthians three and six, the temple of God right. So we all collectively the temple of God, were individually temples of the Holy Spirit, she's going to kind of go down that road, right? This will tie to the teachers. So don't team up with unbelievers so applies to people in sin like, like the guy who got kicked out of the church. And remember, he clarified that you know, not those outside the church, but those inside the church. That's how you judge not those outside. But don't team up with unbelievers. And now, so remember, false teachers is on the mind here. What harmony can there be with Christ in the devil? And what union can there be with God's temple, and idols, hit a pause button here, just as a little current sidenote, and I'm going to try so hard not to rent. Because it's like this new thing. So every once in a while you get this new thing. They'll take, like one teaching out of the Bible, and blow it up, give it a name, commercialize it, right, manipulate people with it, and then make a lot of money. That's what's going on here. And there's a group of people doing what's called the deliverance ministry. This is like this new thing popping up. Now that tell you it's not new, because it's in the gospels, right. And that's what they'll point to the point of the gospel. They cast out demons. Yes. Can people cast out demons today? Yes, but here's the problem with the teaching in the way it's being used. And we're going to talk about the false teachings next week, I'm going to address a lot of them. So I'm going to do this again. So I'll make it really short. Basically, it's like this in simple terms, right? The devil made me do it. So if I got a demon in me, it wasn't me who did it? But how that worked for the guy in First Corinthians five. But who did Paul handed over to? Satan? He didn't say, Oh, he's got a demon and deliver that demon. Why, pray tell, wouldn't you write that? Why didn't you read that? Well, I'll answer for you. Because if They are Christians. They have the Holy Spirit in them. Hello? Oh, he's a liar. I'm going to hand them over to Satan. And what does it say here in the scriptures? Right, and what union can there be between God's temple and idols? None. If you're a Christian, you have been delivered. If you have the Holy Spirit in you, that's over. Right. So when you look carefully, it's one of these keep reading things. Yes, Jesus, there's no church and Jesus casting out demons from unbelievers they don't believe they believe later, right? But they're unbeliever they don't have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit isn't given like a waterfall until Pentecost and x. And yes, you see demon possession that was seven sons of Skeeva. But I know I read it all. I know it. But they're outside the church. The false believers, right. And so they try it and like I know, Paul, I know Jesus, but who are you? Right? And then they get naked and beaten and everything like that works out bad for that. Unbelievers get demon possessed. Believers with the Holy Spirit, there can be no fellowship between the Holy Spirit. So someone's a deliverance ministry. Yeah, maybe Okay, out side, the church or two people who don't belong. But you don't see it in the New Testament, when you get to Paul's letters and stuff. Because if they're Christians, and he's assuming they are, they can't have demons in them. Alright, so rent stops. We'll talk more about that circus show next week. It's just what people believe just astounds me sometimes. So you have already been built delivered if you're Christian and so it says, For we are the temple of the living God is God says, I will live in them and walk among them, I will be their God and they will be my people, therefore, come out from unbelievers and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Okay, so we're done with that. So, second Corinthians seven, coming to a couple of different things here he talks about fearing God who, and problem wanting to come together here. We heard it before, please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone nor let anyone stray or taken advantage of anyone. So we're not like the false teachers, right? So open your hearts to us. It's okay to be generous often support us give the money for Jerusalem. It's this collection there talks about pride again, not regular pride, if that says that in their coffee mug. So pride is often misunderstood in the Bible fear is also so I'm going to read you something. Second Corinthians seven, five, when we arrived in Macedonia, that's where Philippi is, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction member, they act 16 They were in prison, with battles on the outside and fear
on the inside, or within. Interesting, but God who encourages those who are discouraged, encourage us by the arrival of Titus. So here comes Titus. His presence was a joy was always the news. He brought up the encouragement we received from you, when he was taught when he told us how much you love to see me and how sorry you were for what happened and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy. So here we see both sides of the coin in fear. Paul and Timothy well sounds and they had fear within they were afraid. And we've seen this in the series. Another false teaching I've ever seen someone post this, the Bible says fear not 365 Times wrong, says about 80 Something times I did count. And total about 511 times the word fears used in the entire Bible most of the time, be afraid like Jesus is saying right, don't be afraid of man. I'll tell you whom to fear though. Fear God who can kill your body and throw you into hell. That's whom you should fear, right? Luke 12. So there's both sides of the coin. There's things not to be afraid of. And then there's things you should fear the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and insight. You should fear the Lord but pause right at some practical things and it'll come up again. That's okay. It's not sin. Right? We just work through it. It's when it stops you from attaining your goal in Christ and it's not stopping this guy. So it's okay. Talks about the severe letter. First Corinthians was rough talks about a concept of godly sorrow. It's either godly sorrow, godly sorrow leads to repentance. Godly sorrow leads to misery. Again, the problem with the deliverance ministry, right? Like it's never anybody's a devil made me do it. Don't make me do it. No, no, no, you need to be like the guy in First Corinthians five, right? Repent, take responsibility for your sin. Get out of here, work it out. And then we hope you'll come back and reconcile. That's how it works. None of you are robbed with a deliverance Minister, you are robbed of all of the biblical procedures robbed you of repentance, and he says this, but worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance leads results in spiritual death. That's a process that needs to happen. It's an important one, right? We want to reconcile. We want to give the person a chance, love, love, love, but when it can't be done, you just need to repent, right? You don't need to blame it on a demon. You know, you need to take responsibility for that and change. So that's what he's talking about here. Talking about Titus again tells them to fear him. So I think that's kind of funny. Right? So, what he does next, it's kind of interesting. People debated about whether it's right or not So easy way to understand this. Remember Philippians one of the nicest letters Paul writes to anybody still talks about false teachers though. Dogs beware of the dogs, right? So their god is their belly. But within this great theological Thank, you know, right? He there's still correction, but that's what it is. He's thanking them for a gift. They're very generous church. And they're in Macedonia, Greece. And when you say Greece, like in the Bible, say a kale, that's the region that churches Corinth is in. So he does, he knows that there's like some healthy competition or not there. And so he'll say, the Macedonians, they begged us for the opportunity to give right like, we think he gave so much money. And so you'll go on and on and on. So Second Corinthians eight, six. So we urge Titus who encouraged your giving in the first place to return to encourage you to finish your ministry, the giving, since you excel in so many ways, in your faith are gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, your love from us, I want you to excel in this gracious act of giving. Remember, First Corinthians are propping up all these things they do in ministries, like that's great, you're great, all that stuff, but you're not giving anything like really mean. But check this out. Remember the subject line by testing how genuine Your love is? By comparing it with the eagerness of other churches? Oh, right. So that's what he's doing here, the church in Philippi church in Macedonia, they're doing great. And he goes into another thing here. doesn't finish what they started a year ago, makes a reference to the man All right, like so they had just enough, they were fine, even though they gave give some encouragement. And again, basically, I don't need to write to you to encourage you, but I am doing that. I know how eager you are to help. And we've been boasting to the churches in Macedonia, right about you guys in Corinth. We wouldn't want to be embarrassed or for you to be embarrassed if we showed up and you didn't have any money to get. So that's kind of what he does here is funny. He's sending people with him. So there's accountability, there's no accusation that can be made against him. Second Corinthians nine six, remember this, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop, but the one who plants generously will get a generous crop, you must each decide in your heart, how much to give, and don't get reluctantly in response to pressure I'm giving you for God loves a person who gives cheerfully God loves a cheerful giver, you've probably heard that. And God will generously provide all you need, then you'll always have everything you need, and plenty leftover to share with others, as the Scriptures say they share freely and give generously for their good deeds will be remembered forever, for God is the one who provides a seed for the farmer and the bread eat in the same way you will provide and increase your resources, and then produce a great harvest of generosity and you don't stop there. Yes, you will be enriched in every way. So that you can always be generous. That's the point. And then when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result in this ministry of giving the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met. And they will joyfully express their thanks to God if I didn't say this. X 11. AGAMOUS predicts like a famine in Jerusalem. So they're collecting probably well, it says here collecting for that famine in Jerusalem. They're collecting money to help another church. How can he specific reason? Yes, there's the Sunday giving, and then that's what he's talking about here that reason? So just really funny. You know, I'll probably talk about it next week. But if you ever heard this phrase, like don't say to me, that's all I'm going to say. Like, I'm not getting fed. Okay, here you can't, right. Are you getting fed scriptures? You stuffed and you should be good. Right? So it, but some people will say this, and it's like I call them Wally Christians ever see the movie Wally? Right, where they're just getting fed over there while the Christians like, No, you need to feed. That's how you get fed. Right? So here, if you don't plan, you don't harvest. Right. So there's probably a reason you're feeling empty because you're not giving anything or not being anything like Jesus. Right? If you're feeling empty, it's on you. Get a Bible, feed yourself with it. And be generous, right? So now here's where Paul goes nuts. He goes crazy. Some scholars think that this is a different letter. I don't just it doesn't open with the greetings that you guys are now familiar with. It's a flow he keeps going here but just to let you know that they think it's like another letter that got attached here. So here, he's going to bring it all together. Second Corinthians 10 One. Now I Paul appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ. Though I realize you think I'm a timid person, timid person only bold when I write from far away, right like your keyboard warrior, Paul. Well, I'm begging you now so that when I come, I won't have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives. We are human. We will wage wars humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning to destroy false organs you probably have heard about stronghold has been church for a while. This is the context. It can be applied to a lot of things but they just blown out of proportions. This is what it's about human reasoning and destroy false arguments right false teachings, we destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. Ooh, bad word obey. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedience. Remember First Corinthians chapter four over the pastor worship they're doing, you want me to come, like as a loving father or with a rod, you know, or with a stick. So think about the stick here, right? So he's coming in, he says, they say Paul's letters are demanding and forceful. When in person, he is weak, and the speeches are worthless. He's like, threatening them, like, I'm going to come. You'll see. Quick note, he talks about reaching beyond other people's boundaries, right? So that I can take credit for the work basically, what he's the reason he's bringing this up is like, I never take credit for someone else's work, you know, like, I have enough to boast of, and he's going to do like a boast, to boast about on my own, right, but he'll say something that remember Romans 15, where Paul gives the missional the real missional way to do it, right. So I don't want to go to a place where a church has already been planted. I want to go in there and not plant it. So I like you know, vacation mission trip. People need to hear that one. But those are visits if you're going to places where they're at church, they're called visits, and the church doesn't need to pay for it. No, no, no, not for your vacation. Right? So he says a very similar thing here. So two times he says, saying Corinthians 11 One, I hope you'll put up with a little more foolishness. Please bear with me for I'm jealous for you with the jealousy of God in itself. I promised you as a pure brides, one husband, Christ, but I fear that somehow you're a pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted just as II was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent, guys, don't mention the fact that he didn't mention Adam here just okay, happy wife happy life, you have heavily put up with whatever anyone tells you. Even if they preach a different Jesus than when we preach a different kind of spirit than the one you received or a different gospel than the one you believed. I have actually had a pastor come up to me and say, I preach a different gospel than you
have you read Galatians at all? It says you're damned you're literally cursed your does occur strike your damn wow, you know what, okay, guy. I'll pray for you. Right so there are too many preaching different gospels. Now he goes into the super apostles thing. Again, why he refuses pay Paul's many trials and now he boasts about his suffering. I'm not going to read the whole list. But it's crazy, right? So let's see. I sound like a madman. They call it the full scholarship. There's the fools boast, right? Because he's like, You made me do this. I shouldn't be doing this. I got to do it. Right. So it's not like a madman. But I have served in far more. I've worked hard. I've been put in prison more often. I've been whipped times without number and phased out again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me 39 lashes you give 39 Because you're not allowed by the law to go over 43 times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stolen me. They tried to kill him, not what some of you may be thinking three times I was shipwrecked. Right. So what is he? What does he boasted not his worldly credentials, he boasts and all the stuff that those false hucksters won't get involved with. That's why he does this. Right? So now remember, he had anxiety and fear in Philippians he say anxiety. And besides all this, I have the daily burden of my anxiety. Merina angry my anxiety for all the churches is anxious about the church, right? So we pastors feel that way. It's just an you're the father to that many people, you worry a little Second Corinthians 12 Six, if I wanted to boast, I'd be no fun doing so because I will be telling the truth. But I won't do it. Because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond where they can see what they can see in my life. My message memories said about the missions thing, even though I've received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me through becoming proud, I was going to thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming Brown. See the reason for it. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away each time he said, My grace is sufficient. My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I'm glad to boast only about my weakness so that the power of Christ can work through me that's why I take pleasure in my weakness, and in the insults, the hardships, the persecutions and troubles that I suffer for Christ for when I am weak, then I am strong remember chapter one? God doesn't give us more than we can handle wrong. Right so comes back here when I am weak, then I'm stronger so that God's power can be shown through us remember first Corinthians right he uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise right? So he calls from those who don't feel worthy, right? So we see that all throughout the Bible, like David do you think of David like that? Right. So that's it, right? You are all called uses you to be powerful, so no one can boast. He's going to make fools out of those unbelievers using you. That's basically it. So, again, Paul, you know, I've heard people say like, Well, God didn't remove this big because he didn't have enough faith. They're here that one. It didn't really didn't have enough faith. But it gives the reason why God kept it. There's pride in invalid argument until it was because of my pride. He kept it there to keep my pride low. I had nothing to do with Paul's faith, right? Because if Paul doesn't have enough faith, and nobody can be healed, if that's the condition, right, so we can we pray we ask, but sometimes God uses something for certain reasons. Sometimes we know why, like Paul did. Paul's like, Yeah, I'm pretty prideful guy. Gotta keep that down. Keeps it there. Sometimes you don't know why. And you know what it's called when we don't know why faith on faith. Okay, I'm just going through this. God's going to use it right? So we don't become proud. Why? Because pride is always a sin. A lot of people in this world need to be told that today, if you're proud of anything, you're sinning, that's not good. So you continue, you have made me act like a fool. So he's not happy. Talking about fees, afraid again, why he's afraid that I'll find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior there. sounds very familiar. He's worried about these things. So I warn you, because I want others just as I did before, the next time I won't spare these people who doubt me, right, so remember the stick, I'm coming with a stick. So Second Corinthians 13. Five, Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you. If not, you failed the test of genuine faith. Test yourselves. This brings us right back to the subject line. Paul closes like he doesn't many other letters May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, but we they're all nice, Trinitarian kind of prayer for them. Test yourself, to see if your faith is genuine. looping through, test yourself. So I want you to do something with me this morning, I'm not going to ask you to turn to the person next and say anything at all. Instead, I
want you to use your imagination. And a big imagination. Alright, my wife knows that. I imagine a lot of stuff and she's. But this is going to be a safe one. I want you to imagine your favorite restaurant. Now, you might say that's not hard for you, Jean, if you know me what
it is because I have so many. They're all my favorites. Right? I love restaurants. So now for me, I'm going to combine 20 restaurants, right? And all the good stuff in the restaurant, and have all this food. Of course, they're going to have pizza, and they're going to let me in the back. They'll make the pizza. And like, just think of it like so whatever that is for you. Right? It's just going to be like, almost like heaven, right? So it's like, oh, wow, I hope it's like having like, this is great. I want to do this free training. The service is great. Like, just imagine a place that service is great. Everything is great. Maybe you got that. Get that place your mind. Right, you got it. Good. Now, I want you to imagine that they change one thing. Don't you hate that? When they change? I'm like, No, it was perfect. Like Gumbo Limbo. Bring back the jumbo wings. We moved here for them. So you hate that, right? I hate that. So but here's the thing, they're going to change something you're not going to hate. One thing they're going to make paying, voluntary. That's what they're going to change. You're going to be paying us on your own. Right? So let me finish. They make pain voluntary. Now, so imagine that you go there. And you're like, I love this place. The food is great with that jump, just like that. It'll skip. And you're like, so happy. It's so great. It's been just so great. The service here is amazing. It feels like family here. I feel like it just does home when I'm here. I'm at home. It's like family. Love the service. Everything's great. This is perfect. Perfect. Perfect. This is great, great, great. But then you don't pay for the meal. You don't pay for the meal. Okay. Then on top of it, maybe that's not you. I'm talking about you. I'm talking about you. But I'm not talking about me. I'm going to say you. It makes it quicker. It's faster. It's better and quick. So anyway, but then imagine you had the nerve
to say what a shame it is. That all these good restaurants are closing. Because of you. Sadly, this is a reality for the church. I know you knew I was going there.
Sadly, this is a reality for the church. Same thing. Same statement. I love you pastor. I love the services. I love I love the way everything is you preach the Word of God faithfully, man. I'm going to take a long time. Oh, it's great. Now, don't be scared. We're doing okay. If you're not giving be scared but Whatever Bibles we're doing all right. We are doing okay. Anyways, I need to say that don't be scared because I talked about like dying and wanting to die like Paul and people are going to leave us Mazur. You guys are a bunch of baby sometimes. Whenever we do it, okay, ours is going to be open next week. Yes, it's going to be open next week, unless Jesus comes back which we better. So we're doing okay, but here's the thing. Okay. I'm just, I'm going to speak for myself. Okay, it's not good enough for me. I've been called an overachiever, but by haters, okay, just want to let you know, haters. Do what you do. Well, just okay. It's not good enough for me. Just okay. It's good for the fake churches. They're good for the false teachers. That's just okay. That's not good enough for me. All right. This is, especially we're doing it for Jesus. Are we saying he's our Lord? Do you mean that? don't mean that? I mean it. Do you mean that? I'm not going to be like Paul like, but those of you who know me know, I mean that. There's nothing I won't do. I've worked every job in the church, except maybe the secretary. Like we had a competition, one of the other people hired here, like, who's worked more jobs, anything for the search, I will speak for the church, I'll shut up for the church, I'll play it doesn't matter. I love this church. I'll tell you one minute. What Paul is dealing with, is frustrating. It's rushed, because you love the church. And if you have faith, and you really believe like, this is the body of Christ. And the people when you think of all the people, all the things that church is doing and how you want to advance the gospel. And you're just like, come on, like, why aren't you responding to this? Right? So how does the church deal with it now? So next week, we're going to talk about the wrong way, the way the false teachers are doing it. But in reality, I shouldn't even say that, because they're not helping the church. They're helping themselves. And that's your marker. You tell a false teacher by someone, I my preaching, I need a jet, right? Just stop listening to that guy. But when they're they begging, like Paul is for the church, that's a real teacher. Right? When they get their money somewhere else, right? They live humbly, they don't ask for too much pay or jets or all this other stuff. My wife works, you know, it's like, not trying to enrich myself here. And so the false teachers really frustrate you. That it's very, very frustrating. And this is what Paul has a lot of pages of frustration. Big. speaks out, he gives them the fools boasts. Now, God tends to speak harshly to those who are unresponsive to the sacrifice of Christ. Just the way he talks. We saw Haggai in the Old Testament. If you know how I got here, we were here that long is like two years, it's taken us to get to where we are whatever. Haggai short to chapter book, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong. But what's the premise? Well, they're supposed to be rebuilding the temple. So guys, at the right time, a gesture was supposed to be real. But what are they doing? Well, they're working on their paneled houses. They're working on their nice homes. But my temple is in disrepair. God's house is in disrepair, you're taking care of yourself, you're fine. But what about my house? Right? This is how I got you the house. And this is how you show your gratitude. Like that's the response happened in the monitor. I see it all the time. People overextend themselves, and they pull their tithes and offerings. I mean, that's the thing, you know, like, congratulations, you could afford that. And yeah, no, they're not I didn't get him. God did. And that's how I'm going to repay God. So there's a whole book of the Bible about that, for good reason. It still happens today. What about the Lord's house? This echoes here? All right, how God speaks to people who are unresponsive. And talk about how people abuse Allah chi 310 Next week, but I'm going to short quick just really quickly give you the premise of the book is going to be a next week thing, but just on the topic of how he's speaking, right, so people will use Malikai 310. Right. So put your ties and give you 10% Right and then I'll shower you with a blessing from heaven. Right your fields will never be unfruitful a kind of a backwards, you'll always be fruitful, right, you're going to get a lot if you put 10% in like he's a cosmic vending machine, right? So and that's the way they go with that. But they just read that. They don't read the context of Melaka You've robbed me, You've cheated me, these lame and blind offerings. Try giving that to your governor, see how he responds. Like in today's you pay your taxes, but you give the church less? What will happen if you didn't pay your taxes? What would happen to you? Modern context, but he's telling him you're cheating me, you're wicked. This is how God speaks to wicked people. What does he say? And if you've heard someone say this just because they'll say it's the only time God says in the whole Bible test me. If you hear that foolish statement, used as an argument for this the only time If he says that's me, well, that's not a good argument. When I argue something we don't usually say, it's so redundant, because it makes me think why is it the only time that appears? Well, I'll tell you why. Because all the other times he said, Do not put your Lord God to the test. And if these false teachers could read five more verses, imagine that they'd get to a point where it says, The wicked people dare to test God. This is hyperbole because they're testing him. And five reverse 50 of chapter three, five verses later, wicked people test God, he's speaking to wicked people. So the people who use the verse are wicked people. That's what that means. You're doing it only so that your barns can be filled up. But what is the Jesus clarify about the barns? The guy who filled the barn up instead of being generous? Full it's night your very soul be taken from you know who's going to get all you work for? That's what he says. A person is a fool to store up treasure for himself and not have a rich relationship with God. Luke 12 Look it up. I keep going. I calmed myself down at this point. Thank you, Holy Spirit, sometimes. Anyway, testing Gods pay the robbing him. And here's the thing. Remember what I said about Jesus? rebuking the devil who is using scripture, that's what the devil is doing. He's taking, you know, ah, you're not going to get her. You won't even dash your foot on the stone. He's scripture. Don't pick out the test. Wait a minute. All I'm saying is the only time that God says test me because it's hyperbole. But well, how does Jesus clarify when someone's using scriptures out of context? Don't put God to the test. Jesus rebukes it for us. I'm done with that part. Okay. So you know, if a person is really genuine, if they're really generous, so in modern terms, and this steps on my toes, but I'm kind of like beyond caring, put your money where your mouth is. I like some things, and I'm willing to spend money. I like nice restaurants, right? I don't go to dinners. They're too expensive. And I go for lunch. But you know, I'm willing to spend good money for good food. Because I love it. Right? So when I want good food, you know, I complain a little bit about the filament. That's a lot but so we have no problem paying good money for stuff that we love. So what do you love? People are generally unresponsive for several reasons. They don't they don't people just don't believe. I always say it's always the marker of a spiritual malady of someone just isn't giving anything. I mean, come on. Board will tell you I don't deal with the money. But I know this is not free. It's very expensive. We are in center Naples costs a lot of money. If that doesn't occur to a person sitting here, there's a major disconnect. If you're under the age of five, it's okay. Everything's free. Right? So you're not kids. Right, but I'm just trying to be real with you guys. Just be practical and not manipulate or anything. This is real. Sometimes the honeymoon is over. You know, they forget it. Forget about what Jesus said. Sometimes other things are more important, like the house or people have overextended themselves already talked about that. Fear. Good fear, bad fear. That's bad fear. Hoarding. Fear. Hoarding is not good. People make excuses but it's usually driven by bad fear. That's what that is. So some faith in the Lord and take care of us. People say they don't make enough I've heard that one. Like, I don't make much money right now. Have you read your Bible? I want to say like Mark 12 Woman two coins. She gave away everything she had to live on. Jesus applauds her and said that's a faithful person. And who did he rebuked the Pharisees who are giving from their leftovers after everything else was done on taken care of now oh, by the way, God. Jesus calls that into question as it should be. But he applauds the woman to cleanse so Jesus takes away that excuse I'm not making a lot of my rant is the first thing is God that you cut from your budget right so you got to your budget and Gaza first thing you cut
you need to have a faith conversation. You need to talk about what you really believe in you I told you I was going to say you but it's not didn't have. It's kind of funny like when I say it all the time, but like, I didn't have you in mind when I prepared the sermon. But have you in mind now that I preached it right? Nobody. And so here's the thing. It comes into question, I'm going to talk about why people are suspicious, right? And all those reasons of giving a church, I'll talk about all of them, and I'm going to rebuke all those people. This is not one of those churches. If you're new, if you're not new here, you know that, I just want to take the last piece here, just as we close, don't worry, I'm going to get I'm getting hungry. That's what happens to me. And I don't know if anybody else has been like, kept that potluck, we get so many. So I want to help you out in that. But just bear with me, you know what I do carry gummy candies or something like that, and you can get like gummy candy to kind of, you know, keeps the hungriness away. So I just want to give you kind of just a heartfelt window just to speak from the heart from and like I haven't been, I speak from the heart for a minute about the start. So false, just like Paul, I get very, very frustrated, I get very frustrated with false teachers, because I'm trying to do the right thing here. And then someone goes and puts on a production and tells a bunch of lies, and fills up the church, but then leads people astray. They're not real believers. They're not genuine believers. If they're not willing to live sacrificially, they're always asking God, like, he's a genie in the bottle, right? So it's very annoying. And so when hardship comes in their life, they're like, Why didn't all these because they say promises happen for me. And then they fall away from the fake faith. And then I can't get them. Because they say things to me like, well, I've already tried church, it doesn't work for me. I'm like, No, you didn't try real church, right? So realtor, it's real people. So it gets me pretty fired up, gets Paul fired up. So I just want to give you a look at if you don't know the story, and sometimes it helps just and I'll give me the really short version here. You're respectful of your time, heartfelt look and have a genuine shirt. So I didn't I was not raised to be a pastor know that. Right? So I was raised totally differently. Raises musician, and I did that kind of stuff. And then I did martial arts for a long time just to prove to my dad that like, I was awesome. And then I made a whole bunch of money, right? So prove that I wasn't stupid, because I wasn't going to school. God healed that, like, are you Greek now. So All Glory to God. So this is a reason I'm going to say that. But we came to church as fairly wealthy people, by the way, I grew up right. You know what I mean? Like here in Naples, it's like you're right. So if you're trying to run that race here in Naples, don't bother you will fail. introduce you to some people, like, okay, they got what you make in a year on their wrist, right? So. So I was trying to keep up with those guys. And we came down here, we had good money, we ran into like a phase dilemma, right? Because none of that was making us happy. And we ended up at this church and its other building and kind of a slightly different form. So we came in, we didn't get it, I want you to remember that we did not get it. We did not get it. We did not get it. We weren't there for the right reasons. And we weren't giving or doing any of that stuff. Until we started to get it. So we started to read the Bible, we saw what there were bad parts of that church in that incarnation back then. And there were good parts. So we kind of went with the good parts, the good people there and I'm not going to tell her story.
My problem was money. I was addicted to money. Money was my god, I placed my self worth my value, my importance on money. If someone had more money than me, they were better than me. If I had more money than someone else, I was better than them. Because you got to be smart to get money. I spoke like that I acted like that I believed like that. For my wife, it was little more dangerous. It was alcohol. She shared her story. And I can say to you, with 100% Honesty and belief in this statement, that if it were not for this church, my wife would be dead.
She was introduced to the right people who loved her. Were patient with her over a period of years. That's the kind of patients the church needs to have. Yes, we discipline like Paul did I get time in place? patience, love, kindness, openness. Others confessing. They also have this issue and they need help. But the church helped them helped her help me. I moved from being very, very consumed by money to a pastor. I actually said before they dragged me into it I said that's a really stupid job. You don't make a lot of money. You're stupid. Can I be like a megachurch pastor and then I read this I was like, No, only stupid people fall for that. So if you know me, I just get tired of stupid people. Right? So very short patients with that, working on it. We owe this church and by extension Jesus our lives. And I'm going to say something to you. If you know, Jesus, and he's your Savior. You owe him everything as well. If not, please talk to me before you leave today. But you owe him everything. Everything. That's why we passionately do what we do here. passionately, this is our life. This this, this church is our life. It's our whole life on Earth. That's it. I'm thinking of heavenly things, but here on Earth is really all I care about. I like to go on vacation. I like my pizza. But you get my point integrated into the church. Perfect. Paul, Paul had anxiety about the church, and I do too. Just being really, really, really honest with you, speaking from the heart, I do to family meetings. I do too. I do. So I got to go away. You know, every once in a while, like, it's like having 150 Kids think it's tough. But I worry about other things. I worry about turning people who have true needs away. That's like the worst thing. You know, the worst part. annoying people are the worst part. The worst part of the job is saying no to someone when I've vetted them. And we've met people. So a lot of people like it's an excuse for not giving. They're like, Oh, well, they're professional homeless people. Yeah, there are, but I vet them. And I call them out on it. Right? But the ones who aren't when you hear some of these stories, like, try sleeping at night, some of the stuff that I have as a people, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, and then I have to say, No, I can't I can't meet that need. It's frustrating. But here's the thing to think about. What if, when we came to this church, we weren't rich. But we were poor. And the church turned us away.
Every time I have a meeting like that, like I get the tissue box. That's tough. I start thinking of things like it's not all reality, and maybe it is a slight lack of faith. You know, what if we can't afford to feed people anymore? Like we do? You know, what if we can't have the recovery meetings that she was in to help save for life here on Earth? To get them sober, to then hear the Gospel? And understand it? What if we can't film this and send it out to 1000s of people all over the world? As a live studio audience as a joke? We would have we can't do that anymore. But what if we don't have the building to do that anymore? I know these are rhetorical questions, God will take care of it. It's all God's will. But we play a hand in that is the body of Christ. We shouldn't just, Hey, God, we work with them. Right? And what Apollo's doing, Paul planted Apollo's watered, we got to do the planting and watering guys. It's important. So just a little encouragement with you, or for you. I'm going to encourage you for this. We don't we don't like look at your W to become a member. Like that. Like, it's not on, it's on you. Alright, but I'm going to encourage you if you don't already, some people give. I encourage you to look. And don't don't don't lawyer this Don't say Well, is it the net? Isn't the gross it just cut it out? Like, give 10% Whatever God puts on your heart right? Time. Now, Mallika, 310. Jean, you just said that? It's not it's not according to the law. It's just a good idea. Right? So a lot of the things in the law like the 10 commandments, is it a good idea like murder? Right? You know, so like, don't do that either. But you know, some of these things are just good ideas. That's a good benchmark. So it's just I'm encouraging you to do it. Because here's the thing. It's not healthy. If one person or a group of people are doing everything, right. That's not a healthy church. We're supposed to be the body of Christ. So this this aspect of the church should be done by everyone equally, right. Like all the other aspects of the church. That's a healthy church. I've been told I don't bother with the money. But I've been told that if everybody we have ties, we wouldn't be doing okay. We would be doing spectacularly. Like we'd have an abundance we'd be able to like really change some lives. Like, really, I'm not that we don't you get my point. Crazy things. Just try it. I'm embarrassed to say I don't even notice it. We all taught my daughter and I'm not bragging I'm just saying the truth. Because I'm leading by example. I called it rail ties. My daughter does 18 year old ties we all have to give 10% That's it is a floor not a ceiling because we have in mind. We get to keep 90% That's crazy when in light of what Christ did for me, isn't it? Isn't it crazy? It's a greedy that I get to keep 90% of my money. Not after taxes. That's another conversation. Not for here. So here's the thing. I'm appealing to you. Not with stick but with love, not as a hypocrite but by example, appealing to you try it. And you may not get enriched by it, your storehouse be full, but I'm promising you barely notice it. That is worship. We're willing to do that. So it's not pressure. The other thing I want to encourage you with As I close, exercise your faith. I can be tough. Like, I know, I wasn't the only money addict, or I wasn't the only person worried about it. That was hard for me. That's a great exercise. Before I just a quick practical thing I haven't taken out I do the auto thing, never a security problem. It's very secure. I do it myself. Because you know what it says it's kind of like a pledge before that paycheck hits my bank account. It's yours, God, because I wouldn't have that paycheck if it weren't for you. That's what it says. And it's a good exercise of faith. Right? The sacrifices were burned up. And they won't let me burn like $100 bill here to prove the point. Because it's illegal. What do we really trust in God? And our money, anyway, another rant. It's an act of faith. God will give me more, maybe I don't need it. Maybe it's not none of those things are the point. And you know what it's going to something good is not enriching me. Board members? No, they're not paid board seats. It's going to a good thing. But guess what, that's not the point. It's an exercise of faith for you. And that's what this pastor wants for you to be faithful to be secure in Jesus Christ, not in the things of this world. So appealing, you help us bridge more, build more bridges, from the community here. It's a Christ of what we're doing here. Amen. I love you. Let me pray for you. Lord, I thank you for this church, that is the people and Lord, I just pray that you build them up with confidence and faith. they direct their hope in you not the things of this world. But they don't always see their problems with the problems of others. Not just what's going on in their own lives of their own bodies, but their eternal bodies, their heavenly home and you Lord, I pray that this results in joy, which will then radiate out to others with your love, joy, your peace or patience or kindness so that we can bring more people into the kingdom of heaven. I asked these things in Jesus name