Participants: Lonnie Melashenko
Series Code: VOPS
Program Code: VOPS000026
00:32 Prior to Y2K, people made millions of dollars
00:36 by investing money in the stock market.
00:39 Overnight they raked it in and reaped fortunes.
00:43 Not any more.
00:45 In fact, out of the blue
00:46 Bill Gates and the world's rich have been losing billions.
00:50 Enron scandals, corporate greed,
00:53 cheaters on Wall Street, politics,
00:55 war in the Middle East.
00:56 You know, today's financial roller-coaster
00:59 spirals up and down like a yo-yo.
01:02 Unprecedented. Heading who knows where.
01:06 So people are searching, they're wondering:
01:10 "Is anything stable or permanent?"
01:12 Not just security for the future,
01:14 but for the present.
01:16 Well, ladies and gentlemen,
01:17 did you know that God never intended
01:20 that you and I should have to worry
01:22 about the present or the future?
01:25 A perfect partnership plan guaranteed
01:29 so that we'd never have to worry about the future
01:31 or fear what's going to happen to us?
01:34 In Matthew 6:31 and 32, Jesus said,
01:38 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?'
01:41 Or, 'What shall we drink?' Or, 'What shall we wear?'...
01:44 For your heavenly Father knows
01:47 that you need all these things."
01:50 God's social security plan started
01:54 way back there in the Garden of Eden.
01:56 When planet Earth came fresh from the Creator's hands
01:59 in all of its splendor and perfection,
02:02 glorious beyond description, the stroke of the master artist
02:05 just greeted the eye at every turn.
02:08 Magnificent sunrises were rivaled
02:10 only by breathtaking sunsets.
02:13 Peaceful lakes nestled between the hills.
02:15 Gorgeous blossoms delighting the senses.
02:18 Trees were loaded with delicious fruit of every kind.
02:21 Songbirds filled the air with melody.
02:24 Animals out there in the lush meadows
02:25 just played and roamed unafraid.
02:28 The streams and lakes were alive
02:30 with beautifully colored fish.
02:32 It was a paradise from pole to pole.
02:36 But there was even more.
02:38 Genesis 2:8 says, "The Lord God planted a garden
02:43 and there He put the man whom He had formed."
02:47 Imagine this.
02:48 God personally sculptured and manicured
02:51 a luxurious home for Adam and Eve.
02:54 So exquisite, so lavish, it was incomparably beautiful.
02:58 No down payment. No mortgage.
03:01 Zero interest rate.
03:03 In fact He even stocked their refrigerator with groceries.
03:06 Notice Genesis 1:29,
03:10 "I have given you every herb that yields seed
03:13 which is on the face of all the earth,
03:15 and every tree whose fruit yields seed,
03:17 to you it shall be for food."
03:21 Folks Adam and Eve paid no rent,
03:24 they never worried about taxes,
03:27 no locks or keys in their doors,
03:29 no vandals, burglars, no hospitals or drugstores.
03:32 I mean they had everything.
03:35 Perfect health. Endless youth.
03:38 Undying commitment to each other
03:40 and a boundless love for God and God said, kids have at it
03:45 "Live it up Enjoy these blessings."
03:48 Notice Genesis 1:28 He said,
03:51 "Be fruitful, and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it."
03:57 God's original design was one great big
04:00 happy family inhabiting Planet Earth.
04:02 Life, Health and Wealth.
04:06 Of course, God also knew mankind would be happiest
04:09 if he had something to do
04:11 several kinds of responsibilities,
04:13 some challenges like employment,
04:16 tasks they'd be responsible for.
04:19 So He told Adam and Eve,
04:21 now Adam and Eve "I own it, I've created it.
04:26 But I want you to become the managers of my property.
04:29 I want you to be partners." Not owners.
04:33 Stewards who manage everything I've created.
04:37 Genesis 1:28 "Have dominion over the fish of the sea,
04:42 over the birds of the air,
04:43 and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
04:47 And then we read in Genesis 2:15
04:49 "Then the Lord God took the man,
04:53 and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it."
04:59 You see, ladies and gentlemen.
05:01 There are two theories of ownership
05:04 in our world today.
05:06 One is right, the other is wrong.
05:09 One is Christian, the other is pagan.
05:13 And because most people practice the pagan concept,
05:17 billions live absolutely miserable lives.
05:22 Now according to the Bible's theory of ownership,
05:25 Bill Gates and Martha Stewart own nothing.
05:30 God owns everything, everything in the world.
05:34 It's His as it says in Psalm 24:1
05:37 "The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness,
05:40 the world and those who dwell therein."
05:42 And Psalm 50:10, 11,
05:45 "For every beast of the forest is Mine,
05:48 and the cattle on a thousand hills.
05:50 I know all the birds of the mountains,
05:52 and the wild beasts of the field are Mine."
05:57 But unfortunately it is the primitive
05:59 pagan concept of ownership
06:04 that prevails, you know what that is?
06:07 It says this, well, the best title to property
06:11 is conquest, ownership, earn, grasp.
06:16 Get what you can by brute force and then it's yours.
06:20 Wit, conniving, get a couple of Harvard degrees,
06:23 earn an MBA in Business Management.
06:25 Develop market savvy.
06:26 Conniving maybe some real estate intellect
06:30 and maybe a little fraud and extortion.
06:32 But friend is this true that might makes right?
06:37 And whoever gets the most marbles wins?
06:41 Well, Wall Street would give that impression.
06:44 But that is the pagan concept that's cursing mankind.
06:49 Because in the end that means
06:52 the big man, the mafia gets all.
06:56 This theory says, according to Deuteronomy 8:17
07:00 "My power and the might of mine hand
07:03 hath gotten me this wealth,"
07:06 The best man wins. Survival of the fittest.
07:09 Dominate make your pile early in life.
07:12 Money, hey, money is power.
07:14 And you only go around once in life,
07:16 so go for all of that gusto you can get.
07:19 That is the secular concept of ownership.
07:24 Over on the other side of the spectrum.
07:26 The Christian concept of ownership
07:29 is that we really don't own anything, nothing, zilch, nada.
07:36 God owns everything.
07:40 We're just managing things for Him.
07:43 We're not owners.
07:44 We're stewards because Deuteronomy 8:18 says,
07:48 "Remember, it is He God
07:52 who gives you power to get wealth."
07:56 Now, put simply, folks we really don't own anything.
08:01 God the Creator has prior claim on our possessions and on us.
08:06 We're just stewards.
08:09 Well, you say, what is a steward?
08:12 Oh, if you look in the Concise Oxford Dictionary
08:15 defines steward as a person entrusted
08:19 with the management of another's property."
08:23 So do you see the two theories?
08:26 Two philosophies, two radically different approaches
08:29 to wealth and money that are universes apart,
08:33 one is Ownership the other is Stewardship.
08:40 And ladies and gentlemen, these two opposites
08:43 were the big issue back there in the Garden of Eden.
08:47 You see the question wasn't over an apple.
08:50 The big test was, would Adam
08:53 let God be the owner and trust His plan?
08:58 Or would Adam try to take over as owner
09:01 and manage things his own way?
09:03 Who is going to be boss?
09:07 You see, friend, that is what sin is all about.
09:10 God or me.
09:13 And just like Adam and Eve
09:15 had a test back there in the Garden of Eden,
09:18 God has a test for us here in 2003 and 2004
09:23 only it's not by a tree.
09:26 In fact, there are five basic areas
09:29 God tests us as stewards to see whether
09:32 we're making proper use to the glory of God
09:34 of what He has entrusted to us.
09:37 First of all, from the very, very beginning,
09:40 God outlined very clearly
09:42 that we're stewards of property and material goods.
09:47 I want you to notice Genesis 2:16, 17
09:51 He said to Adam and Eve
09:52 "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat
09:56 but of the tree of the knowledge
09:57 of good and evil you shall not eat,
10:00 for in the day that you eat of it
10:02 you shall surely die."
10:05 I want you to notice
10:07 how God tests our love and loyalty.
10:11 It's by something we produce or something we grow.
10:15 Adam and Eve could eat from all the trees in the garden,
10:18 they were their trees, thousands of them
10:21 oh, except one restriction.
10:23 One specific tree that was God's tree.
10:28 Okay, by obeying God,
10:31 they showed their recognition of His rightful ownership.
10:35 After all, He'd even He'd made everything.
10:37 He even made them too.
10:39 So if they remained faithful stewards
10:42 and respected that arrangement,
10:44 they would live forever in a world that was paradise.
10:50 But sadly, man failed back there.
10:53 They flunked the one simple test
10:57 God required of them.
10:59 They were unfaithful stewards.
11:01 You see by selfishness, trying to be owners,
11:06 they lost everything.
11:08 They lost their garden home.
11:10 They lost immortality. They lost love.
11:13 They lost happiness. They lost security.
11:15 They lost those face to face walks and talks with God.
11:20 And they slipped from being heirs to slaves
11:24 from blessings to curses,
11:26 never realizing the serious implications of adopting
11:30 the wrong theory of ownership.
11:35 And we know of course that watching behind it all
11:39 in sadistic satisfaction was Satan.
11:44 Who announced,
11:46 hey, I've commandeered ownership now.
11:48 Man forfeited, abdicated his control, his power.
11:52 By force and cunning,
11:54 Satan usurped control of Planet Earth
11:58 with now a whole planet in rebellion.
12:01 You know, folks, I thank God that Satan's assumed domination
12:06 and hi-jacking was shattered by Jesus Christ's entrance
12:10 into the world centuries later.
12:13 He bought back our world at infinite cost.
12:19 That's why Satan's plan was to go and deceive Jesus too.
12:23 Zero in on the very same way that he tricked Adam and Eve.
12:27 Would Jesus came here, Satan try to force Jesus
12:30 to take things into His own hands and control.
12:33 Adopt the same pagan theory of ownership of things.
12:38 Remember the story there in Mathew 4,
12:41 Satan waited with his dark glasses on one day
12:44 until Jesus had fasted the Bible says for 40 days.
12:48 And then Satan took Jesus up and it says in Matthew 4:8, 9
12:54 he took Him up in "Exceedingly high mountain,
12:58 and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world.
12:59 And he said, 'All these things I will give you
13:02 if You will fall down and worship me.'"
13:06 Do you see the issue here?
13:08 Satan tried to entice Jesus to control things.
13:14 Here, Jesus, money, kingdoms, finances.
13:19 I'll give you ownership
13:22 but his deception didn't get very far with Jesus
13:25 because Jesus knew God already owned the Universe.
13:30 The things that Satan promised to give
13:32 Christ were not really his to give.
13:35 Satan had hi-jacked a planet by fraud and by deceit.
13:40 Right there, thank God,
13:41 Jesus Christ defeated Satan with it is written.
13:47 Three times Jesus bowled over the devil with those words.
13:51 And of course Calvary forever sealed Satan's fate,
13:55 returning Planet Earth back into the rightful hands
13:59 of men and women as stewards.
14:01 You and I today our very lives,
14:03 you see our possessions are again
14:05 Christ's purchased property.
14:08 He's not only our Creator, He's not only our Redeemer.
14:11 He is the rightful owner of the world and the universe.
14:15 Whether we love and serve Him or not,
14:17 our very lives all our possessions are His property.
14:23 Just like Adam and Eve,
14:25 we too now are again stewards of what God entrusts to us.
14:32 So what does He require of us?
14:36 When you and I stand before God in the judgment,
14:39 what is God going to be looking for in us stewards?
14:45 I want you to listen carefully
14:46 because the Bible gets very specific
14:48 about God's expectations of stewards.
14:52 For example Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:2 says,
14:55 "Moreover, Lonnie, it is required of stewards
14:59 that one be found faithful."
15:03 Faithful first and foremost in our stewardship of property,
15:09 material things.
15:11 But next, faithful in a second area.
15:15 Folks, we are stewards of life.
15:19 The greatest of all God's gifts,
15:20 you know we really take for granted.
15:22 It surges through our bodies.
15:24 Paul writes in Acts 17:24, 25,
15:29 "God, who made the world and everything in it
15:32 gives to all life, breath, and all things."
15:37 You know every heartbeat, every breath of air,
15:40 every pulse of our bodies is a gift from God, isn't it?
15:44 So you and I are stewards of our life and health
15:49 because God originates life.
15:51 He sustains it. It's His.
15:53 Romans 12:1 Paul says, "I beseech you therefore,
15:57 brethren, by the mercies of God,
15:59 that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,
16:02 holy acceptable to God,
16:04 which is your reasonable service."
16:08 You know a living sacrifice
16:09 simply means unreserved commitment.
16:14 Stewards of life means
16:15 that we are stewards of how we use our lives.
16:20 And Jesus for example said,
16:21 "Good stewards should follow His example,
16:25 and they should go about doing good."
16:27 Acts 10:38.
16:28 In their lives, letting their lives shine
16:31 and affecting others for good.
16:33 You know that's what Ann Landers recommends
16:35 in her advice column, doesn't she?
16:37 Do a good deed every day. Why?
16:39 Because that builds integrity, that builds character.
16:44 You see friend you count, you matter.
16:48 You make a difference.
16:50 So number two, you are stewards of life.
16:55 Third, we are stewards of time.
17:00 God gives us time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
17:04 Now how will the faithful steward use it?
17:07 The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 90:12,
17:10 "So teach us to number our days,
17:13 that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
17:17 In a person who wastes time, wastes life,
17:22 squanders the one talent which God Himself gave
17:25 identically to every man and woman.
17:28 In fact someone who said time is the stuff life is made of.
17:32 And every person has the same exact number of hours in a day.
17:38 God expects that we each use our time wisely.
17:41 And by the way especially to remember
17:44 the seventh-day Sabbath
17:46 'cause that's His special time set apart,
17:49 His gift to set aside a time for rest for Him.
17:54 Holy time, God's time. How will we use time?
17:59 Will we use it on God's terms or our own terms?
18:04 Will we devote just 1/7th of our time
18:07 to fellowship with God, resting in His word,
18:10 drawing refreshment from His promises
18:12 and putting aside the weekly rat race of pressures at work?
18:15 Shopping, worldly pursuits.
18:17 And just remembering Him as Creator.
18:21 So third, we are stewards of time.
18:25 Fourth, we are stewards of the talents God gives us.
18:32 Well, you ask, what are the specific talents
18:35 for which I'm responsible to God as His steward?
18:38 Lon, I don't think I have any talents.
18:41 Oh, friend do you sing like Joey?
18:43 You Play an instrument like Phil Draper?
18:46 Do you paint pictures? Maybe you can sew a dress?
18:49 Can you write maybe organize? Can you talk on the phone?
18:54 God says, "I give you life, time, possessions and abilities
19:02 and it's your privilege to either use
19:03 these to enrich yourself,
19:05 satisfy your own whims and pleasures
19:07 or you can choose to use them to bless others."
19:12 We're stewards of talents,
19:15 loaned to us by God to use in blessing other people.
19:19 And then number 5,
19:21 God says, we are stewards of the money God gives us.
19:27 In fact, did you know that the Bible spends
19:29 more time talking about money than any other theme?
19:33 Money is very important to God.
19:36 And that's why He invites faithful stewards
19:39 to go into business with God
19:40 and partnership with a specific figure of money.
19:46 Millionaire Maurice Hitchcock once called my friend
19:49 George Vandeman, laughing, as he was studying
19:51 this subject he says, George, is it true
19:54 that God is going to tax me 10%?
19:58 Well, he answers yes, in fact that's all through the Bible.
20:03 Let's go back to a story way back there in Genesis 14,
20:07 the very interesting story about
20:09 how to say thank you to God.
20:13 Bible tells us in Genesis 14
20:15 that one day Abraham's nephew Lot was kidnapped
20:20 by an enemy tribe, the Elamites.
20:22 They took Lot, they took his family,
20:24 they took their possessions, everything.
20:26 Well, when news reached uncle Abe,
20:29 wow, he mounted a posse, he determined to rescue
20:32 Lot and the others,
20:34 praying Lord God please will you help me?
20:37 And God did help him deliver Lot and his family.
20:40 Abraham caught the kidnappers along with their loot
20:43 and brought them all back home to Sodom
20:45 where even the King came out to meet him
20:47 with the whole bunch of rewards and fanfare.
20:50 But Abraham refused to take any reward for himself.
20:54 Instead, when Melchizedek, a priest of God,
20:57 came to bless Abraham, Genesis 14:20 says
21:00 that then Abraham, "Gave him a tithe of all."
21:08 Now, here's an interesting new insight in scripture.
21:12 A proposal to us managers and stewards.
21:17 Here's an investment where friend you can't lose,
21:20 that many modern businessmen are catching on to,
21:24 a profound financial principle.
21:27 In fact most churches today are re-discovering,
21:30 because you see friend God doesn't lie.
21:34 When Abraham wanted to express appreciation to God,
21:37 he gave a tithe, holding those words for 10%.
21:43 And we know God blessed Abraham
21:46 that he became an extremely wealthy man like
21:49 most of the descendants of Abraham,
21:52 our Jewish friends who tithe.
21:54 Now fast-forward with me 150 years later
21:58 to Abraham's grandson Jacob.
22:02 We find that he expressed his gratitude to God
22:05 in the very same way and over in Genesis 28:22
22:10 "Of all that You give me
22:12 I will surely give a tenth to You."
22:16 What happened to Jacob? He became a wealthy man.
22:20 Go on down to King David. He tithed.
22:23 Psalm 116:12, same thing, He was a financial success.
22:28 Over and over again,
22:29 the principle of success through stewardship.
22:33 In fact, friend, did you know the down on the New Testament
22:35 Jesus approved and endorsed this same tithing principle?
22:40 In fact He told His disciples that tithing was something
22:44 that ought to be done by the Christian.
22:46 Matthew 23:23, "For you pay tithe,
22:52 these you ought to have done."
22:55 Oh, But Jesus also added something,
22:56 He said don't forget also to be a nice person too.
23:00 In fact in today's language I guess Jesus would say
23:03 something like this, Hey, Scrooge,
23:06 don't forget that giving 10%
23:09 doesn't get you off the hook from being a nice person.
23:12 It's a package deal.
23:14 You got to be fair. You got to be kind.
23:16 You got to be just, courteous,
23:19 and then I'll bless you big time.
23:23 One tenth. Now God gives us 10/10s.
23:28 But to remind us that we're just stewards,
23:31 He asks just 10 cents on a dollar.
23:33 Now He says that 10% that's mine.
23:35 It's my property.
23:37 In fact It's holy like the Sabbath, like I am holy.
23:41 The portion that I God reserve for Myself.
23:45 Notice in Leviticus 27:30, "And all the tithe of the land,
23:50 whether of the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree,
23:53 is the Lord's.
23:54 It is holy to the Lord."
23:58 Well, now someone asks, why does God specify 10%?
24:03 Does He need the money? Hardly.
24:06 But you see God knows tithing does something for us.
24:11 You see, we humans have a basic problem in our hearts,
24:14 don't we?
24:15 It's called selfishness.
24:18 You know, the essence of sin is what?
24:22 I remember reading about a little boy was on his way
24:25 to Sunday school one morning.
24:27 As he started out,
24:29 his mother gave him two silver dollars,
24:31 son one of these dollars is for ice cream on the way home,
24:36 the other one is for the Lord,
24:38 you've to put that in the offering plate.
24:40 So off he went clutching the two silver dollars
24:42 tightly in his little fist.
24:43 But as he ran along, he tripped, he fell.
24:47 The coins fell out of his hands
24:48 and they started rolling down the street.
24:50 And he quickly reached out and he grabbed one of them.
24:53 But the other kept rolling and rolling
24:55 right down the drain into the gutter in the sewer.
25:00 Oh, there goes the Lord's dime he said,
25:05 isn't that our human dilemma.
25:07 See we're basically selfish.
25:10 No, friend, God doesn't need the money.
25:13 We need a cure for selfishness because the Bible says
25:17 that in our heart by nature, well, I didn't say this
25:22 but Malachi 3:8-10 says "We're by nature robbers."
25:28 Listen to him, says, "Will a man rob God?
25:32 Yet you have robbed Me!
25:34 But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?'
25:36 In tithes and offerings.
25:39 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me,
25:41 even this whole nation.
25:43 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse
25:46 that there may be food in My house."
25:52 I'd like to suggest
25:53 that tithing challenges and tests us
25:56 according to the Bible in four crucial ways:
26:00 It challenges our obedience first of all.
26:04 It challenges our faith.
26:06 Like, Jesus says in Matthew 6:33,
26:09 "Seek first, Lonnie, the kingdom of heaven,
26:13 and God's righteousness,
26:15 and all these things shall be added to you."
26:19 It also challenges us to consistent responsibility.
26:22 In fact Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:1-2.
26:27 Christians ought to give systematically.
26:31 Not just when we feel the mood.
26:33 In fact it says you have to do it every week.
26:36 Oh, and by the way Paul says,
26:38 if it hurts you too much, if you're gonna give,
26:41 well, grudgingly, don't even bother.
26:44 One of my favorite texts 2 Corinthians 9:7 says,
26:48 "God loves a cheerful giver."
26:51 Now in the Greek that's a very interesting word,
26:53 the word for cheerful is hilaron
26:56 from which we get our word hilarious.
26:59 That's the kind of givers God wants
27:02 where it's such a joy and privilege
27:03 to give responsibly that it's hilarious to give to God.
27:07 See God doesn't want us to give to Him grudgingly.
27:12 My friend Maurice Hitchcock know the tithe is not a tax,
27:16 it's not something we have to send to heaven
27:18 to kind of support God and the angel like
27:20 some sort of heavenly bureaucrats.
27:22 No, Psalm 50:12 says,
27:26 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
27:29 for the world is Mine, and all its fullness."
27:33 See God isn't waiting for us to give
27:34 our tithes and offerings so He can pay the bills,
27:37 keep the lights turned on.
27:39 Friend, the reason why He asks us
27:41 to be faithful in our gifts
27:43 is found in the next two verses of Psalm 50:14, 15,
27:48 "Offer to God thanksgiving,
27:51 and pay your vows to the Most High.
27:53 Call upon Me in the day of trouble,
27:55 I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."
28:01 You see giving is God's way of helping us
28:05 develop a spirit of thankfulness,
28:07 a spirit of appreciation.
28:08 A spirit that revels in and he's joyful about
28:12 all good things that God gives us.
28:15 That joy comes from giving, not just getting.
28:20 It's putting our faith in Him
28:22 when days of trouble come instead of relying on our wits,
28:25 our savings account, or our paycheck.
28:28 It's about developing a deeper, more trusting,
28:32 more thankful relationship with our Creator.
28:35 So giving challenges our obedience.
28:40 Giving challenges our faith.
28:42 It challenges us to consistent responsibility.
28:47 But there's something more about
28:48 being faithful with our gifts to God.
28:51 It challenges us spiritually.
28:55 God says, "Lonnie, I'll guarantee you something."
29:00 So amazing, you won't believe it.
29:01 In fact, He says, "I want you to try this as an experiment.
29:05 I want you to just try Me for several months.
29:07 Test Me, prove Me, see if I'm a liar.
29:12 You set that side the tithe He said, set it aside.
29:16 Put it in a cookie jar somewhere on the mantle,
29:18 don't take it, don't steal from it,
29:20 don't borrow from it.
29:21 You try this for couple of months
29:23 set that tithe aside.
29:25 If it doesn't work, take it back.
29:28 I don't lie.
29:30 You see, He's saying Lon, I'm the best financial partner
29:33 you can possibly ever joint venture with.
29:36 Notice what He says in Malachi 3:10
29:39 Lonnie, He says, " Try Me now in this,''
29:42 says the Lord of hosts,
29:44 "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven
29:47 and pour out for you such a blessing
29:48 that there will not be room enough to receive it."
29:53 You know, you go down to any Christian book store
29:55 and there are literally whole books
29:57 full of stories of people who have tithed faithfully
30:01 and they have seen God's blessings large and small.
30:04 Unbelievable some of these stories
30:06 but they're true.
30:08 Take Joe and his wife, they had been successful
30:13 Christian business people for years
30:16 but they sensed the call of God to sell their businesses
30:20 and that Joe should go to college
30:22 to prepare for gospel ministry.
30:24 Well, you'd expect that making a decision like that
30:27 and being faithful tithers,
30:29 well, they'd never encounter any financial problems, right?
30:32 God's gonna bless them.
30:34 No, friend, God doesn't promise
30:36 that we'll never have challenges to face.
30:39 He only promises to see us through them,
30:42 and to bless us as we face them.
30:44 Well, after arriving on the college campus,
30:47 Joe and his wife tried opening a brand new
30:49 little small clothing store business
30:52 but it didn't go too well.
30:54 In fact soon their meager savings
30:56 dwindled down to nothing.
30:59 In fact Joe even tried marking a few
31:00 leftover suits on sale from the store
31:03 but it seemed like he couldn't even give them away.
31:06 One particular Friday Joe and his wife realized
31:10 that they were finally flat broke.
31:12 Didn't have a dollar to their name.
31:15 Very little food in the house, no gas in the car,
31:18 and the electricity bill was overdue.
31:20 In fact the power company had given notice
31:22 they were coming out that Friday afternoon
31:24 to shut off the power
31:25 because they owed $29.
31:28 Now they had tried, they tried to get jobs at factories,
31:31 they tried by maybe doing menial labor
31:34 but had been turned down every time.
31:37 It was terrible,
31:38 they didn't know which way to turn.
31:40 They literally had lost everything.
31:43 All the capital they had built up
31:45 in their two businesses, all their savings gone.
31:50 And to be honest their faith was waning
31:52 without heat, no power.
31:55 It's cold outside,
31:56 and they had a little boy to take care of
31:58 and they didn't even have money for groceries.
32:02 So what did they do?
32:03 They did the only thing that they could do.
32:04 They drop down in their knees in their house
32:07 and they prayed, "Lord, please help us, or we perish."
32:14 Now this is the true story, within one hour,
32:17 someone knocked on the front door.
32:20 Well, Joe went to the door and found two guys
32:22 from the college standing there.
32:24 Hey, Joe, we hear you got some suits for sale here.
32:29 Well, they have given away
32:30 or sold a few that he had to know.
32:32 No, I don't have any left
32:33 but then suddenly he remembered.
32:34 Well, I guess I do have one left,
32:38 but I'm sorry it's an odd size,
32:40 I haven't been able to sell it.
32:41 It's a 39 short quad.
32:45 In case you don't remember those days,
32:46 a quad was a polyester suit with two pairs of pants
32:50 and a reversible vest.
32:52 Well, said the young lad, let me try it on.
32:55 I do take a short.
32:58 You know that suit fit him absolutely perfectly,
33:00 and he loved it and paid Joe $50 right there on the spot.
33:06 Of course it had originally retailed for over $200.
33:09 But Joe was absolutely happy.
33:12 In fact as Joe watched him
33:13 count out the 5, $10 bills from his wallet,
33:16 it was like the biggest sale of his life.
33:18 In fact he was so excited,
33:20 he could hardly keep from shouting
33:22 "Thank You Lord Thank You Lord, Thank You Lord, with each bill.
33:28 What a thanksgiving session
33:29 Joe and his wife had in their own little living room there
33:32 weeping, praying, praising the Lord.
33:34 Their little boy must have wondered
33:35 what in the world was wrong with his parents,
33:38 but they were just overwhelmed
33:40 overcome with the sense of God's leading
33:42 in His provision for them.
33:45 Because you see Malachi goes further.
33:47 Malachi 3:11 says,
33:51 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
33:55 so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
33:58 nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,''
34:01 says the Lord of hosts."
34:05 I know when they hear this topic many people say,
34:08 you know, no way, I just can't do it.
34:12 I can't give away 10% of my income?
34:14 I have to think of my children first.
34:18 Can I share a little personal testimony?
34:21 Jeannie and I know from firsthand experience it works.
34:26 We've proved Him.
34:28 My Dad and Mom with their five kids
34:32 on a preacher's salary, school tuition,
34:35 five sons in college, all of us at the same time.
34:38 You know there was no way,
34:39 mathematically that could work out
34:42 and I have to agree
34:43 that it was very hard for sometimes.
34:45 We had a lot of hand-me-downs in our family.
34:48 But my dear Dad and Mom they always just squeezed out
34:52 an honest tithe out of their scant little paycheck.
34:56 And folks a miracle happened.
34:59 God blessed, we never went in the hole,
35:02 we never went on welfare.
35:05 I don't know how but somehow,
35:06 God stretches nine-tenths of income
35:08 that's been tithed,
35:10 a whole lot further than ten tenths ever went.
35:14 And right here is God's financial secret to security.
35:19 In fact, do you know
35:22 that there is a lot of big-name businessmen out there
35:24 who discovered the Bible's secret to financial security?
35:28 And these big businesses,
35:30 they would not think of not paying tithe.
35:33 Have you ever brushed your teeth with Colgate?
35:36 William Colgate tithed,
35:37 the more tithed the better his business got.
35:40 J. C. Penney, have you heard of him?
35:42 How about Kellogg or Kraft or Kerr, Heinz 57,
35:48 Quaker Oats, Hershey, Baldwin Locomotive.
35:51 Alvin Dark, the big league baseball manager.
35:53 McNeilus, you see those big concrete cement
35:56 on the mudflaps, McNeilus,
35:57 how about I just saw one today
35:59 a truck riding down the freeway,
36:01 Little Debbies, McKee Bakery.
36:03 Now, I know some of these people,
36:05 I know them personally they're friends.
36:07 They all credit God's tithing plan
36:10 for their success in finances.
36:13 Let me talk about another gentlemen that I met.
36:15 His name is Ed. Lives in Oklahoma City.
36:18 He sells motor homes.
36:21 He came to know the Lord and decided
36:23 I should begin to tithe.
36:25 So he did, plus he took another leap of faith
36:28 by closing his business on the Sabbath.
36:31 I mean that was the busiest day of the season.
36:34 Do you know that he did more business in six days
36:38 than he ever did in seven days of the week,
36:43 Friend, God is a promise keeper.
36:46 One of our staff members at the Voice of Prophecy
36:48 comes from a family whose very successful business
36:51 demanded 7-day-a week involvement.
36:55 Well, they began coming to some meetings
36:56 just like these that you are attending.
36:58 They enrolled in a Bible course
37:00 which was much like discover back then.
37:02 And they became convinced
37:04 they ought to make some big changes
37:06 so that they could keep the Sabbath
37:07 and give a faithful tithe.
37:10 So they sold their business and they started paying tithe.
37:16 Then they went into another line of business
37:19 and almost went broke.
37:22 But does the Lord ever forget His faithful servants?
37:26 No, friend, no.
37:28 The Lord guided that family into another line of work,
37:31 and from then on that father worked five days a week
37:36 as a salesman for a company
37:37 that demanded six-days a weeks from their staff.
37:40 But guess what happened? You're absolutely right.
37:44 He became the top salesman
37:46 nearly every single month working five days weeks,
37:51 giving the Sabbath to the Lord and returning a faithful tithe.
37:57 Friend, I challenge you, God challenge you.
37:59 Check it out, Test God's promise in Malachi.
38:02 Try Him He says. He keeps His Word.
38:06 But He wants you to trust Him to give Him a chance.
38:12 You know when we really love someone,
38:15 how do we express our love?
38:18 We automatically give
38:21 because it's impossible to love without giving.
38:24 You take a little child picks up a little flower,
38:26 here mommy.
38:29 Friend, it's the same with God.
38:31 If we love Him, we'll cheerfully, gladly,
38:35 and generously demonstrate we love Him
38:39 that we've been cured of the cancer of selfishness.
38:44 No one learned that lesson of what selfishness
38:47 with money can do to a person
38:50 more than John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
38:55 As a boy John D. Rockefeller was a strong
38:58 and husky as anybody else.
39:00 But when he entered business,
39:01 he drove himself harder than any slave by a whip.
39:05 Man what a workaholic.
39:07 By the time John D. Rockefeller was 33
39:10 he made his first million dollars.
39:13 By staying awake nights and pouring it on
39:14 he controlled at 43 years of age
39:16 the biggest business in the world.
39:19 At 53 he was the richest man on the earth
39:22 and the world's only billionaire.
39:26 But for all this John D. Rockefeller
39:28 lost his health.
39:29 He developed a strange disease called alopecia,
39:32 where your hair falls out from your head,
39:34 your eyelashes, your eyebrows.
39:37 I mean John D. Rockefeller looked absolutely awful.
39:40 His own biographer said he looked like a mummy.
39:44 You know what his weekly income was?
39:47 A million dollars a week.
39:50 But his digestion was so bad
39:52 he could only eat crackers and milk.
39:55 Like Scrooge, John D. was a hermit.
39:57 Lived in solitary confinement, no friends, no acquaintances.
40:01 Only lots of enemies, people that he's crushed
40:05 and ground into the dust in his lust
40:06 to make bigger profits.
40:08 In fact in the Pennsylvania oilfields,
40:10 the men he'd made paupers there hanged him in effigy.
40:13 He was hated.
40:15 In fact he had to have bodyguards day and night.
40:17 His wealth was a nightmare.
40:20 He couldn't sleep. He couldn't eat.
40:21 All he did was worry. His wealth was smothering him.
40:26 Well, living on just crackers and milk,
40:30 his medical prognosis was that John D. Rockefeller
40:33 wouldn't live another year.
40:35 In fact the newspapers had his obituary written
40:37 and ready in their files.
40:40 It was pathetic. Then something happened.
40:46 One sleepless night as he lay awake worrying,
40:50 he made a startling discovery.
40:53 He wouldn't be able to take one thin
40:56 dime with him to the next world.
40:58 Oh, that nearly killed him right there.
41:01 Oh, did he despair?
41:02 All of those riches,
41:03 all of those dreams they meant nothing.
41:07 For the first time in his life he recognized that money
41:11 wasn't a commodity to be hoarded,
41:13 but something to be shared for the benefit of others.
41:18 And suddenly the light of truth went on,
41:20 and John D. Rockefeller Sr. began transforming his money
41:26 into blessings for others.
41:29 He helped worthy causes.
41:30 He established the Rockefeller Foundation.
41:32 He showered money on universities,
41:34 hospitals, and missions,
41:36 and millions on the underprivileged.
41:39 His money helped rid the South of its greatest economic
41:43 and medical scourge, hookworm.
41:46 You folks in this auditorium here in Columbia,
41:48 John D. Rockefeller helped us out.
41:51 In fact every time we're saved by an injection for penicillin,
41:55 we can thank John D, because his contributions
41:57 aided in the discovery of this miracle drug.
42:00 Millions are saved today from malaria,
42:03 TB, diphtheria for the same reason.
42:05 In fact folks the world was blessed
42:08 when John D. changed his thinking
42:10 from getting to giving.
42:14 And guess what happened to old John D.
42:16 when he began thinking outwardly?
42:20 A miracle. He didn't die.
42:24 He began to sleep, to eat, to enjoy life.
42:28 In fact he started to feel great, felt refreshed.
42:31 He should have died at 53.
42:34 But he started to practice one of God's eternal laws.
42:37 In Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given to you:
42:42 good measure, pressed down,
42:44 shaken together, and running over."
42:47 John D. Rockefeller celebrated birthday number 54,
42:50 then number 55, then number 56, number 57,
42:54 number 58 then 68, then 78, then 88.
42:59 He lived to be 98 years old.
43:03 You know modern psychiatry
43:05 is just now catching up to this philosophy of the Bible
43:08 that living is not just
43:10 well, whoever dies with the most toys wins.
43:14 It's not just grabbing but giving.
43:18 And, friend, God promises five special promises
43:23 when you begin by giving to Him.
43:25 Five promises for our good stewardship.
43:28 He says, He'll bless our Property,
43:31 he'll bless our Life. He'll bless our Time.
43:34 He'll bless our Talents.
43:36 And he'll bless especially our Tithe Money.
43:39 Proverbs 3:9, 10 says,
43:42 "Honor the Lord with thy substance,
43:44 and with the first fruits of thine increase.
43:48 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty,
43:51 and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
43:55 Friend, why not step out in faith
43:57 and joint venture with God.
43:59 Friend, He invites you to try it.
44:02 Just Experiment with it. Prove Him.
44:05 Lord, I'm going to take You up on your challenge.
44:09 I'm going to test You in this area of stewardship,
44:12 including tithing.
44:14 Friend, it's a partnership incredible.
44:17 Tell him, Lord, I choose
44:20 to place You first in my finances
44:22 and therefore in every area of my life.
44:27 If that's your choice, quietly tell God about it
44:32 during this song before we pray.
44:36 Something more than gold for the Master
44:44 Something more than gifts to appease
44:50 There is only one thing that you alone can bring
44:57 There is only one gift that will please
45:04 All He wants is you
45:10 No one else will do
45:17 Not just a part He wants all of your heart.
45:25 All He wants
45:28 Is all of you
45:33 All He wants is you.
45:43 Let's pray together.
45:45 Lord, we'd like to make a covenant with you today.
45:50 We'd like to enter into a partnership incredible
45:52 to consecrate and dedicate our entire selves,
45:56 our homes, our families, our businesses,
45:59 everything, it's Yours.
46:02 From now on but we're just managers
46:07 now Lord, You promised in return to give us
46:11 joy and peace and to open the windows of heaven
46:15 smiling down heaven's choicest blessings on us.
46:19 So here we are I wonder how many would like to say Lord,
46:25 I've heard your amazing challenge
46:28 and I'm gonna test You.
46:30 Help me to try consistently
46:32 and regularly to return what's rightfully Yours.
46:36 My goods, my life, my time,
46:40 my talents and my tithe 10%
46:45 wherever you are watching or listening
46:47 would you just raise your hand to heaven
46:48 and God will see your hand, I may not see it
46:51 but He wants to accept that commitment
46:54 so Lord help us.
46:57 May our consecration be complete without reservation,
47:02 we do this in the name of Jesus
47:04 not only because we seek Your blessing
47:07 but Lord because You have promised.
47:13 I want you to take your response card right now,
47:16 wherever you are located the row captains
47:18 will pass these down in the baskets.
47:21 I want you to make a commitment here,
47:22 a covenant between you and God.
47:24 This is not a promise to me that first response notice.
47:29 It says, I believe God wants me
47:31 to consecrate my entire life to Him.
47:35 Check that off if that's a prayer
47:37 that you would like to concentrate
47:38 your entire life to Jesus.
47:41 Number two is a little bit more specific,
47:43 a little bit more scary.
47:45 "I desire to become a faithful steward
47:48 of my goods, life, time, talents,
47:53 and I want to return a faithful tithe."
47:56 Please space that check there as Joey sings again.
48:01 All He wants is you,
48:07 No one else will do
48:14 Not just a part
48:17 He wants all of your heart.
48:22 All He wants is all of you
48:29 All He wants is you
48:39 Let's close with prayer.
48:40 Heavenly Father, would you accept our commitment
48:44 and this consecration to go into partnership with You.
48:48 Because we pray it in Jesus' name,
48:51 we claim His promises, amen.
48:55 I want you to take that response card right now
48:57 and please make sure it gets into the container,
48:59 the row captains will pick these up.
49:02 Thank you for putting your card into the container right now.
49:07 We have a very special Discover Bible lesson
49:10 that you must make sure you pick up as you leave today.
49:13 It's the one on the secret of growth through sharing.
49:18 Please, get your Discover Bible lesson,
49:19 there's others too on other topics.
49:21 If this is new to you, ask your instructors
49:23 there in your local hosts
49:25 the Discover Bible School lessons.
49:27 Now, next week this Voice or Prophecy speaks meetings
49:31 they continue in your area
49:34 and once a week for the next five weeks or more.
49:37 Same time, same location for you
49:40 at all of our downlink sites.
49:42 Every week for five more subjects.
49:44 You'll enjoy the same powerful message with the same graphics,
49:48 same materials with your local instructors
49:50 and pastors speakers maybe some evangelists, some laymen.
49:54 Friend, I know, you will not want to miss a single topic.
49:57 For example, Secrets of the Ancient Scrolls.
50:02 You're gonna have an amazing story
50:03 about how we got our Bible.
50:05 And then the subject of When the Smoke Clears,
50:08 a clear Bible study on the topic of hell.
50:14 And then there's a prophecy in Revelation Chapter 13
50:16 that brings the United States in the prophecy,
50:18 that one is called Let Freedom Ring.
50:22 Another one Set Free by the Truth,
50:24 the prophecy about God's true church
50:26 and finally another book of prophecy,
50:28 The Battle for the Throne,
50:30 looks again into Daniel Chapter 7.
50:33 And then after that's completed in most areas
50:36 right where you are attending right now,
50:38 you are going to be introduced to a brand new
50:40 exciting series of Bible studies called
50:42 Color Coded Chain Bible Market.
50:46 Now it's one of the most handy ways to mark your Bibles
50:49 and study truth comparing scripture with scripture
50:52 text on all the same subjects
50:54 that you can refer to as well as share with your friends.
50:57 You mark your Bible.
50:59 By the way this book has just come out.
51:02 It's available on our websites too
51:04 but you're gonna be given this book,
51:05 it's my latest book what the Bible says about
51:09 and it's color coded Bible marking.
51:12 One of the best classes I've ever taught,
51:14 packed out www.vop.com if you need more information.
51:22 I want to thank you for joining us for each of this
51:23 Voice of Prophecy speaks seminars.
51:27 Friend, may God bless you.
51:30 And remember, friend, to say at the close of our broadcast,
51:33 the journey through life, God really does love you.