Oh, how are we?
Morning, I just have to start by saying that I'm just I've been laughing for the last few minutes inside really cool. Holy kind of heart laughter because the dialogue that I've had in in my own heart in between the Lord and I and some other folks over. The last few weeks is been basically like this if I could dramatize it up a bit more. Do you know that if I'm going to preach on this subject that we are going to have some first-time guests and visitors there because it's inevitable that a pastor decides even if it's once in seven decades at the Halley's Comet of sermons, if if if the if I decide to preach on the topic of money The new people will walk to the door. Okay. So let's all just say everything out loud. Maybe a chorus of a great or I knew it or here we go for of course right now.
1st Corinthians, 13:13 says so now faith hope and love abide these three, but the greatest of these is love no money is not on that very short important list. Okay. So if if if we are going to preach learn from the word of God on the topic of money on the topic of giving tithing specifically this morning understand that it's so much more. The money money is like the the tiniest thinnest most incomplete word to use in talking about this topic everything. In God's creation is ordained to be a sermon of one kind or another if it was created. It was created on purpose and was created to speak of God's Own Heart and character and nature and purpose is to serve his glory in one way or another he even if you think about money itself and I mean week we think about the the stereotypical black dollar bill understand that dollar bill is worthless. You got any money short and get the money. I mean, that's not me like you go with me if you actually have some paper bills you think you got somebody that's just paper or cotton button and it'll actually shrink if you wash it dries why they don't want you to launder money because it gets smaller in Haha, okay. Money itself is not worth anything right? It's coming note because conceivably or at least that one time that paper that cotton that that certificate that note it it stood for something else it it it stood in place of the gold which is much more cumbersome to carry around your pockets or like okay some money is not just money money. Actually, you know, our bills are reference to go. We'll think about gold itself gold in terms of what metals it is actually. I mean it's kind of like you could bite it so you can only build stuff out of it, you know, like I mean, it's just shiny really and we decided that shiny was good. So you have some shiny, you know, well, you know, I I carve Pelicans out of old oak. Would you like one you give me some shiny? I'll give you this card Pelican Shore little exchange of goods and economy grows out of it of something that's important. The same is true with God. God does not ultimately care about money. And nor do I Okay, look at my car's. Look at my small home. I don't I don't care about money. Look at our illustrious Palace that we've constructed, you know, like we don't care about money. We care about faith and hope and love we care about the glory of God, right? We we care about your life. We care about your soul we care about your family and so does God so does the word of God. So I just I'm what I'm asking you for is about 35 minutes of trust. K just trust me. The last thing I want to do is waste your time waste my time waits God's time just talking about money. I mean at the beginning I have to confess that as a preacher and let let me just be real generous to myself and say that I started preaching at 59 and a few sermons in my teenage years on you Sunday supposed to say I started preaching at 15 that means for 25 years. I've been preaching in to my recollection. I have never once preached on this topic not once did a little meth funsies, which surprised me that that is even possible fun in math in the same time. Rex I just talked with mr. Nick you're the visitor that I was worried was going to come right to the door if I choose to talk on money turns out he's not just a visitor eastern North Carolina from where I hail and to wear North Carolina. He said would like to know specifically welcome them like want to welcome was a graduate of North Davidson High School North Davidson High School graduated 1997. So I mean we can have some more conversations later. But like how crazy is that? What was I talking about? money
a funny math 800 sermons. I figured that I've preached right 800 sermons. I have preached and never once told him this topic. So my confession to you is that I have been at best ambivalent and at worst. I've been outright rebellious. I don't want to preach about money and it's not fun. It worries people it gave them the wrong impression gave them the wrong idea part of it. Honestly is is from a very holy hatred that I have towards the health wealth and Prosperity Gospel. Yeah. I said, I hate the Prosperity Gospel and I'll tell you why because it baptizes idolatry. It is not ultimately about the glory of God is Not ultimately by the grace of Jesus and his lordship. It's about what Jesus can get you that what Jesus can give you we're not to love him for what he gives us. We're supposed to love him for who he is. right So I mean I'd say whether it started in a righteous or holy place or not. The word of God tells us what we are to do with our money. and in the way the scriptures have totally caught me off guard on this subject is it's not just about truth and true law and true principal and an end in true obedience. It's about so much more money is about so much more. It's a sermon God uses wealth. Can't understand like me specially when you look in the Old Testament is talking about well to talk about property were talking about livestock right talk about you know, what the totality of their of their possessions not just you know their currency, but all of it exists to preach a sermon. It all exists to preach a sermon. Too far be it from me to not preached that sermon. All right, if God has purposed it to to teach and preach about his heart and character and nature and goodness and Glory than I should as well 2nd Corinthians. 2:17 says we are not like so many Peddlers of God's word. And it can be worse than that. A lot of time Peddlers of God's word pedal of gospel of pedaling. Yeah, if you seen, you know, all of the things on on TV all of the all the program order my program and I'll teach you how to get wealthy. I'm convinced at the end of those programs. It's telling you how to start a program on how to get wealthy and that's where the wealth comes from from selling a program on how to get wealthy. We are not Peddlers of God's word. We are not we are Proclaimers of God's glory. Give me a few minutes of trust and it is my prayer that you see what has been shown. I'm through the word. So pray with me.
God speaks so powerfully. it's just such a I don't we feel like the the doctors about a hit her knee with a hammer and we're going to have this reflex of couch. Don't do that like
Speak to us the way only you can always spirit with this amazing firm immovable unshakable, but yet gentle truth.
a conviction is not condemnation. No one no one is to leave here today feeling condemned. May be convicted but true conviction comes freedom and Liberation and lights and life enjoying. That's what I want. Cuz you receive so much Glory from the Liberty that we enjoy through you and through you alone got money and our quote-unquote treasure can be such a a trap snare that. captures us and enslaves us and keeps us from so much in the name of having so much. We were robbed of so much. So speak clearly and lovingly and graciously to us this morning in your name. We pray all men are also have to confess that the majority of this sermon and a large part of structure comes from a message that I heard from a pastor a few months ago Robert Morris is his name from Gateway Church. I I I just the only sermon I've ever heard from him. I don't I don't know. I can't I'm not attesting to I'm just saying the Holy Spirit caught me off guard in the middle of a Saturday middle of a construction site. when I'm supposed to be working a buddy of mine and I listen to the sermon on these little crazy iPhone speaker and Moments later. I'm weeping in confession. It's powerful and I just want to tell you outright that the Holy Spirit had to like ninja me to get me to see this isn't original wisdom. But you know kind of spoiler alert. None of us have a prediction of wisdom. It all comes from the word anyway. Yeah, Amen to that. But start where everyone else start let's start with a Peddler's start in Malachi chapter 3 beginning and verse 10 says bring the full tithes into the storehouse now tithe means 10% and as we will continue to unfold that 10% number that's important, but so much more than that, but let's just agree on this term, but that's what that's what the tithe means. It means his 10% So as we Start where the Peddlers start bring the full tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test says the Lord of hosts if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. That is true in this is how it's used. How do I be nice in this is true in this is where they mediately go off track. Giving our fallen nature giving our love for shiny. What becomes the focus of this passage. the windows of Heaven not the one that crafted the windows of heaven, but the windows of Heaven themselves waiting for our treasure to be poured out on us. Right. If only we would begin a couple versus sooner. Will a man rob God yet? You are robbing me. But you say how have we robbed you in your ties and contributions you are cursed with a curse for you are robbing me the whole nation of you.
a different place to start right that we are cursed because we're robbing from God. So he sang you're robbing me in what you're giving me that that seems rather antithetical. Doesn't it? How can you rob someone while you're giving them something that seems to be anti robbery Grand Theft giving you know, like that doesn't make any sense. Right? We'll go back to even farther in Malachi Malachi cap chapter 1. This is why it typically it makes the most sense to start at the start. In Malachi 1 verse 6 a son honors his father in a serving his master if then I am a father. Where is my honor? And if I'm a master, where is my fear says the Lord of hosts To You O priest who despise my name, but you say how we despised your name by offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say how have we polluted You by saying that the Lord's table may be despised when you offer blind animals in sacrifice is that not evil and when you offered those that are laying or sick is that not evil present that to your Governor? Will he accept you or show you favor says the Lord of hosts. Show me the awesome person Malachi 3:10 about God opening up the windows of heaven and pouring out blessings. That seems like God's awfully pleased here. It seems like God's awfully displeased. So how do we exactly know the difference? How do we discern whether what we're giving God is going to be a curse or a blessing. How do we know if we're opening up the the windows have of Heaven for blessing to be poured out on a sore for judgment to be poured out on us. Well, let's go back even farther to go back even farther to go to Exodus chapter 13.
And it's going to be bizarre. I tend to kind of like the weirdest our stuff myself. Don't know why. Maybe it's cuz I just know like oh my goodness that makes no sense to me. This must go really deep. Right inside stumbled on a treasure map or something.
So here's the first from from this text we will get our first three main points this morning. That is that the first born again. I told you this going to sound bizarre a little out of left field. The first born must be sacrificed or redeemed the firstborn must be sacrificed or redeem. So look in Exodus chapter 13 beginning and verse 1 verse 1 and 2. The Lord said to Moses consecrate to me all the firstborn weather is the first to open the whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel. Both of man and of Beast is mine. Consecrate to me all the firstborn whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel. Both of man and Beast is mine. And then also look starting in verse 11 of chapter 13, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites the promised land as he swore to you and your fathers and she'll give it to you. So the Covenant that God began through Abram so many years prior promises to God is keeping as he swore to you and your father's and shall give it to you and you shall set apart to the Lord all the first opens the womb all the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord's every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. Or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your son's you shall redeem the firstborn must be sacrificed a redeemed and it's broken down into two categories in it represents to clean and the unclean. Okay. So if if a lamb is born first born lamb that represents Woods clean firstborn donkey donkey is considered unclean and for those you don't know we actually have a donkey out there. I don't just usually thank donkeys randomly.
What's his name again?
The first born must be sacrificed or redeemed? Okay. So if it's clean and firstborn, it must be sacrificed to a first born lamb must be sacrificed if it's unclean. It must be redeemed with the sacrifice of the clean.
And if you don't do that, then you have to kill it. What in the word? Does it have to do with anything? I thought that was clever to say what in the world does this have to do with me I shouldn't worry because it's from the work what in the world does this have to do with anything? right couple questions when we were born when you were born now, it's born or we born clean or unclean
Unclean we were born a sinner.
We were born sinners. From the fusions chapter 2 it says that we were by Nature children of Wrath. Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God we all unclean another question Jesus Was he born clean or unclean?
He was clean. And Jesus was born as a sacrifice. to redeem the unclean
So when I tell you that everything is a sermon God does not care about the particulars of lambs and donkeys.
Particulars of your Washington's and Benjamin's and whatever bills her larger than that. I'm not familiar with them.
What he cares about is what they say and what they Proclaim that the laws of the Old Testament can sometimes seem so strange and so bizarre. The God says I'm an established this as a sermon about the goodness and purity of my son and the power of his shed blood.
To wash them clean up their sin.
Jesus is also to make it even clearer. Jesus is also called the first born. I may have come across this a time or two in Colossians chapter 1. It's very particularly powerful. I goes like this in Clawson chapter 1 verse 15. He Jesus is the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation Now in this instance firstborn does it mean there wasn't a Jesus and then there was a Jesus and he came first it means he is preeminent. He's preeminent of all creation. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. Enrollments just put back a few pages in you get to Romans chapter 8 such a rich chapter it is but in Romans 8 verse 29 Paul says this For Those whom he foreknew. He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son. In order that he Jesus might be the firstborn among many brothers. so here it is very plainly k Jesus is the Father's ties.
Jesus Is the Father's ties? the sacrifice of the pure first born to cover the uncleanness the uncleanliness to sin Of all of those who would be adopted as Sons and Daughters adopted as brothers and sisters of Christ. Jesus was God's tithe and check this out. Jesus was given first. I'm talking like first first even more first than you can imagine first can be in the first is what's most important. I said, we're all going to agree that ties. It does mean 10% but what's more important and what speaks to the louder Cleaver most more beautiful sermon is the fact that it's the first it's so important that Jesus was given first. Jesus was offered first as a tithe from the father. You can see in in Revelation 13:8 which seems like a random place to go but entirely predictable for me. If you go to Revelation 13 minutes about level Bots about the beast in sin x and it's about those who father need to Satan says everyone whose name everyone will bow everyone will worship at everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of the life of the Lamb who was slain what that tells us. It was God's purpose to slay the lamb since before the foundations of the earth. That was the plan. That was the purpose got offered his son as a hive before anything even began. Jesus was first offered before anything else was created. And that's where we get the most powerful principle of what what are tied is is that it has to come first. Because it takes Faith to offer what comes first. If you tithe out of your abundance, you're not exercising any face at all. Think about what it would mean to it in the immediate sense with with our ancient forefathers here when the law first came that the first born of the first born would be sacrificed and they're saying look like we'd live off of our flocks. How do we know whether this sheep is going to give us any more Lambs could give the first and God's this exactly that's the point you give of what comes first. Is that his faith placed in me.
You look at Abraham and and Abraham was promised this son. And then the Sun finally came then God said sacrifice him and what did Abraham do and it was counted to him as righteousness. He had faith in the Lord. And then this is interesting about that exchange with Abram.
Abraham didn't have phase that that guy was going to give him like another son Abraham had faith that even by sacrificing Isaac Isaac would not be lost. Twin twin twin Abraham and got Isaac and got his servants and they went to the mountain which God would show him and and and and and God says now now go to not let me show you and you and the boys and Abram attorney said to his servants. It's okay. You know, I'm the boy we're going to go and then we are going to come back. You can do what he's going to do is Isaac yet. Abraham said we the boy and I we're going to come back. That's the kind of faith that Abram had and that's what God is asking us with our ties is to place faith in him. That what we sacrifice is not gone.
And that's just it's just so much of our nature that whatever we take out of her wallet and no help that's gone. And what God is saying is have faith that what you that what you that what you offer is not gone if we're making an offering out of abundance. It requires no face at all. an empty
I meant to call like save this later next week. I'm just going to tell a story. about my family Recent story. It's a long one. So it's the whole sermon next week is just it's a testimony really it's a it's a it's a testimony in. So many of these just actually hearing the sermon for the first time as a part of it. But that's one of the keys one of the thing but it were the gracious bits of conviction that I received from God just a few months ago. Is it giving out of abundance? That's not faithful. It doesn't honor me.
We have to give of what comes first. Because God dead. God gave of of of the first of of what he had his son. You see reflected all through scripture when God's people went into the promised land and they did the whole bizarre marching around Jericho blowing the trumpet and the walls came down and in a sack Jericho. What did what did God say God ask them to give all of the treasure that came from Jericho all the gold all the silver it all goes to God. It was it will why you know, why not just why not just 10% Why is it all business? Well, Jericho was the first of all the cities that we're going to fall. Preach it bow. Jerika was the first city to fall and they've been wandering for 40 years waiting for a home, you know living off of mana and you know, they quibble and we like to make fun of them for quibbling but wouldn't we all be quibbling about Nana? What's for dinner man? It was for breakfast man at lunch man thought about maybe some Mana, you know, I heard that's a good Manor place right around the corner. Sandman to take out and you would be an employee they're going to have a place of their own God is going to finally make good on his promise and then you finally get to that first city and it falls and there's Victory and God says every bit of games comes back to me.
That would have required them to have faith in him. Jericho was the tie that the entire conquest of the Promised Land. And that brings us to the second point. Is that the first fruits of what comes first that first tie the first fruits it has to be offered and then we choose that word. Very purposely go to Exodus 23.
Exodus 23:19 says the best of the first fruits and check that out. That's not even just the first that's the best of the first fruits bring that the best of the first fruits of your ground. You shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. And it goes on to say you shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk. I have no idea what that means or why it's there. It's another treasure map will have to follow it another time the best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord. Your God bring is so important because of this one sentence. You cannot give what is not yours? You cannot give what is not yours. God asks us to offer our ties to bring our ties of the first-fruits. Why? Because it's his. We can't give what's not ours right in in and God calls it an offering we're bringing it to him We're offering it to him because it's his so that gives us basically two choices when it comes to the tithe. We can either offer it or we can steal it. There's there's no other option given to us. We either offer it. We didn't bring it to God. Or we steal it from him.
If you bring it, it can be blessed if you steal it. It's going to be cursed.
Then I will tell that story to be clever you laugh. That's all just laugh. Like I told that story. Okay Aiken in the Conquering of the Promised Land. after Jericho He kept some of it. Do you remember he kept some of that treasure? And it was cursed. And then their next city they lost. The failed God is not with it. It was not with it. So it takes Faith to believe that 90% blasts will accomplish more than 100% cursed. And again take a note of that when I tell my story next week. It is so important.
90% blasts will accomplish for more than 100% cursed and now in and thinking of offerings. What was this first offering given to God all the way in the beginning in Genesis. Do you remember there was some offerings made God was pleased by one and not pleased by the other go to Genesis for starting in verse 3.
In the course of time Kane brought to the Lord in offering of the fruit of the ground. And Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat and the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry and his face fell.
Give me some thought to why was it that the god accepted Abel's offering was pleased by Abel's offering and he did not accept him was not pleased by canes. At first glance I was thinking about clearly God loves a good steak and he'll pass on the salad.
You look at it first born of the flock offering of the fruit. Thanks very much. God like to meet okay.
Very clearly much deeper than that. Look at the difference. Go back in verse 3 in the course of time Kane brought to the Lord and offering. Are the fruit of the ground and Abel brought the firstborn of his flock? Abel brought the first of his increase changes brought something he had spare.
It's somebody we think about this when we clean our closets in and we give a coat closet. We give the Goodwill or Salvation Army like here these things are worthless to me. You're welcome.
Should we bring our offering to God we say here? I didn't need this. Maybe you can do something with it. or give got a little tip saying this is for you God by yourself something pretty Cheyenne
Abel gave as a sacrifice. Abel gave as a sacrifice.
And that tells us something about God's character. It's not that gotten that God wouldn't accept. Cain's offering is that God couldn't accept Cain's offering. God cannot be second. Nothing, he was unwilling to take what was left over. He couldn't accept what was left over. God will not accept sloppy seconds because he will not be sloppy seconds. Did anything in his creation myself included back in Colossians? 1 chapter 15, Just keep going back to Colossians 1:15. If you not sure about the value of Christ himself, but in Colossians 1 chapter 2 Colossians chapter 15, he is the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation for by him all things were created in heaven and on Earth visible and invisible with their Thrones or dominions of rulers or authorities. All things were created through him and for him and he is before all things.
And in him all things hold together. He is before all things he is first and he can't accept what was so awfully given second. So if Jesus is the Father's Ty than maybe the offering of the ties is much more deeply personal and intimately connected to God's heart than we ever realized before. This is not just about following the law. It's about proclaiming God's greatness and His glory and his pre-eminence. It's about placing our faith in him and not in our shiny and what it could bring its about placing faith and trust in him not the shiny that he promises to pour out on us if we followed this one cool little lupoli law.
We don't give to God's will give us increase. We give to God our increase. And by the way, the New Testament standard is not 10% It's a hundred. I mean look at the way the first Christians live in the first century everything they had was every once it doesn't mean they like sold everything and all became communist. It meant that if you have a car and your brother or sister doesn't have a car they have a car because you have a car cuz they have a car cuz we have a car you understand what I'm saying. Followers of Jesus don't just tie the 10. They tie the everything that begins with 10% my goodness, but it has to be of what is first cuz otherwise it's not in faith and also needs to be set apart.
The word holy in the scriptures means set apart Leviticus 27-30 says every ties of the land whether the seed or of the the land or the fruit of the trees is the Lord Is Holy to the Lord our ties needs to be set apart. And what does that look like practically speaking to set apart your tithes. It's every time we all get paid different ways Auto draft for like a check or what not but always visualize it in this way visualize it as your employer giving you your pay in these bills.
What do you set apart the first that you're given the first that you give goddess the first that he gave you. And it begins there.
and everything above the 10 is is just this is how much I
have faith in you. This is how much I hope in you this is how much I love you.
I have faith and I have hope and I have loved and my tithe is wrapped up in all of it. It is not precious to me. You are precious to me.
And it's not even mine might my first lessons of offering and tithing was when I was very young and I would sit in the Pew and when the offering time would start my mom and give me a quarter or dollar and sometimes $5 and I would win a battle pass I would when I put it in there and then when I got to be, you know, 13, 14 15 and utterly wise I'm completely wise and still running off the wisdom that I gained in those few years. I remember thinking a little uppity like my mom thinking. Oh my goodness, like you think she thought she was teaching me about giving your tithing it wasn't even mine. I was putting in the plate what was not even mine. It was given to me and then I put it there for the switch silly lesson. My mom is so much to learn.
I remember all the financial struggles of my families of my family growing up. We were always struggling but you know, it was always on the counter in this little clip. I actually made the clip who credit to me. Is it a little close Pin clip on this little wooden triangle was my family's tide check. And I was seeing numbers like 275-350-4475 and remember thinking like you keep talking about all this struggle and we're giving all this money to Friedberg Moravian Church. Like my dad's the pastor Friedberg Moravian Church. What are we doing? We're just They put it there prominently display. This is for work giving God back what he gave us for the whole family to see right there in the middle of the kitchen. This is the Lord's.
Not yours, not mine, and I've been ours it's gods and it's going back into his house is going back into his storehouse. How much my parents taught me without even knowing they were teaching me and how much do we teach our children without knowing that we're teaching them and what are we teaching them? Where where are we placing our faith? We're replacing Our Hope. What are we placing our love? nurse stuff
in our worries
my inner fears and anxieties over.
We're giving them over to the Lord. first of everything that comes into our hand we placed back into his
in Exodus 13, and this is the last four this morning, but an exodus 13 received this beautiful little reason why Beautiful that God gives us here. So go to Exodus chapter 13. Back to it.
Exodus 13 3 + 14
and when in time to come your son asked you what does this mean? You shall say to him by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt from the house of slavery. Four Winn Farrow stubbornly refuse to let us go the Lord killed all the first born in the land of Egypt both the firstborn of man in the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males the first open the womb put all the firstborn of my son's I redeem it shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.
So my little quisitive mind like why is that check right there? Why is my mom giving me money to to just put immediately in the plate? Why are we doing this?
We look at our son's we look at our daughters and we say everything that we have everything that we are everything that we will be is from him.
So it is my joy.
Offer the first of what he gives me. It's my joy to do this. It's not an obligation. It's an opportunity to show the Lord that your face is placed in him.
Are we as a church showing Jesus that our faith is in him?
Everything preaches a sermon got everything preaches a sermon.
What sermon are we preaching with our money?
What's terminally preaching to our children? What Seminary preaching to the world?
how gross it is that your beautiful truth faith and trust in you is been perverted to this terrible get-rich-quick scheme.
May we just purely and beautifully because of our love for you and our gratitude of what you have given us. May we freely joyfully give
first of what you give us
it is quite literally the least that we could do for you. Father for you, Jesus. What a beautiful Thai if you are Jesus.
Thank you for redeeming me Jesus. Thank you for being offered as the sacrifice for my own Redemption. I was the unclean. And you are the clean.
Now I live.
I was either going to be I was either going to be redeemed or lost. And you redeem me.
My money my treasure will either be redeemed or it's just going to be lost. May it be redeemed and used. To make you a great and gracious name now.
Help us father to get more and more and more for you for your great name.
Thank you, Lord, Jesus.
Thank you, Lord, Jesus.
Your great name we pray I'm in.