Kingdom Giving

The Sermon On The Mount Contains Important Bible Verses About Giving To Others.

Dan Franklin
May 21, 2023    38m
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As our message series continues in the Gospel of Matthew, we reach some eternally important Bible verses about giving to others found in the Sermon on the Mount. It uncovers the foundational reality that every sacrifice you have made for Jesus in private has been seen, and you will rewarded in heaven. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Life Bible - Kingdom Giving
Intro: [00:00:00] Hey there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at LBF.church to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:18] And now we're going to move into the time where we're going to get into God's Word together, where we're going to ask the question, "What does God have to say to us today?". And so I'm going to go ahead and do the Scripture reading myself. I'm going to invite you to go ahead and stand as I get ready to read the passage for us. We're continuing on through the Sermon on the Mount, and I'm going to be reading for us Matthew chapter 6, verses 1 through 4, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." This is God's Word. Amen. You can grab a seat.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:28] So, by the way, if you have a Bible or you're using a Bible app, you can go ahead and just get to that passage right now, as I say, a few things. So I want to tell you about something that I used to do when Karina and I were first married. So sometimes in the evening, maybe after dinner, she would be getting ready to go out with a friend to coffee. And so as she was getting ready to go and as she came by to say goodbye to me on her way out, I'd be sitting on the couch reading a book, and then she would leave. And then I'm not saying that it was immediately after the door shut, but within not terribly long after she left, I would put down the book and I would turn on the TV. Now, I wasn't watching anything inappropriate, it wasn't anything like that, but I just decided I was going to go ahead and watch some TV. Now, we were newlyweds, I didn't know how long women could go to coffee with each other. So I was thinking, all right, I'll watch TV for an hour, but sometimes we would go into 2 or 3 hours, and I would just enjoy some TV. And then I would start to hear the footsteps coming back up the stairs to our apartment, and right before she got to the door, what do you think I did? I turned off the TV, I grabbed the book, and she came in to witness that. Now, on the wide scale of deception within marriage, it's not up at the highest level. But still, and by the way, Karina, I did eventually tell her this because eventually when you're first married, you're just like, I got to impress her with everything, and then you become less impressive as marriage goes on and you're like, it's all lost now. But the reason why I did this, to all of you, the reason why I did this is obvious. I wanted my wife to think I have a husband who's a reader, he's a thinker. And if I'm gone, I mean, look at that, I left and he was reading, and I came back three hours later and still reading, digging into ideas, he's just a really thoughtful person. I didn't want my wife to think that I was the kind of guy who could veg out in front of the TV for three hours with no problem. I wanted the reward of having her have a high opinion of me, and so because of that, I behaved differently around her when she was there than when she wasn't there.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:48] I mean, the fact is we all do this to different degrees. I know that there are some of us that we pride ourselves on saying, no, I don't care what anybody else thinks of me. We all care what people think of us, and we all behave, at least to some degree, differently when there are people watching. And it can be something as simple as, if you're a young person, when you're around your parents, there may be certain words that you don't use or a certain way that you talk, but you're like, no, I don't want my parents to know about that. Or it could be that when you're around your Christian friends, you behave differently than when you're around your non-Christian friends. There's a variety of ways that we do this, to the point that some people say, well, real integrity is who you are when nobody's looking. Real integrity is who you are when there's a private moment.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:33] But I want to make sure to let you know something very important this morning, and that's that there is no moment when no one is watching. There is no truly private moment, that the fundamental reality that we believe about the world is that there is a God, and that, that God is all-powerful and all-seeing and all-knowing, there is no such thing as a private moment because God is always watching. And I know some of us hear that, and we're sort of like, God is always watching everything. Here's what I want you to know this morning, there is no moment when no one is watching, and that's good news. Jesus is going to tell us that there's a reason for us to rejoice because there are no private moments, and because of the fact that God is always watching. He's going to do that in the passage that we're going to go through today, which introduces a new section on the Sermon on the Mount.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:35] So we've been going through the Gospel of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus laying out what life is like if we live as if Jesus is the king. And he's already indicated that a lot of it has to do with him transforming not just our exteriors, not just the outside, but the inside of us, and that's going to continue now. Verses 1 through 18 of chapter 6 are all kind of one section, but we're going to go through verses 1 through 4 today, and it's going to introduce not only this whole section but also the specific section that will go through today. Because today we'll talk about giving, but we'll also get an introduction to the big picture of what Jesus wants to communicate, which is all summed up in this one question, "To whom are you looking for your reward?". We might not want to put it this way, but every single one of us, everything we do, is for some sort of reward. And the question is not, are you doing this for a reward, the question is, to whom are you looking for your reward?

Dan Franklin: [00:06:39] So we're going to walk through Matthew chapter 6, verses 1 through 4. Verse 1 is going to give us sort of the big picture of what Jesus is talking about in all 18 of these verses to start off chapter 6, and then he's going to go into the first case study in verses 2 through 4, which is about giving.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:57] So let's look at verse 1 together, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." So this sets up the whole extended chapter, the whole extended section, and it starts with this warning, be careful, or pay attention. In other words, Jesus is saying if you're not careful, you will end up doing your righteous acts, sort of your religious observance or your obedience to God, your giving, your praying, your fasting, you'll end up doing these things if you're not careful in order to be seen by other people. So he says, be careful that you don't do that.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:46] The problem is that this seems to be in contrast with something that Jesus said just a chapter earlier. I'll put it up here on the screen, chapter 5, verse 16, is when Jesus is saying that we are the light of the world. He says in chapter d, verse 16, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." So this is a little bit tricky here, we've got chapter 5, Jesus says Let your light shine, let your good works shine so that other people will see them and glorify your father in heaven. And now in chapter 6, he's saying, Be very careful that you are not doing these righteous acts to be seen by others. So we're sort of like Jesus, which is it? Are we supposed to be seen by others, or are we not supposed to be seen by others? And so let's process this through together.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:43] So the first thing is this, when we're looking at this, the first thing that we should all be able to agree on is that whatever Jesus is saying in chapter 6, verse 1, he is not saying that we should be feverishly trying to hide it any time we obey God, that's like we can't let anybody know that we obey God. Like you're out with a group of friends, you're about to enter into a restaurant, you go to open the door for everyone, and then you're like, Wait, wait, no, no, no, people would see that, and they'd think that I'm a good guy. They'd see that, and they would think that I'm thoughtful and that I'm generous, so I'd better not open the door for them because I don't want other people to see that. We all know that that is no way to live, that's a silly way to live. Jesus is assuming in chapter 5, that if we are obeying him, there's going to be no container in the light that comes out. So Jesus is not painting a scenario here where it's like nobody should find out that you're following Jesus, he wants everybody to know that you're following him.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:43] But what he seems to be zeroing in on in chapter 6 is two things. First of all, he brings up in chapter 6, three areas of life where at least some of the time we could keep our religious acts hidden. It's possible to give financially and not have other people know it. It's possible to pray at least sometimes, and not have people know it. And it's possible to fast and not have people know it. So he's identifying some areas where they could be done in secret. And then secondly, and hopefully you see this in the passage, the question of this is all about intent. Why are you doing these things? Are you doing these so that others will give you their applause, or are you doing them so that God will be glorified? Because in chapter 5, verse 16, if we let our light shine at the end of the day, who does Jesus say gets the applause? He says our Father in heaven gets the applause. So why are you doing these things? And Jesus says, be very careful that your motivation for doing these things, even things that Jesus has called us to do, is not so that you get accolades in front of other people. And then he closes it by saying, if you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:00] And hold on, right now I know the idea of reward is vague. Later on in the sermon, we're going to get more specific with this. But at the very least, he says, hey, if you do that, that's the only reward you're getting. And now he moves into the first case study, the first way that he's going to apply this and that has to do with giving. So in verse 2, he tells us how not to give. In verse 2, he says, "So when you give to the needy." And let's just pause there, when you give to the needy, when. Not if you give to the needy, when you give to the needy. Jesus is assuming that this is happening, and for first-century Jews, this would have been sort of an assumed way of life if they care about God, they are giving to the needy. And they would do it in two ways. In fact, if you look further down in the verse, you see the two ways alluded to, he talks about them doing it in the synagogues and on the streets. And that basically means that part of giving was corporate, and part of giving was personal. So on the streets, they might run across a homeless person, or a beggar and they might give to the needy just right then and there on a personal level. Or they might have a neighbor that's going through hard times, and so they decide to be generous and give to them. There's the personal level of giving, and then there's the corporate level of giving because they also gave to the synagogue and then through the synagogue, needs were met for the needy in the community.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:33] Now, if we're bringing this into today, because Jesus is speaking to his disciples and he's saying, when you give to the needy, we could say, all right, today Jesus is still expecting that it's a when not an if. And really, if we read the New Testament, we see these same two ways of giving come to prominence, we give personally and we give corporately. So sometimes God moves on your heart, and it can be anything as simple as, hey, you're out walking around and you see a homeless person or a person asking for food and you decide to give them some money or you decide to go get them some food and give it to them just generously on your own. It could have to do with members of your extended family or even your life group or the people who are your coworkers with that, you say, all right, I feel like God is calling me to help them out because they're going through a tough stretch now, so there's the personal giving. And then there's the corporate giving, where the New Testament is pretty clear that the main giving that we do is to our local church because we are part of that church family, and so part of belonging to that church family is that we share what we have with others.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:38] Now, I want to pause in this and tell you some good news, because some of you might be like, why this sermon today? Like, why are we talking about giving right now? And you might be wondering, are we talking about giving right now because giving is down? Are we talking about giving right now because Dan is about to make a pitch of like, guys, we've got to make budget? And first of all, I want to say, I'm not saying that there wouldn't be a time that we would do that, that we would say giving is low, we need to talk about this. But I'm very thankful to be able to say that is not why we're talking about this today, do you know why we're talking about this today? Because it's the next passage in Matthew, that is the one and only reason why we're talking about this today. And we'll probably talk about this in the coming months because we, at the church here, do our fiscal year is July to June, so we're getting towards the end of our church financial year. You all have been very generous, we are well on our way to matching the budget for this year, things are good, and things are very healthy financially. So I'm not up here to make a pitch of like, we're in deep trouble, time to dig deep. I'm instead up here to say, all right, I'm not desperate right now, we as a church, we're not desperate saying if we don't get more money, we're not sure what we're going to do. Instead, we just get to talk about this as a way that Jesus is saying, if you are not giving, if you are not doing a part of this, not only are you not being obedient, but you're missing out on rewards that God wants to give.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:07] The New Testament, we believe here that the New Testament doesn't give us a specific percentage or a specific amount that we as Christians are supposed to give. Some of you have like 10%. 10% is in the Bible. That's in the Old Testament, that was for the nation of Israel, there's nothing about that in the New Testament. Some of you are giving 10%, that's wonderful, I recommend 10% is a great number, but we're not required to give that. The New Testament vision of giving is found in Second Corinthians chapter 9, where the Apostle Paul says he relates it to sowing and reaping a harvest. So sowing is giving, and the reward is reaping the harvest. He says, "The one who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will reap generously." In other words, the way that Paul lays it out is, he says, the question of how much you should give should be in proportion to how much of a harvest you want to receive. That's New Testament giving when you give to the needy. And when you give to the church, you're not choosing between do I give to the needy or do I give to the church, because thankfully at our church we are able to support ministries like the Upland Community Resource Center. We're able to support Assure Pregnancy Clinic, we're able to have the money go out to all kinds of different countries through our go teams and through our long-term missionaries. So when you're giving here, that is going to meet the needs of people in our community and beyond.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:40] When you give to the needy, now he goes on, "When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others." And some of you might be wondering, did they really do this? Like did these people really have like a posse of trumpeters following them around, so as they're walking up to the Treasury box in the synagogue, they pause, they open it up, they're about to drop their coins in, and then the trumpeters sound off so that all eyes are on them. And the answer is, no, nobody did what Jesus is saying here. Jesus is making up a ridiculous scenario to make a point. And the point is, don't do your giving for the applause of other people, don't do your giving in a way that draws attention to the fact that you're doing your giving.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:38] And some of you might even be like, well, I don't even know how I would do that today. Like, I don't even know how I would give in a way that would get attention on me. Let me give you a few modern applications of this. One, and this might seem silly, but this came to mind. I don't know how many of you have been to Cold Stone Creamery, but if you have, first of all, it's great ice cream, and secondly, there is a way that you can make sure you get public recognition for your generosity. Because if you give a tip into the tip jar, all of the workers there have to stop what they're doing and sing you a song. You get an instant reward for your generosity to the point that I've been there in line before and seen people about to put money in and then realized none of the employees are noticing it, and then wait till they're looking and then put the money in so that they have the song. So there might be some things like that. There might also be the idea that now we have perfected the idea of the humble brag through social media. You give generously to a charity, and they instantly can let you post about the fact that you've given generously to the charity. You can make a TikTok video about what a great person you are as you give to some employee and make their day. So there are ways that we can do this.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:57] But let me give you one other way that I think we could be tempted to do this today, and that's by using our giving to our church as a way of enlarging our voice or getting done what we want done. Quick story, this didn't happen here, this happened to the church that we were a part of in Oregon. There was a season of time, I was on staff there, and there was a season of time where at the church we were going through what some people call the worship wars. And if you've been around church long enough, you know what I mean? This is where there's dissension and there's conflict and there are people who are unhappy about the worship time, about the music time, because everybody has an opinion about the music time. And the older members of our church, a lot of them were unhappy with the music. So one of the older members came to talk to me not because I was part of the worship team, if you've stood around me on Sundays during the music time, you know that I should not be a part of any worship team. Jesus, here's a joyful noise, nobody else does, but Jesus does. But he came up to me to complain about the music, and he said, you know, a lot of us are very unhappy with the music. And I didn't say, I know, but I knew. And he said, and what I think that you need to keep in mind is many of us who are older members of the church are some of the biggest givers to the church, and then he just sort of let that hang out there. He didn't quite connect the dots, but he just sort of let that hang there for a moment. To the point that I asked him, I said, are you right now threatening that a whole bunch of people are going to pull their giving if we don't change the music? And he said, no, no, no, I'm not saying that; I'm just saying we're unhappy and we're some of the biggest givers. If you're giving, is so that you have a greater voice, or you get to try to get done what you want to get done, you are not giving, you are buying, you are purchasing status and influence. And if you're doing giving in any way so that other people give you recognition, you are not giving, you are buying. And Jesus is talking about the difference here, and that's why he says, "Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.". And Jesus in his wording here, he's actually alluding to something that would be done in business in the first century, where a businessman would give you a receipt that basically said what Jesus says here, payment reward in full, there's nothing left to be paid. He's saying, if you've got your receipt from God, if you've got credit in front of other people, if other people gave you applause, if other people gave you credit, if you gained status, that is your full reward.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:41] In fact, I had a friend who, when he was growing up and when he was young, his mom used to do something with him any time he was trying to draw attention to the fact that he had done something good. That he'd done something around the house without being asked to do, or he'd done something a little bit extra, and he'd be like, Mom, did you see what I did? Did you notice that I did that? And whenever he would do that, she would just say, poof, just like that. He'd be saying, did you see that I did this? Poof. And if anybody asked, what do you mean, poof? She would say, poof, your reward in heaven is gone, you just got your full reward now by getting credit in front of me. Poof, that's all the reward you're going to get.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:29] That's what Jesus says about how we shouldn't give, so let's see in verses 3 and 4 what he says about how we should give. In verse 3 he says, "But when you give to the needy." And once again he doesn't say, hey, there's a danger to do this the wrong way, so maybe you'll give and maybe you won't give. He is still saying when. Some of you right now, we do these tricks with ourselves where we're like, well, I'm not sure I'm doing it for the right motives, so maybe I shouldn't do it because God would rather have me not give than give for the wrong reason. That is us tricking ourselves. It's like Second Corinthians 9 talks about how God loves a cheerful giver, and we're like, well, I'm not cheerful, so I shouldn't give until my heart becomes cheerful, and then when my heart becomes cheerful, I'll start giving again. This is just us playing games with ourselves. Jesus is still saying when you give. He's not saying wait until your motives are perfect, he's saying give in this way, "When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret." And once again, Jesus is painting a comical picture to make a bigger point. Saying as your right hand is writing that check or swiping that credit card or entering in the number online, as your right hand is doing that, don't even let your left hand know what's going on. Make this super-secret, make this that you and God are the only ones who know what's going on.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:55] Now, before I show you what he says at the end of verse 4, I just want to say some of us might be wondering, how far do I take this? Should I give in a way that I don't get a statement from the church at the end of the time where I get sort of this right off? Should I avoid that because that's somehow getting my reward? And what I want to say is, I don't think that the idea here is that Jesus is trying to lead us to get into the minutia of sorting all those things out, he's getting to our motives. I think that there are even appropriate times when you might talk to somebody else about your giving habits if you've got somebody who's saying, I'm trying to figure out how to do this well and to do this in a godly way, could I ask you how you handle this? You could do that in a way where you're setting a positive example. I don't think Jesus is saying that all those scenarios are eliminated. What he's saying is the reason you're doing it is so that God is the one who will reward you. And that's what He says at the end of verse 4, he says, "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Dan Franklin: [00:24:55] Now, I want to take a pause here, because some of us get hung up on this idea of doing it for the reward because it doesn't sound that noble. It's sort of like isn't virtue its own reward. Shouldn't I just do it because it's the right thing to do and not because I'm going to get a reward in the end? Jesus says your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Because Jesus knows something about us, he knows that God has made us in a way that we are always seeking reward, that's part of our nature. Listen to what is said in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6, I love this verse. It says, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Dan Franklin: [00:25:51] There are two things you've got to believe about God if you're going to draw near to him. Number one, obviously, you've got to believe that he's real. But the close second is that you need to believe that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Part of the fundamental way that we relate to God is we relate to him as a rewarder. In fact, one of my favorite books of all time is a C.S. Lewis book called The Four Loves. If you're looking for summer reading heading into the summer months, it's a short book, it's a great book, a wonderful book by C.S. Lewis called The Four Loves. And right toward the beginning, you'll be like a page or two in, and you'll get to the part I'm about to talk about, where Lewis talks about the difference between gift love and need love as two different ways that we use the word love. And gift love is God's love, gift love is the fact that God gives us his love, even though there's nothing he really stands to gain from it, it is pure sacrifice and self-giving, culminating on the cross of Jesus Christ, where He gave himself. That is God's love, that is gift love. But what about our love for God? And what he says is our love for God can never be self-interested sacrifice, that's just not how it works. Our love for God is much more like the baby clinging to his mother. And if you look at the baby clinging to the mother, you might say he loves his mom. And yeah, he loves his mom, do you know why? He is utterly dependent upon her for everything, but it still is love of a sort. And the humbling reality is that when it comes to God, we never get out of need love, we never get past the point that we say, well, now I don't need God, now I'm just serving God disinterestedly just hoping to do the best, but I don't care if there's any reward. We will never get past that, we are always utterly dependent upon God. Don't get into your own head saying I'm not supposed to do it for the reward, Jesus says, do it for the reward. And some of you may notice that not only when it comes to financial giving, but in general, most of us have this sense where there's this wired in sense that if we do something, we crave recognition for it. We crave somebody seeing it and recognizing what we've done, and I'll say some of us crave it more than others.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:04] Let me tell you a story about this, and it's not a story that's going to make me look good. Back right after I graduated from college, me and three friends all went on an extended mission trip to Russia, we were there for about two months. And as guys frequently do, four guys in their 20s, we had all kinds of inside jokes, all sorts of things that we joked around during the time that we were over in Russia. And our favorite inside joke was one that I created based on a word play in the Russian language. Somewhere along the line, the other guys got in their heads the idea that I hadn't created this joke but that one of the other guys did, and they gave him credit for the joke, and I was incensed. I could not, this joke, I was like, hey, every time you experience joy from that joke, that was me. I made this up, I was clever, I came up with it, I started it, and now I'm not even getting credit. Thankfully, I'm past it, I'm over it now. Now you all laugh at that, and totally appropriately so it was ridiculous that I was that bent out of shape by it. But I used that, as an illustration, to say that was the kind of way that I thought I desperately craved getting credit. And I don't think I'm alone, I don't think me talking about that was totally unfamiliar to any of you. And for some of you, it was a bit too familiar, that it just absolutely grates you. You're a work and you come up with an idea in order to improve things, and it's set in motion, and they forget that you are the one who brought it up. Or you're a parent and you're doing all kinds of things behind the scenes and you're not getting any thank yous. There are all kinds of times that we do things, and we don't get credit for it, and it grates us. There's a sense of injustice in the world, this isn't how it should happen.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:21] What I want to share with you is, I feel like over the past probably 5 or 6 years, God has done a pretty remarkable work in my heart to liberate me from what used to be bondage to needing to get credit. And I want to invite you into something that I experienced that brings me a lot of joy. If there's ever a time where I do something and I don't get credit for it, where somebody else gets credit for it, I realize that there are only two people in all of existence that know what really happened, there's me and there's God. Talk about an inside joke. I mean, talk about just knowing like, there's only two of us that know about this. And then here's the next thought that goes through my mind, I missed out on any reward I'd get right now for what I did, but that means I get to be rewarded by God, and God is a better rewarder than any human being. Brothers and sisters, this is not just with financial giving, we get to experience the joy of knowing there is no private moment, and that's good news. God has seen every act of faithfulness that you have done in private, and none of them will go unrewarded.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:42] And so the question that we get to ask at the end of the day is whose reward are we seeking? To whom are we looking to for this reward? And I said we'd return to this, and I want to do it right now, Jesus doesn't spell out what the reward is, but throughout the Bible, there are probably at least three ways that God rewards us. Those three ways are spiritually, eternally, and materially.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:09] God rewards us spiritually, and here's how sometimes this works. If you give generously, do you know what's going to happen to your heart? It's going to become less tied to the temporary things in this world. You are going to be more free, and you're going to walk with a clear conscience and the joy of walking in closeness with God. You are going to experience joy and freedom right here and now in your relationship with God, you're going to get a spiritual reward.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:38] But that's not it, you're also going to get an eternal reward because Jesus says, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven where moth and rust don't destroy them, and where thieves don't break in and steal them, you get eternal rewards. And we envision this sometimes, well, is it a crown? Is it a bigger mansion? Is it that I'm in charge of something? How does all this work? And it doesn't all get spelled out, but what we know is any rewards in heaven dwarf rewards on earth.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:08] We get rewarded spiritually, we get rewarded eternally, and oftentimes we also get rewarded materially. And this is not health and wealth, this is not prosperity theology that is go ahead and put that check in the box, and then tomorrow, God is going to do this. I'm not going to be a predictor of what God is going to do, but I am going to say, here's something that he does a lot of the time. If you're generous with your money, God finds creative ways not only to meet your needs, but if you're generous with your money, then that means you're being faithful with what he's given you. And when you're faithful with what God gives you, God loves to give you more because you trust that you're going to be faithful with it.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:48] You know, those of you who are young, those of you who are in high school and college right now, there's going to be a temptation to wait until you have what you would think of as real money before you start giving. Yeah, somebody just laughed because it's like you'll be chasing that for a long time. When you have money, the need for that money keep coming. But here's what I want to say, especially if you're on the younger side, don't wait until you have what you think of as real money, start giving now. And some of you right now are like, I'm not young, but things are so tight. It would be embarrassing to give from what I have right now, it would not be embarrassing to God. If you're like, I can give $20 a month and that's probably about it, give $20 a month. Sow $20 a month, trust God with what you have right now, and wait to see because God loves to entrust you with more when you're faithful with what you have.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:45] Here's what I want to invite you to as we get ready to wrap this up. First of all, as I'm talking, I want to invite pastors, elders, and prayer team members to go ahead and come to the front to receive anybody who's going to want to respond after the service to this. Because some of you, I'll talk first about money, for some of you here is going to be your big takeaway for today. Your big takeaway for today is going to be that you look at your life and you're like, I'm not giving, or I'm not giving much, and the reason I'm not giving much is because if I'm honest, I don't really see the upside. I could do other things with that money, and I would see what those things are doing for me, but I don't see the upside of giving. And God's calling for you today is to look to him for your reward instead of looking to whatever that money can buy for yourself, and to trust that the God who sent his son for us is a better rewarder.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:43] But then I also want to say for some of you, the big application today for you is going to have very little to do with money at all. What it's going to have to do with is, that that story I told earlier about how petty I was that was all too familiar to you. You were like, that's how I'm living my life, I get so angry, I get so disturbed, I get so demanding, I get so depressed when I don't get credit. And what you need today, most of all is to experience the healing of knowing that foundational reality that every sacrifice you have made for Jesus has been seen and you will be rewarded and that there is joy in knowing that God sees every sacrifice that we make for him.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:27] So join me right now. I want to pray for us, and as I'm getting ready to pray, maybe after the service, some of you need to come forward with a prayer that you'll follow through in generosity. And maybe some of you need to come forward because you need healing so that you are not obsessed with the applause of others. And Father, we confess. so many of us are fixated on the applause of others. We want to be the funny one, the smart one, the good-looking one, and the successful one, we want to get applause in front of other people. And Father, I pray that you break us and that you heal us of that, I pray that you'd set us free from the sense that we need that and that we would live for your pleasure and your reward alone. Father, give us the faith to not only believe that you exist, but that you are a rewarder of those who earnestly seek you. Father, fill our hearts with generosity so that we are not bound by our money and our possessions. And, Father, I pray, even as we look to do these things in the secret place, I pray that you tell stories of your love and goodness, and generosity through the way we respond to this. Liberate us, set us free, and lead us into the joy that you alone can give us. I pray this all in the name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:53] Amen, and God bless you today. If you'd like to come forward for prayer, there are people who are here who would love to pray with you. Thank you so much for being here, have a wonderful and blessed rest of your Sunday.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848