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Out of this World Giving, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 13, 2024 9:00 am

Out of this World Giving, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 13, 2024 9:00 am

Jesus doesn’t just expect his followers to give their tithe. He expects us to be out-of-this-world generous! As part of the “First” series, Pastor J.D. helps us understand in this message how being a spender, saver, or steward defines what kingdom we serve and if we have surrendered our finances to God

Faith And Finance
Rob West
Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Rob West and Steve Moore
Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. Be on guard against greed. Jesus doesn't say that about any other sin. You will get to be a place and agree where it so consumes you that you don't even know you're there because you just so depend on it. Money seems like it's so essential that you end up doing all these things that justifies any disobedience. You never even knew that it took over you. Greed hides itself. Welcome to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. You know, Jesus doesn't just expect his followers to give their tithe. I mean, yeah, that's a good place to start, and we definitely read about it in the Bible, but he really wants us to be out of this world generous. Today on Summit Life, Pastor J.D. helps us understand how being a spender, saver, or steward defines what kingdom we serve and if we have truly surrendered our finances to God. Because if we're really giving God our first and our best as good stewards, we will amaze the world with our generosity. So let's rejoin Pastor J.D. in Matthew Chapter 6 as we continue our teaching titled Out of This World Giving.

If you've been around here, you've probably heard me tell the story of William Borden, who in the 1920s, 1920 years old, was the heir to the Borden Milk Company, one of the five biggest companies in America at the time. So we're talking a young man who had literally the whole world, the whole world as his oyster, and just, I mean, he had everything in front of him, but he felt like God. He got saved in college and felt like God was calling him to go overseas to share the gospel, specifically in the country of Egypt where very few believers at the time lived. And so he had to sever all his ties. His family said, if you leave, then we're cutting you out.

And he said, I've got to obey God. So he severed his ties. He gave away his inheritance and he boarded a ship to go to Egypt where he was planning to live the rest of his life. On the way there, he contracted meningitis and died within three months of arriving in Egypt. Because he only made it three months, somebody right before he died, just a few hours before he died asked him, they said, do you feel like this is a mistake? You feel like this whole coming to Egypt thing was a waste. He was so weak that he couldn't even talk, but he got a little piece of paper and he wrote two words that have become rather infamous.

He just wrote the words, no regret, no regret. A couple hours later, he died. He's buried in Cairo today in a little nondescript place out of the way.

I've never been there. And one of our teams there actually sent me a picture of his grave though. Little out of the way place, little tombstone you'd never notice if you weren't looking for it. All it has on it, one of the potentially richest men in the United States, all it has on it is his name, the years of his very short life, and underneath it, one little phrase inscribed in the tombstone, apart from faith and Christ, there is no explanation for such a life. In other words, his life screams, if eternity is not real, this is a waste. Here is my question for you. And I think it's Jesus's question as well.

Would that phrase describe your life? Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for the way they lived. If eternity is not real, what a waste.

See where the rubber hits the road here. Most American Christians in churches like this one give on average about 2.5% of their income away to charity or the kingdom of God. The average secular person gives away 1.8%.

Hey, right? I mean, they're at 1.8. We're at 2.5. But does that really scream we live for a different kingdom? I bring it closer to home here. Only 19% of the people at this church, only 19% of those here and that come every weekend, in the survey we did a few weeks ago, only 19% say that they tithe. What does that say about what kingdom 81% of the people who are in this church are living for? Listen, I'm not trying to guilt you into giving us your money. I want you to understand that.

I'm just trying to let that 81%, I'm trying to let you know that you're missing out on something. My giving and your giving ought to scream, I believe in eternity. And I'm living for Jesus's kingdom, not mine. That's what Jesus expected.

Look at what he says next. The eye of the lamp is the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, whoa, how deep is that darkness? Now, at first, that may seem like an odd analogy and you're like, I don't have any idea, not the foggiest idea how that's got to do with money. Here's what it means.

The analogy is this. Say you get up at night, it's dark, flip on a light. If your eye is good, then the benefits of the light benefit your whole body. Because now that you can see, now your hand knows what it's looking for to, you know, get the milk out of the refrigerator to get something to drink. The light benefits your feet because your feet isn't running into, you know, the parts of the furniture and making you scream profanities in the middle of the night. You know, your whole body is benefiting from the light.

On the other hand, if your eye is dark, meaning it's bad, then your whole body doesn't get the benefit of the light and your hands don't know where to reach and your feet run into furniture. In the same way, Jesus is saying, right, if your eye sees money the wrong way, then your whole life is going to be filled with a kind of darkness. If the way you see money is distorted, it's going to mess up every part of your life. If you serve money, if you depend on money for security and you look to money for happiness, then it's going to make you make a lot of bad decisions. In fact, some of you, if you were honest, could probably look at your life now and say, I think that's true.

I mean, we'll take a rather easy one. Like some of you, I've talked to men about my age who look back and say, you know, I just, when I chose my career, I chose it entirely based on where I could make the most money. It's not a career that fulfills me. It's not a career that helps people. It's not a career I even think that I'm particularly good at.

I certainly don't come home refreshed at the end of the day. I chose to do what I do simply because I could make the most money doing it. And it lasted, that adrenaline of making money lasted for about 10 years. And now it just feels like a huge drudgery. Why did you make that bad decision?

That's because your eye was dark. And because you so exalted and valued that, that you made all kinds of poor decisions. It's why some people will compromise their integrity. You realize that people that compromise and cheat relating to finances, it's not because they're exceptionally dishonest people.

They're just like the rest of us. It's just that they got into a position where they knew they could not have both their money and their integrity. And in order to hang on to the money they had, they had to cheat a little bit. Or in order to get that money that they thought that they needed, they had to cheat a little bit. And faced with a prospect of not having the money or losing their integrity, they chose to lose their integrity. By the way, most of us have not been at that place.

And it's scary to think if we got in that place, what might actually happen? What he's saying is the problem with all these things is that how you see money is off. That's why in Luke's account of this teaching, Jesus follows up the I metaphor by saying, be on guard against greed. He just doesn't say that about any other sin. You know, he doesn't say, hey, be on guard against adultery. That's not because adultery is not as bad of a sin. Why does he say be on guard against greed and not be on guard against adultery? Well, here's why. Because when you commit adultery, you know you're committing adultery. You don't just look up and say, hey, wait, you're not my wife.

Why did that happen? No, but that will happen with greed. You will get to be a place and agree where it so consumes you that you don't even know you're there because you just so depend on it. Money seems like it's so essential that you end up doing all these things that justifies any disobedience.

You never even knew that it took over you. Greed hides itself. He says, you got to be on guard against it because it's going to darken your heart and you won't even know you're serving it. So verse 24, no man serves two masters, you see. They'll hate the one, love the other, devoted to one, despise the other. You just can't serve them both.

They can both be present in your life, but you can't serve them both. Again, that word serve is a religious word. You worship it. You depend on it for provision, for security. It takes care of you.

So you obey what it demands because if you don't obey what it demands, it'll desert you and then you'll be doomed. I've given you before three categories of people when it comes to money. Three categories that every one of you fits in. Some of you when it comes to money, you are what we call a spender. For you, money is happiness. It's significance.

It's creature comforts. The purpose of money is to make life better now. So when you get money, you spend it.

There's others of you, you are savers. The main value of money for you is not happiness now, it's security later. So when you get money, you save it.

You like to stockpile it because you never know when the rainy day is coming and you want to make sure that you have a great inheritance to leave to your kids later. So you're a saver. I've explained to you many times that the way God works is He always makes these two people get married to each other. Savers never marry savers. Spenders never marry.

They always marry each other and they drive each other crazy. And neither of you can understand why in the world, why do you have such a problem with money? The answer is you both have the same problem with money and that is you both serve money instead of God because you're looking to money to do something that God is supposed to to give to you.

And that's the third option, steward. That's the person who looks to God as their primary source of happiness. God is their primary source of satisfaction and they look at God as their primary source of security, right? So yes, they spend some money and yes, they save some money, but they hold their money loosely. All of their money is surrendered to God because they see money as the primary key neither to their satisfaction in the present nor their security in the future. God is in charge of those things. So they're free to be generous with their money now and to trust God to take care of all that other stuff. Look at what Jesus explains it.

I love this. Verse 26, consider the birds of the sky. I don't sow or reap or gather in the barns, yet your heavenly father feeds them.

Aren't you worth more than the birds? And consider the lilies of the field, right? Why do you worry about clothes?

Well, Jesus, because I'd be naked without clothes. Well, no, no. Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow.

They don't labor or spin thread, right? I mean, they just, you know, they're just there. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon, all of his splendor was adorned like one of these.

What you should do, Jesus says, verse 33, is instead of seeking security like the birds, instead of seeking beauty like the wildflowers, you ought to seek God and let God clothe you the way He clothes the wildflowers and take care of you the way He takes care of the birds. A couple of things here to make sure you notice. You know, these two analogies I've told you correspond to the two different personality types of money worshippers.

You see that? The birds. The birds analogy is directed at you savers, okay? So if you're sitting by a saver, poke them right now, right? It's directed at you savers. If you see money as security, you say, hey, hey, God takes care of the birds, so He's going to take care of you. So you don't have to look to money for this because God will do this for you spenders, right?

Poke the spender back. Look at the wildflowers. They don't worry about not having enough money to have the latest clothes or drive the nicest cars, live in the luscious houses.

Look how beautifully God has endowed them. Again, it's not saying you don't spend any money. It's not even saying you don't save any money. What it's saying is that primarily God is in charge of those things. And because God is in charge of those things, I can hold my money loosely and I can actually put the kingdom of God first because I'm trusting that He's going to actually provide for me when it comes to satisfaction and He's going to provide for my security so I can make Him first in all things. See, you see what's happening there? This whole, let's watch this, this whole teaching is built on the principle, get this, of abundance in creation.

You see, there's two ways to look at the earth. One is abundance, as in we got a generous God who just multiplies. There's plenty for everybody. The other way is scarcity, and that is there's not enough. We better hoard.

We better hang on to it tight. What Jesus is showing you here is, hey, you serve an abundant God. Look at how abundantly He takes care of the birds. And look at what He does with them. I mean, the flowers is kind of wasted beauty. Look at all that creativity that God put in there.

It's just for flowers. You're listening to Summit Life with JD Greer. As we take a brief pause from today's teaching, I wanted to share with you about a fantastic resource that's available to you free of charge each day. Pastor JD shared a little about it yesterday on the program, but our daily email devotional is a great way to develop a regular habit of keeping yourself grounded in the Word of God. These devotionals even follow along with the current teaching series here on Summit Life, and they include a scripture reading, a devotional thought, and a prayer prompt to help you start your day on the right foot. You can sign up today at slash resources. That's slash resources. We pray that these devotionals will be a source of encouragement and growth in your walk with Christ. And remember, all of our free resources are made possible by the generous support of listeners like you.

So sign up today, slash resources. Now let's get back to today's teaching with Pastor JD Greer here on Summit Life. God is a generous God, right? I mean, the whole Bible screams this, the Garden of Eden that God put Adam and Eve in. You know, some of you, when you think Garden of Eden, you think that little postage stamp size thing in your backyard, and there's Adam and Eve running naked through the little garden. That's not the Garden of Eden.

It gives you the borders of the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis. It was the size of Yellowstone National Park. So what you're dealing with is God put two people into Yellowstone and said, hey, this is the home I got for you.

Anybody here live on a place equivalent to Yellowstone? That's what God, He's an abundant God. He's blessed, just pours it out, right? Then you see it in places like the children of Israel wandering through the wilderness, and God provides food for them. And so He drops the stuff from heaven called manna, right?

Fresh bread from heaven every morning. There's so much of it that everybody can go out and get as much as they want. Abundance, just overflowing, right?

When God provides meat for them, quail just drop out of the sky so much they can eat it to the point they have the meat sweats is a translation of what happens there. And it's just everywhere. Abundance.

Simple man responds with scarcity. So all the Israelites are collecting this manna and they're trying to hang on to it because I'm afraid God's not going to provide it tomorrow. And God's like, no, no, no, I'm a God of abundance. That's what's happening in Matthew 6.

A little confession here. I used to read Matthew 6 really cynically. Cynically meaning I would be like, God takes care of the birds. I saw a dead bird on the side of the road the other day. I guess God forgot that one.

Maybe that's going to be me. But you're misreading it. What he's saying is, hey, look at how bountifully God provides for the birds. Look at how beautifully God made the flowers. Don't you think that God, a God of abundance is going to multiply and bless you? Don't respond with this fear of scarcity. I've got to hang on to today what I got because, hey, God is actually there tomorrow. And the God of abundance who's here today will also be present tomorrow. Look at the last verse in the sermon.

I'll show you what he's saying about that. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow because tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I love this. Jesus is like, don't worry about tomorrow. And we're like, why, Jesus? Because tomorrow has a lot of problems.

And you're like, ah. Well, see, that was exactly what I was worried about about tomorrow was that I was going to have problems. And Jesus is like, yeah, tomorrow's got a lot of problems. But tomorrow also has the God of abundance and the God that provided abundantly for you today and the God that takes care of birds abundantly today and the God that closed flowers beautifully today. Hey, that same God's going to be with you tomorrow and he will abundantly supply you then also. So you put him first today and let him worry about your tomorrow. So see, that's the question. I know that God is important to everybody in this room, or most everybody in this room.

The question is, is he first in your life? Do you serve first God or money? If you are a spender, then chances are you serve money thinking it is your primary key to satisfaction. If you are a saver, chances are you serve money primarily as your security.

If you are a steward, you trust God for both of those things and you're very open-handed with your money and you're probably an extravagantly generous person. Last year, to really drive this home, I walked you through a little quiz, and it was the spender saver steward quiz. And I'm going to do it again because here we are a year later and we're going to do a checkup. So we're going to go back and see if you've improved any.

So I've reduced it to seven questions. I just need you to be honest. You're not helping anybody out by lying. I'm not going to take this up. You're not going to get grade. I'm not going to put it up on the screen.

I just want you to answer. You may even jot it down your notes. Just jot down how many times you choose A, B, or C. Seven questions. Here we go. Number one, which of these excites you most?

You need to be honest. Gut reaction. Letter A, a four-star vacation across Europe. B, maxing out your retirement accounts for the year. C, dinner with your pastor who expresses heartfelt thanks for your sacrificial support of a successfully launched new ministry.

Right? Spender. Saver. Except for the dinner with your pastor part. I just added that. Steward.

Because which of those is your gut reaction? This is what's most exciting. Number two, you hear about a man who at age of 70 has managed his middle-class income. $70,000 a year for all of his life. Through meager living and careful savings, he has a current net worth of $8 million.

There are people like this. Your first thought when you hear about this guy is, what a waste. Well, spending it would have been so much more fun. He's got $8 million now, but he's 70 years old, and how can he really enjoy it then? Think about all that opportunity he left on the table. He just wasted it.

Or is your answer B? Wow. Wow, he really did well. I hope I can do that too. All right? Dave Ramsey is going to help me do this. Right here, B. Letter C, he may have missed some key opportunities to experience the joy of generosity.

I'm impressed with how he manages money, but he probably missed some key opportunities in his life to be generous in whatever God had put in front of him right then. Number three, success. Let's define success. Success looks like, which of these three for you? Letter A, experiencing great food and travel. Living comfortably, driving a luxury car, making sure your kids get to all the great places they can get to in the world. Is that success?

How about B? Retiring at age 50. Man, you see somebody that does that, that is a person who's been successful, and they made themselves independently wealthy, and they retired at that success.

Or is it C? Extending payoff on your mortgage and forgoing some luxuries in order to sponsor a missionary family. Is that success to you? Number four, your annual bonus is twice as much as you thought it would be. All right, what's your first impulse? First impulse, is it A, woo-hoo, I'm headed out shopping. We're going on a vacation.

Is that it? B, I'm putting this on the mortgage. We're going to pay that sucker off early.

All right, it was going to be 30 years, now it's going to be 26 years. C, thank God for this provision. I can't wait to give a chunk of this away.

You can enroll in any of those things, but which is your first reaction? Number five, the spending in my life is effortless. I love it. I just, it comes so natural, I got to be careful with it.

B, bothersome. Oh, I wish I could spend less. By the way, you spenders, this literally does not make any sense to you, does it? Like there are people, I know people that like, it just pains them to go out to eat, because they're like, oh, I could be saving that money.

Why do I have to go out to eat? All right, they're savers. That's just because it feels better than security. C, controlled. I feel good about the way it's, you know, I spend, but it's controlled.

I've got it limited. I feel good about the way it's managed. Number six, the saving in my life. The other side, saving is bothersome. It's an inconvenience.

It gets in the way of me having fun. I do it because Dave Ramsey told me I had to, and I just feel like I got to, but it's bothersome. B, it's effortless. I love building wealth. Man, my favorite thing to do every month is to transfer that money into that 401k or that mutual fund.

Or is it C, purposeful. I have healthy and reasonable goals for which I'm carefully working. Beyond that, I plan to give all the excess away. I've set what is a reasonable saving goal, and I'm giving the rest away.

And number seven, last one, the giving in my life is obligatory. It happens, it spikes every year that you do this series. It spikes for a few weeks because it's obligatory. I like to feel guilty. B, formulaic. Meaning you're the kind of person that just works it out in formula, plugs it in, it just disappears out of your account every month, and you feel good about it because you've fulfilled the formula.

Is that it? C, joyfully overflowing. Now, you don't have to be a genius to realize if you answered A on most of those, you're a spender. If you answer B, you're a saver.

If you answer C on most of them, you are moving at least very aggressively toward a steward. Spenders and savers both serve money. There's nothing wrong with spending.

There's nothing wrong with saving. A steward puts God first, though. A steward says, hey, the kingdom of God is first. That's why you can look at my finances and it shows you that what I most love, what I most trust in, and the kingdom I'm most living for is the kingdom of God.

Is that what your finances declare about you? It's about making Him first. Again, I hope you hear my sincerity in this. It's not about a financial goal. It's why I've told you. If we discover oil underneath Apex Campus, and we're all fabulously wealthy at some point, you know, the church has more money and knows what to do with, we would still do this.

We would still do this. You cannot be a disciple of Jesus until He is first in your finances, period, no exceptions. If you think that this is me manipulating you, I need you to make Him first in the area of your finances, but I'm asking you, give it somewhere else. Don't let your mistrust of church or me, don't let that become an obstacle to you becoming an actual disciple.

So yeah, I'm just giving you permission right now. If you just can't get over that and become an actual disciple, you can't be a disciple unless He's first in this area. By the way, when I say that, for some of you, it'll reveal that all that is is a smokescreen, that all this stuff is just because you don't want Jesus to be first there.

You make Him first, give it somewhere. I'd rather you become a disciple than let that be an obstacle. What does it mean for God to be first for you?

It looks different for all of us, but make no mistake, the way we handle money is one of the most telling ways to demonstrate our devotion to Him. Spend some time pondering that today. You're listening to Summit Life with pastor and author J.D.

Greer. If you missed any of this message, you can always catch up free of charge at As we draw closer to Valentine's Day, love is in the air. But here on Summit Life, we want to help you focus on a different kind of love. Jesus told us that all of the commandments in the Bible boil down to just two, loving God and loving other people.

Our newest featured resource can help you do both of those things. It's a 60-day devotional written by Pastor Kyle Edelman called One Day at a Time, a 60-day challenge to see, serve, and celebrate the people around you. As you read through this study and work through the practical, daily challenges focused on loving and serving those around you, you'll be reminded that the gospel compels us to love other people the way God has loved us.

Develop the daily habit of looking for ways to love others like Jesus loved. We'll send you a copy of this study with your gift of $35 or more to support this ministry. Summit Life is funded by listeners like you, so your gift truly makes a difference. Ask for Pastor Kyle Edelman's 60-day devotional called One Day at a Time when you give by calling us at 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220. Or give online at That's I'm Molly Bidevich. Be sure to join us again as Pastor J.D.

shows us how to view our possessions through a generosity matrix and apply God's wisdom to spending, saving, and giving. We'll see you Wednesday on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-13 10:12:00 / 2024-02-13 10:23:35 / 12

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