“How to Become an Effective, Life Giving Team Leader”

Firstborn

“How to Become an Effective, Life Giving Team Leader”

2 Timothy 1:13-14 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 

Pastors, we must be keepers of the culture. If we are weak on our culture, others will come in and define it for us. Therefore we have the God given responsibility to set the culture.

Culture – Predominating attitudes and behaviors that characterizes the function of the organization.

GOAL – Life Giving Culture

John 10:10 NIV – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.

Some of Our Culture Attitudes at GraceTown….

  1. Leadership
  2. Serving – Everyone should be serving somewhere, if not they are not on the map
  3. Excellence
  4. Passion
  5. Fun
  6. Authenticity

Churches have barriers to growth – 100, 200, 500, 800, 1000. Although each barrier is unique, there are 3 key factors that apply to every barrier we will face as a church.

1. Inspiring and consistently excellent worship services

•Our services are WELL PLANNED, but feel FLEXIBLE and UNRUSHED. They are upbeat but relaxed.

•We only have 52 Sunday’s a year and every single one needs to count!

2. Clear pathways to Connection and involvement

3. Effective and life giving Structure and administration

Don’t be afraid to lead – rid yourself of the thinking that you are inadequate or unqualified.

Leadership is Influence – John Maxwell

Our day today is an emotionally charged, overweight burden down society that needs LIFE, from life giving leadership!

What Life Giving Leadership Is:

A. Leadership is not a project, leadership is a spirit. People don’t need a position to be a leader.

B. Leadership must give encouragement and confidence

C. Joshua’s Leadership Training –

Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be dismayed.”

•God was focusing on Joshua’s spirit before the task.

D. For God to get us to where he would like us to be, He needs us to realize our leadership is more about a spirit than a task. Be strong, inspired, and full of courage, life and purpose. Life Giving Leadership

•Leadership is more than information, communication, and projects. Leadership is spirit

•Remember this – “Your Leadership can be something that people have to overcome, or something that helps people overcome.” – Kevin Gerald

F. It should cause people to lighten up

  • When the life of God is flowing, there should be lots of smiling and laughing. (Seattle fish market – a fun place to work)

G. Life Giving leadership is positive and inspiring –

Proverbs 16:15 (message) says, “Good tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re life spring rain and sunshine.”

H. We will not resort to a negative, forceful, or whiney approach to motivate. This leads to immaturity.

I. To be an effective leader – STAY POSITIVE.

J. Leaders are like an elevator – you are either taking people up or taking them down. Make a decision to take people up!’

Life Giving Leaders are…

1. Life Giving leaders are always growing and reaching to improve their leadership. Take responsibility for your own failures as well as successes. If you keep learning, you will improve, and your leadership will get better.

2. Life Giving leaders are pushing the boundary lines to move beyond what is normal or usual. Leaders are pioneers. They venture into unexplored territory and guide to new and often unfamiliar destinations.

3. Life Giving leaders are risk-takers. They reject the maintenance mentality and take risks from strength, preparing thoroughly, understanding what is at stake, and marching forward with confidence. It is never too late to be what you might have become!

4. Life Giving leaders are resource finders and releasers. They have built a leadership pipeline that finds potential leaders, trains them, and releases them to greater levels of ministry.

5. Life Giving leaders are future-focused and dedicated to do whatever it takes to get there. Their faith capacity has increased to believe that God will provide all that is necessary as the need arises. Their people capacity is increased so that getting along with and caring for people is at the leader’s heart.

Our Commitment each Sunday

Remember Team – It’s a Privilege and opportunity to serve. It’s never asking too much of people to serve.

1. Each person I encounter today is loved by God & needs to feel special.

2. I need to make a personal impact through a smile, a word of kindness or an act of love.

3. I will remember what it feels like to be new.

4. My responsibility is not simply to carry out a task but to engage each person individually.

5. I am vitally important to impacting lives today.

6. I will be in a great mood on Sundays & will not let anyone or anything Hijack my great mood

7. I will be ready to meet any need that arises

8. I will have a sense of responsibility for everything that happens on Sunday

9. I will focus on People and processes

10. During service I will be alert, take notes & be an example in Worship

Moving Forward (A New Season for GraceTown)

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Moving Forward (A New Season for GraceTown)

Genesis 26:12-13 KJV –  Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:

One man said this…”If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always be what we’ve always been.”

If we desire to become great we must “Move Forward.”

Church’s Focus Must Always Be:

1. The Word of God.
•(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT) “All Scripture is inspired by God and is
useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is
wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches
us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people
to do every good work.”

•God’s Word is the the primary catalyst for transformation. You will never grow up as fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ on a diet of spiritual twinkies.

2. Worship.
•(Psalm 103:2-5 NIV) “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not
all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your
diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with
love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

•God is central. We celebrate the sacraments by participating in communion & water baptism

3. Prayer.
•(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT) “Never stop praying.”
•(1 John 5:14-15 NIV) “This is the confidence we have in
approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he
hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we
know that we have what we asked of him.”

4. People
•(Luke 14:23 LB) “Go out into the country…and urge anyone you find to
come in, so that My house will be full.”
•Acts 5:14 NIV – Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number

•The church is the primary place where people come to faith in Christ and begin to live as Christians. Lost people matter to God & therefore ought to matter to the church.

The apostle Paul understood the principle of Moving Forward when he said…

Phil 3:13 TLB “No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,”

Exodus 14:15 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”

In this passage, God had already given Israel deliverance from the Egyptians.

And now they are headed toward the promise land after leaving Egypt.

Suddenly, they come to the Red Sea.
The enemy is behind.
They can’t go left or right.
They can’t go back.

THERE WAS ONLY ONE DIRECTION FOR THEM TO GO…FORWARD!

Moses began to cry to the Lord.

And God said… “What are you crying to me for? Tell Israel to go forward.”

But there was no apparent way to go forward.
No boats or bridges.
They couldn’t possibly swim across
But God said “Go Forward.”
And when they did, God did something He had never done before, and Israel escaped on dry land.

The unexpected happened when they began to MOVE FORWARD!
What does it take to move forward?

#1. It takes knowing and understanding that we are heading to something better.

A. Where we are now is only temporary. This is not our final destination. Don’t get Stuck.

•Isaiah 43:19 NIV – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland

•Yesterday’s excellence is today’s mediocrity & tomorrow’s failure.
•God is into moving forward and if you want to experience God in the present you can’t linger in the past!

B.Move out of your place of comfort. They were comfortable in Egypt, they were used to living as slaves, and they were used to settling for the left over. They said; “It would have been better for us to be slaves in Egypt than to die in the dessert.”

I Dream of a Church

Where People are truly loved, valued, and accepted
Where there is safety and security for people to try
Where lives are rescued, restored, and given hope
Where God’s presence flourishes in the simple and non religious
Where fun and laughter are mixed with tears & mourning, expressed with sensitivity
Where truth, honesty, and health are honored and lived out
Where people are deeply connected to God in body, mind, soul, and spirit
Where culture is met, embraced, and transformed
Where beauty, art, and creativity are valued, used, and understood as coming from being connected to the Creator
We value innovation and are willing to take risks in order to bring glory to God
Where performance is replaced by reality and truth
Where our stance is always love, and everything else is a conversation
Where judgement is left to God, who is fair, just, and true
And our place is to build, encourage, and comfort with an attitude of Grace
Where a lost and aimless people want to be, even if they are not sure why
Worship to God is full, vibrant, real, and pleasing to God
Where other churches are valued and supported
and where people’s visions and ideas of ministry come to life;
Where people are equipped for and do ministry in accordance with their gifts
I dream of a church where Jesus truly reigns as King
and His followers are dedicated to making Him the center of their lives, hopes, and dreams
Because He is our hope and the anchor of our souls, He is our security and the firm base of our lives to be built together…That’s my dream for GraceTown Church

Proverbs 3:27-28 Msg – “Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”

What Can I Do to Move MY GraceTown Forward?
1. Pray.

(Matthew 9:37-38 NIV) “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
(Ephesians 1:17-18 NIV) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.

2. Serve.
(Ephesians 2:10 NIV) “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
(Galatians 6:4 MSG) “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.”

3. Give.
(Luke 18:29-30 GW) “I guarantee this. Anyone who gives up anything for the kingdom of God will certainly receive many times more in this life and will receive eternal life in the next world to come.”
(Mark 8:35 LB) “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for My sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

The Blessed Life Pt.4

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The Blessed Life – Part 4
1 Chron. 4: 9-10 NIV – Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother
had named him Jabez, [a] saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out
to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let
your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
And God granted his request.

What a great proclamation!…

We’re finishing a series called The blessed life, and we’ve been seeking to answer
the question: What is a blessed life? What does a life of blessing look like? Is there
anything that God has done to bless me? What can I do to receive the blessings of
God? Does God expect me to be a blessing to others?

Regardless of your background, most of you have the heard the word “bless” for
years. When somebody sneezes, we hear, ”God bless you”, but how many people
saying that even know what it really means? Most believers have heard Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk….” They’ve heard one of the beatitudes of
Jesus, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

The word bless, or blessing, appears over 700 times in the scriptures and its’
meaning carries profound importance in our lives today.

Blessed – Happy, Fortunate, to be envied. To endue with power for success,
prosperity, abundant, (profuse, excessive, super, overflowing, extraordinary)
supply, long life, as to live in health, To invoke divine favor and good upon. peace.
To be blessed means to have supernatural power working for you.

MISTAKEN IDEAS OF A BLESSED LIFE

Mistake – to think that your life is not blessed because you’re still in debt, or that
your life is a blessed success because you have lots of stuff and bling-bling to go
w/it. (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?)

Mistake– to think that you have to give away everything you have, and have
nothing, be nothing, and do nothing. Jesus did not tell all of His followers to give it
all away. He told all of us to live a life of giving, but only told a few to give it all
away.(It’s not what we possess that’s important, but what possesses us)
The best thing you can do for the poor, is to not be one. We need to give people a
hand up, not just a handout.

Margaret Thatcher said, “Nobody would have remembered the good Samaritan if
he only had good intentions, he had money as well.”

Mistake – to think that we all have to think, drink, live, look and dress like
everyone else in order to have a blessed life. Not everyone is going to make the
same amount of money, drive the same kind of car, and live in the same kind of
house. Some are not interested, others are not qualified, some are not ready.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

1) IT IS GOD’S NATURE TO BLESS HIS PEOPLE.

To simply hear this is not important… but to think it and believe it will change what
you experience in your life.

If the blessing of God becomes part of your psyche… your belief system… it will
influence how you live life and what you experience in your life.

Most people live unaware of God’s nature as a God of blessing… they may know
him as a God of judgment or consider him a God of 10 commandments… But few
recognize his extravagant over the top eagerness to bless his people.

Eph. 1:3 NIV “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

1. God is good
a. The Bible connects the name of the Lord or God or Jesus or the Spirit
with “good” or “goodness” 370 Times.
b. Psalm 31:19 – How abundant are the good things that you have stored
up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those
who take refuge in you

c. Psalm 34:8 – Taste and See that the Lord is GOOD…(food exp)
d. God is like 100% Florida Orange Juice – He is 100% Good
God’s very nature is goodness

2. God does good things for His people

a. God’s very nature is goodness.
b. Psalm 72:18 – Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.

c. Jeremiah (31:14) prophesied that God ‘s people will be “satisfied”
with His goodness. He kept on saying that God will not turn away
from doing them good. (Jer. 32:40-42)
d. Psalm 103:4-5 – 4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires
with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

e. When God gives He always exceeds our expectations
f. God loves us; not because we are lovable but because He is love, not
because He needs to receive but because He delights to give.”- C.S.
Lewis

3. His Nature has never changed
g. HE has no need for improvement. He can’t get any better, stronger,
more loving, and kind than He already is.
h. Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and
forever.”

i. Malachi 3:6 tells us that the Lord does not change and that is why we
are not consumed!
j. When He created the world, He saw that everything He made was
“very good” (Genesis 1)
k. God cannot cease from doing good, because HE is GOOD!

> IN THE PLACE OF BLESSING, A PERSON WILL EXPERIENCE
PROTECTION, PEACE, FAVOR, PROMOTIONS, PROSPERITY… A
FRUITFUL AND FLOURISHING LIFE!

> God has something better for us… a life that is rich in every way… focused on
serving him, loving him, walking in his purpose…

Prov. 10:22-The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and he adds no trouble to it!

Ps.1:3 -Blessed is the man… he is like a tree planted by streams of water, which
yields fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers

2) BLESSINGS FOLLOW BLESSED PEOPLE.

When the blessing of the Lord is on a person’s life… the blessing on them extends
into what they do… wherever they go… their house, business, their communities,
their churches… EVEN WHEN THEY ARE IN DIFFICULT
SITUATIONS…..BLESSINGS FOLLOW THEM.

EX: JACOB WHO WORKED FOR A MAN WHO WAS UNFAIR AND SOUGHT
TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIM.

Genesis 30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please
stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.”

Genesis 30:30 (Jacob to Laban)The little you had before I came has increased
greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I
do something for my own household?”

EX: JOSEPH WHO WAS BETRAYED BY HS BROTHERS AND ENDED UP IN
A FOREIGN LAND AS A SLAVE

Genesis 39:5 From the time he (Potiphor) put him (Joseph) in charge of his
household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the
Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything
Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.

THE BLESSING OF GOD FLOWS IN OUR LIFE THROUGH OUR
“POSITIONING”. IT’S THE POSITIONING OF OUR HEARTS, MINDS,
ATTITUDES AND ACTION THAT PUTS US IN A PLACE OF CONTINUED
BLESSING.

POSITIONING YOURSELF FOR GOD BLESSINGS
1) THE POSITION OF DOMINION.

Gen. 1:28- And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of
the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon
the earth.

THE POSITION OF BLESSING IS NOT THE SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING
POSITION!! GOD’S BLESSING IS NOT TO REPLACE MAN’S INITIATIVE
TO WORK BUT TO EMPOWER HIM TO WORK.

A) God’s blessing is not a heavenly handout program. This is why when the work
ethic is replaced by charity… individuals experience poverty… nations
experience poverty…

Ex: the welfare programs in America have not worked. The welfare programs
which began in 1964 actually increased social need and the amount of people who
are poor and dependent has increased rather than decreased. After billions has been
spent, poverty has grown in America. God never intended welfare to be a way of
life…..when we feed and clothe the poor without requiring and empowering them
to work we enable them to remain poor… and miss out on God’s blessings. God’s
blessing is not found where people are visionless, idle…indifferent to
work…lazy….God’s blessing is not a heavenly handout—-God’s blessing is on
the place of vision, usefullness, ambition, initiative… God’s blessings is not
intended to replace mans initiative to work and take dominion in the earth

B) The earth is and always has been a place of abundance. There is no shortage on
natural resources. There is no good reason for poverty, homelessness and
deprivation to exist on a planet that has an abundance of everything we need.
When you see poverty it’s because of man’s ideology… corrupt government… A
violation of God’s principles…

•Random House Dictionary defines “WORK” as – “Exertion or effort
directed to produce or accomplish something.” It can be Physical,
mental, or both. The purpose of work is to produce an item or
accomplish a goal.

The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.”-
Robert Frost

C. Work is God’s Gift (Blessing), not punishment (Curse) –

Eccl. 5:19 NIV – Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and
possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in
his toil—this is the gift of God.

1. Our work is to give us a sense of purpose to create the
wealth that God intended us to have.
2. Many people see WORK as an inconvenience, drudgery,
or unimportant. Some say it is a part of the fall therefore it is a curse.
3. Folks the Marketplace (your place of employment) is
more than a job, it is a place to serve and glorify God.

Deuteronomy 28:8 NIV – The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on
everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is
giving you.

“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes
by it.”- John Ruskin

Ephesians 2:10 NIV – For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God’s growing grace(in me), gives purpose/meaning to my present life. (we build
on our foundation of Christ w/good works/actions that will be rewarded.) !
Our salvation is a product of God’s love and the work of Christ on our behalf,
but God’s blessings are a product of our growth and obedience.

Nobody will argue the fact that the greatest blessing is our salvation, but God’s
design for His people includes growth and becoming fully obedient, to experience
all the blessings He has for them.

2. The Position of Obedience

God offers rewards and blessings as incentives for obedience

Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 13 ESV – And if you faithfully obey the voice of the
Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command
you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the
earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you
obey the voice of the Lord your God.

13 – And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only
go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God,
which I command you today, being careful to do them,

A) When you live your life submitted to God… careful to know and obey his plan,
you can expect him to be with you and bless you in what you do…

**Once you experience God’s blessing on your life you don’t want to settle for a
life without it… Its there for you in city, field, house, work… visions, oppositions,
challenges, adversity

The strength of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and
going in that way too.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but
obedience.” – Oswald Chambers

God wants us to Obey Him in order to produce good seasons of blessings
and reward in our lives

•Isa. 1:19 NIV – If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good
things of the land;

When the seeds of disobedience are planted, The blessings of God begin to
shut down.

Obedience is the only thing God will ever require of you. When you ask God
for blessings He will always give you an instruction. Your obedience is the
only proof that you truly believed His instructions to you.

3. The Position of Right Words – GOD INSTRUCTED HIS PRIEST/PASTORS
TO DECLARE BLESSINGS OVER HIS PEOPL
E

Proverbs 11:11 NIV – Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroy
ed.

Words are what carry and extend blessings… or hinder and stop blessings…
This is why God told Moses what he wanted the priest to say over the people… Its
not just for the priest… Its for everyone… the congregation, parents… !
Numbers 6:22-27 “The Lord said to Moses, Tell Aaron and his sons, this is
how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep
you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord
turn his face toward you and give you peace. So they will put My name on
the Israelites and I will bless them.”

In 40 of the 68 NT uses of the word blessing, the word used is “eulogia”, a word
which means: To speak well of, and to praise. This is where we get our English
word eulogy, which is looking to speak well of another person who has passed
away; like at a funeral.

A) Our words serve as conduits of life’s struggles or Gods goodness &
Blessings…

Proverbs 18:21 NIV – The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who
love it will eat its fruit.

You wont experience victory talking defeat… you’ve got to talk victory.
You won’t experience joy talking sadness… singing sadness… you’ve got to talk
joy.

You wont experience peace talking about the chaos… confusion… you’ve got to
talk about peace.

If you want to experience more blessing talk about your blessings, elaborate and
celebrate your blessings… magnify your blessings and minimize your
disappointments…

To live a life of blessing means to not only realize that God has spoken well of us,
but to realize that we should speak well of others also.

I Peter 3:9 NIV “Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with
blessing, because to this you were called, so that you may inherit a blessing.”

WRAP UP
I want to encourage you to position yourself for God’s blessings to flow
unhindered in your life… Don’t leave openings for the enemy to enter your life.
Live in the protection and favor of God.

The Blessed Life Pt.3

Tithing
The Blessed Life Part 3
(Proverbs 10:22 NIV) “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil
for it.”

Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT – Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose
everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be
refreshed.

Introduction:
•The Bible doesn’t ignore this subject. In fact, it speaks to the subject head on, with
eyes open and no holds barred. The Bible claims to be the single best guidebook on
Finances ever written. Some 2000 passages in the Bible refer to the use of money.
Two Thirds of Jesus’ parables make some reference to it. Because it reveals a
major area of our lives. What we do with $ reveals our hearts.

We are not talking about this subject today because we want to get something from
you, we want to get something to you! I’m hesitant of talking about it because of
how some preachers perverted the subject. But you can’t talk about “The Blessed
Life” with out talking about wealth, money, riches, & generosity.
This principal I am going to talk to you about has radically changed our lives!

The Key to the Blessed Life is DEDICATE IT ALL TO GOD.
Proverbs 3:6 says “In everything you do, put God first and He will direct you and
crown your efforts with success.”

How many of you would like to be Blessed? There it is! In everything you do put
God first and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
Here’s the principle: whatever you want God to bless in your life dedicate it to
Him. If you want God to bless your marriage, dedicate your marriage to God. If
you want God to bless your kids, dedicate your kids to God. If you want God to
bless your career, dedicate your career to God. If you want God to bless your
finances, your money, dedicate your money to God. Whatever is dedicated to
God, He blesses. It’s simple.

Rom. 12:1 (Mes)“Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, goingto-
work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering.”

(Matthew 6:21 NIV) “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Notice what most people do with their money.
1. they spend it. Actually they overspend it.
2. they worry about it.
3. they start repaying it.
4. if they’ve got any left over they save a little.
5. Finally they give it.

God says no, this is the order that I will bless.
1. dedicate it all to Me.
2. tithe it.
3. save it.
4. repay it.
5. enjoy it.

I. The Blessed Test – If God is going to BLESS us, He’s first going to TEST us.
Why?
Luke 16:10-11 NIV – Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted
with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with
much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will
trust you with true riches?

1. God must be first.
(Genesis 4:2-5 NIV) “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the
course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.
And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his
flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his
offering he did not look with favor.”

(Exodus 20:2-3 NIV) “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out
of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

2. We put God first by giving Him the first of everything.
(Leviticus 27:30 NIV) “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the
soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”

A. Tithe – means returning a tenth (10%) to the Lord- It’s God’s idea.

•Tithe puts us all on the same level of sacrifice. It is worship to God.
It must be returned to God. Returning not Giving.

Tithing is not a mosaic innovation, but it is a legalization of what
Abraham had done VOLUNTARILY 400 years before the Law came. He tithed to
the Lord as a lifestyle principle, not a ritual or rule.

-A commandment is something you obey as long as it is in effect.
-A principal is something that you live by on a constant basis.
-The duration of a commandment is subject to change, but a principal
is unchangeable.

Years ago John D. Rockefeller was the Bill Gates of America. He was the
wealthiest man in the world, president of Standard Oil. He was asked, “What is
the secret of your prosperity?” He said this. “Tithe ten-percent, save ten-percent
and live on the rest.” That’s the 10-10-80 principle.

John G McCoy, Banker of Banc One told Les Wexner when he was a young man
and just starting out, that he should start Tithing financially and with his time and
he did. Les said he was so nervous he thought they were calling in his loan and he
was on the verge of passing out. 🙂

(Exodus 23:19 NIV) “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the
Lord your God.”

(Deuteronomy 14:23 LB) “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God
in first place in your life.”

3. The first blesses the rest.

Tithing is giving God my first and best so He can bless the rest
How much can God bless you with?

It requires Faith to give first. If you give last, it doesn’t require faith.

(Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV) “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of
all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will
brim over with new wine.”

(Malachi 3:98-12 NIV) “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How
do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse because you are
robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in
my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw
open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be
room enough to store it. Then all the nations will call you blessed.”

•Tithing Provides & funds for God’s Work through the Church (Our Budget)

Benefits:
Builds my Faith in God , The Lord will prove himself to you.
The windows of heaven will open for you, The Lord will pour you out a blessing
The blessing will be larger than you can contain, God will rebuke the devourer for
you, You will be fruitful and have increase, All people will call you blessed
You will be a delightful household, You will be in the Book of Remembrance
before the Lord, The Lord will give you power to get wealth
The Lord will delight in your prosperity, Your house will be filled with plenty
You will be given the opportunity to declare your independence from the world’s
economic system

(Matthew 6:24-33 NIV) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the
one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You
cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your
life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life
more than food, and the body more than clothes?…If that is how God clothes the
grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he
not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall
we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run
after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But
seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to
you as well

As Christians we don’t serve money, We serve God.
Remember: What you do with what you have reveals what you believe about God!
What steps will you take this week to pass the blessed test?

Happy Thanksgiving


Our family has many things to be thankful for this year. We are so thankful that God called us to Columbus Ohio to plant a life giving church called, GraceTown Church. We are thankful for our Grace team and the people that gather weekly at GraceTown since we’ve started on September 18. We are thankful for the Association of Related Churches & Pastor John Siebeling of the Life Church Memphis for believing in us enough to come along side us, give to us, so that we can live our dream. We are thankful for all of our family and friends that God has put into our lives that care for us, walk with us, cry with us, and laugh with us. You all mean the world to us. We are forever grateful!