As many of you
know we launched our prayer community last week. We are
fervent believers in prayer and we know the power of prayer
has incredible effects on the lives of people. As a result
of this community of prayer many beautiful and wonderful
things are happening. This past week, my wife received a
phone call from a friend of hers who had been diagnosed
with a very serious liver cancer and the doctors gave her
a very grave prognosis. Her friend called her yesterday
to tell her that the doctors are calling it an "absolute
miracle." She is absolutely completely free of any
sort of tumor and residual of her cancer. The doctors told
her they have no explanation. Through the power of God and
the power of prayer she is healed. Praise God for that miracle!
So often we receive requests for prayer and we often do
not hear about the answers to prayer. That is part of the
beauty of our new prayer community. If you have not registered
for our prayer community, I invite you to go to: http://www.hourofpower.org/
and you will see there how to sign up for our prayer community.
You can post your prayer and later you can post the response
to your prayer. You can keep your prayer journal there.
It is a wonderful thing!
My message today
will take us on a transition from the intangibleness of
prayer. It is hard to put your arms around prayer. Where
does it begin, where does it end, how does it work, how
does it function? People have tried to take scientific studies
of prayer. It is too intangible to put our arms around.
All we know is that we need to do it. We know it makes a
difference in our lives and it makes a difference in the
world in which we live. It is an intangible spiritual thing
that we know we need to do.
Today I want
to move from the intangible to the tangible. Some people
think all spiritual things are intangible. But the fact
is there are many spiritual things that are extremely tangible
for us. Today I want to talk about one of the most talked
about subjects in the bible. Do you know what it is? Few
people realize this is one of the number one topics in the
bible. They think of many other things, but they don't mention
Do you know what
it is? It is money! When I take out a dollar bill and I
talk to kids I have yet to have one give me the right answer.
I'll have twenty kids come and gather with me and I say.
"I want to give this dollar bill to the child who knows
how to spend it." They get all excited, and a child
may say, "Oh, I know how to spend it, I'll go to the
store and I'll buy some candy." I reply, "No that
is not the answer; that is not how you spend a dollar."
I let the children go through all their ideas. Often they
will say, "I am going to put it in the offering plate."
I say, "No that's not how you spend a dollar."
How do you spend
a dollar? It's no wonder our children don't know how to
spend a dollar, because a lot of the parents don't know
how to spend a dollar. This is how you spend a dollar. Lesson
#1) The first dime of the dollar is not yours, it belongs
to God, so don't steal God's dime. Lesson #2) The second
dime is what you save. The rest, all eighty cents is yours
to spend any way you want. That is how you spend a dollar;
you give the first 10% to God. Some people have heard it
said that the root of all evil is money. That is not truth
at all. Money is a good thing. It is a wonderful tool in
the hands of good people. Money can be a bad thing in the
hands of bad people. It is a tool for us as God's children
and God's people. Money is something that He has given to
us. But it is only temporary. He has given it to us to be
stewards while we live on planet earth. Nobody takes a U-HAUL
to heaven; it doesn't happen! We are stewards of that which
God has given to us on earth. God has told us we need to
recognize that money needs to be put in its proper perspective.
That means we need to understand that money doesn't control
us, but we control money. The challenge for people is many
of us think we never have enough money. So, money often
becomes a means in and of itself. But that is not the purpose
of money. Money is a tool we use for a purpose and a reason
to acquire something. If we need money, God will supply
us with the money we need. It is the promises that are in
the Bible. This is a tangible real thing. God knows our
needs. God will supply our needs as long as we trust Him
and believe in Him and create a partnership with Him, He
will care for us.
the book of Malachi in the Bible, we read these words:
"Bring your whole tithes to the storehouse.
And trust me in this.
I will pour out such a blessing upon you
Your storehouses will not be able to contain it."
It is in the
Bible. It is God's word. Yet we look at the ten percent
that we have with our partnership with God and it is so
difficult for us to part with that ten percent. It is a
tangible reality. It does not matter whether people are
rich or poor. In the last few weeks, I have talked with
two different people, one extremely wealthy person and the
other I would categorize in the middle class. I told both
of them about tithing. You know the answer from the wealthy
person? He said, "I don't know that's a lot of money!"
That was his answer. A few days later, I was talking with
somebody else whom I would say is in a middle class category
and she said, "Tithe? What do you think I am rich or
It doesn't matter
how rich you are or how poor you are; for some reason breaking
through this understanding of giving a tenth of what God
has blessed us with is a huge spiritual barrier. It's a
barrier we need to break, in order to tap into the blessings
of God. I quoted from Malachi earlier; here is what is says
later on in Malachi:
to me, says the Lord, and I will return to you.
How are we to return? Will a man rob God,
yet you rob me, says the Lord.
But you ask, how do we rob you? In tithes and offerings.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in my house. Test me in this
says the Lord Almighty. Test me." (Malachi 3:6-8; 10)
It's the only
time where God tells us to test Him. He wants us to test
Him. Put Him to the test and see. Some people say, "It's
impossible for me to do that, you don't understand the financial
loads and the barriers I have." This much I can say
to you, tithing is a measure of our faith. If we have faith
in God, God will supply our needs.
A man was praying,
he was praying because he had need and he started praying
to God. He said, "Oh God, a minute is but a thousand
years in your sight. And oh Lord, a million dollars is like
a penny to you. Oh Lord, I don't ask for much, just a penny
in your sight." And God said, "Of course my son,
in a minute." If we need a million dollars, God will
provide the million dollars. If we need a thousand dollars,
God will provide the thousand dollars. The key is the word
need. In America, we have lost the understanding of the
word need and we have replaced it with want. The bible says
so much about money; I could go on talking about this forever.
Because there is so much for us to understand, we will talk
more about this next week. Today, I just want to encourage
you, no matter where you live, to bring your tithe to the
church, God's tithe. Don't withhold that which belongs to
Him. Put your faith in Him, trust Him and bring your tithe
and see if He will be faithful to His test. He will pour
out such a blessing upon you that your storehouses won't
be able to contain it. It is God's promise to you. It is
a tough thing to break through but once you break through,
your blessing will not necessarily be in monetary things
because most of us have more need than money. We have need
of relationships and health. We have needs of goodness and
purity and God knows what our needs are. He will supply
your needs. If you consider yourself a member of this church,
and that means if you live in Shanghai, or Moscow, or South
Africa or New York or Garden Grove I want to encourage you
to tithe to this church. I meet people who live in Florida
in the wintertime and and they live in the Midwest in the
summertime so they are members of two churches. Then they
also watch The Hour of Power. So if you are a member of
two churches and you watch the Hour of Power, then split
your tithe between the Hour of Power and your two churches.
Where you find your spiritual growth and your spiritual
life, there you put your tithe.
That is what
God has called us to do. Put Him to the test. Challenge
Him in this. Do it for a year, and I have never in my life
had anyone come back to me and say, "I regret tithing."
Never, and I have taught tithing for over thirty-five years!
If you want to tithe to this ministry you can write to us
and we will send you tithing envelopes. Your giving will
help us share the good news of Jesus Christ around the world.
Let us pray,
Oh Lord, we say
Thank You. Thank You for the bounty that You have given
to us. Thank You Lord for the opportunity we have to express
our faith in You, by giving back to You just a small portion
of what You have given to us. We give You thanks and glory.
We love You Lord. Amen.