#261 (26/11/06)
Where Jesus walked

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Father Henry Simaro is from the beautiful country of Kenya. Before becoming a priest, Father Henry grew up in a rural African village of Kenya. And as a priest Father Henry has devoted his life to caring for nearly 1000 orphans and widows throughout his foundation, The African Child Foundation. Today the African Child Foundation is bringing hope to all who pass through its doors by providing education, HIV AID resources and clinics, shelter and spiritual guidance to teach not only physical wellness but spiritual wholeness through Jesus Christ.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Kum Ba Ya "
" In Thanksgiving Let us Praise Him "

" Hallelujah "
CCA CHORUS - "Shine on Me"

MUNYUNGO JACKSON – “God Bless Africa”

The Message

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 this one.

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.

In 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."
(Malachi 3:10)

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 something?"

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:

"Return 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.

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