week I was in Germany. And I was in a place in Germany where
there was nothing but English spoken. How about that? I
bet you didn・t know there was a place like that. And
they didn・t accept euros! Could you believe it! Here
we are in a church where there was nothing but American
families, and I felt like I was home on Sunday morning.
People were holding hands, praying, and where we were, was
the Landstuhl Medical Centre in Germany. It・s an American
Air Force base. And as a result of that it・s like stepping
into little America. And here we were, in a chapel that
sat about three hundred and fifty people. And here were
these families. And we・re singing songs in English.
And I would have sworn I was somewhere in the middle of
the United States of America.
at the same time I was extremely humbled. It was probably
one of the most humbling experiences for me because I・m
looking at these families who are living thousands of miles
away from home. And they・re giving themselves. It・s
not just one individual, but the entire family who・s
there, treating and dealing with the wounded who have been
flown back from Iraq and Afghanistan. And they weren・t
just American・s that are flown back, but it・s
all the different allies that are there as well as all the
contracted people who have been flown there as well. And
so it was humbling for me to talk to the different families.
One gentleman I talked to was there with his children, his
wife, he say・s ：my daughter is getting married
here in a couple of months.； I thought oh that・s
so exciting. He says ：the only problem is I・ve
been called to go back to Iraq and I won・t be able
to walk my daughter down the aisle.；
its one story after another. Of the men and the women who
have dedicated their lives to our country and I want to
thank them this morning. Would you join me in thanking them?
Well, I promised them that we・d be praying for them,
and so please continue to keep all of them in your prayers.
today I want to share with you one of my, oh I guess it
would be one of my favorite Psalms. The problem with me
is I have too many favorite psalms. And too many favorite
passages so I say oh that・s my favorite passage and
then I go, oh so is that, and so is that, I・ve been
called to the carpet on that a couple times but let me share
this one with you because this is another one of my favorite
100, ：Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth. Worship
the Lord with gladness. Come before Him with a joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are
His. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter
His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name for the Lord is good,
and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues
through all generations.；
words for us today to remember that it is the Lord that
we come here to serve. That God has called us for a purpose
and for a reason and that we are called to be able to give
praise and thanksgiving to Him.
my message is unlocking God・s blessings. And how do
we unlock God・s blessings? I think it begins by us
recognizing the fact that God is blessing us. As my wife
and I traveled through Germany, I signed books everywhere
we went. And they had just translated one of my books into
German. I would read it to you but you wouldn・t be
able to understand it, because it・s in German, you
know, unless you know German.
what I did is I signed every book and I signed it the same
way, I signed it God is blessing you. I underlined is.
And I・ve signed many books that way, and chances are
if you hand me a book and ask me to sign it, I・m probably
going to say God is blessing you in there. And the reason
I sign that is a realization of the way God・s blessings
work in our lives.
begins with us recognizing the fact that in all things,
in all ways and at all times God is blessing you. It・s
an act of faith. The faith to be able to believe that in
all things and through God・s love He cares for us and
guides us and leads us. And as a result of that, He isn・t
possibly going to bless you sometime in the future. But
He will absolutely totally bless you today, tomorrow, and
always. God is blessing you.
so it becomes a matter of attitude. Worship the Lord with
gladness. Today, many of you have come here with a heavy
heart. I know that for a fact because just before I left
for Germany I signed two thousand prayer cards. I read the
prayers of hundreds of people. And I know that all of us
are struggling with different things. It might be health,
it may be finances, it may be struggles with the law, it
may be relationships, but we・ve come here today with
a heavy heart.
with this burden on our shoulders we sit here and we read
these words, give praise to God and give thanks to God in
all things. And yet we still have this heaviness we hold
on to. Today it・s a challenge. A challenge for us to
reach out and to believe the words that God has for us.
And here・s the challenge. Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His! We have the workmanship
of His hands. He is molding us. He・s shaping us. He・s
guiding us. He・s directing us. He・s giving us
purpose, He・s giving us need.
I talked with a friend of mine who I・ve known for twenty-five
years. And yesterday he shared with me that he watches the
Hour of Power every Sunday. He never misses. I was surprised
actually, I didn・t think he did. He said, ：I
heard you・re sermon on tithing Sunday.； He・s
seventy-two years old; you・d never believe he・s
seventy-two. He・s the fittest seventy-two year old
I・ve ever seen. He・s strong, he・s young.
The heart. He says, ：I have a new vision and purpose
for living. I・m going to tithe.； I couldn・t
believe it. He said, I・m going to tithe, it・s
my purpose, my reason for living and that・s the way
I・m going to spend the rest of my life, giving.
when we learn the principles of giving, to give back, it・s
amazing what happens, how we unlock the blessings of God.
If you・ve never experienced it, I want to challenge
you today to explore it. That・s all. Explore it. Put
God to the test and see if He will not bring out such a
blessing upon you that your storehouses will not be able
to contain it. Those are the words of God. He challenges
us to do this. And when we do, beautiful things start to
happen. This ministry, through your gifts literally reaches
out to the ends of the earth. And it is having a very powerful
positive impact in people you would never guess or believe.
Cologne I met a man, couldn・t speak a word of English.
My translator stood next to me and as we talked tears flowed
down his cheeks. And he said the Hour of Power saved my
life. I wanted to commit suicide then all of a sudden I
heard the Hour of Power, I heard the message of hope, and
I received hope and I realized that I didn・t have to
met another man in the same city, who a few years ago, reached
a point of near financial collapse. And he realized he had
a million dollar life insurance policy and he・s worth
a lot of money dead, but he wasn・t worth anything alive.
That・s how much value he had. Nothing. He saw all of
his value in dollars and cents and maybe there・s people
here today who feel that way, that all they can see is their
value is dollars and cents. And you can・t value a human
life in dollars and cents. So he decided he would drive
around the autobahn and he would just look for an opportunity
where he could create an accident and that would be the
end of it. He says I drove around for days, and an opportunity
just never came. Then I heard the Hour of Power, and I heard
those words from your father, tough times never last, but
tough people do. And he said maybe I can just grit through
this thing. And he says today I・m worth more money
then I was ever worth. My business has come back to me,
I landed up buying it back for a penny, and God has just
continued to bless me.
does, how do we unlock the doors of God・s blessings?
It begins spiritually and emotionally by realizing the facts
that God is blessing you and as a result we can give thanks
for all things because God is blessing us, even through
the burdens that we carried into this church today. He・s
continues by giving an act of worship and praise. By committing
to tithe. And in our poverty we give back. The Sunday that
I left for Germany I saw a beautiful sight. It was one of
those sights that a pastor rarely has. And I shed a tear.
The sight was a current account of the widow・s mite.
You know the story of the widow・s mite? Let me read
it to you a minute.
Luke 21, Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their
gifts into the temple treasury. And then he saw a poor widow
put in two very small copper coins. And He said to His apostles,
：I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in
more then all the others. All these people gave their gifts
out of their wealth. But she out of her poverty, put in
all she had to live on.；
weeks ago I sat here and I watched a woman put paper dollars
into the offering plate. I don・t know how much it was,
and it doesn・t matter. What does matter is only days
before, my wife and I were serving at a homeless shelter,
and I met this woman at the homeless shelter. And she came
to church and she put paper, not the pennies or the nickels
or dimes, but she put paper in the offering plate. She gave
out of her poverty. And somehow God starts performing His
miracles. And He blesses us in ways we cannot measure, in
ways we can never comprehend, and ways we can not begin
does God give us our blessings? Happiness and joy, fulfillment
and satisfaction. Peace and contentment. Confidence and
assurance. Wholeness and health. He blesses us. God consistently
Hamburg, one of the women there shared the gospel of John
3:16. She said, ：God so loved the world that He gave
His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish
but have everlasting life.； And having heard that
testimony I said for God so loved the world, now cross out
the words world, and write your name in there. That・s
what I told them. I said cross out the word world, and put
your name in there. So what do you say if that・s the
case? For I would say for God so loved Robert, and if your
name is Sara, or Joe, or Susie, or Alice, or Cliff or David,
that name goes in there. For God so loved you, not the world.
He loved you, He loved the human being, He loved the person,
He knows your name, He knows how many hairs are on your
head. He loves you! Not the world! He loves you that He
gave His only son, that when you believe in Him, you will
not perish, but have everlasting life.
came into this place with our burdens. It・s time now
to put your burdens down, to lay them at the feet of Jesus
Christ. And as we lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus Christ,
He comes in and He showers us with His blessings and He
gives us life.
Heavenly Father, we thank You that You came that we might
have life and have it abundantly. That You came to bring
us happiness and joy, fulfillment and satisfaction, peace
and contentment, confidence and assurance, wholeness and
health. And so we give You praise and glory. We give You
thanksgiving, and we give You our hearts. So show us oh
Lord the beauty of Your wonder and Your grace today, tomorrow
and always, Amen.