"Why build an empire for yourself when it's so much more fun to give it away?"
- Why is it so hard to model Christ's example of giving and why is it so important to be a giver more than you are a taker?
- Which one are you, which do you tend to be a giver or taker?
- How can you specifically improve your skills at giving your time and your treasures and your talent away to people in need?
00:13 As a little kid, I always had a fascination with treasure hunting. I think it was because my mom used to celebrate our birthdays often by putting our gifts in a treasure chest. And then she'd hide the treasure chests and she'd make a map and we'd go out and we'd searched for a treasure. Well, today's scripture has got an awesome treasure hunt. It's in Second Corinthians chapter 8, verse 7-9, and Paul says this, "but just as you excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us, see that you also excel in the grace of giving. I'm not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich yet for your sake, he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich."
01:13 I'll never forget an airplane ride, I believe it was from Dallas to San Antonio, and I sat down in a sort of a two seat spot. The seat next to me was taken up by a man who actually took up a whole seat and a half. Um, but I sorta wedged myself in there beside him. And you know what I'll tell you, I wasn't uncomfortable at all because this guy had the greatest story to tell; as I listened to his story, he was a wealthy man and he was actually heading down to San Antonio to assemble his 10 best old friends. And he was going to give his treasures away to them. It was awesome. And, and you know, as I complimented this guy on his generosity, he said, "oh, it's nothing." He said, "I never saw a hearse followed by u haul trailer." You know, my friend was right, man, you can't take it with you. My daddy always said, you can only sleep in one bed at a time. And he said, "why build an empire for yourself when it's so much more fun to give it away." So you know what man, after the overwhelming example that Jesus provided for us by giving up heaven, his ownership of literally everything, and voluntarily becoming a condemned criminal to the cruel Roman execution team, He rightly exhorts us from the sermon on the mount. Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
02:46 Jim Elliot, another one of my heroes says this: give away what you have to those who have not. And the way he said it was, he said, a man is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in exchange for what he cannot lose. And, and here's the questions for today: why is it so hard to model Christ's example of giving and, and then, and then why is it so important to be a giver more than you are a taker? And then which one are you, which do you tend to be a giver or taker? And then how can you specifically improve your skills at giving your time and your treasures and your talent away to people in need? And here's the family lifeline today: If all family members set out to give and to serve each other, can you imagine what a wonderful home and family you would have?