Creflo Dollar - Religion vs. Relationship
If you have your Bibles, I wanna deal with something. You know, we're continuing to talk about the grace-based success, but, you know, you have to ask yourself a question. Are people Christians because they seek the benefits, or are they Christians because they seek the intimacy of knowing God? And if the truth is told, most people are in it for the benefits. The benefits have become the motivation for the relationship, for coming to church, and all of a sudden we're not really interested in growing in our relationship with Jesus more than we are, "What's the next five principles I can use to get something for myself"?
The danger of that is when first things become second things then you don't get the benefit of the first or the second. And first things have to be first. Turn to your neighbor and say, "First things first". And if first things are first, second things will be second, and the benefits are not first things. The benefits will always be second things. Your healing, your finances, your peace, they will always be second things, but whenever you try to make those first things then you won't get God as far as intimacy is concerned, and you won't get the second thing, either. We've got to change our mentality and our mindset concerning these things. You gotta stop getting involved in the things of God because you're more interested in the benefits than you are the intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
And so, today I actually wrote two sermons. I don't know which one I'm gonna preach, but I just trust God. I have a relationship with him. Maybe all of those notes were for me, but I'm gonna pick up in the book of Galatians and chapter 3, verse 13 and 14 and reestablish our foundation from last week and define for you worship and what that is. I don't know about you, but it's something happening in my relationship with Jesus Christ because I now know how he wants to be worshiped, and so the relationship with God. Christianity was never meant to be a religion. Religion requires for you to do something to get something. Christianity was never intended to be a religion. Christianity is a relationship. It is an intimate one-on-one relationship between you, the Christian, the creature, and God your creator. That's what it is.
And if there's no time being spent with God, and you don't know him, and there is no intimacy in the relationship that you have with the Father, then what are you doing? What are you doing? Why are you wearing a Christian t-shirt that says "I'm a Christian" and when you die and go to heaven you're gonna walk right past Jesus 'cause you never got to know him? And so, I pray that our church will come to a place where we're more interested, the motivation behind me coming to church is that he wants to be worshiped, so I'm gonna participate in a worship service designed to give him the glory. It is not me coming to church for my benefit. It is me coming because he has already, without doing one more thing, he has already done enough for me to at least for me to say, "Thank you".
You know the question, has God ever done anything for you? Well, he's worthy to be praised, amen? All right, so let's watch this. Let's look at this, Galatians 3:13. Let's read it out loud together, ready, read. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree". Now, right here, you know, he's addressing the issue that under the law by Moses, the law by Moses, there were 613 laws, and the agreement was you would have to keep all 613 of the laws in order to be blessed, that if you can keep all 613 laws, then you'll be blessed in the city, and you'll be blessed in the field, and you'll be blessed going in, you'll be blessed going out, and it's gonna be based on you meeting this condition of being obedient to the law that came by Moses.
Well, in verse 15 of Deuteronomy 28 it also had a curse associated with it. It said, now, if you cannot be obedient to all the law, 613 of those laws, then you're gonna be cursed, and then it gives a list of all the curses that actually came on people because they were trying to keep and obey the law, but they could not, and as a result they were cursed. Well, Jesus says, "You know what? I don't want you guys to have to go through that". He said, "I have perfectly satisfied the quota, in a sense. I became your peace offering, I became your ransom, I became your payment, I became everything you needed. I kept all 613 and now all you need to do is to receive me as the peace offering and receive me as the ransom paid, and I have done all of that so you won't be cursed for not being able to keep 613 of the laws". If everybody understand that say, "Amen".
So, we're no longer talking about generational curses. If you make Jesus the Lord of your life, then you are no longer cursed. You cannot be cursed for not being able to keep all 613 of the laws, because Jesus absorbed the curse. He became the curse. But why did he do all of that? Verse 14 now tells us why he did all of that: that the blessing of Abraham might come on you through Jesus Christ. So, Jesus died, became the curse, paid the ransom so the blessing of Abraham might come on you through Jesus Christ.
Now, notice under the law the blessing came on you because you were able... well, not able, but the agreement was you do and be obedient to all the law, then you'll get blessed, so under the old covenant you had to do something in order to get blessed. Under the old covenant performance was required in order to get blessed, but here under this covenant of grace he says, "This is how you get the blessing: I died, became a curse so that you might have the blessing through Jesus Christ", so under the covenant of grace you are blessed because of Jesus. Say out loud, "I'm blessed because of Jesus". You are not blessed because of what you do. You're not blessed because you fulfilled a quota. You're not blessed because you even obeyed the law. You're blessed because you have faith in Jesus Christ. Our blessing, we are, the Bible says the blessing of Abraham, so those of you who are born again, you have the blessing of Abraham.
Say out loud, "I have the blessing of Abraham". Not because I kept all of the law, but because I believed that Jesus was the sacrifice. He was the peace offering, the sacrifice. He paid the price so I can have the blessing of Abraham. Get that. He did this one thing so I can have the blessing of Abraham, so at least this morning let's do this, "I believe I receive the blessing of Abraham through Jesus, or because of Jesus I am blessed with the blessing of Abraham". So now, every morning get up and remind yourself, "I'm blessed".
All right, now notice what he says. He says, "Now you have the blessing of Abraham. I died, I became a curse so the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith". Again, receiving the promise is gonna be through faith, all right? Now, look at verse 16 and 29. Galatians 3:16 and 29. Glory be to God. Amen, amen, you're gonna get this, man, you're gonna get this, y'all need to get ready. There is a tsunami of change getting ready to interrupt your life. You think you've known the blessing. You have not known the blessing yet, and I'm gonna show you Jesus is the blessing. The car is not the blessing, it's the result of the blessing. You can't define the blessing by its results.
I used to use this illustration years ago when I first started teaching on the blessing. When you see leaves that are blowing down the street, that's not the wind. That's the result of the wind. You can't define the wind by its results. You have to define it by its nature, and so many people try to define the blessing by its results. So many people are trying to say the car is the blessing, the healing is the blessing, the deliverance is the blessing. That's not the blessing. That is a result of the blessing. We gotta realize what the blessing is by nature and not try to define it by its results, 'cause if you start trying to define the blessing by its results and you think, "Well, the blessing is money", then you'll think the blessing, every time you mention it, it's money. No, and that's the big problem we're in today, that you're trying to find the blessing as a miracle. That's not the blessing, that's a result of the blessing.
You need to know what the blessing is so you won't confuse what the blessing is by nature versus what the blessing causes to be manifested. Whoo. Whoo. And once you understand that you can have a relationship with the blessing, then you can see the benefits that come out of the relationship, amen? He says in verse 16, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made". "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ". Verse 29. Where do we fit into this? Galatians 3:29 he says, "And if you be Christ's". How many of you be Christ's this morning? That means you got born again, all right? So, "If you be Christ's, then are you", what? "Abraham's seed", Abraham's seed. Say out loud, "I'm the seed of Abraham". Say, "I have the blessing of Abraham, because I'm the seed of Abraham". "And heirs according to the promise".
So, you're the seed of Abraham, you have the blessing of Abraham, and you are the heir according to the promise that God made to Abraham. The seed of Abraham, the blessing of Abraham, and you are an heir to the promise that God made to Abraham. The seed of Abraham, the blessing of Abraham, and you are an heir to the promise that God made to Abraham, glory be to God. You need to recognize who you are. The devil ain't messing with no messy stuff. You are the seed of Abraham, you have the blessing of Abraham, and you are a heir to the promise that God made to Abraham. You need to remind yourself every now and then who you are and what you have, amen? All right, now go to Romans 4:13. I'm gonna read it in the King James, and then switch immediately to the New Living Translation, all right? "For the promise".
So, what's the promise that God made him? 'Cause I'm a seed of Abraham I have the blessing of Abraham. I'm an heir of the promise of Abraham. So, what's the promise? What do I have coming? "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world". Oh, I'm an heir of the world. Say that. Say it again. Say it one more time. Question I have for you is, do you believe that? Some of you do, some of you don't. That's a rough thing to absorb. You're coming to church this morning and finding out that you have inherited the world: all of its goods, all of its riches, all of its advantages. You're an heir of the world. You, you who are in Christ, are an heir of the world.
Now, God's getting ready to do a switcheroo. So far, Christian people have looked like they were at the bottom, but he getting ready to do a switcheroo. You heard it like this: the last, I said the last shall be. You say, "Well, I'm not in last place". Yeah, you ain't in first place, either. "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world", he says, "it was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but it was through the righteousness of faith". All right, now my question to you is why do we not see Christian people operating on a level where they're operating in the promise? Or why do we not see Christian people in this position where they are living on a little higher level than what they're living? And there's a reason why, there's a reason why. One of the reasons he says is that... go back to King James before we switch over. One of the reasons he says is the fact that he did not give the promise to Christian people for them to operate by the law. He didn't give the promise through the law.
What does that mean? That means you're working to deserve it. That means you're always doing something to deserve it. He says that it's a promise, and it's a gift. And if you have to do something to deserve the gift, it's no longer a gift, is it? Huh? So, why is it, then, that there aren't more New-Testament Christians experiencing the full blessing of Abraham? Either we have the blessing or don't. Why are we not seeing very many Christians experience the full blessing of Abraham? If it's in the Bible and the Bible is true, why don't we see a lotta Christians experiencing the full blessing of Abraham? Where are they? And here is what I wrote down. I wanna read it to you before I talk about it.
"The blessing of Abraham for the new-covenant believer is made void and it is of no effect when you try to earn and deserve it through your efforts. Hence the secret to walking in the blessing of Abraham in your life is to stop trying to deserve it. Instead, exercise your faith to believe that you are righteous through Jesus' finished work. The more righteous conscious you are, the more blessings you will experience". The more righteous conscious you are, the more blessings you will experience. "The Abrahamic blessing of being an heir of the world comes by trusting entirely on God's unmerited favor in your life".
So, one of the reasons why you don't see a lotta Christians experiencing the blessing of Abraham is 'cause they keep trying to do something to earn it. They keep trying to do something to deserve it, and the Bible says that this promise was given to you because of a right relationship with God, not because you keep the law. Lemme show you this, look at this in the New Living Translation. It's Romans 4:13. And everything good that you ever get in life, it comes from a relationship that you have with God. You're not wasting your time by having a relationship with God.
Now look at this. "Clearly, God promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants, it was based not on his obedience to God's law, but it was based on a right relationship with God that comes by faith". And that's what we tell people. "You know, the blessing is not working in my life". "It's 'cause you're not being perfectly obedient to the law". No, no, no. He says that this blessing shows up in your life because of a right relationship with God that comes by faith, a right relationship with God, and out of that right relationship the benefit is born, the blessing. Out of that right relationship the benefit is born, the blessing. Out of that relationship, the right relationship with God, the relationship with God where you say, "I'm born-again, and I believe that Jesus has already done it", when you believe the blessing is a part of the finished work.
You're not trying to pursue and get the blessing. You believe it's already been given as a gift, so you receive it by faith, and you know you have a right to it because you are the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ, and it is your right relationship with God that allows you to walk in the blessing. It is faith that you're saved and you're right with God. It is faith that you're right with God, even though you don't keep the law, even though you're not living perfectly, perfectly, perfectly, perfectly right, because you know the relationship with God is gonna fix all that. Your relationship with God gonna take the foolishness out of you. Your relationship with God is gonna convince you, "That's not the best thing to keep doing". Your relationship with God is gonna get you off the bottle. It's gonna get you out of the whorehouse. It's gonna get you out of places you wonder how you got in, in the first place. It is your right relationship with God that will expose you to the benefit of the blessing.
Turn to two people and tell 'em, "I'm in it for the relationship. I'm in it for the relationship". I'm it for the relationship. Look at verse 14 in the NLT. I'm in it for the relationship. I'm in it for the relationship. I'm in it for the relationship. I got saved for the relationship. Unfortunately, a lot of people got saved for the benefit. You know what happens when you seek the benefit? You never stick with the relationship. If you married your wife just for the benefit, she was fine, one day she gonna get old and everything gonna start dropping, and then you'll probably not gonna be there no more because you married her for the benefit and not for the intimacy of the relationship.
You joined the church not because of the benefit, I mean not because of the relationship of wanting to know Jesus and come closer. You joined the church 'cause there was a benefit you saw. Maybe you had a business, and you were gonna try to use the church to see if it could enhance your business. Somebody said, "I tried God". No, you tried to use God, and it didn't work. People have all kinds of reasons for doing what they're doing and most of it is the benefit. "How can I benefit myself by engaging in this relationship"? So, your motivation for the relationship was the benefit, and when you are benefit-driven instead of relationship-driven... can I share some notes with you? "I believe the blessing is tied to the relationship with God. There was first a relationship between God and Abraham, and then the blessing came out of that relationship to Abraham, and then Abraham experienced the benefit of God's favor and mercy". And the benefit showed up, and it caused restoration of his wife, and gold, and cattle, and all that stuff came, but it all started with a relationship. "So, we pursue the benefits of a relationship, rather than the essence of that relationship".
You remember from last week. "Only when you pursue a relationship rightly can you enjoy its gifts". And when you have a right relationship with God, then you can enjoy its gifts. "But when you pursue the benefits, they never seem to satisfy, and you miss out on it all". You remember this guy? I forgot the name of the movie he did. C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis said something that was profound. He just said this, it was a real simple thing, statement. He says, "First things first. Keep first things first and keep second thing second". I'm like, "Well, that's really insightful". No, but listen to what he was saying. Keep first things first, keep second things second, and don't ever make first things second, and don't ever make second things first.
You know what happens when you take the benefit and make it first and take God, the relationship, and make it second? You know what happens? You have just entered into, number one, idolatry. And number two, whenever you make second things first and first things second, then you miss out on the first thing and the second thing. And if you make the benefits first when they're supposed to be second, and you make God who's supposed to be first and make him second, then you get nothing, and your manifestation is zero. Every day the question you need to ask yourself is, "What's motivating me"? Every day you need to ask yourself, "Why am I doing what I'm doing"? 'Cause we are in something that we call Christianity, but it's not really Christianity, man. We are in something where we are motivated by benefits rather than by the relationship, and so we can't be benefit-motivated.
When is it ever gonna be, "I just want you"? When is it gonna be, Paul, the teacher of grace, said, "Here is what I want more than anything: I wanna know you, and I wanna know the fellowship of your suffering". In other words, "I wanna do my part. I wanna know you, I wanna know you". When are we gonna get to the point as Christians where we're just gonna be satisfied by knowing him? But that ain't enough. It ain't enough to know him. "You need to do something for me". You're up there, "What have you done for me lately? Bo-bomp-bomp". No, no, no. And if that's the only reason you have a relationship with God, because you wanna see what benefits you can get, I tell you you're gonna walk away from that relationship. You're not gonna be there. It's not gonna last very long. We'll see you one season, and you'll be gone the next season because it didn't work. "Well, I tried that, but that didn't work. I prayed, but that didn't work. I gave, and that didn't work. I danced, and that didn't work". And until you get to the place where, "I don't care nothing about the benefit of peace or nothing. I know I got him. As long as I got him".
See, you don't understand that the benefits are not too far behind the relationship. Am I telling you that you're giving is no longer gonna yield a harvest? No, what I'm telling you is if you keep giving, if you keep giving financially motivated by the benefit, you never ain't gonna see, you ain't gonna see nothing. But if you seek him first, then all these other things will be added to you. And you can't fool God. "Well, I'm gonna act like he first so I can get the benefits". You're still benefit driven, until you let all that go and you say, "You know what? I want you. I want you. Take my car away, I want you. I'm in a ditch right now and it ain't a pretty situation, but I got you". That's a relationship with him that makes it worth while. I'm not going back to a benefit driven life.
Turn to two people and tell them, "I'm it for the relationship". A relationship with God is the ultimate goal and even though the benefit of forgiveness, and joy, and peace, and all those things increase, look at what he said in 1 Peter chapter 3:18, "I'm in it for the relationship". If I can get every member of World Changers to dismiss the motivation that comes by benefits from God and just seek God for the intimacy, everything changes. Everything changes. Everything changes. Look what he says, "For Christ also had once suffered for sins". Well, why did he suffer for sins? "The just for the unjust", why? "That he might bring us to God", not that might bring us to our Bentley, not that he might bring us to our new house, not that he might bring us to our increase, not even that he might bring us to our peace and our joy. And I mention peace and joy because those are benefits, but they come out of a relationship.
Look what he says in the New Living Translation. Christ suffered, he suffered so he can bring us to God, so he can bring us to a relationship, so he can bring us to what real Christianity's about. Christianity is not a religion. All other religions requires you to do something in order to get something. All other religions require a quid pro quo. It requires you to scratch God's back in order to put him to scratch your back. All other religions say you gotta do this in order for that to happen. This is not a religion. I hate religion. This is not a religion. This is a relationship. Christianity is a relationship. Extra, extra, read all about it, Christianity is a relationship. It's not about your house, and your car, and your peace, and your joy, and you feeling better and helping you not to kill yourself. It's not about that. It's about a relationship.
Don't you understand, don't just see, get the relationship, and all those other things are right behind. It can be insulting for you to try to benefit where there is no relationship. My children can ask me for stuff out of relationship and you try to come and get the benefit, and you don't have a relationship. Mmm-hmm. Christ suffered for our sins once for all times. He never sinned, but he died for sinners, why? Why did Christ die for sinners? To bring you safely home to God. He was hungry for a relationship with us, and we were just hungry for the benefit. You know one thing about it? It never, it's never satisfied. You think it is. Without him I mean, what is Christianity? What is it? What does it mean to be a Christian?
We're all gonna die one day. We're all gonna die one day. That's for sure. You ain't gotta believe that. We all gonna die one day. Oh, yes you is. And when that happens, you don't want to stand before the benefactor knowing that all you ever wanted from him is what he could do for you. God, I want him, and I'm no longer waking up every day looking for my check in the mailbox. I'm no longer waking up every day seeing if this happened, seeing if that happened. And so, if he didn't heal me of the cold in 24 hours, I want him. I want him when I'm up, I'm up him when I'm down. I want him when I'm feeling bad. He brings a smile on my face anyway, I want him. I want him. He doesn't have to do another thing. He's already done enough. He saved me. He sanctified me. He filled me with the Holy Spirit. He made me the righteousness of God. He cleansed me with his blood. And maybe that's not enough for some people to want to join the church, but in a World Changers nation, we're now after God. We're pursuing him. We're pursuing him.
And when people finally look at you and say, "what's going on in your life"? I notice that a lot of stuff is happening in your life. I noticed that the blessing, you look like you're just blessed and you're like, "You know what? I just thank God, but I'm in love with Jesus right now. I'm in love with Jesus right now". Let me show you something. We can exhaust money, we can exhaust sex, and we can exhaust jobs, but we'll never be able to exhaust God. He gives us one thing that will never, that will never run out. You'll run out of money. He gives us one thing that will never run out. He'll give us one thing, he gave us one thing that will never get old. He gave us one thing that'll never fail. Himself. He can't be taken from us, he can't be taken from us. I got God. I've talked to him, he talks to me. I got God. The blessing comes out of a right relationship with God. I'm already blessed.
Go back to Romans 4, verse 14 in the NLT. The blessing is a gift. It's a finished work of Jesus Christ. The blessing is a gift. It's a finished work of Jesus Christ. Somebody says, "Well, healing is a blessing". No, healing as a result of the blessing. It's the, it's the benefit that comes out of a right relationship. Verse 14, "If God's promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless". Read that verse in the King James. He says that, "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promises made of none effect".
That's reason why the promise is no effect in the lives of a lot of Christian people because they keep trying to do something to deserve it. Verse 15, "Because the law worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression". Verse 16, "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham". Read that verse in the in the NLT please, to the faith of Abraham. Verse 16 in the NLT says this, "So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift". It's given as a free gift. It's a free gift. You keep trying to do something to get it. The blessing, the promise of the blessing is a free gift.
Now, watch this. I asked God, so why give? Why give? Because all my life I heard you give to get. If you want to get blessed, you gotta give. You give to get blessed. You give to get. You give to get blessed. Well, if I have to give in order to get blessed, then that's no longer a gift. I am now having to do something in order to have the blessing, and he said I get the blessing by receiving it by faith, but all my life in every religious circle I've ever been a part of, you give to get blessed.
I was in a meeting one time, Taffi and I, and they were trying to raise an offering up. This lady said, "I hear the Lord say Visa and MasterCard". I almost fell out my chair. I say is heaven so bankrupt that now he's telling you, you can use your, and I thought, I thought this is crazy. But I didn't, I didn't know anything 'cause I didn't understand grace so I couldn't see the truth of it. And then they showed all of the Scriptures about, you know, if you give, then this will happen. And if you give, then that will happen, but that was secondary to the primary. I'm not telling you that your harvest won't come. I'm telling you if you keep giving out of the wrong motivation, your harvest won't come. If it was as simple as give and it shall be given unto you, there would be no financial problems amongst the people of God because y'all come to church and you give. If it's that simple, give and it shall be given to you, and I know for a fact there are a lot of you who have given and it hadn't been given to you. Can I get a witness?
Somebody told you, you just didn't have enough faith. And the reason why you gave and it wasn't given to you because you didn't have enough faith. The reason why is you didn't have enough faith. If you'd had, had enough faith when you were tithing, then you'd be walking in the blessing. It's not true. It's not true. And so, we give because we think it's necessary for us to be blessed. And then they say, "If you don't give, you gonna be cursed with a curse". You know, the curse was coming because you didn't give your tithes and offerings. If you don't bring your tithes and offerings, then you're cursed what a curse, got doggit. So, you better, you better, you better give or you're gonna be cursed by 12 o'clock. That's not that's not true under this new covenant. I just knew this wasn't God, and that's the thing that protects you. When you have an intimate relationship with God, eventually, eventually, he'll lead you to this place and you'll say, "I knew, I knew that wasn't quite right, God".
See, there's something about me, I carry this, I don't know what you call it this. This, I don't know, I don't even know if I should be putting godly in front of fear but it's the only way I can describe it. This kind of like godly fear, reverence. "What if I'm wrong? And then that keeps me studying, and keeps me studying. What if this is not quite right, and it keeps me going, and it keeps me going"? So, don't dog me out because I taught it wrong in the past. At least thank God that I kept studying it, and I kept studying it, and I kept studying it, and I kept studying it. And I'm not afraid to get up and say, hey, that wasn't right, now check this out. We're in it for the relationship. I'm in it for the relationship, praise God. "Every man, according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give as he's purposed in his heart; not grudgingly", or unwillingly.
See, I used to give unwillingly. I just gave because a fear of being cursed, or I gave in order to get blessed. So, every time I gave, it was out of necessity. Most every time you gave, it was a necessity. He says, don't give out of necessity. He said, don't give grudgingly unwillingly or of necessity. Don't give of necessity. Why do you think it's necessary for you to give, in order to get? No, giving is not about giving. I do not give to get blessed. I give because I'm already blessed. My giving is a result of what God has already done because my giving is now a worship, and thanksgiving, and a gratitude for Jesus. I take what he blessed me with and I turn around and pass the hard test and say, "Now I bring what you bless me, and I use it to worship you. I use this as a reason to say thank you. I use this as a reason to say, I give you glory. I use this as a reason to say, I worship you. And while they might not be as much as I thought it was gonna be, at least God bless me and I gotta pause and say thank you for where I am. Thanks for what I got".
We want to keep going without pausing and say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you that I'm healed. I present to you a body that's well so I'll use it to preach the gospel, hallelujah. I present to you a mind that's at peace, so I'll hear your revelation. I'll present to you money that was given to me from righteous labor, and I'll take what is yours. All things come of thee, O Lord, and thine own have you given me, and I use it to worship you".
My giving is not a quid pro quo, it's my worship. I don't quite know what's going on with me, but I'm gonna preach the truth. If you take it, take it; if you don't, don't. There's gotta be a preacher out there that will preach stuff that you want to hear and you gonna do that. I'm in love with Jesus, and I don't know how long I got on the planet, so I'm gonna spend my time getting to know him so when I finally get to heaven, I won't walk past him because I don't know him. But I'll run right into his loving arms because this is the one that I fellowship with everyday. For God loveth a cheerful giver, a grateful, thankful giver. What is worship? Giving is for, it's an act of worship, giving is an act of honor.
Proverbs 3 and 9, real quick. Giving is an act of worship. It's an act of honor. It's not I gave to get. And that's why so many Christians don't walk around with the evidence of the blessing in their life is because they keep trying to deserve it, is because they've turned their giving to a quid pro quo, it's because they keep trying to do something to manipulate the hand of God, rather than sitting in the face of God and getting to know him. Spend my life as a Christian, and not even be real?
"Preacher, how you think we supposed to respect what you say and you ain't even got a suit on"? Bruh, that's between you a God. I wore the suit so much because I was told that if you a preacher, you supposed to wear a suit. But if you judging me because of my dress, you know how small you are? I'm gonna say it like this, you don't know God. If you're judging me because of this new tattoo, I'm just playing. I just want to see, look at y'all. Look at y'all. Oh, look at y'all I was doing that, "I know I'm leaving this church right now. I got to go now". You don't know God. You don't know God 'cause he's not like that. You have been infected with religion that draws you away from a relationship back to a bunch of rules and regulations to suck you back into the law. I ain't going back. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
Look at this, 9, "Honour the LORD with thy substance", ooh, "and with the firstfruits of all thine increase". Somebody says a spiritual substance. I told y'all about that. Go to the New Living Translation, honor the Lord with thy substance. He's talking about spiritual sustenance, honor him with you lifting hands, honor him with your handclaps. It says, "Honor the Lord with your wealth". Come on, keep going the Amplified Bible, Amplified Bible. "No, no, that's your spiritual wealth, that's your hallelujah wealth". Come on, Amplified Bible, Proverbs 3 and 9. It shall be, verse 9, "Honor the Lord with your capital". Oh, that's money. Spiritual money won't pay your gas bill. "Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency from righteous labor", not from selling weed.
"Well, it's legal now". Don't throw that in my face about being legal. "Well, I smoke weed, not cause it's illegal". You're a slave to something. A cookie is legal, but it doesn't mean you need to enslave yourself into it. "Well, I use it for medical purposes". Ain't nothing wrong with you, get healed. Now you're trying to substitute weed for the healing power of God, stop. You're a man of excuses and people that make excuses reside in the realm of failure. Excuses are nothing but nails used to build houses of failure.
So, so, what's worship? Not quite, baby. What's worship? All right, listen to this now. Worship may be described as an expression of devotion and love from man, the creation to God the Creator. What's coming from you to him? We're always trying to g something from him to us. What's coming from you to him? There is no genuine worship without gift giving. You can worship God in song and you can worship God with lifting hands, you can worship God with the dance, but it's not complete without giving.