Jentezen Franklin - The Rewards Of The Generous
I want to talk to you about the rewards of the generous. These are five "I wills" that I'm going to give you, the Lord willing. I'm going to give you five things that God said He would do to the person who honors God in their resources with tithe and offering. The fact that you have a harvest is proof that harvest exists. The fact that you have a house that you slept in last night, or an apartment - that was your harvest. And it's proof that more harvest exists. The fact that you drove here to church today, wherever you are, is proof that there is a harvest. The fact that you have a job, anything that blesses you is a harvest.
Your husband is a harvest. Let me try it again. "Your husband is a harvest. Your wife is a harvest". Sounds like the women need a little bit more convincing than the men. If you found someone who thinks putting up with your weakness is worth it, that's a harvest, and that's what marriage is. Your health is a harvest. There are people in the hospital today, but here we are. And I'm saying to you, our health is a harvest, and its proof that God is good. Can you say amen?
If you have a job, your job is a harvest. Your job says someone has perceived your distinctive gift and decided to write you a check every week for it. And don't you take that harvest for granted. Don't you take that check for granted. That job for granted. It is God's harvest in your life. Love is a harvest. I wrote this one down. Good looks are a harvest. You could very easily be ugly. Come on. Say amen. You have no idea how close to ugly you are. All God would have to do is raise the tip of your nose back a half a inch, and you would look like Porky the Pig. But God was good to you. Turn to your neighbor and say, you barely made it. But I'm just telling you. I'm just telling you, good looks are a harvest.
Isn't it wonderful that somebody finds you attractive? Because there's people who don't think you are. I'm just telling you. And they were shocked when you got married. They never dreamed you would ever find anybody. I'm talking about today the results of being generous. All around you, God wants to bring rewards. Immediate rewards to people who are generous. And I want to talk to you about that because I think that once you understand what I'm saying, it's going to open your eyes.
You see, the tithe is talked about in Leviticus 27. In verse 30, it says, "The tithe of the land", which the word tithe means ten. "Whether the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's". Notice these words. "It is holy to the Lord. If a man wants to redeem all of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it". What God is saying here is this is mine. When He says it's holy, He doesn't mean just like holiness. He means it's sanctified. It's set apart.
The tithe or the tenth is set apart. It's mine. And He said if anybody takes that tithe - this is Old Covenant, so just let me teach it, but it's got a great point to it. If you take the tithe, and you don't give it to me, and you use it, He said, if you want to get right, then you have to bring one-fifth interest. God's saying it's so much mine, the point is this, it's so much mine that I want you to understand that if you don't give it to me, I have a right to charge you interest. And He says the interest will be one-fifth, or about 20%.
That's old covenant. God doesn't make us live under that, but He's emphasizing the point. He's emphasizing the point that it's mine, so much so that I have a right to charge you interest if you don't honor me with it. He goes on to say, in Verse 32, "And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord". God was so specific about this that He says I want you to, every ten animals, count them off and take one out of the ten and say it's holy unto the Lord.
Let the ten oxen go through, take one out. Ten goats go through, take one out. Ten sheep go through, take one out of the ten. As they pass under, grab it, and the rest you keep, but that is holy unto the Lord. Ten chickens, here's the grain, take it out. This is how serious God was about it. The reason that He says I want this percentage, this 10%, is because 10 is symbolic, listen very carefully, of the whole. Our numerical system teaches in terms of 10. If you can count to 10, you can count to 100. If you can count to 10, you can count to 1.000.000, because all you do after 10 is repeat again.
So, the way you get to 100 is you count to 10, and then you start over again with 1 at 21, 22, and then you get to 30, 31. You're counting to 10 again. And so, everything comes out of the 10. The genius of God, when He said I want the 10, is He's saying the 90% is in the 10%, and if you honor me with the 10%, I'll see it as everything that you have, you're giving it to me. You're saying that it belongs to you, Lord, and I'm honoring you with the tithe. I'm saying today that we need to understand that it is not the amount, it is the fact that our heart wants to honor God.
I heard the true story about a man who went to New York, and he said he bought his wife an extremely expensive dress as a gift, because he loved her and he wanted to bring this gift home to her when he got home from this trip. So, he picked it out, and he bought it, and he paid a lot of money for it. And just as they were wrapping it up as a gift, he said, wait just one minute, and he grabbed a piece of paper, and he wrote these words on it. "You are always on my mind". That's pretty good. You are always on my mind, and put it inside. Wrapped it up.
She got it. She opened it up and she looked at the dress, and as most women do if the man picks the dress, she was not very impressed. She took that expensive dress out, he said, hung it in the closet, and to this day she has never worn it. But she took that card that said, you are always on my mind, stuck it in the mirror, and it's been there for several years. It was not the act of the gift and how expensive it was, it was the fact that he cared enough to say to her, you are always on my mind. That's what we're doing with the tithe. God does not need your gift. He can hang it in His closet and never touch it. It's the fact that you honored Him enough to say, you are always on my mind, when you bring the tithe, and you bring the offering. What blesses God is a spirit of obedience.
The woman with the alabaster box broke it open, one year's wages, and poured it on the feet of Jesus. And Jesus was moved by her gift. He was moved by it, obedience. Obedience is powerful. That's why Malachi 3:10 said, "Bring all of the tithe" all of it. Everybody say all. "Bring all of the tithes into the storehouse, that I may have meat in the house", look at these words, "and prove me now with this". The word prove me means provoke me. Wow! I can provoke God. Challenge me is another word. Test me in this. Prove me. Provoke me. Test me. Bring me a tithe, and see if I will not pour you out" open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, there shall not be room enough to receive it".
He said if you will honor me, and bring me the tithe and the offering, that there is, in the house of God that you attend, a floodgate. Some translations say window of heaven, but the original, if you read it, it actually means floodgate. A floodgate is like, when there's so much coming, and the gate is down, and it just keeps piling up, and it gets deeper, and deeper, and deeper. And when you bring me the tithe and the offering, I command the floodgate in my house to flow from my house to your house.
So, you're the priest of your home, if you're the parent, the dad or the mom. You're the priest of your home. You are the government of that home. And you connect to the house of God, you become a partner with God when you bring the tithe and the offering, and it goes from priest to priest. I'm the spiritual pastor over this particular flock that God has trusted me with, and what we do with the resources God will judge me for, and those of us who are in control of the resources. But when you connect your house to this house, we in return are connected to the high priest, Jesus, and He says the windows of heaven, the floodgate of heaven is full of blessings, and now, because that's a giving church, I'm going to lift up the floodgate. It's going to hit that house and it has.
And now the floodgate is down for your house, but you bring the tithe and offering to this house, and God says whatever is in that house, just like what was on Moses came on the 70 elders, just like what is on this house, the anointing on this house, it now comes into your house. This is the blessing of the generous person, and I love what He said. "We're floating in blessings", and He said, "and all of these blessings will overtake you". One translation said, "They will tackle you", that when the floodgate comes open from heaven to the house of God, from the house of God to your house, the floodgate starts pouring, and suddenly it's hitting your life, and it's like a tidal wave, and it's like being tackled by blessing, and it overtakes you!
And I don't know how to say this, but it's the truth. One of the core values and principles that my wife and I have lived behind is we tithe. We did it when we had little to nothing. We do it now that God has blessed us greatly. I have been a giver to this house. I have been a supporter of this house. I'm one of the top givers of this house because I travel and I write books. And I'm just going to brag on Jesus for a moment. But I gotta build your faith to understand. Do you understand what's behind the floodgate of this house? Do you understand those cameras right there - multi-million-dollar cameras - are debt free? Everything around you - there's blessings in this house that have hit my life.
I've found, in the Word of God, that if we will do it, certain things, bring the tithe and the offering, God gives five "I wills" that I'm going to close with. God says, if I'm your Father, show me honor. Proverbs 3 said, "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of your increase, so that your barns would be filled with", what? "And your presses will burst out with new wine". The original translation says overflow. Overflow, plenty. Listen to God's language! Plenty, overflow.
One of the benefits, I want to give you the five "I wills" of God, God's five promises to every tither and giver, especially to a church like this. Do you understand there is a worldwide revival going on, that this church is a major part of, in your neighborhood, and you act like it's just a church? There are people who are flying in on the weekends just to sit in these services. There are people who are driving three and four hours a Sunday. You think I'm joking, don't you? You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? It's in your neighborhood, and you treat God casually, as though it's no big deal, it's just the church.
You know why God put this church here? For your house! You know why God put this house here? For your house! There's family blessing. I've got to bless family. I've got to bless marriage and all of that can come on your house! It's come from Him! It's generational, and it can come to your house! But, God wants to know you've always got Him on your mind. Now, let me give you quickly, in closing, the five "I wills" of God, His promise to the tither and the giver. Number one, "I will open the floodgate or the windows of heaven". It's an open heaven. God's sudden strike capability, He can come out of nowhere, because there's an open heaven. Just when the devil thinks he's got you trapped, there's an open heaven, and God says, oh, no.
Secondly, "I will pour you out", notice the wording, "a blessing that you will not have room enough to receive". I love the fact that it's a blessing, one. Everybody say one. God's got so much in one that He said you can't handle all that I want to do. Did you catch it? I'll pour you out a blessing, and you won't have, off that one blessing, enough room to contain it.
Anybody got shirts in your closet you haven't worn in years? Anybody got numerous pairs of shoes? Ladies, do not lie. Numerous pairs, not just one? One pair would be enough, but you've got more than enough. Anybody got shelters out there with lawnmowers and all kinds of stuff? You can't even get it in your garage. You've got your garage full, now you've got another thing full, and you act like, God's just never blessed me. You don't even have room enough to receive! How many cars you got now? Do you drive them both at the same time? How blessed are we? How good has God been to us? How excellent has He been to us?
Come on, church! I'm almost done. One blessing, one person, one talent. Connor was telling me about one girl, my daughter, Conner, she does some modeling and stuff, and she said there was a girl that, she's just got pretty hands, and she makes hundreds. I don't know what the rest of her looks like, but her hands, her hands are beautiful. And she makes hundreds what a blessing! Nothing but pretty hands, and she just does this. And they pay her hundreds of thousands, for hands! They'll put a ring on it, and she'll just, that feels like a $50.000 check! A blessing!
Colonel Sanders was retired and living on Social Security, and God gave him, and he was a tither, by the way. But he was an old man living on Social Security, and God gave him one blessing, a recipe for chicken. A blessing! And he took the secret recipe for chicken, and put it on the chicken, and even though he's dead, he's still selling chicken, and some of you can't wait to get out of here and go bless his dream with a whole bucket! Hallelujah! A blessing. I said, a blessing!
The Canaanite woman understood it when she said, y'all can have the loaf, just give me a crumb. If it came from His table, it's loaded! I don't need the whole loaf. If I've got a blessing from the table, you can't stop me, you can't run me out of business! I'm blessed! Number three, He said, "I will rebuke the devourer for your sake. I'll prevent the pests from devouring your crops". Anybody got any pests? Your pests may be your own weaknesses. I'll hide your weaknesses until you figure it out. I'll let you get a job that you aren't qualified for, and they don't know it. And I'll give you time to learn, because I believe in you more than you believe in you, and I'll bless you, and I'll rebuke the devourer. No, stop. I'll rebuke the devourer for your sake.
The "I wills" of God. Number four, "I will prevent the vine from prematurely delivering the fruit". In other words, I'll stop you from losing and selling too quick. I'll keep what you commit to me. I'll teach you when to hold. I'll teach you when to release. You will not cast your vine, your fruit, prematurely, before peak. This is the promise of the Father, and lastly, He said, "I will spare them as a father spares a favorite son". He said that in Malachi 3. "I will spare them as a father spares his favorite son".
What does that mean? God is saying to you, I am going to flat out spoil you. I'm not just going to meet your needs, but I'm going to spoil you like a father spoils his favorite children, and I'm going to give you stuff that you don't deserve, and beyond that, the stuff that you do deserve, I'm going to wink at and cover you, because you're my little darling, and I'll let it go this time, and I'm going to bless you with some things that you don't even deserve. I'll spare you like a father spares his favorite son. I'll flat out spoil you, because I'm a good God.
Whoa, I preached myself happy! I said, He's a good God! I want you to lift up your hands toward heaven right where you're sitting at every campus, and open up your mouth as loud as you can, and praise God that my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory, through Christ Jesus! Do you want to partner with God? Would you like for the floodgate to lift? Would you like for God to shock you and astound you? Well, you say, "Well, now you don't understand. I'm a widow, or I'm a single mother, or I'm this. Or I'm seniorly. I'm elderly". Please don't limit God. Please don't insult God, who is your caretaker, as though He cannot bless you where you are right now.
But He says, and the thing that touches me the most about Malachi 3 is He says, "You've robbed me of the tithes and offerings, and you robbed me of the opportunity to prove myself to you. Oh, what I would have done for you. Oh, how the floodgate has held back so many things I would have done for you". The amazing thing about getting right with God is just like the thief on the cross.
You know, under Old Covenant they had to pay 20% interest, but under New Covenant, we can get forgiveness instantly and blessing instantly. Because the thief on the cross, and he was a thief. And God said you've robbed me of tithing. But he was a thief. And he said, "Lord, remember me". And instantly, Jesus said, this day as a matter of fact, in about three minutes you're going to die. And this day you'll be with me in Heaven, and everything you've ever done wrong, you've stolen, stolen, and stolen, I cancel it out. And right now, you're going to Heaven and getting all the stuff up there with me. Instantly. Instantly.