Jentezen Franklin - How To Be Blessed More Than Ever Before
Happy New Year, and welcome to Kingdom Connection. I'm so thankful that you're joining us today. And I know all of us could use more of God's blessings in our lives than ever before. And I believe the principles that I'm going to share today are crucial to guiding your life into a victorious 2021. You're about to learn how God wants you to be Matthew 6. I wanna begin reading with Verse 19, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth where the moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys nor thieves break in and steal".
Here's the big one in Verse 21, "For where your treasure is there your heart will be also". Isn't that powerful? While we're in there, go to Verse 33, "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and things shall be added to you". Things shall be added to you. How to be blessed more than ever before. How to be more blessed than ever before.
I wanna talk to you about this sermon that Jesus preached on Mount of Olives, the Sermon on the Mount is it's famously called. It started in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 is also the same sermon Jesus preached really, and it goes into the next one partially. Jesus preached three chapters in one sermon, so don't complain about my messages. Amen. But I want you to see how important it is in what you do to be more blessed than ever, even in the circumstances that we're in. What I'm gonna share with you today is the secret to a more blessed life. Giving doesn't come naturally to people. People have to be taught what the Word of God says.
"Forbes Magazine" recently had an article by a theologian that they put in their secular magazine, "Money Magazine", and they said astonishingly this scholar said that the second most often referred to topic in the Bible is money and possessions. Second only to forgiveness, repentance, love is money and possessions. 2.350 verses are in the Bible on money. Jesus said more about money than He did about heaven or hell combined. Why? Why? Jesus used 11 out of 39 parables to teach about money and stewardship. Why? 15% of Jesus's recorded words were about money. It almost makes me mad to hear that. Money? With all the things, money? There must be more to it than just money. There must be something about money and of what we do with it that is critical to our relationship with God.
The Bible said in the text that I read that where a man's treasure there his heart is going to be also. What does that mean? Your heart, according to Jeremiah, your heart is deceitfully wicked. Your heart cannot be trusted. Your heart will deceive you, and it's not talking about your physical heart. It's the core of who you are. Then there is this verse in Proverbs 4 that says, "Guard your heart. Protect you heart with all diligence. For out of it flows all the issues of life".
The issues of life are the important factors, one translation said, of decisions of life. It comes out of where's your heart? How's your heart doing? The Bible says with your heart we believe unto God. Well, what's that talking about? It's not talking about our emotions. It's talking about our will. It's talking about the core of who we are. The Bible talks about so many things concerning our heart over and over and over, and it's talking about the core of who we are and having a heart that is going after God.
Here's what I want you to understand. The reason that he said where a man's treasure is or his money is there his heart will be also is because your giving decides the focus of your heart. That wherever your resources go, your heart even though it's wicked, even though it can be corrupted, out of it you make all the major issues and decisions of life and one of the ways, the only way that you can really do anything about trying to decide the focus of your heart is when you give. The Bible said your treasure moves and automatically your heart moves in the direction of where your treasure is.
It's really an amazing thing. The psalmist said search my heart that in the area of giving when you put your treasure, where you put your treasure, your heart automatically follows. You take your treasure, and you put it in the Kingdom of God, and God said your heart goes where you put your resources. When you understand that and you understand that the focus of your heart, that if my money goes over here, my focus goes over here is what that's saying. If my money goes over there, if my money goes to something over here, then that's where my heart goes, and he says if you want to have a heart that is focused on what is right, then give into the Kingdom of God, and your heart will begin to focus on what can give you the decisions you need for the issues of life out of your heart. It's really something.
Secondly, number two, your giving not only decides your focus, but your giving decides who your master is. The Bible said in the Scripture, Matthew 6 in Verse 24, "No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve," listen to this now. "You cannot serve God and materialism". Mammon is the spirit of materialism that connects you to other things and disconnects you from God if you allow it to be God in your life. And he said when you give two things, your heart follows your treasure so your focus goes there. Number two, when you give you decide who will be your master. You cannot serve Mammon, money and God.
Why didn't he say you cannot serve Satan and God? Because he knows that's an easy choice for you. But here's the point. Money and possessions have the greatest potential to replace the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life more than anything else, and that's why Jesus said you have to choose between money and possessions controlling your life or Jesus controlling your life, and the way that he says you do that is you give to the Kingdom of God, and you break the grip of greed off of your heart. It's really something. It's so easy to get off track with possessions.
I wanna teach you now some quick things. Luke 19, the famous story of Zacchaeus, the man who was small in stature. He gets in a tree. He couldn't see over the crowd. He wanted to see Jesus. The Bible said that he was a tax collector and that he took more money than he was supposed to, and he robbed people all the time and kept it for himself, and the Scripture said that Jesus gauged his spiritual condition by his willingness to part with his money because when he saw Jesus and heard Jesus his heart was so moved that he said, "I will return what I have stolen," this is in Luke 19, "and I will give back threefold to everybody I stole it from," and Jesus said, "This day salvation has come to his house".
His willingness to walk away from what God required of him showed the spiritual condition of his heart. Now watch this, in Matthew 19, Jesus engages the rich young ruler. He's rich. He's young. He's got it all going on. He's young. He's rich. He's a ruler. That means he's popular. He's powerful. He's got it all, and Jesus encounters him or he bumps into Jesus and Jesus messes him up, and he says, "What must I do to inherit life," and He knew that he was to attached to Mammon.
Jesus is not against you having things and being blessed, but when they become your god and they become so big that it's yours, and you don't become a giver to the Kingdom, something is off. It reveals your spiritual condition, and Jesus engages this man and says, "Sell what you have and give it to the poor and follow me". He would've become one of the disciples. "Follow me," and the rich, young ruler walked away sorrowfully, and Jesus teaches us by his unwillingness to part with his money his spiritual condition was not right. There is an undeniable connection between money, resources and our spiritual condition. I'm telling you how to be more blessed is to be a giver.
In Mark 12, Jesus taught this in the Bible. There was a widow woman. This actually happened, and Jesus stood and watched as the people brought their offering, and the Bible said there was a widow who came and gave her last bit of money, her last might. This is in Mark 12:43-44, and Jesus said, "Did you see what she did"? Jesus said, "They all gave out of their abundance". In other words, they had a lot left over, but "she gave her last all that she had to me". And do you know what Jesus did? He didn't say, "Now quick, disciples, run her some money out into the parking lot and make sure she leaves all loaded down with blessing". He let her leave like she came.
Why? Why? Why would Jesus do that to an old widow woman who was down to her last dime? Because He knew what giving does when people obey and give. He knew because she just passed the test, and I saw it with my own eyes 'cause God sees what we do, and He knew she just made me her source and not anything else, and the birds are fed and the robins, they get full of food, and I'm gonna take care of that woman for the rest of her life because she understands the power of sacrificial giving.
In Luke 12, we encounter a super successful business person. He has real estate holdings that are remarkable. This is right in the Bible. He's building bigger and bigger barns, bigger and bigger manufacturing plants, more and more real estate. Empire is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, but he is not connected to the Kingdom of God and while he's bragging and saying I'm gonna build something else and something else, and I'm gonna just look at all my stuff, then there's Matthew 12 in Verse 20, "But God said," everybody say God said. "God said to him, 'You fool. This night your soul will be required of you, and this what messed me up. Then who shall all these things be that you have provided".
You're gonna die. You don't own nothing. That house that you have and you say it's yours, you paid it off maybe, and that makes you really say it's yours, and you don't owe anything on it. It's still not yours. You're just the steward and when you die, somebody's gonna get all these things, everything, the furniture, everything, everything in the house. All your stuff. It's gone when you die. You don't take any of it with you. When Jesus said that it's harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, y'all know what the eye of a needle is? That's what you thread the needle.
Well, he wasn't saying that if you're rich and blessed you can't get into heaven. Here's what He was saying. You can't drive your Porsche into a rotating door in a hotel. You have to get out of all that stuff and if you're gonna get through that door, you have to just kind of walk in like you are. And what He's saying is you may have all this stuff. None of it's gonna follow you through the gate of heaven. You're gonna have to go, and then He ends. He ends His statement in Verse 21 of Luke 12. He said, He said, "So is he that lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God".
Woo! I tell you, when you give, the Bible said you become rich toward God, and that's how you become more blessed 'cause God owns it all, and you can become rich towards God. Your giving affects eternity. It affects you. It affects others for eternity. Matthew 6:26, "For what will it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul"? Your treasure, your time, your talent. It belongs to God. Talk is cheap. Talk is cheap. Giving costs something. Giving costs something. Tithing is the top priority of every Christian if they want their finances blessed.
I wanna hear you all the way in Spartanburg. I wanna hear you all the way. Does anybody believe that? I know you believe that. I know you believe that. I mean, it's the number one priority if you want your finances blessed is to become a tither. You're never too young to start tithing. What is a tithe, this 10%? 10% of your income and your increase. That's what the Bible teaches. Well, what do you mean? Do I tithe on my gross income or my net income? That's a good question. It's a fair question.
Proverbs 3:9, "Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all Thine increase". All thine increase. It's increase. It's increase. If it's increase, tithe on it. If it's increase tithe on it. You tithe what is your income and then any increase. If somebody dies and leaves you an inheritance, you tithe on that. Well, I wanna say for you I tithe on that. If somebody gives me a big gift, I tithe on that. If I win the lottery. No, if you win the lottery, you better tithe on that. If you get a multi-million dollar contract, you better tithe on that. You tithe on the income and the increase, and God opens the windows of heaven and pours you out a blessing. I love this part. He rebukes the devourer for your sake. The devourer is always coming, but there is a force that happens when you tithe and you give.
I hear people say I can't afford to give. Try giving before you say that. Millions of people are not wrong. I'm getting happy now. I'm telling you, I was broker than the Ten Commandments when God got ahold of me, but I started tithing and giving, and He keeps on blessing me and blessing me, and I know there's hundreds and thousands of you. It's your testimony, and it's been the hardest year of your life, but look, you're still here. You're still okay.
Giving is one of the greatest adventures a Christian can have. God said in Malachi 3, "Prove me in this". Everywhere else He says I'm watching you, and I'm checking you out, and I'm gonna prove your heart, and I'm gonna see. I'm gonna let you go through this trial. I'm gonna see. But He says this, "On this you prove me". One translation said, "I dare you". Start tithing. In other words, God's saying let's have a giving contest. I dare you. You give to me, and I'll give back to you, and let's see who Anybody believe the Bible? The Bible is not wrong.
So, let me give you this real quick. Give systematically. Don't give every once in a while, here, there, skip, miss, hit, boom, bam. Sometimes people do something flashy. You know. Wow! They gave. The gave, wow! But if you measure that up to the person who is tithing systematically every week or every month or every how they got it two weeks, ever how they got it set up, they don't even come close, but they do something to be flashy, but give systematically. Give sacrificiously. It's fun to give at the end of the year and get your statement from the church so that you can take it off your taxes and say, "Wow! We gave that much! Praise the Lord. My God, I remember when we, we couldn't even, we couldn't have given even a portion of that. Look at how much we gave to the glory of God"!
God is my source. God has always been my source. And I've been young, and now I'm old, but I still got it. I do in Jesus's name. Talk to yourself like that sometimes. Look in the mirror and say, you old, gray fox. The hand of the Lord is on you. The best is yet to come. God's not through blessing you. The path of the righteous growth brighter and brighter. I'm gonna bless you greater in the next season than you've ever seen, greater than you can imagine, greater than you can dream for. Does anybody believe that you can be more blessed? Not less - More blessed!