Michael Todd - First Ain't Second - Part 2
What's going on, everybody? And welcome to today's program. I want to let you know something you may not know about me. I have kids. And my little girls always want me to watch frozen with them. We watch it at least 2 times every day and one of the things about watching this movie, there's this little phrase that gets stuck in my children's head and they keep saying, "Let it go". And as I was hearing them say that, it made me think about something that we have to do if we're going to mature in the area of generosity and stewardship. We gotta let things go, and that means we're going to have to mature. We're going to have to not just be concerned about what we gain but we have to be intentional on what we let go of. People that tithe let go or return what God has given to them back to him. They let it go. And when you put God first in your life, everything else gets in order. I am so excited for the message I have to share with you. My name is Michael, and this is the start of your transformation.
Today I don't want us as a church to squander the principles that God is trying to give us through this series. See, because the difference between a college player, y'all know that's not the last level because there's a difference between a college player and the NBA. Can I tell you what that word is? It's not just preparation and it's just participation. It's not just dedication and it's not even separation. It's concentration. The difference between college players and NBA is, what do you concentrate on? Do you know how many times sits in the gym and practices the same shot? I was watching a documentary, and I was watching Steph Curry arguably one of the greatest, in my opinion the greatest three point shooter in the NBA, we can argue that later, but I was looking at the how he automatically does the same thing over and over and over. And you're sick of me saying over, but this is over and over. Not oh, I've already won a championship. Nope. Over. I want another one. I got hurt. I gotta nurse myself back but I over. The same thing over and over. It's because he's concentrating on what he has been given.
I'm asking everybody in this Paper Chasers series, what are you concentrating on when it comes to your generosity and your financial stewardship? Most of us are magnifying or concentrating on what we don't have. And if you keep rehearsing what you don't have, guess what you will get more of? Nothing. Oh, I can't do it, man. You know I can't do that tithing thing. You know the new Jordans just came out. You mean the ones that released ten years ago and that they're going to release again, oh, but, oh, I forgot. You're chasing identity so the new J's gave you more of a boost than being consistent with the principles that God says to do. And all the ladies like, that's right. But your wig. And your dye and your cut and your nails.
Many of you are more concentrated on the aesthetics of your nails, I just have to do it because I see you every week, every Friday, and at the end of the day when God asks, what did you do with your purpose, he's not going to ask you what color, what length and how the edges were rounded. He's going to say hey, you weren't concentrated on what I told you to be concentrated on. And so your hands look good, but nothing is in them. They look good but they empty because I can't trust you with being concentrated. Oh, my gosh. I ain't even got to my first, okay, here we go. The difference between going to the league and winning the championship though is still a difference. How many times are in the NBA? 32. 36. One of those. And all the teams have people on the team that are concentrating, but the thing that makes you win the championship is not participation, not preparation, not dedication, not even separation, not even consecration. It's maturation, it's maturity.
That's why they always want veterans on the team. About even if they don't play, they've been there before. That brings up scriptures like I was young but now I'm old and I've never seen the righteous forsaken. I see veterans like bishop and pastor Debbie and pastor Tommy and Brenda, the generals in the faith. People like pastor Robert, they still standing here. And I'm like, how are you still standing here? Didn't you go through trouble? Didn't the enemy try to come after you? Didn't all these things happen? And he says yeah, but we've been around this way before. We're mature enough to know that when you come down to the last second and you're down and it looks like you're not gonna win, there's a victor on the inside of you, and his name is Jesus. And wherever you are, he's the one that will always get a buzzer beater.
I'm preaching in this place. This is time for us as a church to, everybody say the cuss word with me, mature. We gotta mature. And I told y'all at the beginning of 2020, this is not the series or the pastor or the church for people who want to stay on the milk. I'm going to give you the meat. I know that people think all of this is for a show and me having the mask and all that. I'm just trying to draw the fringe people in because I'm about to give you steak. And the steak is found in the Word of God. And the thing that we have to do when we're maturing, maturing is something that I've studied a lot because I was given a lot of responsibility at a young age. And Jesus was given a lot of responsibility at a young age, and the reason that he was given the responsibility was not because of his age or stage. It was because of his maturity.
Do you all remember when he was 12 and he was in the synagogues, and he was mature in one area but about mature in another area. That's why God is trying to mature us in every area. Like, you may be mature in how you communicate emotionally but you're immature in your finances. You may be mature in your relationship but you may be immature in being a person of your word. And Jesus at 12 was in the synagogue schooling all the priests and rabbis. He was mature in the things of God because he was God made flesh like, but he had a problem. He didn't tell his mama. So it shows us that you can be mature in one area and forget to communicate with the person, his mama Mary said, Jesus! Jesus! He's like, did thou hearest something? Jesus! He got scared. He said mama, huh? She said, where you been? And he tried to use his maturity in one area. Woman, don't you know that I'm about my father's business?
That was the last words we heard from Jesus for 18 years. No, go check the Bible. He was 12 and he was like woman, and she's like, oh God. And she's came back at 30 years old. But that's how life slaps new the face a lot of times. Because you're mature in one area but God said, let me work on your attitude. And you think because you're good at business that your attitude, oh, and God says let me work on your communication. And you think because that people know you and you're talented, and God is saying, can I mature you in the area of generosity and stewardship? Okay.
Can I teach today? I said, can I teach today? I'm going to give you a one word definition for maturity. Sacrifice. All maturity is is somebody that has decided that they are going to sacrifice. Can I put it in a point? What you are willing to part with or sacrifice proves what you are willing to be a part of. I'm gonna say it again because that's nasty. What you are willing to part with proves what you are willing to be a part of. How you're going to mature is not by gaining more. It's about letting go of things you already have. When you're younger, you're selfish. When you mature it's like, I can't get up whenever I want to. I gotta take these kids I had to school. It's sacrifice. It's like oh God, do they brush their teeth today or do I just let them go and just kill the whole class with halitosis? No. I'm mature so I gotta get up five minutes early because they don't know how to brush your tongue and, put your tongue out, Ava. Why? She's not mature enough to do that on her own. But because I am responsible, I have to sacrifice to be able...
I'm trying to make this apply to your life. I need to let you know the immaturity in all of us doesn't want to let go of things. We don't want to sacrifice things. We don't want to give things up and this is going to help you. I'm going to give you the Elsa equation. Y'all remember Elsa from the Disney movie? She had a little phrase. Three words. They were very prophetic. What were they? Let it go. And I've been inundated with this movie, song, and the spiritual context that comes with it because my daughters yell, let it go! All the time. They sing it, but the Holy Spirit started to speak to me as we were watching that this week. He said the only way you mature, Michael, is if you let something go. And I said God, explain it to me. He said, this is the Elsa, and I'm going to give it to you because this is going to help a lot of people, okay. I want to travel right now, and I know COVID 19 has come and really put a damper on all of our vacation plans and all those different things, but if you could, how many people right now would take a vacation tomorrow? Like if you were, hands in the air.
Now tell me where you would go. Come on, shout out where you could go if you could go anywhere. Cali. Italy. Florida. Cali. Where else? Come on. Put it in the chat. Okay. Hawaii. Bahamas. If I could go anywhere right now, all right. Stop. It's not happening. But if you could, if somebody asked me that question, I would go to the Maldives. Have you all ever seen or been to the Maldives? Just type in Maldives? Just lift your hands and tell him thank you. I would go to the Maldives. I have a desire, everybody say, "Desire to travel". But if I have a desire to travel, I gotta evaluate my current location, so my current location is where? Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dang.
The Maldives is somewhere across the ocean, and we'd have to be able to get over the Indian Ocean I believe is where it's at, and to go there my current location is very important because I would navigate from here. But if I was going to be a part of the Maldives, I would have to let go of the ground. Yeah. Solid ground. There's no road to the Maldives. I would have to sacrifice the security of this to be a part of the Maldives. That means I would have to part with something or sacrifice it to be a part of something greater. And this takes maturity. I would either have to submit to the laws of buoyancy and get on a boat or I would have to defy the laws of gravity and fly, but I could not get and be a part of this amazing place if I don't part with or sacrifice something.
What are you trying to say, Pastor Mike? There is a place that God has for you that you want to be a part of that has everything that you've ever wanted and more, but it requires, it is mandatory that you part with something or sacrifice it to get there. And what if today God is saying part with it or let it go so I can let go of what I have for you? There's so many of us are like, God, when are you gonna, and God says, when you let go of him. Then I'm going to. There's only space for one of y'all. Well God, when are you going to, he said, when you write it down. Give me some time. Part with some of your time. But I gotta make sure, you only have 17 followers. Part. Shut it down for a month so that God can give you a vision. But what are you willing to part with?
Some of all that example that didn't hit you the right way because you're just sitting there, so let me use myself. I desire to be fit. Your pastor is on a journey, okay. The beginning of the year I decided yeah, I'm gonna do it. I'm going to be consistent. I'm going to be concentrated. I'm gonna do all this other stuff, and your pastor has lost 22 pounds since the beginning of the year. This suit would have been covered, yeah. Anyway. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. I can button it. Now, I can't stay there because I won't be able to breathe the whole service but I can button it. But I'm on a journey. And what happens is my location right now is 230, 235 ish. Just keep the ish. You don't want to be too specific ish. Due do you know what I gotta part with?
See. Uh-oh. Because this is where we lose it because everybody wants to be fit until you got to sacrifice something, you until you gotta let it go. This is the Elsa equation. This means you're maturing. I gotta part with junk food. I gotta, sonic just came out with a, yeah. She knows. Sonic just came out with this like Oreo shake, something, thing. And you know how you see a picture and you can taste it? I gotta part with the late night eating. I gotta part with the bread and the pasta. I gotta part with and maybe more than the actual food, I gotta part with procrastination. I gotta part with, oh, come on y'all. Like I gotta part with being lazy. And when I part with it, that means I become a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Ah, one more. One more. There's some people that really want to be in a relationship. You have a desire to be in a loving amazing sexy marriage. You want to be in that, and God wants you to be in that. Yeah, you want to be in sexy, you don't want to be in no stagnate relationship. You want to be in a sexy one. Me and Nat, it's been a sexy, that's why she's pregnant. Anyway. And your location right now for many of you is you belong to the streets. Somebody is like Sally, you belong to the streets. Just ask somebody like 30 or younger. You belong to the streets. You in everybody's DM. You just hippity hoppity. Ha ha. You go out for places just looking for hook-ups and one-night-stands and for somebody to stroke your ego or somebody to speak life into you or to be able to make you feel loved.
And yes, we know that's why you bought the dress. And yes, we know that's why you wore the tight pants. And yes, we know that's why you bought that car, sir. And yes, we know that's why you got the go grill and yes, that's why we know you went to that expensive restaurant. We know. You belong to the streets. But what do you have to part with or sacrifice? And for some of us, that's hard because now it's become a habit of your heart. Remember when we talked a few weeks ago about giving is all about the heart because once God gets your heart, then he can actually, once he gets your treasure, he has your heart. And once he has your heart, he can change your habits, and once he changes your habits, he can make you live whole.
The problem is many of us are wilding out because it's a habit of our heart now. You started doing it when you were young and now it's a thing that you do. It's more comfortable to do it than it is to do anything else. And you desire something else. Do you know how many people desire to be in a relationship with one person? The problem is they belong to the streets and they have to part with wilding out to be a part of what? A like this word. This is the new word that everybody needs to not just want a relationship, they need to be a part of covenant. This is the for richer or poorer. This right here, covenant is the only thing Jesus talks about.
That's why it's so easy for our generation to say, I feel led to say, it's so easy for you to get in a relationship because you think it's so easy to get out. I heard about celebrities this week that everybody thought was gonna last broke up. Why? Because he wasn't willing to give up the wilding out. And now there's no chance for covenant. In the same way when I bring it to this series about insured ship and generosity, what God is saying to us is you desire to live a blessed life? That's what you desire? Well, let's identify your location. And many of us before this series had a negative view of tithing and giving. Like we had a negative view of it. Negative thinking. They just want my money. The pastor just wants to bling with my stuff. Everything I bought I didn't buy with church money.
This ain't, y'all didn't buy this. And that's because I'm not trying to get anything from you. I want to give something to you, but what does that mean? Is means you gotta locate where you are, and some of you are a never Nate. Never. I ain't never giving to God. I ain't never doing anything. Some of you are a sometimes Sarah like I mean, sometimes I give. Some of y'all are if I had it Travis or others of you or not my money, Sonny. Not my money! And some of you are greedy Stevie but others of you through the past three weeks of this series, and if you haven't watched it, you need to go back and watch it, some of you are now finding out that you are, I didn't know Joe. I didn't know this was that important. Nobody ever taught me. Nobody ever showed me. Or maybe you're a now I care Claire. I care now, and what does that mean? That means you're going to have to part with the tithe.