Robert Morris - Who's the Owner
And so, I want to talk about, "Who's the Owner"?, and here's the reason why. This is the foundation to living a blessed life, and remember, a blessed life is a life that blesses. Please remember that. Please don't ever confuse what I share with materialism or a hyper-prosperity message. Please never confuse that, because that is not my goal at all. I want us to live a life where we can be a blessing. And so, to live a life that's blessed, and a life that's even beyond blessed, there's a foundation, and that's what we will talk about, and it is the foundation of ownership. If I told you I was going to preach on stewardship, you might have a tendency to kind of tune me out, and to say, yes, I know about stewardship, Pastor, I've heard messages on stewardship. But, it's not just stewardship we're gonna talk about, it's the foundation of even stewardship, and that's ownership, because you'll never be a good steward if you don't understand who the owner actually is.
When my daughter, Elaine, went to college, She's right down here. She went to ORU. And when Josh and James went to school, Josh went to school in Florida, James went to Baylor, I linked their accounts with my account and just, would just wire money, you know, every month. And when Elaine went, I just gave her a credit card and just said put things on the credit card. I remember getting that first bill. And realizing that, you know, a 5'6", 110 pound woman could not eat that much. And so, I called and I said, "Are you buying meals, or gas, or," 'cause there were gas station, you know, bills that her Toyota Corolla couldn't hold that much gas. And I said, "Are you buying meals and gas for your friends"? This is what she said to me. She said, "Dad, you taught me to be a giver". I said, "Sugar, that's not giving, that's called stealing, because you're not the owner. You're giving my money away. That's my money".
So, let's talk about a few things, all right? Here's number one. It all belongs to God. Not just a tithe, it all belongs to God. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's". Please notice those words. He owns it, "is the Lord's". "And," in case you have any doubt, "everything in it". "Everything in it, the world and all its people," now watch ownership, "belong to Him". Belong to Him. Psalm 50:10, "For every beast of the forest is Mine". I own 'em. I own all of 'em. "And the cattle on a thousand hills". Of course, the cattle and the hills. "I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine". They're Mine. They belong to Me. They're My property. I love this statement. This is one of my favorite statements in the whole Bible. "If I were hungry, I wouldn't tell you". 'Cause you don't own any of the animals, I do. "For the world is Mine, and all its fullness".
This is a revelation you have to get. You have to get that you can work for it, you can earn it, your name can be on the deed, but if you're a believer, then you really understand it's God's. That's why, when God tells you to give something, you don't grieve over it. It doesn't bother you at all. Now, you know my wife and I like to give cars to people when we can and when the Lord speaks to us to, and we went through a season where it just seemed like we were giving, we gave, I think, I don't want to say something that is not true. For some reason, I think we gave away nine cars in eighteen months. And, there was a couple in our church that said, hey, we'd like to give a car to this family that needs it, and we've heard that you give cars away, And so, they gave it to us. Now, it takes a little while to transfer the title, and I had found a way that you wouldn't have to wait six weeks, that you could actually transfer the title in 24 hours and do it that way, you know, and some of you know about that.
And so, I transferred the title over and I had the thought, I'm gonna drive the car over to a mechanic just to make sure nothing's wrong. I don't want the family to have a bill and it's, you know, something to take care of it. On the way to the mechanic, the engine went out. I got it towed to the mechanic, and the mechanic said the whole engine's gone, cracked the block, and it would take about $2.000 to fix it, and this was in the 80s. And so, I told him, well, go ahead and do it. Now, I'm driving away and I'm pretty honest with the Lord. He can handle it, He's very secure. I don't know if you've noticed that. But, so I said to the Lord, "This is too much of a coincidence, you know? They owned it yesterday. The other family's gonna own it tomorrow. I own it one day, and the engine goes out". And I'll never forget what the Lord said to me. He said, "The family that was giving it didn't have the money to fix it. The family that was receiving it didn't have the money to fix it. You have the money because I gave it to you, and I can stop giving it to you anytime you want Me to".
And He was strong about it. And I said, "No, that's okay! That's okay! If you want me to do this, I'll do it". Okay, but when you understand it's all God's, then you understand the money that I do have in the account, I didn't get it because I preached an extra meeting that month, 'cause that was my income was preaching back then, and traveling and doing speaking things. I didn't get it because of that, I got it because God gave it to me so I could be a blessing! When God puts that in your heart, everything I have is God's, that's why if God says give it away, you don't grieve, you're not upset about it, 'cause it's not yours in the first place! This is something that you've got to get. It's got to get down deeply in your heart. When Josh went to Florida to college, he went to Florida. And so, we worked out a budget, how much. He had to live off campus, so we found an apartment online. When we got there, we found out pictures online look different than pictures, anyone ever done that? This is the house. This is the house. Oh, my gosh! Okay, so we got this apartment, and we figured out gas, food, all of the stuff. So I said, I'll send you this much money every month, and he knew it was a huge sacrifice to us.
Now, Josh is almost 37 years old, so we're talking at least 17, 18 years ago. And you know, no books at that point, so it was a huge sacrifice for me. And so, we did it, and after a few months, he called and said, "Hey, Dad, you know these two Christian guys that I've introduced you to, and become close friends"? So, were good, solid believers. "We've been looking. We found an apartment we can move into. Safer part of town, closer to the school, and the three of us move in together and my expenses would lower about $100 a month. And I could save", here's what he said, "you $100 a month," because he knew I was the one sending the money. So he said, "I'd like to do that, if that's okay". And I said, "I think that's great". He said, "Well, you can cut what you're sending me by $100 a month". You know what I did? Some of you say, well, you kept sending it. No, I sent $100 more. I started sending $100 more and I said to him, "Son, here's what I want you to know. God blesses good stewardship".
Now, please hear this. This is the number one thing I want people to get from "Beyond Blessed". That's pretty important, what I just said, number one thing. In the same way that people give and God blesses supernaturally, when you become a good steward, God blesses supernaturally. There's a supernatural, miraculous element from heaven on your finances. It's not just that the numbers add up by doing a budget, it's that God begins to bless you supernaturally. If you think, man, if I give this offering to the church, I know God's gonna bless me, yes, God does reward us when we give with the right heart. But when you say I'm gonna get my finances in order, I'm telling you, God'll bless you from places you've never even seen. So, number one you need to know, God owns it all. Here's number two, the first belongs to God. The first belongs to God. Exodus 13, "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both the man and beast".
And I want you to notice. I want you to notice, God's saying this. By the way, this is the God who can't change, who's the same yesterday, today, and forever. "Both the man and beast, it is Mine". It belongs to Me. Now, we know it all belongs. For some reason though, He set aside the first also. Exodus 23:19, "The first of your first fruits". That's for those of you who are hard of hearing, not in the natural, in the spiritual. "The first of your first fruits". I've heard people say give your first fruits to God. He never says that. He says give the first of your first fruits. In other words, give the tithe of your first fruits. "The first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord". You know how I know the first fruits belong to God? Because He didn't say you shall give them, 'cause if they were yours, you could give 'em. But they're not yours, so you can only bring them to the house of God. Genesis 4, "And in the process of time". Those words are very, very important. "In the process of time, it came to pass," it just kind of happened over time, "that Cain brought an offering". "An offering," it does not say first, "of the fruit of the ground to the Lord". He did not bring first fruits. "Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected," or received, "Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering".
Now, I've covered this some in "The Blessed Life," but I want you to realize something, because so many people say, well, tithing was under the law and we're not under the law. That's true. We're not under the law as believers. But if you think that that means that you can murder, or commit adultery, or steal, or lie, and it not affect you, you are reatly deceived. And if you think that it means that you can take what belongs to God and not be affected, you are greatly deceived. So, but just so many people just don't realize a timeline, so let me give you just a little timeline, all right? Cain and Abel, this was about 4.000 BC, 4.000 years before Christ, okay? Now, just to give you some markers, Abraham was about 2.000 BC. There's 2.000 years from Adam and Eve to Abraham, and 2.000 years to Christ, just so you know. All right. Now, Moses, the law came through Moses. That's John 1. This is simple. So I don't think anybody here would disagree with that. The law came through Moses, 1.500 BC, and then David, just to give you a marker, was about 1.000 BC. All right? That's just a little bit of the Old Testament with some characters that you know.
Here's what I want you to notice though, okay? Cain and Abel, 4.000 BC. Look at Moses, the law, 1.500 BC. Go to where we just got the... yeah, okay. So, 1.500, 4.000. Now, I know some of you are not good at math. I understand that. You're good at things that I'm not good at. I understand, and I really believe that with all my heart. But math is, you know, like right now you're, okay, carry the... okay, so. But, here's the bottom line. How far from Cain and Abel until the law came? How far? Okay, let's do it this way, all right? 2.500 years. 2.500 years before the law was given, God accepted a firstborn offering, but did not accept another offering because it was not the first fruits. The tithe belongs to God. When Ethan and Elaine were dating, it was in the young adult service. So they're standing around talking, like seven or eight of 'em, and they're kind of just joking around with Ethan about what's it like to date Pastor Robert's daughter? And I was good. Wasn't I good? I was good.
You know, I mean, I talked to him about standards and rules, and I showed him my gun collection. Normal things, normal things that a father would do, you know? Okay. All right. So, but they're standing around talking about, you know, what's it like to date Pastor Robert's daughter? And then one of them said this to Elaine. He said, "You know, your dad is so strong on tithing, I'll bet he even checks the tithing records of the guys that want to date you". And my daughter said, "He does". And I did. So, let me just ask you a question. Why would I give my daughter to a thief? And please don't get offended if you struggle with tithing, or even if you have a different doctrine. Please don't get offended, 'cause I believe what the Bible says about it, and God calls the person who does not return the tithe, He calls that person a thief, God does. Joshua 7, Malachi 3, look it up for yourself. Joshua 7 uses the word "stolen". They've stolen it. Malachi 3, He says, "You have robbed Me. "You have robbed Me from this, because it belongs to Me".
So, it all belongs to God, the first belongs to God, and now we're gonna hit tithing. So number three, the tithe belongs to God. The word "tithe" is a Hebrew word which means the tenth, and when you see it in Scripture, it's the first tenth. When your sheep had a lamb, let's put it this way, you were to give the first one to God, not the tenth one. Here's the reason why. It would not take faith to give the tenth one. It takes faith to give the first one. When they went into Jericho and when they went in the Promised Land, God said, "Bring". He didn't say give, 'cause you can't give what doesn't belong to you, you can only bring it. "Bring all of the silver and gold from Jericho into the house of the Lord". Why did He say that, and why did He say all of it? It's real simple. Jericho was the first city. It's the principle of the first. God said you bring Me the first, and the rest will be blessed. Remember when they kept some, they lost the second battle, which was the Battle of Ai, which was a very, very small city. They couldn't even defeat a small city, because they had stolen, and again, those are the words God used, Joshua 7. He said, "They have stolen from Me". They took what belonged to Me.
So, the tithe belongs to God. Look at the Scripture, Leviticus 27:30. "And all the tithe of the land". I just want you to notice the word "all". "Of the seed, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree," watch, I told you it belongs to God, "is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord". Isn't that amazing? "It is holy to the Lord". Now, we get hung up a lot on 10%. It's not so much that it's 10%, it's the first 10%, and I don't know why God chose 10%, other than I think it's just easy for every person, and it's the same. It's equal. Do you realize that? If you tithe, you give the same as a millionaire to God. See, the tithe on a $50.000 a year salary is the exact same as the tithe on a $5 million a year salary; it's 10%. And I think it's easy to remember, and I know we're not all good at math, but numbers add up in my mind just like that. It just happens, okay? Debbie and I were buying something one time for $7.99, and the lady said, "I'm gonna have to add the tax on the calculator because the cash register's broken". And I said, "It's 66 cents," that fast. And she, you know, did her little thing and then she said, "It's 66 cents". So I said, "Okay".
So we get out in the car and Debbie says to me, "How do you do that"? Okay, let me help you, men. I thought that she was actually asking me how I did it. She said, "How do you do that"? I found out later she could not care less how I do it. And so, I explained it to her. I said, "Sugar, that should happen in less than a second in your mind". She said, "It doesn't". And she said, "I'll tell you what I do know. I know what 25% off means". "What does that mean"? She said, "It means it's a good deal". And then she said, "And if it's 50% off, it's free". And then she says, "And if it's 75% off, you're making money". So, the reason I think God came up with 10% is so all of us can understand, you know, how much that is, okay? I led a guy to the Lord one time, and he asked me to disciple him, so we met every week to disciple him. Now, think about the Scriptures, the Trinity, the Apostles' Creeds, you know, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, deliverance. All those things I did use, but do you know what I did the first week? Tithing. You want to know why? I wanted him to get out from under the curse. See, what I'm telling you, I believe. I believe this. I believe that book right there when it says you're under a curse because you've robbed Me. You took what belonged to Me. I believe that. I believe that. So, I explained to him about tithing.
So, that Friday, he got paid. He's on commission and he had a bad week, so his check was $640. So, that weekend I saw him at church and he showed me his check. He said, "Look, I brought my tithe check, $64". And he said, "And you know, this was a bad week for me, so it's really tough to do that this week. But," he said, "I believe what you told me, and I believe the Scriptures you showed me". So, he put his $64 in on Sunday in the offering box. Monday, he calls me. He said, "You're not gonna believe this". He said, "When I got home, I got the mail out of the mailbox, and there was a letter from the City of", and he lived in Irving, "from the water department, and I thought it was the bill". And he said, "I opened it up and it said we've done an internal audit and you've been paying too much". And he said, "There was a check in there for $640," ten times the amount. You will never convince me in a million years that that's a coincidence.
I want to encourage you, step out in faith and put God first in your finances. It all belongs to God, but the first belongs to God, and the tithe is the first 10%. Tithe to your local church. I'm not saying this just so that our local churches can grow and reach more people, which that's great too, but I'm saying this so that you can walk in the order that God has in His word, and that is that we put God first in every area of our life, including our finances, and watch what God does. God wants us to live beyond blessed so that we can be a blessing. Hey, I appreciate you so much and I love you so much, and I love that you love hearing God's word and putting it into practice in your own life.