Speaker: Jimmy Evans
How Much Do You Want?
Jimmy didn't grow up in poverty, but he grew up next to it. Each Saturday, he would go buy doughnuts and sell them in his red wagon. Later, he worked at a car wash.
He got married to his wife in 1973 and one Sunday he went to church with his family. At this point, he was making around $600 a month. The Pastor talked about giving and Jimmy said I cannot believe that the Pastor asked for his money. "I'm never coming back!" he says. His wife said that she liked the message and wanted to give $40 to the church.
At this point, he had two options: 1) Give and go bankrupt or 2) Don't give and God strikes him dead [crowd laughs]. Finally, he gave in.
Over the next two weeks, after he gave tithes, he explained that they had extra money in the bank. This NEVER happens. Jimmy's wife, Karen, asked again if they could give. Pastor Evans said, "Wait, we made it through two weeks, let's not push it." Karen continued to give Sunday after Sunday and the family was blessed.
The original message about tithing changed his life. If he had known the power of tithing earlier, things may have been different.
How many people believe the Bible? he asks. [Hands go up] Pastor Jimmy reads from the Bible:
28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”In the context of money, Jesus says that it's easier for a camel to walk through an eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. [Mark 10:28-30 (NKJV)]
As a child, Jimmy says that he gave up friends but later earned many friends throughout the globe. When young, he left his parent's business to work for the church. He was scared, but God reassured him that he wouldn't lose anything. Later on, his Dad and Mother came to the Lord.
Houses, land, relationships, or whatever you give up in this life, you will get 100 fold in the next life.
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” [Luke 6:38 (NKJV)]
According to your standard of measure, that is the amount of blessings you will receive in return.
Give and it will be given back to you in your standard of measure. What is your standard of measure?
Looking back to 1975, Jimmy felt sorry for himself (Boo hoo!) because he was in poverty, but God wanted to help him.
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:35 (NKJV)]Jesus said, "You're more blessed if you give then when you receive."
Jimmy referenced a book that researched giving. In the study, done over a course of 50 years, they learned that those who give will live longer. Giving reduces depression.
This one doctor was very materialistic. His kids were spoiled. Another family, a doctor, the man's children worked for what they got, work the mission field, and volunteer at church. When you compare both children, the happier kids were the ones that gave.
Receiving doesn't make you live longer. It's when you give. Even the simple act of praying for others in old age reduce depression.
Jimmy talks about an old guy at his church. This man, in his mid-eighties, brings his wife to the front of the church and prays for others each Sunday. This man, who can barely walk, is happy.
If you're a giver, you will live longer.
18 The wicked man does deceptive work,But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. [Proverbs 11:18]
24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more;And there is one who withholds more than is right,But it leads to poverty. [Proverbs 11:24]
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts; [Malachi 3:10-11]
5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.Even in this economy, the principle of GIVING will change your life. Giving will affect your life, health, and wealth. How much do you want?
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: [2 Corinthians 9:5-8]
Why Does God Bless Giving?
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.God wants us to be givers.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; [2 Corinthians 9:9-13]
For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten son. Jimmy talks about waiters at restaurants where they hate Sundays at lunch because Christians are cheap with their tips. Jimmy gives a minimum of 20%.
Because it keeps us close to God.
Givers don't backslide. Money promises you the same thing God promises. You cannot serve two masters (God or Money).
Giving allows us to bless others through us
God wants to bless the world. God wants to work through generous people. He's looking for people who have compassion for others, have a heart for others. You are either a river or a dam. God gives to rivers, not dams.
Jimmy talks about growing up poor. He thought his wife, Karen, was rich. She wasn't. Karen's father worked in the insurance business and he promised God that he would give 50% of anything he earned. As a result, God gave him millions upon millions of dollars.
When you are a giver, you live guilt free. God is looking for a river. If you are a dam, all you're going to do is lock it up. You'll put security in that money.
Jimmy prayed years ago, "If you'll help us, we'll help others."
His marriage, early on, was horrible. People came to him for marriage counseling. He never understood why, but he took the job. Years later, God has provided him a television show that will reach millions.
Three powerful truths about giving
- Giving tells God in absolute terms what we will do with more!
- Giving tells God how much more we can handle and be obedient with it.
- Giving allows God to prove his power in love like nothing else.
If you are ready to commit your life to Jesus. Say that I repent and fully surrender to you. Lord Jesus, I confess you as my Lord. I believe God raised you from the dead. I believe you paid for my sins. I'm forgiven and I'm on my way to Heaven. I repent. I come to you right now and I commit my entire life to you. I pray that you would use me and show my purpose in life. Show me your Holy Spirit, the power to change, and to do the right thing. This moment forward my life is yours. In Jesus' Name, Amen.