Invited to Give Hope | Sandals Church

Invited to Give Hope | Sandals Church

– Hey, you guys, welcome to Sandals Church where we’re all about
this vision of being real. So no matter who you are, or
where you’re watching from, there is a place for you here. And if you wanna dive deeper and look at what the vision
of being real looks like in your life, I have to
tell you to check out the Debrief Podcast where
you can go to to catch up on old episodes
and what’s to come. So make sure to check that out. Thanks for joining us. (“Great Adventure” by Tim Halperin) ♪ Every breath, an open door ♪ ♪ A new beginning ♪ ♪ Leads us on to something more ♪ ♪ It’s never ending ♪ ♪ The world, it waits to be discovered ♪ ♪ Every moment filled with wonder ♪ ♪ Oh we know what we were meant for ♪ ♪ This great adventure ♪ ♪ This great adventure ♪ – Good morning, Sandals Church! Thank you very much. Thank you. Man, it’s good to be here. How many of you guys like
to watch Christmas movies at Christmas, anybody? ‘Kay, like, we have our movies, like my wife likes to watch
black and white movies. My favorite movies, number one, “Elf”. Right? ‘Cause I’ve always felt a little off, so I identify with him and his struggle. “Home Alone” makes me feel good. I’ve never left a kid
in another city, right? And then “Family Vacation,”
“Christmas Vacation,” I mean, because I never wanna
be that weird of a dad. But I like watching those movies. So here’s the struggle, is a lot of you, you know those stories,
you know those movies, and so here’s what’s
happening in our culture. As we become more and more secular, and what that means is non-religious, as we move away from religion, we identify holidays, which
used to mean holy days, more with secular culture’s stories. Look, there’s nothing wrong with “Elf,” there’s nothing wrong with “Home Alone,” there’s nothing wrong
with “Christmas Vacation.” The problem is many of you
only know those stories; you don’t know the story. You don’t know the reason for the season. Now, if you’re under 30 years old, you guys, your generation
is moving so quickly away from church, so
quickly away from God, and many people have no idea
what Christmas is all about. And so what I wanna do
today is I wanna invite you into the Christmas story. Like a lot of you guys
know that at Christmas we buy gifts, we give gifts, a lot of you have no idea why. Where does that start? Where does that come from? Why is that the Christmas tradition? And then I’m gonna invite
you, at the end of service, not just to give a gift, but to give hope. To give hope to people who don’t know how much God loves them. Who don’t know what God has done for them, and don’t have literally any idea of how they’re gonna get through life. And we have an opportunity
to give towards that. So let me pray over you, and
here’s what I’m gonna pray: that you would hear God’s words today, and that the Christmas
story would challenge you, and would change your
heart, and you would know the reason for the season. Let’s pray together. Heavenly Father, we pray
in the name of Jesus, God, that you would just fill
this place with your Spirit, God, and you would touch
our hearts in such a way, God, that we could be the kind of generous that you want us to be at Christmas, and Lord, we could give the kind of gifts that make a difference. So Lord, bless this time. Lord, I don’t know what
people are going through. I don’t know what’s
happening in their lives, but you do, and I pray that this message somehow touches their life. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen. All right, take a look at
your notes in front of you. If you’re a guest, you can
download the Sandals app, and here’s what’s cool:
you have the whole sermon, and the answers, the
answers are already there, so you never miss a blank. But follow along, and really, the notes kinda keep me on
track, ’cause I have ADD. But it’s a lot of fun. So let’s take a look at
the Gospel of Matthew. And this is Matthew’s story
of the Christmas story. On Christmas Eve we’re
gonna look at Luke’s story, but today we’re looking
at Matthew’s story, and they tell the same
story from different angles. So in the Gospel of Matthew, it says Jesus was born in Bethlehem. I want you to write in your notes Jesus is a real person, he’s a real person born in a real place. It’s not made up, he’s
a historical person. There’s more evidence
for the reality of Jesus than there is for Abraham Lincoln. Now nobody in here doesn’t
believe in Abraham Lincoln, and yet many people choose
to not believe in Jesus. He’s a real person, born in a real city, during a real time, during
the reign of King Herod. Not only do we know where he was born, but we know about when he was born: during the reign of King Herod. “About that time, some wise
men from the eastern lands “arrived in Jerusalem, asking
‘Where is the newborn king “‘of the Jews?'” These guys are not Jews. They’re either Arab, or they’re Indian, or they’re from Persia, we don’t know. They’re somewhere from the east. “‘Where is the king of the Jews? “‘We saw his star as it rose, “‘and we have come to worship him.’ “King Herod was deeply
disturbed when he heard this, “as was everyone in Jerusalem.” Why is everybody afraid? Because when you have two kings, you’re gonna have one great war. Whenever there’s two kings,
you have one great war, and let me tell you why that matters. If Donald Trump and President
Xi of China can’t get along, guess what that means? Some of us die. It affects us. When leaders don’t get
along, when leaders fight, everyday normal people die. So people are freaked out. Wait a minute, there’s a new king? We also have an old king. And so they’re all upset. “He called the meeting
with the leading priests “and the teacher of religious
law,” this is hilarious, “‘Where is the Messiah
supposed to be born?'” Anybody ever feel like, or
wish you knew your Bible a little bit better? None of you? ‘Kay, you’re all scholars. You’re all, “Pastor, I
study the Bible every day. “I was reading it before
I came here today.” How unfortunate is that that
you’re the king of Israel, and you don’t even know your Bible? You don’t even know where the Messiah is supposed to be born. Listen, it’s not like it’s not a big deal. The whole Bible is pointing to this event. The whole Bible, from
Genesis to the gospels is pointing to the coming of
the Messiah, the Chosen One. It’s a big deal. It’s like the main point. And he doesn’t know where
he’s supposed to be born. So he phones a friend, and he calls all his religious friends, and they say, “Bethlehem. “The king will be born in Bethlehem. “Then Herod called for a private
meeting with the wise men.” He doesn’t want anybody in this meeting. It’s just him and the wise men. And he said, he wants to know
when the star first appeared. And then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem, “and search carefully for the child, “and when you find him,
come back and tell me “so that I can worship him, too.” “After this interview the
wise men went their way, “and the star they had seen in the east “guided them to Bethlehem. “It went ahead of them
and stopped over the place “where the child was. “When they saw the star,
they were filled with joy.” Think about this: not
Jewish, not Christian, but they’re happy because
Jesus changes lives. “They entered the house, they
saw the child with his mother, “Mary, and they bowed
down and worshiped him, “and then they opened
their treasure chests “and give him gifts of gold,
frankincense, and myrrh.” You see, the reason we
exchange gifts at Christmas is because gifts were exchanged
at the first Christmas. It’s a part of this, and here’s the thing, nowadays, we’re all running
around for getting gifts of people we hardly know,
and everybody forgets Jesus, and it’s his birthday. It’s his birthday. And we forget, oh my gosh,
I forgot Jesus on my list, it’s his birthday. And so a lot of you, you
know you should give, but you’re not sure how. I’m not sure how. Some of you have questions,
you’re not exactly sure, I don’t know about this church thing. I don’t know how to give to Jesus. And what I wanna do today,
is I wanna talk to you about how I believe you should give, and then I’m gonna share with
you how Tammy and I give, and how we’ve done it for 20 years, and then at the end of the service, I just want you to pray about it. I want you to ask God, “God,
what do you want me to do?” And then whatever God says, you do. So how should I give? ‘Kay , this point, guys, listen to me. I love all you guys, but you’re a little
behind on the whole issue of gift-giving, let’s just be honest. And I’ll prove it to you. Women already know this,
the answer’s thoughtfully. Amen, ladies? You know that. Like when you give a gift,
like this is my wife, it’ll be June. It’ll be June, we’ll be somewhere, and my wife will see something,
and say, “Oh my gosh, “this just makes me thing of so-and-so, “and I’m gonna buy this
for them for Christmas.” I have never had that thought in my life. (congregation laughing) I have never been anywhere in June and thought of any of you. I’ve just never, ever thought that, right? Guys, I will prove to you that
women are better gift-givers. I bet, Sandals Church is 20,000, that means about 9,000 are guys, ’cause there’s more women
at Sandals than men, ’cause they’re more
spiritual than us, okay? But listen to me, I bet there isn’t a guy at Sandals Church out of
the 9,000 men that come here that gets together at
Christmas with their buddies to exchange gifts. (congregation laughing) “Hey Fred, Jim, Bob, you
know what I was thinking “we could do? “We could get together once
a year and exchange gifts, “and express our love for one another.” (congregation laughing) Ladies, you’ll get friends
just so you can give a gift. (congregation laughing) Right? Let’s all get together. You have multiple
parties, multiple friends, and you exchange gifts. Oh my gosh, it’s why all of
us guys are broke, eh men? We’re like, stop having friends! So here’s the thing: women
are way better at gift-giving, so guys, I’m gonna help you out. I was a terrible gift-giver, ‘kay? I was terrible gift-giver. Tammy and I had, we said,
some just wonderful fights about my lack of generosity early on. And so I found this book
called “The Love Languages,” and it really, really helped me. It’s called, “The Five Love Languages.” It helped me to figure out
how to give gifts to people. And so let me run through
the five love languages real quick, and then we’ll
look at the kind of gift the wise men gave. The five love languages, right? The first kind of person you give to is the physical touch person. Not everybody likes physical touch. Write that down. You can’t touch everyone! Right that down. If you just touch random
people, you’re gonna go to jail. Some people like physical touch. Like, I don’t know if you can tell, but I got a haircut. Some of you are like, “I hate it.” Well, okay. My favorite part of the
haircut is the hair wash. I don’t know what happens, I don’t know if haircut
people take classes in magic, I don’t know what it is. But man, they put you
in that awkward sink, who designed that? Is it for giraffes? I don’t understand. Nobody’s neck is that long. They put you in that terrible sink that will break your neck, and you’re just all uncomfortable, and it’s weird, and then
they start touching you, and you’re like ooh! This last haircut, I’m not kidding, I think I was drooling at the end. I was just like aah. Just do it again. Run it again. I don’t think you got it all. And I tried it, like, now I’m
gonna massage your temples. I’ve done this in the shower,
it does not feel good. I don’t know what it is. It’s amazing. But if you buy a gift for somebody, like, you give them a massage, and
they hate physical touch, that’s lame. Like, they don’t like your gift. They think you’re weird. Some people people are physical touch, some people are not. Next, some people are quality time. Don’t buy them a coffee mug. Who has too many coffee
mugs; raise your hands. Tammy and I have been
mugged by coffee mugs. We have too many in our house, right? ‘Kay, you know what a
person whose love language is quality time, they don’t want a mug, they want coffee with you. And some of you parents,
man, you’re running around, you’re trying to find something on Amazon, and all your kids wants is you. They just want some time with you. They don’t want a mitt, a glove and ball, they wanna play catch with their dad. They just want some time. They just wanna hang out with you, and some of you are missing it. You’re not looking at the person. They just wanna spend time. And the next kinda person
that experiences love is it’s called acts of service. ‘Kay, they don’t want anything from you, but if you did something for them, they would love that. Like for example, I’m
wearing this watch right now, and I love this watch for two reasons: number one, I bought it for myself; number two, because,
and I’m not kidding you, I don’t make this up, it
doesn’t work right now because it needs a battery,
but I still wear it because it looks cool, and so my daughter, two years ago, said,
“Dad, what’s something “I could get for you?” I said, “You wanna do something for me?” She said, “Yeah.” I said, “Get a battery
for my stupid watch.” And so she took my watch, she
took it to the watchmaker, she got a new battery,
she put it under the tree, and I opened the watch
that I bought for myself, and I felt so loved. (congregation laughing) You know why? I don’t wanna go to a watchmaker. Those people are weird. What do they do in there? Like, they wear the funny
glasses, and they’re tinkering. I don’t know what’s happening in there. I’ll send my daughter, right? (congregation laughing) So two years ago she put
a battery in this watch, and if she’s thinking of
ideas for this Christmas, let’s run it back. All right. This next one is huge, and I’m terrible. Words of affirmation. My wife is so into words of affirmation, she affirms herself with words. She comes home, “You wanna
know what I did today?” I said, “Oh, you’re gonna tell me. “What’d you do?” I was so awesome. So here’s the thing: if you know somebody that’s words of affirmation,
guys I’m gonna save you some money on counseling right now. This is for free. Here’s what I’ve learned with my wife: you can’t just have one
word of affirmation, and you have to have a word, and then you have to have a backup word. ‘Cause here’s why: my wife will ask me, “Do you like this dress?” And I’ll say, “Yes.” And then she’ll say, “What
do you like about it?” See, some of you guys
aren’t ready for the backup. You gotta have the followup compliment. I really like the colors. I like the way it brings out your eyes. Oh. (congregation laughing) That’s awesome. You gotta be careful, too, guys, ’cause sometimes it’s a setup. “You like this?” “Yeah, I love your dress.” “I’m wearing pants.” “What?” (congregation laughing) You actually have to look first. Listen to me, if there’s
somebody in your life that they’re words of affirmation, you don’t have to buy them a gift. Send them a card, and actually write words in it yourself. You see, some of you guys,
you’re standing there like, “I’m looking for the perfect card.” They just wanna hear what you think. I’m not kidding you. My wife is so words of affirmation, you know what we do at
our house on birthdays? When it’s your birthday,
everybody in the family says things they love about you. And it’s hard; you gotta come up with it. It’s gotta be good. My kids all wanna go first now, so the good stuff doesn’t get taken. I’ll go first! But we just say that. ‘Cause you know, we live in a world where people are not affirmed. Hey, I love this about you. Hey, I appreciate this about you. Hey, I think these things
are amazing about you. See, the problem is, the world measures us in the things we do wrong. When’s the last time somebody just spoke some things over
you that you do right? It’s beautiful. Words of affirmation. And the last one is gifts, man. Some people just love gifts. Man, I was thinking of you. I thought about you. I got you this little thing. Like my mom loves gifts. She loves gifts. Doesn’t matter what it is. My mom still has stuff that I made when I was four years old. I’m pretty sure it’s toxic stuff. She’s got it on the tree. It’s kind of embarrassing, too, because I’ve become a better
artist since when I was four. This is what your pastor did. We put it on the tree. You’re like, “I think pastor
has a drinking problem. “What is that?” My mom just loves it. You know why? ‘Cause it was a gift. She loves things. And so think about that. And think about how the Lord
gave to us at Christmas. Physical touch: he came. He came physically. Quality time: he hang out. How did he call the disciples? He said, “Hey, let’s spend
three years together.” Think about that. All the ways that the Lord gave to us. Acts of service: the Son of
Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his
life as ransom for many. Words of affirmation: for
God so loved the world, he so loved you, that
he gave his one and only begotten Son, that whosoever
would believe in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life. And then finally, gifts:
Jesus gave his life for you. He died so you could live. God knows who we are. He knows what we need. So let’s take a look
at how should we give. We should give thoughtfully. Some of you have never thought about this. Like, you know the song, ♪ We three kings of Orient are ♪ Like you know that song, but
you’ve never thought about why did they give what they gave? So what was the gold for? Some of you’ve never thought about this, but the gold financed his escape to Egypt. When we read through the story, remember what Herod asked? Herod asked the wise
men, “When, precisely, “did you see the star?” You wanna know what Herod wants to know? How old is this kid? How old is this kid? So when he sends his troops to Bethlehem, Herod kills every male born
child two years and under. So Joseph and the wise
men are warned in a dream. The wise men are warned
not to tell King Herod, and Joseph is warned to flee. Listen to me, some of
you guys are young men, and you’re trying to
figure out how to be dads. You’re trying to figure
out how to do work, you’re trying to figure out
how to support a family. I want you to imagine you just found out you’re gonna be a dad. But now all of a sudden,
you can’t support your son doing what you’ve always done, because you’re a carpenter in Nazareth. Now you’ve gotta go to Egypt. You gotta go to a place
where you’ve got no family, you don’t speak the language, you don’t understand the culture, you may not be able to get a job. How are you gonna pay for your son? The wise men brought gold, and financed his trip to
Egypt, and his upbringing. Think about that. And some of you are like, well, if God’s gonna send his own Son, why didn’t he just send him rich? It’s not like they don’t
have gold in heaven. The Bible says they have
so much gold in heaven they pave their streets. Like here in Riverside we
can’t even pave potholes. (congregation laughing) Like there’s a shortage of asphalt. We got none. In heaven, they got gold. Well, I don’t know what to do with it. Just use it on the street. It’s not like they don’t
have money in heaven. So why did God send Jesus
to the earth to be poor? So he would know what it’s like to be you. I mean, I don’t know about
you, but Tammy and I, we don’t have a pile of cash in some room, we’re like, “We don’t know
what to do with this.” Jesus was the same way. He came with nothing. And he depended upon the
generosity of people. Next, frankincense. Frankincense is been used
for thousands of years as a symbol of wealth, and as a perfume. The frankincense was
to anoint him as king. It’s saying this little boy,
and I know your Bibles say was born in a manger,
it’s actually a cave. Was born in a cave, surrounded by animal poop, and bizarre shepherds who
saw something. (laughing) “We saw something.” Whatta you been drinking? It was a crazy night. And they anointed this little poor kid, in Bethlehem, in a cave, as the king of the Jews. The next gift, myrrh. Myrrh is also a spice,
but it’s used in death. Myrrh was used to wrap him
with this at death in royalty. That’s kind of an odd gift, right? Your child’s born, and
somebody shows up with a gift, “This is for them when they’re dead.” But you know what? Jesus didn’t come to live,
he came to die for you so you could live forever. And they brought this for him. They brought this. Think about how comforting
that must have been to Mary when he was crucified. Still got that jar of myrrh, remember this is what it was always about. This is why he came. Holding that jar, remembering, yep, this is why we kept this. This is what this is for. He came to die so we could all live. So I want to challenge
you to give thoughtfully. You should think about it. Let’s be honest, whenever
you talk about money, if you’re married, like, you wanna fight, talk about money. Like if you’re like, “We
haven’t fought in a while,” talk about money. If you’re single, you
wanna fight with yourself, think about money. I wanna encourage you to
think about what you give, whether you’re married or single. You need to think about it. You need to talk about it. Next you need to give cheerfully. The Bible says, “You must
each decide in your heart “how much to give, and
don’t give reluctantly, “or in response to pressure.” You should never feel manipulated, you should never feel pushed, you should never feel guilty. If it’s guilt, it’s not God. Like, think about it. Every week during the
offering, I could play that pet adoption song in the back, ♪ In the arms of an angel ♪ and I just, you know. (congregation laughing) We don’t do that. Why? Because God loves a person
who gives cheerfully. Look, I love to give. Tammy and I have bills. We don’t consider our
tithes and offerings a bill. You know what you do with bills? You pay ’em off. Man, just like last month, we finally paid off our last car payment, like we have no more car payments! (congregation members whooping) Right, yes, whoo! ‘Kay, I didn’t even tell Tammy I did this, but this is between us girls, right? Listen. (congregation laughing) I paid our last car
payment, and I did this, I don’t know why I did it, but I don’t like them
saying you have to pay, you have to pay, you have to pay, so I overpaid, that way that
have to send me a check. (congregation laughing) (people whooping) I really did that. I was like, “You guys are
gonna send me a check.” I thought about it. In 30 days I’m gonna call them,
“You realize you’re late.” (congregation laughing) I bet somewhere at Nissan they’ve
got an accounting meeting, they’re like, “What’s wrong with this guy? “He overpaid.” I only overpaid $8.00. I didn’t wanna make it a lot. (congregation laughing) Pray for Tammy; she’s married to me. It’s called Fun Bill
Paying with Pastor Matt. But I love that, right? I’m gonna pay off all my debt. I’m never gonna pay off God. It’s not like last year, well,
I don’t tell Tammy this year, “You know what, I got you
gifts every year for 22 years. “This year I’m taking it off.” You know why I like to
buy gifts for Tammy? ‘Cause I love her. You know why I love to
give gifts to the Lord? Because I love him. I love doing it. I love doing it. Here’s the problem this year, guys. All my Christmas shopping is already done, I already bought everything for Tammy, the problem is I’m so
excited to give it to her! I bought it too soon! This last week she was a little grumpy. (congregation laughing) I was like, “You’d better watch it, “’cause I know what’s under the tree. “And that could turn into some coal, “so let’s rally together.” No, no, right? I just, it’s killing me. It’s killing me. My kids are like, “What’d you get Mom?” I’m like, “I’m not telling anyone!” So exciting. Next, you gotta give regularly. Oh my gosh, some of you guys, you know all this gray hair? It’s from you. You’re like, “That was a
good sermon today, Pastor. “I’m gonna give a little bit.” And then the next week you’re like, “Yeah, I didn’t connect.” Man, some of you guys,
look, part of growing up is just paying bills. Like, when I got my first
apartment, my roommate, all he wanted to be was a rock star. Super-talented guy,
terrible at bill-paying. And so every month I would come to him, and I’d say, “Hey Andrew, it’s
time to pay the rent again.” And he’d be like, “Bro.” He’d take his headphones
off, he’s playing guitar, he’s like, “Bro.” He’s like, “I feel like
we just paid the bills.” I’m like, “We did. “We just paid it 30 days ago. “And we’re gonna pay it now, “and we’re gonna pay it 30 days later, “and 30 days after that.” He’s like, “You’re messing with my groove. “I just wanna be a rock star.” I’m like, “That’s never gonna happen.” And yet, he is the lead
guitarist for Switchfoot, and I’m like, “Aah, I blew that.” (congregation laughing) We oughta get him to tithe now. That’d be great. (congregation laughing) I think I blew that opportunity. So it’s gotta be regular. Some of you guys, listen to me, I love you, your giving at
Sandals Church is like this. Do you have any idea how
hard it is to make a budget when people give like this? It’s impossible. Like, I have to build a
budget every single year anticipating what you’re gonna give. Do you understand why
I’m gonna die very early? Like, what am I doing? It’s crazy. I told my wife this week,
“We’re just gonna get jobs.” Can you imagine if you got
paid at work the way you give? Your boss is like, “You’ve
done good this week. “I’m praying about it.” (congregation laughing) Can you imagine? Can you imagine? You’ve gotta give regularly. So Tammy and I, for
the last 20-plus years, we are what’s called tithers. Some of you don’t know what this is, or you’re like, “What’s titthing?” Well, it’s not titthing. (congregation laughing) It’s called tithing, and some of you, you’ve
grown up in church, you’ve heard about it, and let me just say this,
if you’re gonna give money, you need to know why, and you need to know what the Bible says about it. And a lot of people don’t know either. And so, even if you’re a visitor today, I don’t expect you to
give, but now you know what the person that
brought you should be doing. Just look at them, and it’s
like, “That was a good message.” (congregation laughing) Whatta you think? So why am I a tither? Well, here’s why; write this down. Abraham started it. Some of you guys don’t
know who Abraham is. Abraham is credited with
starting the Muslim religion, the Christian religion,
and the Jewish religion. That’s a fairly significant
spiritual dude, right? So Abraham, great dude. He had an idiot for a nephew. His nephew’s name is Lot. Lot is always screwing up. Lot wouldn’t know a good choice if it stared him in the face. Lot constantly does his own
thing, goes his own way, literally gets conquered, destroyed, his whole life is a mess, and why? Because he spends his
life not listening to God and not listening to Abraham. And one particular time, Lot is captured and sold into slavery, and Abraham goes to rescue his nephew. And he wins the battle, and
he wins his nephew Lot back. He wins all the spoils
back, all the horses, all the people, all the
servants, everything back. And then this weird dude,
nobody knows who he is, he’s only mentioned
three times in the Bible, once in Genesis, once
in the book of Psalms, and then in the book of
Hebrew in reference to Jesus. His name is Melchizedek. He’s one of the creepiest,
freakiest, bizarro dudes, creepy’s the wrong word, just mystic guy. We’re not sure who he is. Here’s what the Bible says: Melchizedek had no
beginning, and has no end. We don’t know where he came from, we don’t know where he’s going. But Melchizedek, the king of Salem, and priest of God Most High, shows up. Melchizedek, in Hebrew,
the way you say king is melech. He’s melech chizedek. He’s the king of righteousness who also is the king of Salem, which is where we get our word shalom. He’s the king of righteousness,
and he’s the king of peace. He’s the king of peace. Oh, and by the way, he’s the
priest of the one true God. Who does that sound like? Does anybody know somebody
that we worship, as Christians, who’s the king of righteousness,
and the king of peace, and oh, by the way, he’s also a priest? His name is Jesus. And he brought Abraham,
Abram, at this point, some bread and wine. Does anybody remember
how we remember Jesus? We break bread, and we
don’t sip wine at Sandals, but we take a grape symbolizing wine, in remembrance of him. And Melchizedek blessed
Abraham with his blessing. He said, “Blessed be
Abram by God Most High, “Creator of heaven and earth. “And blessed by God Most High, “who has defeated your enemies for you. “And then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth “of all the goods he had recovered.” This is where tithing starts. It starts with the founder
of our faith, Abraham, and this guy named Melchizedek. And here’s what’s weird. There are two priestly lines in the Bible. I know a lot of this is,
you’re gonna be like, whoa, I didn’t even know
there was one priestly line. But Moses, his priest is named Aaron, and all the priests in the Old Testament come from what’s called
the Aaronic priesthood. Now Jews don’t use that word anymore. If you have Jewish friends,
and their last name is Cohen, what that means is they’re from that line. They come from that family. You see, the Hebrew word
for priest is Cohen. Cohen. And it means they’re from that line. Jesus is not from that line. He’s from a different priestly line, and oh, by the way, there’s
only two priests in this line, Melchizedek and Jesus. Hebrews 6:20 says, “Jesus has
already gone there for us.” Where is Jesus? He’s at the right hand of God,
defending you as we speak. He has become our eternal high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Why? Because Jesus is the king
forever of righteousness who brings peace with God to you. That’s who he is; that’s what he does. So Abraham start it,
next Moses commanded it. He says, “You must set
aside a tithe of your crops, “one 10th of all the crops
that you harvest each year. “Bring this tithe,” this is key, “to the designated place of worship, “the place the Lord your God chooses “for his name to be honored.” Now some Christians take
10% and they divide it up. They give some to missions,
they give some to the church, they give some to the poor. That’s not what Tammy and I do. Tammy and I bring 10% of
our salary and we give it to Sandals Church
because this is the place where God chooses his name to be honored. For Tammy and I, 10% is not
the ceiling of our giving, it is the platform of our giving. It’s where we start. It’s where we start. You pray about what you do. It’s where we start. And I want you to know
I’m serious about this. I want you to know I
believe Sandals Church literally is changing lives, Sandals Church is making a difference, and I love what we give
here, and I want you to know I will never ask you to do something that Tammy and I do not do ourselves. Let me give you some good news, and then let me give
you some shocking news. The good news is, last
year, 11,273 people, think about that: 11,273
people gave to Sandals Church. Isn’t that incredible? (congregation applauding and cheering) It’s incredible. Here’s the shocking news:
of those 11,273 people, where do you think Tammy
and I are in that list? So let’s say the 11,273rd
person gave a dollar, and let’s say the first
person gave a $1 million. Here’s what the Bible says, listen to me. The Bible says you’re not
supposed to tell people what you give because when you do that you lose your blessing. I’m gonna lose my blessing right now because I wanna bless you. I want you to know that Tammy
and I are in this with you. Of all the 11,273 people this year, Tammy and I are number nine on that list. Number nine. Now don’t clap, because if you think we’re the ninth richest
persons people in this church, you do not know us, and I
need to take you for a ride in my Subaru. (congregation laughing) We do it because we love what God is doing at Sandals Church. I want you to listen to me. Even when Tammy and I die, we’re gonna double-tithe our
inheritance to Sandals Church. When we die, we’ve given
20% of whatever we have left to Sandals Church
because we love you guys, and even when I’m in heaven, I want my money working for you. That’s my heart. That’s who I am. That’s what I’m about. Okay? All right, enough of that. Enough of that. Next, God blesses the tithe. How many of you guys
want God to bless you? Raise your hands. Okay, half of you. That always shocks me, every time. I don’t know. It’s a trick question. No, we all wanna be blessed. Here’s what God said. He said, “Should people cheat God? “Yet you have cheated me. “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? “‘When did we ever cheat you?'” He says, “You’ve cheated me of
tithes and offerings due me.” He says, “Bring all the
tithes into the storehouse “so there will be enough
food in my temple. “‘If you do’, says the
Lord of Heaven’s armies, “‘I will open the windows
of heaven for you. “‘I will pour out a blessing so great, “‘you won’t have enough
room to take it in.'” Underline this: “Try it. “Put me to the test.” Did you know the Bible actually says you’re not supposed to test God unless it’s about the issue of tithing. You know why Tammy and I are
number nine on that list? Because we’re blessed. We’re blessed. God has blessed us. We held onto a piece of property
for about the last 10 years that 10 years ago I
couldn’t have given it away. If I gave it to you 10 years
ago, I would owe you money. We held onto it, and we sold it this year, and we made a ton of money. The Lord blessed us. We haven’t even paid our taxes on it yet. We tithed first to God. We gave first to God. Listen to me, God blessed us. I had a worthless piece
of property 10 years ago, not worth anything. God blessed it. You know why he blessed it? I believe because Tammy and I are tithers, and we’re faithful. We’re not rich. We’re not even super smart. I mean, you knew that about me. But we’re faithful. We’re faithful people. And we’ve done that, and God’s blessed us. Look, God’s taken care of Tammy and I. I want you to know this. We don’t even have car payments now. We don’t have car payments, we only have a couple more
years left on our house. Listen to me, my credit score is 833. And my social security number’s
been sold in the dark web. I don’t know why you’re laughing. (congregation laughing) But I’ve had to deal with that. I’ve had to deal with that issue. There’s a construction company in my name in South Carolina that I do not own. That was strange. (congregation laughing) God’s blessed us, God’s taken care of us, God’s watched over us, we’ve been able to get
our kids through college, we’ve been able to pay
off all of our bills. Listen we’re not rich,
but God has blessed us. And that’s what I want for you. That’s what I want for you. I don’t want you to be
rich just financially, I want you to be rich in
your relationship with God. And oh, by the way, I
do want you to be rich, ’cause you can’t give what you don’t have. Nobody prays more for you. Man, I want you to get raises. Shoot, I want you to trip
over a lottery ticket you did not buy. I want you to have rich
relatives you don’t even know that die and leave you money. Man, I’m praying for that all the time. I want God to bless your socks off so that we can build this church. So we can do things. Some people tell me,
“Well, Jesus never talked “about tithing,” and I
say, “Well, that’s because “you never listen to Jesus.” Jesus actually talks about
tithing in both Matthew and Luke. Here’s what he says in Luke 11:42, “What sorrow awaits you, you
Pharisees, for you are careful “to tithe even the tiniest
income of your herb gardens, “but you ignore justice
and the love of God.” Underline this: you should tithe what? Yes, but do not neglect
the more important things. You know what he’s saying? You can give money to
God and still be a jerk. So you need to not just give money, you need to let God have your heart. And God needs to change your heart. Next, Tammy and I are tithers
because tithing helps me to regularly keep God first in my life. I don’t know about you,
but it’s easy for me to get stupid real quick. It’s easy for me to say one
thing, and do another thing, and tithing is a regular way, in my life, where I say God’s real, God’s
first, I’m trusting in this. You see, if you wanna know
what matters to Matt Brown, check my calendar and
look at my checkbook. Those two things will tell
you what matters to me. Doesn’t matter what I say, it matters what I say on my checkbook, and it matters what I say on my calendar. Years and years ago, Tammy and I, we went to buy our first house. We were so excited. Not our first house; our
first brand new house. Our first house was just
like little tiny house. Man, you could open the
door, close the back door, put the kids to bed, and
close the refrigerator without ever moving. It was that small. And we found this house, and
we just loved this house. It was brand new. We put down a deposit. We prayed over it, we
just knew, we just knew, that God was gonna do
great things in this house. And see, back in the day, you didn’t apply for a loan online, you went and met with a loan officer. And so we met with a loan officer. We went through all our bills,
we talked about what we made, and as he was going through
our financial statement, he said, “What’s titthing?” (congregation laughing) I said, “Well, it’s tithing.” He says, “That’s a lot of money.” And he (sputtering), he
said, “That looks like “it’s about 10% of your income.” I said, “Yeah, that’s what titthing is.” (congregation laughing) “It’s 10% of your income.” And this is what he told us. He said, “If you put this
down on this piece of paper, “you’re not gonna qualify for this house.” I said, “What are you telling me to do?” He said, “I’m telling you
either to quit titthing, “or I’m gonna tell you to
lie about it to the bank.” Can you believe that? That’s what he told me. I said, “Well, I’m not
gonna quit doing that, “and I’m not gonna lie about it. “If God wants us to have this house, “we’re gonna qualify for it.” He said, “Look, I’m not telling
you not to believe in God. “I’m your loan officer, I’m telling you, “you will not qualify for this house “if you put down tithing.” Guess what, we didn’t get the house. Some of you are like, “Aw.” Well, here’s the thing. Within two years, that
house lost half its value, and Tammy and I woulda gone bankrupt if we’d bought that house. Tithing saved our financial necks. You know why you’re golf-clapping? ‘Cause it wasn’t you. (congregation laughing) I found this verse, this
is an old translation, I love it. It’s from the 1970’s. It’s called The Living Bible. Nobody reads it anymore, but
it’s a fantastic translation. It says this, “The purpose
of tithing is to teach you “always to put God first in your life.” You know what I challenge
my kids to do? Tithe. You think it’s easy for kids to tithe? Nope. Most things God asks us to do aren’t easy, but they are good for us. They are good for us. Nobody goes broke
because they give to God. People go broke because
they make bad decisions. Investing in God is never a bad decision. Next, tithing protects me
against guilt and manipulation. You know, people ask me
for money all the time. A lot of people think
Sandals is a rich church just because we’re a big church. Look, we got a campus in San Bernardino, not Newport Beach, amen? You do know that there’s
a socioeconomic difference between people in San Bernardino and people in Newport Beach. And if you don’t know that, go look at the ships in Newport Beach. Not a lot of ships in San Bernardino. But you know why we have a
campus in San Bernardino? ‘Cause we don’t care what
kinda money people make, we care about their souls. That’s what we care about. A lot of people ask me for money. They ask Sandals to
get involved in things, and give to things, and
let me tell you something, let me tell you why I love tithing. Tithing helps me to understand
where my giving always is, and I don’t have to give
to everything and everyone. I look at the tithe, and I
measure myself based upon that, and you can play your little song, and put the little animal
in front of my face. You can do all that, but
I know whether or not I’m being generous because of tithing. Tithing protects me against
guilt and manipulation. Listen to what Paul says,
“Of course, I don’t mean “your giving should make
life easy for others “and hard for yourselves. He says “I only mean that
there should be some equality.” I’m gonna make this
commitment to you right now. I am never going to live
in luxury at your expense. Never. That is not my heart, that is not my goal, that is not who God has called me to be. You are never gonna read an article about some yacht I own
in the Bahamas, okay? I may have a fishing boat in Lake Perris, but that’s another story. I don’t even have that,
but it sounded funny. (congregation laughing) I don’t want you to
give so I can get rich. I want you to give so you get rich. I want you to give so God
will bless your socks off. Now some of you, there’s no way at all. If somebody put a gun to your head, you couldn’t think about tithing. You need to come to our financial class, and you need to start figuring
out how to do your finances. Tammy and I had to do the same thing. And you need to start paying off bills, and you need to start
living within your means. We have a whole class that
will help you do that. It says right there, join
us at Sandals Church, Hunter Park for a free
financial planning workshop on Saturday, January 11th. You can come to that. Now let’s say, let’s say
you’re good at budgeting. Let’s say you have plenty of money. And let’s say, like me and Tammy, you wanna leave Sandals
Church in your inheritance, in your will. Sandals gets 20% of what we give. Here’s my prayer. One day I’m not gonna
be your pastor anymore, and there’s gonna be another
young guy that comes up. Here’s my prayer: that we can hand him
Sandals Church debt-free. Debt-free. I don’t know if you know this, but Sandals Church, we’ve had
to pay for everything ourself. We didn’t get anything from anybody. We’ve had to raise it, build it, do it, all on our own. And it’s been very, very difficult, and we’ve had to take some
debt, not a lot, but some debt. My prayer is that one
day we can pay that off. And what I would just
ask you to do is listen. When I die, and I stand
before God on Judgment Day, I don’t want my kids getting new cars. I want God to know that I still love him, and while I’m in heaven, my
money is still doing his work. That’s what I want him to know. Amen? (congregation applauding) If you’re a visitor here
today, I’m so sorry. (congregation laughing) Come next week; we’re
not talking about money. But we love you, and here’s the thing: the church cannot do ministry
without financial margin. That’s just the truth. That’s just the truth. And we gotta learn to give. So thank you for coming. Please come back. I wish I didn’t ever
have to talk about this, but unfortunately, from
time to time, we do. We have to deal with it,
because it’s a real issue, and our vision is to be real. So I’m gonna ask the ushers
to prepare for the offering, and here’s what I want you to do. Pray about it. Make your gifts thoughtful,
make them cheerful, and make them, for the love of Jesus and all that is holy, regular, amen? Regular. Oh my gosh, save me from dying too soon. Okay, let’s ask God to bless this. Let’s ask God to move in our hearts. I’m gonna ask the worship
team to come on out as I pray. Heavenly Father, we pray in the mighty, powerful name of Jesus
that you would move, that you would do great things, that you would take these
humble offerings, and God, you would multiply it in such a way that Sandals Church could run 10 campuses. Lord, could run an internet
ministry that reaches hundreds of thousands of
people all over the world, and we could do this all so
we can give hope to people who are lost. Bless us, Father, as we give. Bless our socks off we
pray in Jesus’ name, amen. I love you guys. Thanks for listening. – Sandals Church is a
non-profit that operates from donations from people like you, because when you donate,
your money goes to helping us create places where people can be real. So to donate and be a
part of how God moves for the vision of being real,
make sure to go to to make a donation today. Have a great week.

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  1. Burn your friends moronic Bible, give them a grade 3 science book at let them learn some facts. Instead of being told a magic mafia boss in the sky will torture them forever if they dont believe.
    Pathetic cult stupidity!

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