On November 11, 2018, I was asked to give a short message at the time for tithes and offerings.
For some context, I am a member of C3 San Diego. My family attends a new “East Campus” that is temporarily meeting in a high school auditorium. We setup and tear down every week, including a massive 30-ish foot tent out front where we serve coffee and donuts each week. It’s so much more amazing than I ever thought this much work could be.
This is what I said.
I’ve been a tither since my first job when I was 13 years old, and except for a few years in my early 20’s when I had walked away from God, I think I have tithed on every paycheck I’ve received. God’s favor in my life is unmistakable. His blessings are never ending, and I will always be a tither. I could tell stories for hours about his blessings, but I only have about 4 minutes.
So today I’m going to talk about something that is the foundation that allows us to tithe and to give offerings. I want to talk about “saying yes”. In Luke 22:42, we find Jesus praying in the garden before his arrest. “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?”
I’ve always “tried” to say yes to what I felt God was asking me to do, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t always do a good job. Our lives started to change 3 years ago yesterday when we pulled our truck and fifth wheel trailer out of the driveway of our Wisconsin house. See, God had tricked us into thinking that it was our idea to travel around the country for a year, work from the road, homeschool the kids, and eventually land in San Diego. That year is when He started breaking away the parts of us that were preventing us from really knowing Him — the religion, the dysfunction.
That was the year we decided that we would say yes to everything that He was asking us. Not every yes is hard, but some are.
- We got to San Diego, and at first, we didn’t want to make C3 our home church, but we said yes.
- We didn’t want to start our own business last summer, but we said yes.
- I didn’t want to go to prayer twice a week at 6 in the morning, because that’s crazy, but I said yes.
- I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone and speak the prophetic words God told me to say, so I said no. But then He asked again and I said yes.
- We didn’t want to commit to Vision Builders when we didn’t know how our new business would do.
- We didn’t want to stretch and give the extra offering he told us to give.
- We didn’t want to leave our friends and comfort at Central campus to come serve at East campus.
- I really don’t like setting up that… beautiful… tent out front every Sunday.
- But I said yes.
“Yes” has changed our lives. “Yes” has given us a home church like no other I’ve ever seen. “Yes” has given us freedoms we never knew before we owned a business. “Yes” has caused my prayer life to thrive. “Yes” has given me confidence to say the words that I know God has given me to say. “Yes” has made our children flourish — our 12 year old daughter Charlie went to Cherish women’s conference this year, and now instead of taking a backpack to school she carries a bag that declares she is “Clothed in Strength and Honor”, and her creative writing assignments are about the power of prayer!
The author of Hebrews tells us that “Because of the joy awaiting him, Jesus endured the cross.” Your joy comes from your yes.
“Yes” has put us in the position to be able to give abundantly and be blessed abundantly. So far in 2018 we have already given twice what we gave in 2016, or any year before that. How does that happen? I make about the same income, yet I pay 3 times more for my house here than for our home back in Wisconsin. And we still are to enjoy life, take vacations, go to Disneyland way too much. How does it happen?
“Yes” makes it happen.
I believe God is speaking to each of us right now. He is always speaking. He never stops speaking. While we pray, take a moment and listen to His voice. What is He asking? Is He asking you to start tithing or to give an offering? To speak life into someone? To pray healing into someone’s body? To start going to Emerge or Cherish prayer? To serve on a team?
Whatever it is, say yes! Your healing comes from yes. Your joy comes from yes. Your victory comes from yes.
Father, we know you are speaking to us. Open our ears to hear your voice. Open our hearts to say yes to you. You have dared us to give with the promise that you would bless us with more than we can handle. So if we have room for any more blessing in our life, that means that you have more in store for us. Today, Father, we say yes to you.