Uncle J’s Chest


Transcript & Outline

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“Uncle J’s Chest”

January 20, 2019

By Ed Young

I’m sure you’ve had it happen to you in the doctor’s office.  You know, you have a pain and the doctor begins to place his or her hands like in different places, you know, on your body and then they find the <grunt> yeah.  The source of pain.  It’s like, aaaah!!!  Your jaw hurts, aaaah!  Have you had that experience before?  I don’t want to get too technical but yeah, we all have had that experience with the doctor.  They have that ability to place their hand right in those areas that are causing us problems.  Kind of a very telling thing when you go to the doctor.

Well, during this series I’ve been trying, by the Holy Spirit of God, to put the Lord’s hands, the Great Physician’s hands, on that area that <ahh!> causes <grunt> some pain and it’s kind of sensitive.  We’ve been talking about stuff, right?  Materialism.  We’ve been talking about cash, because money matters to me and money matters to you.  Stuff matters to me and stuff matters to you.  Stuff matters to God.  Yes, God is a God of the intangible.  We make a faith decision, we trust him.  He’s also a God of the tangible.  He created us.  He made us.  Matter matters.  So, to say, oh, God doesn’t care about stuff… God cares about stuff!  And we’ve been discovering around here, whether we have a strong opinion about it or not, God owns all the stuff.  #2 – God has given us all the stuff.  So, #1 – God owns all the stuff.  #2 – God has given us all the stuff.  And #3 – We manage the stuff.  Again, it doesn’t matter what I feel or what my opinion might be.  It doesn’t matter what a focus group says or all of that, it’s just what God says.

So, I thought about our stuff, and I thought about a guy in the Bible.  In fact, he was a kid in the Bible.  I call him the kindergarten king.  His name was Joash.  Joash actually built a box.  I don’t know if he built it with LEGOs or what, but as a king, as a kindergarten king, he had a box built.  And this box really changed the course of the way people viewed stuff.  Isn’t that crazy?  What a name, Joash.  Difficult name #1.

Now, difficult name #2 in this story was Joash’s uncle.  His name was Jehoiada, Jehoiada.  Say it with me.  Jehoiada.  I love that name.  Wouldn’t that be a great name?  That’d be a really good name for like if you’re expecting and you’re having a son, Jehoiada.  I’m serious.  This guy was an amazing man.  The Bible says in the book of 2 Chronicles chapter 23, let me give you the Cliff Notes, that Jehoiada.  Now, Jehoiada was a priest.  When I say the word priest don’t think about this guy with the clerical collar, with the big cross, who’s kind of very formal and sort of soft.  No, no, no.  Jehoiada was a Special Forces guy.  He was a guy who had to open up a can on some people.  He was a guy who did some covert and overt operations to really change the course of leadership in Judah.  Interesting guy.  So, he was a priest (this would be a pretty good movie, wouldn’t it?) but also, he was like a Special Forces guy.  He was, let me say it again, the uncle to Joash.  So, let’s call Jehoiada just Uncle J.  It’s easier.  So, we’ve got Uncle J and Joash.   Am I going too fast?  Joash is the kindergarten king. You’re like, how did that happen?  Here’s how it happened.

You know, King David, I’m going back several thousand years, thousands of years.  You know Solomon, David’s son.  Solomon built the temple.  A house of worship which was absolutely amazing.  I believe that the house of God, biblically speaking, should be a house of excellence.  I believe the church should be the best-looking building in the community or in the city.  I’m not saying opulent, I’m saying with excellence.  Because everything we do reflects the nature and the character of God.  So, Solomon built it and it was like, wow, incredible!  Well, due to just some rebelliousness and craziness the whole thing literally went to Hell in a handbasket.  Uncle J, this priest, stood and he saw that the house of God was in disrepair.  He’s like, man, it’s terrible!  Technology is out of date.  Holes in the carpet.  Parking lot has potholes everywhere.  It’s not even landscaped right.  We need to go to multi-site, he said.  Uncle J said, “Let’s buy this building, do that.”  Yet, nothing was happening.  So Joash, this kindergarten kid, became the king of Judah.  And Uncle J was the one who got him in that position.  He’s the one that made him.

Well, Joash’s grandmother was killing everybody, right and left.  She was a serial killer.  She tried to kill her grandson, Joash, but Uncle J, man.  He was too smart, he was too sly.  He wasn’t having any of that, so Uncle J ended up taking her out.  Is this crazy?  I mean, this is nuts!  So Joash, as a kindergarten kid, takes the throne.  His mentor is Uncle J.  Uncle J was a great guy.  And the Bible says that Uncle J said, before God, “The people, the priests, the pastors, and all that, and the king, God, will follow you.”  That’s what Uncle J said.

So, Joash takes the reigns.  And I love what the Bible says about him.  Let’s look at 2 Chronicles, chapter 24, verse 1“Joash,” the Bible says, “was 7 years old when he became king and he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem.”  Forty years!  And then the Bible says in 2 Chronicles 24:2, “Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Uncle J the priest.”  I mean, he’s a king.  A kid.  You’re like, oh man.  Ed, I’m 7 years old.  Ed, I’m 13.  Ed, I’m 17.  Ed, I’m 18.  Whatever.  What I do doesn’t matter.  … Are you kidding me?  I would say some of the best Christians at Fellowship are children.  No doubt.  Their heart for God, their heart for the house, their heart for his word, their heart for people.  If you ever go to our children’s ministry and look around, there’s nothing like it.  It is truly amazing.  And I’m so excited that God doesn’t say, “Well, you’re too young.”  I’m so excited that God doesn’t say, “Well, you’re in kindergarten.”  I’m so excited that God uses young people.  Look how he used Joash!  This guy was killing it, man.  Crushing it as a kindergarten king.  I love how Uncle J mentored him.

Yeah, we’re gonna find out if you keep on reading this is kind of bad news, but I’ll go back to the good news.  After Uncle J died, when he died Joash went off the rails.  I mean, he went off the reservation and it shows you the importance, does it not, of the right people in your life.  You can have the right people around you for 40 years, and then you get older, maybe in your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s.  You’re like, well, I can just do what I want to do now.  Well, I can listen to that group or that group.  And that’s what happened to Joash.

So, sadly he went kind of cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs after Uncle J died.  So that shows you the importance of living the life and having the right people around you.  Because when they move, when they pass away, when they’re transferred or whatever, you’ve got to have that discernment and to surround yourself with the right ‘they’.  That’d be a good book, wouldn’t it?  “The Right ‘They’.”

So, that’s the story.  Little Joash, Mr. LEGO guy, is sitting on the throne.  He’s looking around.  He’s playing video games now and then.  Uncle J is his mentor and Joash is really having the time of his life.  So, he looks around and he goes, “Man, something’s not right.  Something’s not right.  God’s house is not right!  It needs to be changed.  It needs to be brought up to speed.”   So, he begins to lead, you know fueled by Uncle J, this rebuilding of the temple.  But did you hear what I read?  Did you hear what I read in that second verse?  Did you hear what I read?  I hope you didn’t miss this, verse 2, “Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada.” Uncle J, the priest.”  Do right in the sight of God.  So, what is right in the sight of God is right in the past.  What’s right in the sight of God is right in the present.  And what’s right in the sight of God will be right in the future.  I mean, do you do what is right in the sight of God?  Let me talk to the young people here.  Let me talk to the parents here.  Let me talk to the grandparents here.  Are you doing what’s right in the sight of God?  Because if I please God it doesn’t matter who I displease.  If I displease God, it doesn’t matter who I please.

Yet, we’re caught in this web of clicks and Likes and Followers and Friends and opinions and focus groups and trends and poles.  We’re playing for an audience of one.  At the end of the day I need to do right in the sight of God.  Here’s how I’ve messed up and wasted a lot of time.  I’ve said to myself, “Well, OK.  I’m gonna follow you, God.  I want to do what’s right in your sight but also, I’m gonna prove to her.  I mean, one day when I make that amount of money, or have that much acclaim, or that many followers, she’ll go, ‘Wow.  I guess I was wrong about you.’  Or, I’ll prove to him (maybe a family member), hey, I did have the talent!  I can do it!  And you get to that certain point and wow!  I will feel it then!  But here’s what happens.  Normally when you get to that point those people don’t even care.  Also, a lot of them move, some of them even die.  I think we think that people think about us all the time.  They don’t think about us all the time!  Sometimes I think, well, I guess people are thinking about me.  No, they’re not!  They’re not thinking about you, either!  They’re not!

So, God makes it simple.  Joash did what was right in the sight of God no matter how popular or unpopular it was.  What I love about this kid king was that he and Uncle J were the only ones that really saw – OK, we have got to finance this rebuilding and the repair work of the temple.  I mean, they were the only ones!  And throughout the Bible when God has a plan, he always chooses a man or a woman, every time.  It’s not a committee.  Let me say it again.  It’s not a committee.  I’ll say it a third time.  It’s not a committee.  A giraffe is a horse put together by a committee.  Did that make sense?  Did I say it right?  A giraffe, think about that, is a horse put together by a committee.  The reason that I paused was because between services I had a meeting and the guy goes, “What did you mean by that?”  And I said it again.  And this guy’s an attorney, no wonder.  And again, I said,

“You do have your law degree?”  and he said,

“Yes.”  I had to say it three times.  Finally, he goes,

“Oh!  I got it now!”  That’s why I was a little worried.  I think that line, right?  Think about that.  That’s a hard line.  A giraffe is a horse put together by a committee.  Why did I say that?  Well, because Joash made a mistake.  He put together a committee and committees don’t work.  I think you know that.  Death by committee.  And he had to go through the planning and zoning committee of Judah, and the city council of Judah.  Isn’t it interesting?  I mean no disrespect to city councils and planning and zoning committees but those are little people with little vision, trying to hammer big people with big vision.  And we have so many rules and regulations and attorneys and crap out there it’s hard to do anything.  I’m talking to the leaders here.  I’m talking to the entrepreneurs here.  I’m talking to the pastors here.  Just to do what we do at Fellowship Church, just to buy this building in Frisco, just to have multi-sites, all of the regulations and all of the money we have to pay for this study and that study.  And will it hurt the mating of the snail darter in this pond that you have to build for half a million dollars just to build this facility. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?  Now, I’m not hating on attorneys.  I love lawyers, I love people who are in planning and zoning. I’m not saying that.  I love people who are part of city councils, it’s just what we’ve been done.

So, you’ll get to hold this microphone, Dr. Cross, because I’ve got to blow my nose.  I put makeup on.  I have to.  I don’t wear makeup every day, don’t start that rumor, but I put makeup because of the lights and stuff.  It does look better when I have makeup on.  I don’t put on a lot.  For some reason, I don’t know why, when I put this makeup on my nose invariably runs.  I’m allergic to it.  I don’t know what it is, so I’ve got to blow my nose.  And as I’ve told you before, my wife blows her nose, like, I’ve counted.  She averages 20 times a day.  She’s not here so I can say it.  I’ve never seen anybody blow their nose as much as Lisa does in my life.  We have tissue everywhere.  I blow my nose like, one time a day.  Today it will be two.  I blew it in the first service when my nose started running, I’ll blow it here.  I’m done after that.  I don’t blow my nose all the time. So, let me blow my nose.  I’m not gonna gross anybody out.  I’ll have Dr. Cross.  Dr. Cross, right here, this is sad.  He’s the only guy I know that carries around a snot rag with him.  He carries around what my Papaw used to carry around back in the 50’s.  You know, one of those handkerchiefs.  Are you kidding me?  But maybe after this nose run, maybe I see.  He has it right there!  This is embarrassing.  Stand up.  That is the… he’s from the country.  Look, he keeps it right there.  Amen.  Wow.  Hey, I gotta pull my snot rag out.  I’ve got one handy.  Oh my gosh.  It’s embarrassing.  No, it’s not.  I might just use it.  Have you used that today already, the snot rag?  Oh, I’m not gonna use it. OK. Thank you.

Some people when they blow their nose (not to be too gross) they make these sounds <elephant sound effect> like that, like an elephant.  I have one friend that blows his nose; he booms.  Rubs it around. I’m like, oh my gosh.  Those things are overrated.  That looks pretty good, doesn’t it?  So, we’re having fun, aren’t we?  We’re just family.  We are, we’re just family.  Aren’t we, Laurie?  We’re family.  Yes, that’s my daughter.  Thank you!  You said you love me.  I need to hear that!  Hey, I can live off a compliment for six months.  Sometimes people say, “Ed, I know you hear this all the time.”  No, I don’t.  Tell me.  They tell me that, like people are like all the time going, “Oh, I love you.  You’re great.  I enjoyed it.” No, I don’t hear that!  Tell me!  We love compliments, don’t you?  Everybody does.

It’s like Joash.  I mean, he and Uncle J they would complement each other, I guarantee it.  All the time.  So Joash puts together a committee.  The committee drags its feet and this kid king gets up in the grill of this committee.  You might be thinking, well, OK.  Explain it.  All right.  Look in 2 Chronicles 24:4-5, “Now it came about after this that Joash (who was the only one who saw the situation, he and Uncle J) decided (I love this) to restore the house of the Lord. So, he gathered the priests and the Levites” (blah-blah-blah) together and he wanted it done.  I like it because it says, “And they collected money from all of Israel to repair the house of your God annually.”  Say it with me.  Annually.  So, we right now are in a capital campaign called Intense to hopefully raise between $28-40 million over and above our regular giving to continue to build the house of God because the house of God is his house.  I mean, it is.  I understand that we’re the body of Christ.  You show me, though, someone who says, “I have a heart for God” and I’ll show you somebody that has a heart for his house.  It’s impossible to have a heart for God and not to have a heart for his house.  It’s impossible.

Well, here’s death by committee.  “But the Levites…”  the Levites, those are people that led in worship, in construction, in maintenance in the house of God, it says, “But the Levites (last part of verse 5) did not act quickly.”   So, not only were they disregarding the king’s orders and Uncle J’s orders, they were disregarding God’s orders.  So Joash was like, “Now!”  Uncle J was like, “Now!”  Build it!  Bring the money in!  Now!  I’m tired of these committees, I’m tired of the planning and zoning, I’m tired of the city council, I’m tired of the regulation.  Now.  Now!  That’s why we’re doing this now.  We only have a brief window of opportunity as a church.  Three or four times in the history of our church have we had an opportunity like this.  The time is now.  But we can always come up with reasons not to do this.  Wow, Fellowship Church is one of the largest churches around.  Fellowship Church is doing this and doing that.  Man, have you heard about the economy?  Well, let me quote Hank Williams, Jr. <singing> “The interest is up and the stock market’s down.  You only get mugged if you go downtown.  I live back in the woods, you see, with my woman and the kids and the dogs and me.  I got a shotgun, a rifle, and a four-wheel drive and country folk can survive.”  I mean, that’s depressing, isn’t it?  How depressing is that song?  I can talk all day and night about oh, the interest rate.  Oh, I’m not sure in this crazy economy.  Oh, we’ve got to go through so many regulations, specifications.  We’ve got to do this and do that.  Hey!  The time is now.  The time is now.

All the buildings you see have been constructed because of what Joash did and was challenging the people to do.  These buildings were constructed because we said now’s the time.  Now’s the time.  I look back, our church kicked off in 1990.  We bought this land out here, they thought we were crazy mc-craze.  159.2 acres, we bought it from the Resolution Trust Corporation for $2.5 million.  We didn’t have a dime of it.  We were able to raise enough to put down a down payment and we owed $1.875 million on all of this acreage.  Nothing was out here.  We were 13 miles away from the place we were meeting, an old high school in Irving, Texas, and a dilapidated theater in Irving, Texas.  We were a church on the move, man.  People were like, what are you guys doing?  Building a golf course?  A hundred and fifty-nine point 2 acres, what?  A year later we sold 22 of the 159.2 for exactly what we owed, $1.875 million dollars.  Whew!  Yeah!   That was when the economy was so low the government was selling land.  We bought this land from the government, the Resolution Trust Corporation.

But we had a problem.  We didn’t have a building.  We got the land, people clapped, yeah!  Woo-hoo!  No building.  The economy was terrible again.  It was in the tank.  So, what did we do?  We did what Joash is going to command the people to do.  We got together as a church and we gave over and above our regular giving to make this thing happen.  So, every building you see at Fellowship Church was given as an offering over and above our regular giving.

You know, sometimes people say drive by.  Now when I say drive by, that has a negative connotation, does it not?  You think about shooting.  You think about gangs.  You think about drugs.  Drive-by.  Hear about these cars just driving by and gunning people.  Well, let’s baptize the drive by.  What if drive by could be good?  Because in my view, a drive by is good.  Every time Lisa and I drive by this facility we say, you know what?  We played a massive role financially in making this happen.  So, every time we just have a drive by or a drive up, I’m like, yay, God.  Do you have that?  Maybe you don’t have that.  Well, you can have that where we’re going.

Well, Joash puts together this committee, the committee doesn’t work, and then, I mean he starts getting tough.  So, then he tells Uncle J, why?  Why, Uncle J, why are people dragging their feet?  Why all of this rigamarole?  Why all of the regulations?  So, then, then, then, so the king summoned Uncle J.  Look at verse 6, “…the chief priests and said, ‘Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy (that’s simply the tithe) that God gave Moses to give to the people in the wilderness, fixed by Moses, the servant of the Lord on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?”  I like that.  The tent of the testimony.  That’s the tabernacle, the temple.  You could call this church the tent of the testimony.  The testimony of changed lives.  Again, my friend, heart for God, heart for the house.  You have a heart for the house?  Oh, yeah, I do.  Well, that’s intangible.  How about tangible?

Oh, I trust you, Lord, for my eternity!  Do you really trust God?  Let me look at your financial statement.  Really?  But you’re not doing the minimum worship requirement?  I’m just telling you straight up.  If you’re not bringing the first 10% you don’t have a heart for the house. And you know what?  This is gonna sound crazy, but I can give you some biblical background for this.  I wonder if you’re a true believer.  I really, really do.  Just you look at the Bible.  Look at materials, look at stuff, look at money.  If you’re not bringing the minimum requirement in, I’ve gotta go, hmmm.  You might be.  I’m not God, I would just question that.  Because when your heart has been changed by God, there is not enough that you can bring to him.  And see, this is where the rubber meets the road.  This separates the tire-kickers from the buyers, the men from the women, the boys and the girls.  This is the deal right here.  That’s why whenever I preach on money, we don’t have a lot of people show up.  Normally we’re in the balcony and all that.  I understand.  And sadly, people bolt when I talk about money and what they don’t realize is they’re bolting from the blessings of God.

I’ll never forget a family a while back during one of these series, invited Lisa and I over for dinner.  And they had done really well financially.  We had this nice Italian meal. And I thought, OK, we’ve never been over to their house before.  Beautiful house.  During the middle of the meal this woman looked at me and she goes,

“You know, Ed, I really don’t like what you’ve been talking about lately about tithing.  I just don’t like the way you’ve been talking about it.”  Hmm, I thought.  That’s pretty direct, isn’t it?  Well, what was her problem?  Her problem, like her husband’s problem, was the Great Physician, Jesus, was just examining them and … aaaah!! Oh!  Touched the liver, I mean the giver.  They had a disease called cirrhosis of the giver because they had been drinking too many martinis of materialism and they didn’t like it.  See, their problem was not with me.  The problem was with God.  And thankfully they left the church.  Oh, I love it when certain people leave churches.  Don’t think I don’t.  We’ve grown as much through subtraction as addition.  And one of the great things about a series like this is it separates the wheat from the tares.  Yeah, this series is for the core, but the core is gonna give more and because we give more we’re going to reach more.  So, this is a good thing.

So, Joash, man, he tightens the screws and he goes, OK, let’s get this thing going.  Let’s get on wid it!  That’s what he says.  So, then he begins to go OK, let’s build the box and let’s take this box and put it in a prominent place.  Just read the rest of the story.  And this is called the chest of Joash.  But I like to call it Uncle J’s chest, because Uncle J was really the brains behind the operation.  I understand it’s called Joash and he’s gotten all the clicks and the Likes and the followers, but in reality, I’ve got to say it’s Uncle J’s chest.  So, they took this chest and they put it in a prominent place.  And it says everybody, I mean this is the first Intense campaign, one of the first.  Everybody, everywhere, engaging in eternity.  So, everybody, the Bible says, brought their money.  Let me read it. 2 Chronicles 24:10, “All the officers and all the people rejoiced.”  It wasn’t like <groaning sound effect>, oh, we’re going to the electric chair. No, it wasn’t that.  “And they brought (you don’t give it, see?) … they brought (that’s management), they brought (that’s not ownership), in their levies, tithes, offerings, and dropped them <kachink> into the chest.” <kachink-kachink>   Say it with me.  Kachink-chink-chink-chink-chink-chink-chink-chink…  “They dropped them <kachink> into the chest until they had finished.”

Ed, I’m getting tired of you talking about money!  Well, maybe God is tired of you not giving your money to him?  Have you ever thought about that?  And I love whenever I talk about money.  I love to see the misers, the tightwads, some of you just look like this.  One day I’m gonna video all of this and take a picture, and I’m gonna do at one of our Creative Church Conferences why pastors need to talk about money.  Because used to, I was shy to talk about it.  Not anymore, because I don’t want to rob you from a blessing.  And see, God doesn’t need your money.  You think God’s like, “Oh, I really need your money, ma’am.  Sir, yes, uh-huh.”?  He owns it all.  It’s a test.  And what I’m talking about is usually the thing that keeps people from going to that next level and living a blessed life.  And I’m really talking to guys.  I get it, guys.  I understand.  We’re thinking about providing.  That’s great.  Thinking about saving.  The Bible says that, good!  We’re thinking about, man, I’ve got to provide for my kids’ college or whatever. Rah-rah-rah.  Within that, though, right where you are you start to do what the Bible says, to bring the first to God, and those offerings and you will see God miraculously intervene in your finances.

But see, the devil himself shows up two times in every single worship service.  When I present the gospel, when I say, OK, here’s how you become a Christian, the devil will dog you with doubt, with questions.  Put it off, every time.  #2 – whenever we talk about tithing or money the devil shows up big time.  Why?  Heart issue.  You have a heart for God, you have a heart for his house.

And quite frankly that subject is why I did not want to come to Dallas/Fort Worth 30 years ago, well 29 years ago, to start Fellowship.  I didn’t.  I did not want to come to Dallas/Fort Worth.  I love it here.  I’m not moving.  I love it!  I didn’t want to come.  You’re like, why?  Because of what I’m talking about.  I’ve traveled the world, had the opportunity to speak and do all this stuff, write books and blah-blah-blah.  I have never seen a place like Dallas where there are more faux followers of Christ.  I’ve never seen it.  There are more fake Christians who are on their way to hell, who think they’re going to Heaven, in Dallas/Fort Worth than any geographical location I’ve ever seen, bar none.  I meet people all the time and they go,

“Oh, yeah, I’m a believer.”

“Really?  Where do you go to church?”

“Oh, sometimes here, sometimes there.”  Oh man, you don’t have a heart for the house.  You don’t have a heart for God, I’m thinking.

“Who’s your pastor?”

“Oh man, what’s his …”  Come on, man.  You think I’m an idiot?

We have a staff member who grew up in another part of the country and one of the first things he said, I was asking him.  I go,

“Hey, man.  What’s the difference between Dallas/Fort Worth and where you live in the southeast?”  He goes,

“I’ve never seen as many hypocritical, Bible-studying, fake Christians in one place in my life.”  He said, “Where I lived, in the southeast, if you’re a believer, you were in it.  I mean you were serving.  You were engaged, involved.  Here in Dallas?  It’s kind of popular.”

That’s why I didn’t want to come up here!  And that’s why we don’t reach a lot of people from other churches.  I mean some, I understand that, that’s why Fellowship Church, we just say here’s what it is.  We’re not trying to appease some group or please this churchy-church activity or whatever.  We just want to be God’s church, we want to be God’s people, and we want to reach people and we want to be a tabernacle of witness.  Because one of the other things about Dallas/Fort Worth that will make you crazy is we have a lot of big churches but they’re not reaching anybody.  Oh, they’re moving a lot of <baaa!> sheeple around.  They move a lot of people, but they don’t really reach anybody.  That’s why I didn’t want to come up here.  Let me just kind of vent.  But I’m glad we did, because Fellowship Church we reach people.  I mean, we flat-out reach people.  Norman, Oklahoma, man, we’re reaching people.  Miami, Florida, we’re reaching people.  Northport, Florida, we’re reaching people.  Downtown Dallas, we’re reaching people.  Fort Worth, we’re reaching people.  Keller Southlake, we’re reaching people.  Did I leave any other?  The prison campuses, man, we’re reaching people.  Frisco, oh yeah, Frisco!  We’re reaching people.  So that’s kind of what we do.  That’s what we’re about.

But you have a heart for God, you’ll have a heart for his house.  And Jesus said, where your treasure is, that’s where what?   I can look at your financials and I can tell you if you love God or not.  “Oh, yeah, but it’s intangible.  It’s a faith thing!”  OK, try that with your wife.

“Oh, Lisa, I love you, baby.”  <kissy sounds> I’m a Hallmark stud.  <kissy sounds>  Show me.  Show me.  That’s what God’s saying.  OK, great, man.  You can lift your hands in worship.  You’re a greeter, parker, you’re on staff at Fellowship.  Sit on the front row.  OK, show me.  Oh yeah, but this is my, God this is mine.  I made it.  I did it.  I wrote these books.  I started this church with some people.  I preach the sermon… what?  What?  Who gave me this body?  Who gave me this voice?  Who gave me the gifts?  Who gave me this opportunity?  I’m just using myself as an example.  You’re the same way.

So, everybody was happy.  They dropped the dime in Uncle J’s chest, then check this out, the last thing I’ll read. 2 Chronicles 24:13, “So the workmen labored, so they gave the money to the workmen and the repair work progressed in their hands according to specifications and they strengthened it.”  That’s what we’re doing.  We’re strengthening the body of Christ.  We’re the body of Christ.  We are strengthening the body of Christ.  How are we strengthening that?  How are we strengthening our church?  By sharing, by serving, by sowing.  Next weekend, we are going to have Uncle J’s chest at all of our locations, and we’re gonna have opportunities for people to come forward and place three-year commitments over and above your regular giving to this adventure.

Well, let me give you some more Scripture about Uncle J’s chest, 2 Kings 12:9, you can jot this down.  “Then, Uncle J (Jehoiada) the priest took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, <drilling sound effect> and set it beside the altar on the right side as one comes into the house of the Lord, and the priest to keep the door put the money <kachink> brought into the house of the Lord.”  So, it’s like down front, man.  Pretty convicting, isn’t it?  What if I did that next week?  I’m not, but what if I just stood there?  You, OK, you, you, whoo-hoo!  Some of you, see, think you’re gonna be sly.  You’re gonna come forward and put a blank card in this.  Well, let me give you a warning.  If you read Acts 5, this should scare the Hell out of you, because Ananias and Saphira lied to God like that, and God took them out <snap> on the spot.  Now, I could do a message one day, and this is really scary.  I don’t know if I’ll ever do it, but I’ve had, I can think of about 10 intense conversations with people over the subject of finances and giving.  Because I’ve talked to them about it and basically said, hey, you’re not gonna live the blessed life until you bring this to God.  And if you want to roll the dice and think you’re big enough and bad enough by yourself to do life, to do finances away from God, go for it.  And I can think about those 10 situations and where those 10 people are today, and it’s not pretty.  Many of their lives are riddled with tragedy.  So, if you want to roll that dice and come down here and put in a blank card and have some kind of corny little saying on it or something, be my guest.  But just remember, you’re under the judgment of God.  And if you want to play in God’s court, if you want to play dodge ball with him, go for it.

Now, if you’re upset at this message, you’re selfish.  You’re not a giver.  So, if you complain about this message, you’re a walking, talking, billboard advertisement, you’re a pop-up, “I’m selfish, I’m a miser, and I think I own it.”  And that’s OK.  We always have people that says that.  And for many of you this will be your last Sunday at Fellowship.  Great.  We’re gonna need your seat very, very soon.  So, don’t worry about it.  We’re all good.  We’re all good.  But I love talking about this.  And see, I couldn’t talk about it if I didn’t do it.  I’ve been doing this, man, well obviously for the 29 years of Fellowship, but ever since I’ve been a believer.

Here’s what I want you to do before we pray.  You’ll see a commitment card and it’s on your seat back.  I want every single person to take a commitment card.  Because everybody can make a commitment to this endeavor.  You know, I’m gonna talk about a text in the next couple of weeks, that’s one of my favorites.  One day Jesus was standing by the offering box in the temple and this widow dropped in a couple of coins.  Kachink-kachink.  And the disciples didn’t really see it.  Jesus goes, “Whoa guys!  Hey guys, that’s the best, most generous gift anybody has put in the box all day!”  And the disciples were like, what?  And he said, “No, no!  That was it!”  So, there are some people here, you could do a seven-figure gift, no doubt about it, over 3 years and it wouldn’t even affect your lifestyle one bit.  Others, maybe $1,000, $500 over three years, that’s big for you.  That might be the greatest gift!  So, it’s not like, oh boy!  This person gave seven figures, rah, rah, rah! He’s the man!  Or she’s the woman!  Good, if you do that.  So, God doesn’t look at how much you make, he looks at how much you give.  And we’re to give sacrificially.  What did David say?  I’m not going to give God anything that doesn’t cost me something.  To sacrifice means you take something that matters to you (money!) and put it toward something you value even more, the house of God.  And for me, if I don’t, and this is why I challenge you to sign up for recurring giving.  If I don’t get it out of my hands quickly, it will get around my heart and I’ll become even more materialistic than I am.

Why does it get so quiet when I talk about money, death, and sex?  You think only one of those is good, and that’s not true.  Money is good and death is good if you’re a believer.  You’re going to Heaven.  So, what can you do over three years?  Take this home and pray over it.  Next week, you know what we’re doing next week?  We’re premiering a movie here.  We are making a movie at Fellowship Church and we’re premiering it next week.  You don’t want to miss it.  That’s the golf clap.  Come on.  That’s what I thought.  I’m gonna start doing that.  That’s gonna be my signal now because I need.  Thank you for that compliment.  I need that.  So, if I’m, like, feeling low or like, wow, this is convicting, when I do this… wow!  I feel better already!  I’m like, man, maybe people did love the message on money.  Hey guys, I get the struggle.  Don’t think I don’t.  Don’t think I don’t get it, man.  I feel you!  I got it!  I got it!  It’s the battle of my life, I’m a pastor.  I get it.  I mean, Lisa and I are gonna give for us a huge gift.  We’re giving several hundred thousand dollars over and above our regular giving to this endeavor.  Now, some of you are like Ed, how much do you have?  Just worry about how much you’re giving.  How much I’m giving, for us it’s a lot.  A lot.

If you look at my net worth you’d go, oh man, Ed.  You’re 57 years old, that much money now, with the kids and the grandchildren, and blib-blah-bloo-bloo, that’s not very smart.  Well, that’s in the world’s eyes.  But also, too, I know, I believe I’m stretching out over the next three years.  I’ve got some book deals, I’ve got some investments, I do some other stuff other than this, maybe it’s gonna happen.  Hopefully I’ll give more than that.  For me, that’s a lot.  I know it’s a lot.  It’s a lot of money for anybody.  It’s a lot, I just wanted to tell you, you know.  Keeping it real.  $10,000 could be massive.  That’s a lot of money over 3 years.  But for some, I know who you are, no I don’t.  Well, some of you I do.

Did you know there’s this engine now, this app you can do a net worth study?  You can type in your address and your name and it can tell you pretty close what your net worth is.  How crazy is that?  We have it.  A guy in our church is like here.  It’s not like it’s secretive.  No, he just has it for all these people.  So, we have more than enough to make this happen.  But I don’t think all of the net worth numbers this guy has shown me are correct, but even if they’re in the ball park, I mean, come on.  I know if we all made below the poverty level and we brought 10%, we would take in double the amount that we do right now.  Let me say that again.  I didn’t stutter.  At Fellowship Church if every single person took in below the poverty level, or right at the line of the poverty level, and we tithed we would take in double what we do right now.  How do you like that?   And it’s that way for every church in America.  Will that keep you up at night?  Some of the bean counters are trying to turn the numbers.  It’s OK, man.  It’s OK.  Anyway, pray about this, fill this out, and we’re going to do the chest of Joash, really Uncle J’s chest after we see this movie next week, it’s gonna be like a 13-mintue movie.  It’s gonna be awesome!  We’re gonna walk forward and boom, put these commitments in.


End of message.