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More Open Windows Abundant Life Part Four

Good morning everyone!

Does anyone else ever wonder what God has planned for you today?
Or is that just me?

I wake up and wonder, will it be something that is right in front of me and I just haven’t been able to see it.
But then, BOOM! There it is.
Or it is something new, completely unexpected? Something you would have never imagined?
Something, I thought to be impossible...

Every day, God "Opens New Windows"

Last time, we talked about open windows, plural - More than one window.
More than one source of blessing and opportunity...

We serve a GREAT God!
Can I get an amen on that one?

Let's go back for a moment to the text in Malachi...

"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."
Malachi 3:10

Now, I know  most of us don’t really like to talk about money in the church do we…
It kind of like politics, “let’s not go there.”


But .......did you know that Jesus talked much about money.!
In fact, Jesus talked about money more than He did any other subject!
After I just heard all of you gasp, I'll give you guys a moment to catch your breath..
haha

Yes, it's true.. Jesus talked much about money!

Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions.
In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money.
The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.


Still think I've lost it? 

Now I'm sure many of you are asking the question, "WHY did Jesus talk so much about money?"

You know me, I always like to consult the Scriptures...

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:21

After all, we are talking about the Abundant Life right?

Okay, so let me ask you, how many of you would say you are living the Abundant life right now?
How many of you would say, you'd be living the Abundant life, IF you had more money?
What if you got a 25% raise on your job this year? A 50% raise?

So what would it take in order for you to say that you are living the Abundant life?
Better health? A healthier marriage? Closer relationships with children?
What?

You money doesn’t solve ALL our problems… but it sure does solve a whole lot of our problems.
Can I get a witness?
Most stress in most relationships, if you get to the root of it,  comes as a result of money problems.Now, do you think God doesn’t see that?


Now let me just throw this out there...
The blessing of money, can also cause people to have problems.


If it isn't handled properly, it can destroy you as fast as crack, alcohol, pornography or any addiction.
In fact, money itself will become an addiction!


If a person is not spiritually mature enough to handle those opportunities when they come, the opportunities will destroy you.
And it will land you in the divorce court as quick as anything else!
I heard someone ask "why"?
Because it creates opportunities.

Opportunities we may not afford if we didn't have the money!

Now, I'm glad you are all sitting down...
Because, I believe  THAT is why God holds back on some people He wants to bless financially.
Because He knows it would likely DESTROY them if He blessed them the way He really wants to bless them. 

This is why it is so important for us to grow up spiritually, so God can entrust us with what He wants to give us.
Stop and think of it this way, if you gave your children part of their inheritance, and they made some pretty bad decisions on what to do with it, would you give them all the rest..?
Or would you wait a little while, until they become better equipped to handle it?
And wouldn't you also attempt to teach them better ways to handle it? 

Well then... Why is it that our Father should be any different?

Let's look at the verse again, well the last part of it..

"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."


Doesn't it sound like God would like for His people to be blessed?

"
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning"
James 1:17

God knows what we  need!
Can you say that with me, "God knows what we need!"

It may be finances
It may be keeping our children safe
It may be keeping our children healthy
It may be helping us get an education
It may be helping us make our mortgage or rent payment.
It may be a new car or a new car to us
It may be a healthy family
It may be good marriage


It may be all kinds of things that we don’t normally think about when it comes to God blessing us.
But whatever it is, God knows the "perfect gift."

I know that many of us would rather have the money, but God knows that we couldn’t handle the money right now.
We might want improved health, but God knows that we are learning to trust Him right now.

And He wants to keep us still for a while, so we can learn from Him.
It may be a new job, but God is teaching us to be faithful at the job He has already given us.
It may be a better marriage, but God knows that we first have to learn to give of our selves completely and unreserved before He can bless our relationship with our spouse.
Love yourself, forgive yourself
Then, love the person you’re married to and forgive them.


I know for some of you, forgiving someone who hurt you deeply, has broken your trust, seems like an impossible task, but not when God is in charge!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us."
Ephesians 3:20

Does anyone else see that?
All of these things have to do with us.
God wants to bless us, but are we spiritually mature enough to receive the blessings?


We can pray for a better marriage all day long,
But then you go treat our spouse like dirt. 
Do you really think God is going to give you a better marriage when you hadn't shown that you value the person your with?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!


And I know some people will say, well then I’ll just get a divorce and find someone else.
You go right ahead… and treat that person like you treated the last person.
And guess what is going to happen…


Here's a word for you...
You have to first learn how to treat your spouse like you love them.
So, instead of praying for a better marriage, pray for God to help you to really love and forgive and honor the person you are married to.
You know what will come out of that?
A better marriage!


Scripture teaches us that “Every Good gift comes down from the father”
He doesn’t give bad gifts…
He’s not a cheapskate.
He wants to bless us
But He can only bless us if we are first faithful and good stewards of what He has already given us.
 
"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

Would you just look at that… Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.

We expect God to give that way…
Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure,
pressed down,
and shaken together,
and running over

Am I right?

Now those of you who know me, know here is where the hard truths come into play... 
Its not about condemnation but RESTORATION!
Why? Because You Matter! Because We Matter! 
Because .... God Matters!

So...
Do we give in good measure?
Do we give pressed down?
Do we give shaken together?
Do we give running over?

Or do we give only what’s necessary?
Or the exact amount?

Let's ALL be completely honest here...There's no point in trying to fool God, He already knows the answer to that!

Since so many love that verse in Luke 6:38..
Let us examine it a bit closer, then, shall we.. 

"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

Are we as fond of it now as we were before?
Scripture is telling us, that what we give, how we give it..God will use it as guide, to give back to us!

Don't be upset with me, God said it in His Word, I didn't make this stuff up!

Anybody feeling like they want to give the farm away now?
  
If you measure what you given right to the line, then God’s going to measure right to the line as well!
If you measure good,
and pressed down,
and shaken together
and running over,
then guess what God’s going to do?


People ask me all the time, should I tithe based on my net or my gross.
Well, let's use God's Word to answer that.

Now let me ask you, which one is measuring to the line,
And which one is good, measure and pressed down, and shaken together and running over?

 

Let me say it another way, it’s not about the amount; it’s about the measure.
You can be the biggest giver in the church, but that won’t mean a thing if that gift is not in accordance to the measure of your capability.



If someone gives 1000 dollars per week, that’s wonderful, but they are still shortchanging themselves if they are making over a million dollars a year.
They might say, I’m giving 1000 dollars a week.
That’s at least 10X more than anyone else.


But please understand, that’s 923.07 short of their tithe.
And I’ll just add, that their offering at that point should probably be exceeding their tithe.
Hey, I’m not telling you anything I don’t live myself...

Now I know that’s probably not any of us, but you get the idea...
God measures according to what we are capable of.

Not WHAT we give...
That’s why the tithe, (The tenth part of) is so important.
It’s God’s measuring cup..

 
The mathematical equation is actually quite simple:
 God gives to us in the measure we give to Him.
He does not do math the way we do.
It’s not a dollar amount or even entirely a percentage.
It’s what is in our heart and what our capability is.


That’s why the Bible talks about first fruits.
See giving is a part of our worship.
And it is our “First Fruit” worship.
Other words, it’s the first thing God is looking for in our worship.
Giving is never about money its about our hearts
 

If we give begrudgingly?  He gives the same way.
With reservation?  He gives the same way.
Cheerfully and with a full heart?  He gives the same way.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather catch God on a day when He’s pouring out blessings cheerfully and with a full heart than when He’s doing it begrudgingly.


The point I'm trying to make, is when God finds someone whose wallet is open to the needs of the Kingdom, there are more “Windows” that will open to that person than they can look through.
Opportunities for financial growth will come that they never knew existed…
If you haven’t experienced this in your life, you are missing out on an amazing way to live your life.


If I said, “If your heart is opened to God, He will fill it.”
That makes sense to you, right?  You would expect me to say that right?
Well in the same token, if your wallet is open to God, He will also fill it.”


What was that? You think God’s not able to bless you financially in ways you can’t even imagine?

Let's once again, see what Scripture says:
"The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, 
The world and those who dwell therein."
Psalms 24:1

"Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it"
Deuteronomy 10:14

Still need more? Okay sure, Scripture is full of them..

"So Moses said.to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s."
Exodus 9:29

"for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”
1 Corinthians 10:26

"But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness."
1 Corinthians 10:28

Now we can all attempt to justify ourselves to everyone around us,
but  God’s not stupid
He’s not a bad accountant

He knows where all His stuff is at.
And He knows exactly how to get it into the hands of people who will in turn be gracious and giving!

Hey, God helped Peter pay his taxes with a coin from a fishes mouth.
You think He can’t think of ways to help you pay your bills?
See, we just got to stop leaning on your own understanding and start trusting, really trusting God.

 
Hypothetical conversation:

Church member:
Pastor, 
You don't understand, I just don't have the money to pay my tithes..

Me: “Why not?”  

Church member: “I got other bills to pay. Bills that are important, like mortgage, car payment, food”
 

Me: “Oh, I see, you’ve got God on the back end of your budget…”
Well, let me ask you, if we are talking about the “Same Measure”, where do you think God has your financial blessings?
You got Him on the back end and you asking Him to have you on the front end?
God’s not going to violate the spiritual laws He has already established just because you don’t have faith!

Church member: ........................

If you put your house in front of His house...
What do you think is going to happen?
But what could happen if you were to put the needs of His house in front of the wants of your house?

That’s why He asks you for the first fruits.
Because He wants to bless you with His first fruits.


I have heard some many people say, , “I’m just waiting on God to bless me…”
While you're waiting, think about this for a moment, is it possible that He’s just measuring in the same measure you are measuring with?


Man, it's like we never seem to have quite enough money for the things we need..
but have we even begun to consider, that it's because we aren't giving God enough of what we do have?

Let me make this plain, You can't out give God!
And He has said in His Word, He will multiply it,

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”

"But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver"
2 Corinthians 9:6-7

We are talking about The Abundant Life, am I right?
Then I don’t think there’s any thing wrong with talking about being blessed financially as long as we are going to talk about the Abundant Life.
 

Now, one of the reasons why this teaching is difficult, it because it can become distorted very easily. It is often confused with a common teaching today, that is known as the Prosperity Gospel.
  
The problem with the Prosperity Gospel is teaches that if you just give and have enough faith, God's going to make everybody rich, drive expensive cars, live in a big mansion, and that distorted teaching is just NOT Biblical truth. 
But don’t let it discount the truth that what you give God does multiply.

The flip-side of the teaching which is called the Poverty Gospel, which is if you have anything at all then you are unrighteous. The truth is, it’s not what you have that makes you righteous or unrighteous, it’s the condition of your heart about what you have.
  
Jesus talked about this principle in Matthew 13

I've heard many people exclaim: 
“I’m just barely getting by!” And all I can say is, "well, maybe you’re just barely giving God enough."

People have more knowledge today than any other time in history, and yet, we can't seem to figure this simple truth out!
If what we are giving to God, is not what we are capable of giving, with a cheerful heart.. 
Should we really expect anything different?


I'm sure God is listening to all of this, thinking,
"Okay, let me see if I've got his right..
AT&T and Verizon got theirs.
The First National Bank got theirs.

Ford Motors got theirs
Foodtown USA got theirs
Betty's Beauty Parlor got theirs
Patty's Pretty Pooch got theirs
Mastercard got theirs 
Visa got theirs
Jimmy John's got theirs
McDonald's got theirs

Starbucks got theirs...
And now you're broke?
Does that pretty much sum it all up?  

Ladies, let me give you another example..
If your 10th, 25th, or 50th wedding anniversary is coming up, and your have dedicated all these years to taking care of your husband, your children and your home.. 
He's worked hard, been promoted, been given raises throughout the years..
You're not rich, but you're comfortable..
And this IS a very special anniversary after all..

You have tirelessly, selflessly, you've cooked, washed and cleaned, for ALL these years..
And for this special occasion, your husband buys you a brand new state-of-the-art coffee pot!

Do you still have the same enthusiasm of doing the tireless work you have been giving all these many years?
Or having the knowledge of your finances, do you feel as though he could have done something far more, you've given him, his children, his home, your dedicated, faithful attention, day and night,
do you in frustration ask him...
"IS THAT IT?"

Sorry guys, haha, but in truthfulness, we know we have all taken her or someone else for granted!
And ladies, my guess is we're all guilty..
parents, children, employers, employees..friendships, family..

Look, I’ve been in and around church long enough to see people shout, jump up and down, clap their hands, stand, stomp their feet, and all kinds of things and we all call that worship,
But let the offering bucket go by and it’s another story…
Let the offering of their “First Fruits” happen, and they got nothing to give.
 

It's as long though we've just went from celebration to mourning!

"While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

Genesis 8:22

Seed time.
That’s what the offering is about.


Why do we plant seed?
Because we know we need there to be a harvest.
You can’t harvest what you haven’t planted.
That’s called stealing! 

I mean, some people act as though we are trying to keep the lights on or something!
When we realize that it all belongs to God in this FIRST PLACE, He gave us the ability to work at our employer, He gave us the talent to get that position, He is responsible for our heartbeat, so that we can go to work...
Without Him, His continuous blessings, we ALL would have nothing!

Giving to God is Worship.
God doesn't need your money, He wants your heart, your commitment..

Critics of the church and people who simply don’t respect and honor God’s Word want to tell you that Pastors shouldn't talk about money, they need to stick to the Bible!
They want to silence Pastors when it comes to certain subjects and for years one of the biggest things most pastors are scared to death to talk about is money.

That's part of what's wrong with the church today, the Pastors are so concerned about offending someone sitting in the congregation, they're afraid to teach the Word of God!

Let me assure you of one thing, If it's in the Bible, THIS Pastor is going to teach it! 
Why? Because I love all of you, and sometimes that involves teaching the difficult passages..
And IF that offends you, take it up with God

In closing, I'll leave you with this final thought..
The prosperity of God in your life goes way beyond your finances, or your bank account.
But God does use our bank accounts to set us up for other things to happen in our lives...

It's not about the money, it's about our trust and commitment to Him..

If we truly believe what we say we believe..
what are you afraid of?

And now may the the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.


Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen

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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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