Not your standard offering message.
To everything, there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
Most, if not all of us here, are Christians. We attend Church and Urban Life weekly, constantly receiving from God. That is our time for receiving. But there is also a time for us to give, through time, love, money and prayer. As new Christians, we constantly put ourselves into a position of receiving, but I believe that as our roots deepen further into our beliefs, and we strive further enrich our faith and relationship with God, we have to start putting ourselves into a position of giving. The position that you place yourself, the atmosphere or environment that you create around yourself, sets the tone for what will happen. A position of receiving allows us to reach out, to desire something, but a position of giving allows expectation, forcing desperate worship.
Mark 10:46-52 (Amplified Bible)
Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, a son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have pit and mercy on me now!” And many severely censured and reproved him, telling him to keep still, but he kept on shouting out all the more, “You Son of David, have pity and mercy on me now!” And Jesus stopped…
Desperate worship is type of worship that makes Jesus stop. I personally feel that when I put in a large offering, I put myself into an atmosphere of expecting something amazing to happen, through the sermon that is going to be preached, or the God moment that I expect to occur. A position of expectation forces an atmosphere of desperation. So how desperate are you for that breakthrough, that miracle, that blessing? Sometimes, we can be so desperate, but we don’t know how to make Jesus stop and realise “Oh, that blessing that I was going to give to you in few months time, I see that you want it now. So here it is.”
What’s great about the Urban Life giving is that we know it goes to the PlanetBoom bus service. Sometimes we give, and we don’t know where it goes. One of my former youth pastors used to think that behind every church pulpit or stage there was an service lift that went up to heaven, but it was only for the offering. But what’s amazing is that we know that it goes directly to bless the next generation.
I want to finish with one of the most amazing testimonies I have every heard. It was 1934 in Charlotte, Northern Carolina, and there was a series of revival meetings being lead by Mordecai Ham. All the seats were taken in the meeting, and the ushers were told not to let anyone else into the meeting. There was a 16 year old boy who walked by. He had been told about the revival meetings that were going on, and was curious as to what they were about. It was already the middle of the sermon, the meeting was nearly over. The ushers that the boy came across told him that there were no seats left. As the boy was about to leave, one usher grabbed him, and told him to wait. The usher ran throughout the building, searching and searching, and eventually found a chair for the boy. That night, the boy gave his life to Christ. His name was Billy Graham. If you don’t know who he is, over then next 68 years, he’s lead over 3.2 million people to respond to his altar calls. His lifetime audience over radio and television broadcasts top 2.2 billion people. All because one usher went out of his way, in an act of desperation, giving his time away from Mordecai Ham’s sermon, for the possibility that one 16 year old boy would maybe, just maybe, give his life to Christ that night.
So I encourage you, maybe in an act of desperation, to receive your own blessing, or maybe even to unknowingly bless someone else’s life, to give tonight.
I was asked to prepare this message for our Urban Life group within Planetshakers Church. Thanks guys for giving me the opportunity to share this with you!