What Does “Give Generously” Mean?

Old Testament tithing was just the beginning of giving. In the New Testament, giving is best explained in 1 Corinthians 16:2:

“Give as God has prospered you.”

We often make the mistake of believing that only the first 10% belongs to God, and the rest is ours. Nope, it’s all God’s money. He created it all.

We tithe in recognition of God’s ownership, but if we’re prospering, we should be giving more! After all, giving produces joy.

The Longer Term Your Perspective, The Better Your Decision Is Likely to Be

The further down the road we see, the better decisions we will make today.

Considering the long-term first (eternity, then retirement, 20 years down the road, 10 years, 5 years, etc.) will set the framework for making the best decisions about to spend and save money. Manage money today considering long-term implications first.

God Owns It All

The Bible states, “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”

When you acknowledge God’s ownership of everything, only then you can recognize that 100% of what you “have”, actually belongs to God. It’s one of the most fundamental understandings a Christian can have.

Once you understand that God owns it all, you can be open-handed to Him and others instead of closed fisted and selfish.

 

 

Our Forgiveness is Bought by Jesus’ Endurance

Our forgiveness was bought by Jesus’ endurance and sacrifice. Jesus had to endure the cross (the B-Zone) for our forgiveness. Now he sits at the right hand of the throne of God (the C-Zone).

Following God comes by our endurance and surrender. We will hit the B-Zone when we choose to follow God. We will get weary and lose heart. Jesus would encourage us to not quit on God because He has not quit on us!

Separated from God

God told Adam and Eve, “If you sin, you will die.” They did sin, and they did die. They were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, lost their relationship with God, and all of humanity lost its’ spiritual awareness. Since that moment we have been displaced from God. We have tried to create our own paradise, make up our own rules, decide for ourselves what is truth, all a part from God. It has never worked.

The only answer to returning to what we are created for is surrendering to Jesus.

Mad at God

PK shares a story of when he raced his wife in the car and only “won” by breaking the law.

Setbacks in life are often because of our own sin. We often become mad at God, but the truth is we bring it on ourselves.

When we experience loss in life, it is always due to Sin (personal or universal). We try to blame God for hardships.

In reality, just as the officer was justified in pulling Kevin over for breaking the law, God has a case against us because we messed up His perfect paradise (Garden of Eden).

The Big Picture of the Bible

There are 5 major events in the Old Testament that look towards the coming of Jesus:

  1. God and righteous man in paradise (Genesis 1-2)
  2. Satan and sin enter (Genesis 3-5)
  3. The world is judged and destroyed (Genesis 6-9)
  4. One world government system (Genesis 10-11)
  5. The 12 tribes, the nation of Israel, God’s holy people (Genesis 12 – Malachi)

The first 4 books of the New Testament, Matthew – John, is the story of Jesus on earth, who came to establish a new contract. (re-word this 2-3 minutes)

The 5 major events of the New Testament are a mirror image of the events of the Old Testament:

  1. The 12 disciples, the church, God’s holy people (Acts – Jude)
  2. The coming of a one world government system (Revelations 6-19)
  3. The world is judged and destroyed (Revelations 6-19)
  4. Satan and sin exit (Revelations 20)
  5. God and redeemed man in paradise (Revelations 21-22)

 

 

Sin Leads to Death

Genesis 3 is the story of how Adam and Eve sinned against God, when God had already warned them that the price of sin is death.

Kevin uses a rubber snake as an illustration of how we often view sin. We tend to forget that sin is dangerous and treat it like it’s fake (rubber). But sin is real, and if we sin we die.

Choose to Go into Your World and Serve

God’s answer for the people near you, but far from Him, is you.

God just doesn’t use us, He partners with us. The pressure of God isn’t all on us, His spirit is with us. We join Him! It’s our privilege of who we are in Christ.

We join God in reaching those around us. God clarifies this mission to us in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20:

“And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.”

 

 

Whatever God Breathes Into, Counts the Most

We need to train ourselves to recognize the things God breathes into. These are the things that count most in life!

When God breathes into things that matter, what is right, what His values are, He makes them larger in our lives.

But the world can take away from the things that God breathed into, like motherhood. Being a mother, is a sacred role, but our world has a way of lessening that.

Bless, Train, Send – Overview

12Stone is called to live for a bigger purpose:

Because of the rescuing hand of Jesus, we pursue personal transformation, one life at a time.

Transformation is the river that runs through everything that we do. We bless, train, and send. Jason Berry provides a brief overview of the layers and complexities in these:

Bless
In Christ, we live in God’s grace. Therefore, we invite you into God’s blessing to bless others.

Train
In Christ, we live up to God’s potential for us. Therefore, we encourage you to a life of intentional growth.

Send
In Christ, we live out God’s mission. Therefore, we challenge you to go into your world and serve.

Trip & Andrea’s Marriage Restoration Story

On the verge of divorce, Trip & Andrea decided to try out church at 12Stone’s Buford Campus. Once they visited, they knew they never wanted to leave! Their hearts began to change and knew that their marriage is worth saving.

After meeting with a pastor, they joined a ReEngage Marriage group and today have a great restoration story!

This year (2018), a permanent location is being constructed for the Buford Campus. 12Stone is excited as we know this opens up opportunities for more stories of impact and redemption for the Buford community.

Are We More Like Judas or Jesus?

Judas, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, was broken in his spirit. According to Psalm 109:17, he found no pleasure in blessing. He was all about himself!

By contrast Jesus was and is always about blessing others. We are more like Jesus when we bless others, but we are more like Judas when we only serve ourselves.

To live a life of blessing others, we need to ask ourselves daily: How can I bless someone today?

We’re Here to Train You to Bless Others

PK uses an illustration of visiting a restaurant contrasted to visiting a church.

When we go to a restaurant, our expectation is to be served. The restaurant’s purpose is to serve the customer, not to turn the customer into a waiter.

In contrast, the church’s purpose is to make us “waiters” and not keep us as “customers.” The church is first here to help people come to Christ, then to help us have a spirit of blessing others.

We weren’t meant to a reservoir of God’s blessing, but a river of God’s blessing to others. God blesses us so we can bless others.

God is a Blessing God

It is in God’s nature to be a blessing God, to pour out his favor on us.

Acts 3:25-26 gives us an example of how God blesses us:

“And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring peoples on earth will be blessed.’ He sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked way.”

One of the ways God blesses us is by turning us away from worldly things and bringing us back into relationship with Him. We can also bless others in this way by sharing our faith with them.

 

PK’s Funhouse Dream

Kevin describes a vision God gave him of a funhouse with a long swirling slide at the end. The funhouse is a representation of life on earth for the unbeliever which ends with the slide going towards eternity in hell.

God used this vision to put a purpose for Kevin’s life: to rescue people. He encourages us to live life like we are at the top of the slide rescuing people.

Reflecting & Rejoicing 30 Years at 12Stone

In this special video, PK gathers some of the couples that served at 12Stone in its’ earliest years.

They reflect back on how they came to the church, how their lives have been impacted, and also the joy of seeing thousands of lives transformed over the years. And then, a special moment happens where many “present” 12Stoners stop by to thank these couples that went before them.