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Giving Matters: The Choice To Give

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Giving Matters: The Choice To Give
Opening Illustration: Scrooge Many of you remember Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”.  There have been several adaptations over the years.  It is one of my favorite Christmas stories.  Remember, it is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.  Scrooge is the penny pinching miser who refuses to part with any of his money.  He is wealthy.  However, his is all alone with his money.  He reluctantly gives time off to his only employee Bob Crotchet on Christmas Day.  Why?  Scrooge hates Christmas.  As Scrooge goes home for the evening he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley.  Marley informs Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits.  The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.  


Of course you know the rest of the story.  Following Scrooge’s visitations, he is transformed.  No longer does he refuse to give, he gives generously and cheerfully.  He finally understands that there is joy in giving.  He blesses everyon…

Giving Matters: The Creation of Giving

Giving Matters: The Creation of Giving
Illustration: My Pastor Will Find Me Two men were marooned on an Island. One man paced back and forth worried and scared while the other man sat back and was sunning himself.  The first man said to the second man, "aren’t you afraid we are about to die." "No," said the second man, "I make $100,000 a week and tithe faithfully to my church every week. My Pastor will find me."   
Illustration: What Type of Giver Are You Some one has said, there are three kinds of givers -- the flint, the sponge and the hose. To get anything out of a flint you must hammer it. And then you get only chips and sparks. To get water out of a sponge you must squeeze it, and the more you use pressure, the more you will get. When the spigot is turned, the hose just overflows.  Today we will learn that we were designed to be a hose.  God is the providing blessings to flow from within our own generosity.  So, what sort of giver are you?
We need to…

The Road To Easter: Jesus The One True...

The Road To Easter: Jesus, The One True…
Answer This Question, Who Is Jesus To YOU?
Opening: In Matthew 16 Jesus ask Peter a very pointed question.  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  The disciples respond with a multitude of responses.  Some say that you are a dead prophet risen to life.  Others have mistook you for your cousin John.  
I’m curious, who is Jesus to you?
Jesus is a teacher. True.
Jesus is a preacher. True.
Healer. 
Good man and a good example.
Sure, I can buy into all those concepts.  Yet, Peter gives an astounding answer, Peter says “you are the Son of the Living God.” Now that’s an answer.  Peter hit the ball out of the park.  Jesus then tells Peter that it would be on that confession the church would be built.  Jesus says that it was this “truth” that would be the foundation of the church.  This truth would be the rock, the pillar, the platform or launching pad for the church.  
So, who is Jesus to you?  Today, let me tell you who Jesus is to me and offer …