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How Great Is Our God



#1 - Don’t Be Mad - whenever we preach

angry we do not draw people in but rather

push them away.

#2 - Don’t Use Guilt - guilt works in the

short term, but absolutely has devastating

results in the long term.

#3 - Don’t Stop Short (ask!) - the #1 reason

people in sales do not actually make a

sale is they simply do not ask. I would say

the primary reason so many people in the

church do not give is they have never been

asked to do so.

#4 - Make It Yours - there are messages I

preached in which the Lord used to bring

about amazing results, so, chew up the

meat, spit out the bones and make it your

own.


four rules

Before

Preaching

This Sermon

On Giving:


This was hands down the most fruitful message I

believe the Lord ever allowed me to preach on the

subject of giving. We saw a significant increase

in first time givers, as well as a large number of

people who stopped giving but began to engage

once again.

I believe there are two keys that made this

message effective:

1 - The approach...I did not come at this with an

angry or sarcastic tone, but rather an invitation

for people to live out their convictions.

2 - The service that was designed around it.

Everything (the music, the graphics, etc.) was

selected with a purpose in mind - and it all

pointed to the message. (I will explain this more

on the “Building A Generous Culture” curriculum

we have available.)

Begin by asking, “How many people grew up

watching Sesame Street? (If you watched the

show or are familiar with it- share a personal

example here of what you remember about it;

your favorite character, a funny moment, etc.)

The thing I remember about Sesame Street is it

was an educational show, often sponsored by a

letter, a number, or a word.

With that in mind, today’s message in our church

will sponsored by the word “GREAT!”

(Here you can list things that begin with “great”

and even use pictures to engage people further.

Things like - the Great Lakes, Alexander the

Great, the Great Wall of China, the Great Wall of

Chocolate—a dessert at P.F. Changs.)

(When I preached this I set the text up like this -

however you choose to set it up is up to you - but

the approach matters in regards to setting up this

verse because it literally sets the tone for the rest

of the message.)


sermon

“How Great Is

Our God”


notes


PAGE 4


notes


Recently when I was reading through the book of

Hebrews, there was one verse that sort of jumped

off the page at me. It’s like I could not stop

reading it over and over again.

Hebrews 7:4 - Just think how great he was:

Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth

of the plunder!”

The first six words seized me and would not let

me go.

I paused to marvel for a minute or two about the

greatness of God.

(Here is an opportunity for you to talk about

what reminds you of God’s greatness, and use

illustrations that connect with people such as a

picture of a sunrise/sunset, the mountains, the

starts, a newborn baby...)

However, one of the things I think may make

people slightly uncomfortable with this verse is

that it is tied to giving (per the remainder of the

verse.)

However, whenever we see something or someone

as great then giving is not a problem, let me prove

it...

At this point I used contemporary illustrations of

things people had paid significant cash for (once

again using pictures) - all because they perceived

them as great. Things you can use are:

• Yeezy’s (shoes)

• Engagement rings

• Louis Vuitton handbags

• Tickets to a national championship

football game (or a Broadway play -

especially “Hamilton!”)


PAGE 5


notes


Once again, we have no issues giving our money

to something or someone that we perceive as

great.

This leads to a question: does the greatness of

God impact the giving in our lives? (The more this

question can be posed with compassion rather

than condemnation the better it will sink in—and

asking the question, “How does the greatness of

God impact giving in “OUR LIVES” rather than

“your life” is disarming, putting you with the

people—not above them!)

The verse in Hebrews is actually in reference to a

story that is found in the book of Genesis 4:18-

20 (at this point I merely presented a “fly by” of

the text and then went back through it. My fly by

was something along the lines of: “this passage

is where we see an appearance of Jesus in the Old

Testament (OT), and that He is all about blessing

Abraham in verses 19 and the first part of verse

20” By the way, this is an EXCELLENT place to

pause as say, “How many here today really do feel

you’ve been blessed by God” and get them to raise

their hand!)

THEN - in the second half of verse 20 we see

Abraham give 10% - what the Bible calls a “tithe”

(and this was hundreds of years before the Law

was ever given.)

Four Things I Believe Giving The Tithe Did In

Abraham’s Life (And It Will Do In Our Lives As

Well.)

#1 – It protected him from greed.

Christians should be the most generous people on

the planet.

The early church didn’t impact society because

of their theology (they didn’t even have a Bible


PAGE 6

notes for the first 300 years) but rather their hospitality


and generosity.

At this point, tell a story where the Lord

challenged you or someone you know to be

generous...

My story was about when I was on a vacation

once and the bellman helped me get my luggage

to the room. I reached in my pocket and handed

him a $10 bill (I thought).

When I went down to the lobby a little while later

I saw him again and discovered he might possibly

be the nicest guy on the planet! He asked me

could he do anything for me, and if I needed

anything to let him know (and he handed me

his business card.) I told a friend of mine, “the

customer service in this place is unreal, the dude

must be a rock star!”

A few hours later I discovered why.

When I took out the money I had in my pocket it

didn’t take me long to figure out I had not given

him a $10 bill—but rather a $100 bill!

To say I was slightly angry would be equal to

saying the Pope is slightly Catholic.

“How in the world could I be such an idiot”, I

thought to myself.

After telling a friend about it, they remarked:

“Maybe the Lord allowed you to do it because

He wanted you to be generous and the only way

He could get you to do so was through your own

stupidity!” (Great friend right!)

However, the more I thought about it, the more

my friend was right. Generosity was an area of

my life that the Lord had been dealing with over

and over. Because I kept on “praying about it”


PAGE 7

notes (you know, that thing we say and do when we

actually know what to do—but don’t want to do

it) I believe He forced my hand and I can honestly

say that was a major step forward in me seeing

the grip of greed broken in my life.

Greed is “that thing” we can’t see in the mirror

(and that we often call by other names, such as

“careful” or “cautious”) - but the most famous

verse in the Bible says, “For God so loved the

world He GAVE...”

If we want to become more like Jesus, the habit

of greed in our lives must be broken, and putting

God first in our finances in the best way for this

process to begin.

#2 – It connected him to the heart of God.

What are some things that frustrate us? (Here use

examples that will best connect with your people

- some of the examples I used were...)

• When your phone drops a call

• People who are in front of me at a

restaurant and when they get up to order,

they STILL don’t know what they want

• People who drive slow in the left lane

• (Save this one for last) - a bad Wifi

connection. It’s the worst when things

are not getting to your phone fast enough

because the internet seems to be going at a

snail’s pace!)

Carrying the connection metaphor out here, I

believe one of the reasons we have a hard time

connecting with God is because we do not see

Him as greater than anything, or anyone we could

give our lives to.

However, I know from personal experience

that giving solidifies the connection in ways


PAGE 8

notes we’ve never experienced before. And the more

connected we are to the heart of God, the more we

will continue to become more and more like Him.

#3 – It increased his faith.

Here, I told a story where I had to overcome

my fear and just trust The Lord. I will share my

example so you will see the what I was trying to

convey.

I was out of town with a group of friends and for

some stupid reason, I allowed them to talk me

into doing a bungee swing.

I’d like to point out: they knew I was afraid of

heights!

They knew there was no way I would do it on my

own...

So they “tricked” me... (LIARS!)

They told me that the swing doesn’t go very

high, that it was designed for people who don’t

necessarily love heights, but still love a little rush

of adrenaline.

As the guy operating the ride was strapping me in

-- along with the other idiot who said he would do

it with me -- he asked, “which one of you is going

to pull the cord?”

I had no idea what “pull the cord” meant, so

naturally I volunteered. (Trust me, I didn’t want

the guy with me to have any responsibility

whatsoever.)

After we were strapped in the guy handed me

the cord and hit a button that caused us to begin

going up into the air...

...and up...


PAGE 9


notes


...and up...

...seriously, it freaked me out. I knew I had been

lied to at this point and desperately wanted Jesus

to come back AT THAT MOMENT.

When we finally stopped ascending, I could

barely hear the guy who was operating the ride

yelling up at me, “pull the cord!”

“Oh crap,” I thought. Now I understood that

pulling the cord was going to release me and my

poor friend and we were going to swing over the

water and most likely fall tragically to our deaths!

I froze!

I didn’t want to pull the cord!

I didn’t want to be there!

The guy operating the ride was losing patience

with me.

“Pull the cord,” he yelled again, but louder this

time.

Finally I prayed, “into thy hands I commit my

spirit” and I pulled the cord...

...and the next 30 seconds were the most

terrifying and incredible 30 seconds of my life.

Seriously, it was an incredible experience, and I

would absolutely do it again. However, it would

have never taken place had I not dug deep, and

found the courage to pull the cord.

When we begin to give it’s sort of like pulling the

cord.

I can specifically remember when I decided to


PAGE 10

notes start putting God first in my personal finances. It

was the fall of 1999. I had over $150,000 in debt

and I had just planted a church.

I was horrified at the thought of giving; however,

the more I read the Scriptures and the more I

prayed about it, I knew it was the right thing to

do. So I “pulled the cord” and began to give. I

can honestly say that it’s been one of the most

significant spiritual decisions I’ve ever made in

my life.

In this text we see Abraham make the decision

to NOT trust in riches, but rather in the One

who richly provides; which is the same thing we

should all consider doing today.

#4 – It unleashed blessings in his life.

(At this point you’ve got to go with what you

are comfortable with. Personally, I am not the

guy that tells people if you will give God $10 He

will give you $100. However, I do believe it’s

impossible to out give God. With that in mind,

this is the story I told in the message to highlight

how giving can lead to blessings.)

I love apple products.

Seriously, if Apple made a toilet I would buy one

(because it would be the most awesome toilet

ever!)

So, when they first came out with the Apple

watch, I had to have one!

I didn’t buy one at first, but I would go on their

website every single night and look at it (Apple

porn if you will!)

Finally, after battling with it for about a week,

I finally purchased one. Not making this up, as

soon as I hit the “purchase” button, I felt the Holy

Spirit say to me: “that watch is not for you!”



I immediately dismissed the voice. I thought

to myself that the devil trying to steal, kill and

destroy me! Then I thought nothing more about it.

The next day, I was reading over a questionnaire

that I had given to the staff at the church I was

serving as the senior pastor of at the time. One

of the questions was: “If you had an extra $250,

what would you spend it on?”

It was so much fun reading their responses, until

I got to Dean’s. He had simply written: “I would

buy an Apple watch!”

And...that’s when the Holy Spirit whispered

again: “that watch isn’t for you, it’s for him!”

I still tried to resist, but finally submitted. I can

still remember walking up to Dean, telling him

the story and seeing tears fill his eyes, which

caused them to fill my eyes as well.

I literally forgot all about it until three days later.

A friend, who lives in another part of the country

-- and had no idea about my desire for an Apple

watch -- sent me one of the kindest notes I had

ever received...attached to a gift...anyone want to

guess what it was?

Exactly - an Apple watch!

It was God’s way of reminding me that I cannot

out-give Him.

I’ve personally seen giving lead to so many

miraculous breakthroughs, both in my life and

the lives of others.

One of the things Abraham wanted the most in his

life was a son. However, he had all but given up

hope on that dream. After this event in Abraham’s

life, we see God show up in Genesis 15:1-6 and


PAGE 12

notes once again, confirm the promise that Abraham

was going to have a son (you really can’t out-give

God.)

How significant was this miracle? We see it from

Abraham’s wife’s vantage point in Hebrews 11:11-

12.

Abraham had an awareness of the greatness

of God, and understood God was not worthy of

merely some things, but everything.

At this point you can decide how you want to

close out the service. I arranged for the band to

come out and begin playing behind me - telling

the people before I gave an invitation that I

wanted us to sing about what we had just heard

about - and so we sang the Chris Tomlin song,

“How Great Is Our God” and tagged it with

the chorus of, “How Great Thou Art” (it was

incredibly powerful!)

We also ran a video as the song was playing with

scenes that depicted the greatness of God.

Afterwards I gave an invitation for people to

receive Christ, and for people to begin putting

Jesus first in their finances. As I said at the

beginning, in over 20 years of doing ministry, I’ve

never seen a response to a message like this. Our

giving increased significantly and we saw over

100 people give their lives to Christ.

AND—here’s a MAJOR aspect to keep in mind:

MAYBE people in your church can’t start with 10%

-- or MAYBE that seems a bit too much to them.

Instead of entering a theological debate with

them, ask them to start somewhere, anywhere.

$20 per week - or maybe 5%. And after 2-3 months

ask those who began giving at the “entry level”

if they’ve missed the money they’ve given or if

they’ve gone without in any area of their lives.


PAGE 13

notes And...if not, then why not continue to trust God

for more and take their giving up a level.

Eventually, over time, and with some

encouragement, they will develop generous hearts -

which is the ultimate goal.


In Building a Generous Culture, Perry

Noble shares the insights, lessons,

and strategies that helped him grow

his church annual church budget from

$48,000 to $63,000,000 in just 16 years!


You can purchase this full resource for

only $99 (a 33% savings!) using the promo

code GIVE18.

(*Offer expires July 31st, 2018)

When you purchase Building a Generous

Culture, you’ll get 4 teaching videos from

Perry Noble on:

• A strategy for growing your budget

immediately.

• Developing a long-term strategy to

build a generous church culture.

• A video overview of this sermon

• Discover five fears associated with

preaching on giving, and how to

overcome them.

• A theological outline to help you

unleash your people from financial

bondage to financial and spiritual

freedom.

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