BRO. BO SANCHEZ:
Welcome to a brand-new series that we are starting today. And the title of our series is PLENTY: How To Live in God’s Radical Generosity.
Today, I want to preach a simple Word. How many of you have worries in your life? Once in a while, anxiety comes, panic comes– you don’t know what’s going to happen. You are not in control.
And how many of you have conflicts? You know, in the office, some relationship problem with that person beside you right now. Your mom, you’ve got conflict with mom, with dad, with your uncle and auntie, and ninang and ninong.
And you know, we’ve got conflicts.
So, I want to speak this Word:
This is God’s Word for you today.
Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path
Jesus had a unique perspective on reality — an incredibly liberating paradigm.
When He looked at the universe, Jesus saw a universe of abundance.
That’s what He saw. That’s what He believed in. We have a difficult time with that because we live and breathe scarcity.
When I was in high school–I don’t know about you– but I got the definition of economics. That was my least favorite subject, but at least I picked up the definition of economics. Economics is the study of allocating scarce resources for man’s unlimited needs.
So, we look at life– and everywhere we go, we see there’s a lack. You know, there’s shortage. How many of you experience that once in a while in your life? Sino nakakaranas ng kulang? Ng kulang-kulang? J
But Jesus had this incredible perspective of abundance. In Luke 12, let’s read together:
Jesus was a bird-watcher, and when he looked at birds, He saw the magnificence of God. What He saw was magical. He saw written– baked in the DNA of the universe– God’s generosity, God’s abundance, God’s divine extravagance.
In every fabric and every fiber of the universe, God is there– and God is pouring His abundance.
Jesus saw the universe bursting with the blessings of God. Jesus was looking not only at birds. He was also looking at flowers:
Here was this Jesus who looked at this world in a very different way. When He looked at the birds, He said, “Look, they don’t have careers, they don’t have businesses, they don’t have side hustles, they don’t order their food from Grab delivery, they don’t cook, they don’t go to the grocery. Yet God feeds them.
Now, you are more important to God than those birds!
It’s a mind-blowing perspective that we don’t see. We ask the question: “Lord, are You naive? Jesus, do you not see the poverty around you?”
What’s the Answer?
Did Jesus see the poverty around Him during that time?
Absolutely! He saw the incredible extreme wealth gap between the Romans who were ruling the empire, the kings of Israel living in palaces,
and the Sadducees who were living in mansions.
And He saw on the other end of the spectrum the widows, and the beggars, and the lepers.
Jesus saw all them all.
Yet He still believed in a universe of abundance. How? It’s crazy! I’ll tell you how.
Jesus was steeped in Scripture. He was marinated in the Old Testament.
When He was a small boy, He was growing up with His parents— Joseph and Mary. And morning and evening, they would sing Psalms to Jesus.
Why do I know?
An Abundant Universe
Here’s a little trivia:
During that time in ancient Israel, 95% of the people did not know how to read or write. So, they did not have a Bible in their home. They could not read. Many of them, 95% of them. The Bible was tied up somewhere in their synagogue or the Temple, not in homes, and the stories and messages were all handwritten.
But that was not a liability– not knowing how to read or write. It was an advantage. Because the people had to memorize the Bible. Religious Jews memorized huge chunks of Scripture.
The religious Jews memorized it and they were able to pass on God’s Word from one generation to another. How? They recited passages to one another.
And so, I’m going to read to you one Psalm– Psalms 104– and then we get an idea. Ah, this is where this perspective– the crazy perspective of a universe of abundance ruled by a generous God comes from– which Jesus grew up with:
So, this is where it came from– and this is something that we need to pray for: for an abundance mindset. Because God, He wants us to believe in that–That
He created an abundant environment, an abundant world because He is generous.
The reason there is abundance is He is generous. If He is not generous, then we will live in a scarce universe. And how do we grapple with reality?
That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Pray with me:
Jesus, You need to speak to me. I need this paradigm of abundance. This belief that I live in a place ruled by a generous God. Help me to believe. Inspire me. Change my mind today by the power of Your Word. I need You, Jesus. Amen.
Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.
When I was 7 years old, my Dad came home one day, and he gave me my favorite—then– a pack of Chiz Curls (cheese-flavored light and fluffy snack bits made from coarse flour ground from dried corn). A tiny pack. And I felt like I won the lotto.
And maybe children here might say, “What’s so special about receiving this?” Oh, when I was growing up, money was tight. Six children–I was the youngest.
I had five evil sisters… err, elder sisters. JAnd everything was supposed to be shared.
Dad came home, and he said, “This is for you, Bo.”
I clutched the little pack of Chiz Curls near my chest, held it like it was gold, and jumped up and down. I squealed in delight, “Yippee!”
Mistake. Wrong move. Because my sisters heard me. They saw me carrying this thing, and they lined up wanting to get their share. I already counted. There were 22 curls, and I thought if each of my sisters– five of them– each of them would get two—Each–there would be 12 left. I could live with that, you know.
So, I told each of my sisters, “Two only. Two only.” Imagine I was seven years old. “Two only.”
But were my sisters happy? Of course not. And they used their feminine charm: “One more, please. One more.”
Chiz Curls Scarcity
So, I ended up with only 7 curls. I went to a corner, ate, and sulked.
I thought I had everything, but there, I sulked in a corner, ate my 7 curls.
And then when there was none left,
I licked the crumbs off the tin foil wrapper.
I felt so sad.
Do you know why I felt sad? Because my 7-year-old mind said: “There are only 22 curls in the universe.”
There are only 22 curls in the universe. And there are so many of us, and there is scarcity here.
And my dear friends, is this not the reason we worry?
We worry because we think there are only 22 curls.
And that’s not only the reason we worry. It’s also why we go to war. We enter conflicts because we think there are only 22 curls in our universe. There’s only this one patch of land that we have to fight for. There’s only this amount of money, and it is limited. There are only a few jobs that we need to grab. There’s only this little shred of dignity that I have to preserve.
You know, when you think there is scarcity and that you live in a scarce universe ruled by a stingy God, you will worry. There is no choice. You have to worry. Kasi konti lang!
And you have to fight tooth and nail for that which is little. And that’s why siblings will fight sometimes for a pack of Chiz Curls– and sometimes for inherited property. Uh-hmm…
This is what I’m going to share with you today: That Jesus, He saw the world in a very different way.
He saw a world bursting, bursting with blessings. So much. It’s wild. It’s crazy.
And if you believe in a universe of abundance that’s ruled by an extravagantly generous God, it will
shape your lifestyle. It will shape your decisions. It will determine the kind of relationships you will have. It will determine whether you will sacrifice or not.
When Jesus said, “Look at the birds, look at the lilies,” you know what
I think He meant it. “Look at the birds and look at the lilies”… and we kind of like, you know, maybe metaphorically.
Literally. If you are worried, look– actually look.
Jesus said, “Look, go out, look at the birds, look at the flowers.”
How many of you here became plantito, plantita– planted vegetables or ornamentals– because of the (Coronavirus disease) Pandemic? Do you know that you’re blessed because you’re obeying Jesus? Look at the plants. Look. You’re going to see abundance.
The World Health Organization says that at any time, 970 million people suffer from mental health challenges.
Young people more than older people. This is crazy. This is alarming. Do you know why? There are many reasons, obviously, many, many reasons.
But there is one that I want to point out today: Our modern lifestyle has made us trapped, cooped up in cubicles, staring at our screens many, many times– not even able to step out in nature.
And, perhaps, what Jesus is saying, if you’re worried, please, look at the birds, look at the lilies. Get out. See the vastness of Creation. Instead of looking at your little world and being trapped where you are.
I believe– I really do– that we should step out into Nature. Not once a month, not once a week, not when you have a vacation on the beach every three months, not when you go mountain climbing once every blue moon. No. Daily. Do you hear me? Say this with me: Every. Single. Day.
Hold someone’s hand. Your friend, your spouse, your brother, your sister.
Look at that person’s eyes. Tell that person, Every. Single. Day. See the vastness of Creation. See the abundance of God. And while you’re outside and under the sun, walk, and run, and bike, and do whatever. But be in Nature and understand: God is big! And God is bigger than whatever needs that you have.
May I ask this question: Are you worried sometimes? Are you worried?
You know that there are needs and there are all these things happening– crises, difficulties, trials, and problems.
Here’s what Jesus says: Look at the birds. Look at the flowers. Get out into Nature.
Every day, I go out, and I bike, and I love it. I just. And then in the middle of my bike ride, I stop. I sit under a tree, and then I read, I pray.
I just love it. I just so love it. But there are days I can’t do it.
There was this one day, I woke up one morning, and I had this nagging thought of a problem that I should solve but I did not know how to solve it — in one of my businesses. And it pestered me. Pestered me just like a bee that was buzzing, and I could not get rid of it. It’s like, you know, how many of you have ever experienced overthinking?
You’ve experienced that. It’s crazy, right? It’s like you’re overthinking. You look at this one angle, you look at that other angle, then you look at the same angle that you looked at before. And you don’t know why, but you keep on thinking about it. You say, Stop, stop, stop. Go away, go away…You know, there’s a buzzing bee. It’s a buzzing mosquito, you know, but you’re just crazy.
You cannot stop mentally.
Do you know what you need to do? Stop it physically. My recommendation.
But there it was. There it was in my
mind. I could not get rid of it. I was overthinking. Overthinking. I had to go out but I could not. I could not do my usual morning ritual. I had to ride a plane, preach somewhere. So, I went to the airport, rode a plane. The whole trip, I was just thinking about this. I was worried. What should I do…you know?
And then I arrived at my destination. My hosts were there. They were going to pick me up. I said, “Hi, hello.” And then they put me in a car, and we were driving. And I was still there. I was still thinking. Overthinking.
And then, Bingo! At the corner of my eye, looking out the window… Shoreline.
I was in the province. Shoreline. First time I did this: I told the people in the car, “Can we stop? Can we stop?”
“Yes, Bro. Bo.”
“Ten minutes. I’ll just go and pray.”
Went out. Went to the very edge of the beach. I was wearing shoes. I could not get wet. At the edge of the beach, raised my arms…Blue sky, white clouds, sunlight. Inhale, exhale. Inhale.
That’s what I’m saying: Sometimes, you cannot stop it mental. Stop it physical.
Like, do something else. Go into Nature. Just being in the Presence of God. Just 10 minutes. Then, I went back into the car. A brand new person.
Overthinking gone. Gone. Why?
I Worship a Big God!
I worship a God who created this big universe. And if He can take care of the birds, and if He made the stars, and if He made the galaxies, and He made every grain of sand under my feet. OMG! He will take care of my little, little, little bitsy problem. God is big. This universe is big. Are you excited? I’m excited. I really am.
God is big. Understand. Woo!
And Jesus says two things will happen if you start taking on an abundance mindset– the moment you realize that you and I live in a world
of abundance ruled by an amazing generous God. Two things happen.
No. 1: We stop worrying. We do. We stop worrying. Luke 12:29-31, let’s read together:
My dear friends, you see what you want to see. If in your mind, you know there is scarcity, you’re going to see scarcity. If in your mind, you see abundance, you will see abundance. You will see God’s generosity.
No. 2: We stop fighting over stuff. If you have an abundance mindset, if you believe there’s more than enough for everyone— and on one condition, the one condition is if you trust His goodness and if you obey what He’s telling you to do: To give.
Chiz Curls Abundance
Let me end my Chiz Curls story.
So, a few days after I was sulking in the corner, licking the crumbs off that tin foil, a few days after, somebody knocked on the door. And it’s one of the suitors of my sisters. I opened the door. I was in charge of opening the door. I opened the door, saw this well-dressed dude.
Later, I found out that his family owned a humongous food company. And then, lo and behold, I saw something… He was carrying something that totally, completely, destroyed my preconceived notion that there were only 22 curls in the universe.
Do you know what he brought? I’ll show it to you. I’m not kidding. He brought something like this:
And remember, I was seven years old. And I looked at it.
He was carrying it. So, what happened was, I became the mosquito that was hovering around my sister and her suitor because I was there. I was transfixed. It’s like, really? There’s omebody who owns all that? You know? And so, my sister, who wanted to get rid of me, she gave me the entire bag just so that I’d go away– because I wasn’t going away.
So, I said, “Thank you.”
I walked around. And you know what I did? I started giving away the curls to all my other sisters, and my neighbors, and my playmates.
I said, “Do you want curls? There’s too much. Do you want curls? There’s too much. Do you want curls? There’s too much. Do you want curls? There’s too much. Do you want curls? There’s too much. Do you want curls? There’s too much.”
We Live in a World of Abundance!
I just have a Word for you today.
How many of you want to mature as a person? Do you know a lot of marriages break down because of what? Immaturity.
You know– you thought you married a guy who was 25 years old. He turned out to be 5 years old inside. He was a crybaby. He could not handle problems, responsibilities.
And you know, we do that.
We experience that. Everybody say, “I want to mature. I want to mature.”
My dear friends, maturity is a journey.
A journey of letting go. When you’re a child, you’ve got to let go of your false expectations that your parents are perfect. And then, as the years go by, as a teenager, you have to let go of the public opinion. The opinion that your friends have about you is the source of your self- worth.
You’ve got to let go and realize, “Uh-oh, no, that’s not me.”
And then later on, you’ve got to let go of your attachments to material things as a definition of who you are. You mature and you let go.
And then you let go of bad habits. How many of you have bad habits that are destroying your life or at least harming you in a little way and you want to let go?
My dear friends, today, God is asking you to let go– of your fear, of your fear that the universe is scarce– na kulang– and that there’s not enough for you.
That somehow God is stingy and He’s holding back.
God is asking you: “Stop worrying. Stop fighting and start trusting.” The Father knows what you need. You cannot do this on your own.
You cannot let go of your fear. You cannot let go of your worry. Why? Because empty hearts cannot let go. Kulang na nga eh, magle-let go ka pa. Not enough. How can you let go?
What you need to do is allow this God to fill your heart with so much love.
Only then can you let go.
I have a friend whose siblings are fighting over their property. Really, really sad. Really, really sad story. Siblings who thought they were so close to one another, fighting over who would get the property. And they had to go to court.
You know, I was just listening to my friend’s story, and my heart was breaking…
And yet, in my mind, I was saying, “Thank God, my family is not like that.”
I mean, I’m sorry for comparing. You know, I knew I was, but I was just saying, “Oh, my gosh, my sisters and I…”
I’m just joking that they’re evil. J We love each other so much. My Dad and Mom, they left us a house. And I told my sisters, “You know, it’s yours. Don’t give me a share. I’m blessed already. You take it.”
My sisters said, “No, no, no, no. You have to.”
We’re at the very opposite. You got what I’m saying? What every family is saying, “Mine, mine, mine.”
We’re giving. Give, give, give. Why? There’s abundance everywhere.
We live in a world of abundance because we know, my sisters and I know, that when we give, God’s going to just provide. There’s abundance everywhere.
And I just want to speak this Word to you. Your Father knows what you need. what? He does not only know what you need. He knows your greatest need.
And your greatest need is Jesus. You need Jesus.
And Jesus, He is God’s abundance. He is God’s generosity. That’s who Jesus is. And the most extravagant, generous act of the universe is Him hanging on a Cross. What else? Sino pa tatalo dito? Who else can defeat that?
God Himself giving Himself to you and telling you, “This is my abundance. I’m giving it to you. Can you trust me? Can you trust me that I know what you need? I will provide. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to go to war. There are wars going on around the world right now.
We don’t have to do that. The stupidity of wars. We don’t need wars. Let’s come before Jesus.
Prayer from the Heart
Put your hand over your chest as a symbol that you pray with all your heart, and just say this after me:
Lord Jesus, Thank You that you are here. And you’re speaking to me: Not to worry. And not to go to war. You’re telling me to let go—of my fear that there is not enough. You are telling me there is more than enough. You are telling me there is abundance in this universe. Because you rule this universe with generosity. And so, I Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
May I invite you to make a decision?
Give your life to Him. Surrender yourself to Him. Give up all your fears. Give up all your worries. Give up to God all the pain, the heartache. Broken heart— give it to Him. Your failures. Your regrets. Your entire life—past, present, future.
For some of you, this might be the first time you’re doing this.
That’s great. Give your life to Jesus. For most of us, let’s renew our decision to give ourselves to Him– forever.
Everybody, if you can lift your hands, that’ll be great. Tell Jesus: Lord, I give my life to You. I ask You, forgive me for all my sins. Change me. Make me a new person. Give a new life. From this day on, I will live for You. I surrender all my worries, all my fears. I also surrender all my dreams, all my needs. And I surrender every area of my life. Be the Lord, be the King. In Jesus’ Name. Amen