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Miles McPherson encourages students to be givers, not takers

January 30, 2013 : By Bethany Pico/Liberty University News Service

Pastor and former NFL player Miles McPherson inspired students at Liberty University’s Convocation on Wednesday to have a lifestyle characterized by giving rather than taking.

McPherson began by engaging students with an interactive dialogue, asking, “Who’s the man?” Students replied, “Jesus,” setting the tone that Jesus is the source of all blessing.

“God blesses you so you can be a source of blessing to someone else —you are a distributor of blessing, not a destination,” McPherson said.

McPherson is the pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, Calif. He played for the San Diego Chargers from 1982-86. After years immoral living and drug use, McPherson realized he was empty inside and in 1984 decided to give his life to Christ. Today he has many ministries reaching the San Diego community and is the author of several books.

On Wednesday, he made the distinction between being a taker, giver, and receiver.

“A taker is someone who acquires things on their own terms. A receiver is someone who acquires things on the terms of the giver. You don’t come to God taking; you come to God receiving.”

He used the story of God testing Abraham’s obedience to illustrate the importance of being a giver. In that pivotal moment when Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac, McPherson said God intervened, saying to Abraham, “Do not lay your hand on your son, because now I know you fear God.”

“God is looking today for the ‘now I know’ sacrifice you have made,” McPherson told students.

He encouraged them “to give to God their best” and “let go of things that you are holding onto tightly.”

“Open up your hand and open up your heart and say ‘Lord I want to be a giver’ and watch what God does,” he said.

Johnnie Moore, vice president for executive projects at Liberty, said McPherson is “a member of Liberty’s extended family” as a campus favorite among students, speaking at the university each year.

“I love coming here. I brag about this school and Convocation everywhere I go,” McPherson said.

McPherson is also the speaker for tonight’s Campus Church, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Vines Center.