Summary: Jesus is the Lord our Provider. He wants to meet all of our needs, but there are certain principles we must live by if we want to experience those blessings.
• Here God describes how His people worked hard but didn’t have anything to show for it.
• God told them they were lacking because they were neglecting His kingdom.
• Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).
2. THE PRINCIPLE OF TITHING:
“6 For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the Lord of hosts. "But you said, ’In what way shall we return?’ 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ’In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," Says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:6-11).
a. WHAT IS TITHING?
• God is calling His people to return to Him by tithing – giving 10% of their income.
• Tithing was not a part of the OT law – it was a principle from God.
• Abraham and Jacob both tithed before the law was given (Gen. 14:20 & 28:22).
• Jesus endorsed tithing in two places – in Matthew 23:23 and 22:21.
b. WHAT WILL GOD DO WHEN WE TITHE?
• He will open up the windows of Heaven and pour out a big blessing.
• He will rebuke the devourer. ILLUSTRATE.
• God says, “Put me to the test!” In other words – try it and see if it will work!
c. WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO TITHE BUT STILL AREN’T BLESSED?
• We must be good stewards of the remaining 90%: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1).
3. THE PRINCIPLE OF FIRST FRUITS:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths… Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:5-6,9-10).
• If we want God to bless our finances, we need to honour Him with the first 10%.
• A little boy gave his lunch (John 6:9) which Jesus multiplied to feed the 5,000.
BIBLE EXAMPLE: In 1 Kings 17:8-15, the Lord sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath
The widow said, "I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die." (v.12).
Elijah said, "Make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.” (v.13-14).