Summary: Are you guilty of robbing God? A Biblical blueprint of obedient tithing.
This morning we will be continuing our series "Stewardship...A matter of the heart." We will be looking at the Biblical principle of giving. Our background passage today comes from Malachi 3:8-12.
Malachi 3:8-12 (NCV)
“Should a person rob God? But you are robbing me. You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ You have robbed me in your offerings and the tenth of your crops.
So a curse is on you, because the whole nation has robbed me.
Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn so there will be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord All-Powerful. “I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need.
I will stop the insects so they won’t eat your crops. The grapes won’t fall from your vines before they are ready to pick, “ says the Lord All-Powerful. All nations will call you blessed, because you will have a pleasant country,” says the Lord All-Powerful.
The first thing I would like for us to examine today are some basic principles of giving. The first and most important principle is that all that you have comes from God – Job 41:11
Job 41:11 (NCV)
No one has ever given me anything that I must pay back, because everything under the sky belongs to me.
God commands that one-tenth of all we produce is His – Leviticus 27:30
Leviticus 27:30 (NLT)
A tenth of the produce of the land whether grain or fruit belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.
We so many times want to bargain with God, but His expectations are spelled out in black and white. He didn’t ask for 3, 5, 7 or 9%. 10% is the standard, this is the tithe.
We are to give God the first of all we produce – Leviticus 23:10
Leviticus 23:10 (CEV)
…After you enter the land I am giving you, the first bundle of wheat from each crop must be given to me. So bring it to a priest…
One of the questions I often get is the question of whether we should tithe off of our gross or net. I want you to consider this...your insurance, your 401k and your taxes all come from your gross income. If we are giving from our first fruits, shouldn’t our tithe come from the same place?
When discussing the issue of giving it is important to differentiate between tithes and offerings. Offerings are what is given above and beyond the commanded one-tenth.
Let’s next look at the issue of tipping vs. giving.
Giving less than what is commanded is considered “robbing” God – vs. 8. Not giving God what is commanded brings God’s judgment – vs. 9. Most give God their leftovers…what they can afford, we tend to tip God for "good service."
Giving is sacrificial in nature. – Luke 21:1-4
Luke 21:1-4 (NCV)
As Jesus looked up, he saw some rich people putting their gifts into the Temple money box. Then he saw a poor widow putting two small copper coins into the box.
He said, “ I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people. They gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had to live on.”
If you remember nothing else this morning, remember this: Giving Is Not About Your Money!!! Giving is about your heart. Giving testifies of your trust in God to provide. Giving testifies to who is Lord of your life. Giving testifies to your attitude towards God....