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Summary: The last lie we are going to look at is "Money has nothing to do with spirituality."

INTRO: A little girl was given two dollars by her father. He told her that she could do anything she wanted with one and the other was to be given to God on Sunday at church. The girl nodded in agreement and asked if she could go to the candy store. With visions of all that she could buy with her dollar, she happily skipped toward the store, holding tightly to the two dollars in her hand. As she was

skipping along, she tripped and fell and the wind blew one of the dollars into a storm drain at the curb. Picking herself up, the little girl looked at the dollar still in her hand and then at the storm drain and said, "Well, Lord, there goes your dollar."

Sadly, many of us Christians have the same attitude toward giving. First me, then God.

TS: We began going through a series called "Beauty and the Beast." Behind a bill or coin you’ll find either a beast or a beauty. How do we bring out the beauty of the dollar, God’s provision, and crush the beast? By exposing the lies with the truth and acting on the truth.

Some of these lies (myths, fairy tales) we have looked at so far are:

1."More will be enough."

2."Character does not really count."

3."Possessions are powerless."

4."Giving means subtracting."

i.Key of ownership.

ii.Key of eternity.

iii.Key of destiny.

iv.Key of passion.

v.Key of freedom.

Today concludes the series on the beauty and the beast. The last lie we are going to look at is "Money has nothing to do with spirituality."

-This is a huge myth. Money in regard to tithing and offerings is a spiritual issue.

-Larry Burkett, famous Christian author and financial counselor says, "How you handle money is the clearest outside expression of your spiritual condition (outward expression of an inward experience).

I. Hebrews 11:6b, "Without faith it is impossible to please God."

A. God wants us to have faith in him, to believe, to trust him.

1. It’s hard to trust God – we may say we trust him, but our actions show that we don’t trust him.

a. Faith is active – James basically tells us if there is no action to your faith, it’s dead.

-Meaning you have no faith.

b. Having faith in God is probably the most difficult struggle you will have in this life.

-Let me explain:

i. God wants us to depend on him, to trust him with everything, even our own lives.

-We are his. He has bought us with a price, but yet he gives us a free choice to follow him, to be obedient to his commands.

ii. When we are obedient to his commands, this shows that we love and trust him.

-John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

Problem: It’s sometimes difficult to obey the Lord because he asks you things that are impossible to do.

-Such as: Love those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Forgive those who offend you.

-God has called us to die in order that we may live. (Die to our own desires, so we can live in Christ.)

TS: We are called to trust God or have faith in him. It sounds simple, but it’s extremely hard to do. So God helps us.

3. God has principles he has set forth and when we break these

-We damage our relationship with him (which ultimately damages us).

TITLE: Beauty and the Beast – Part 5

TEXT: Malachi 3:6-12

I. Background. The Jews have returned home after their horrible ordeal in Babylon. They rebuilt Jerusalem, and had a mighty move of God. But they had become cold religiously and lax morally.

A. The Lord does not change. V. 6a, "I the Lord do not change." God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

1. If God punished sin in the past, he will do so in the future. He is the same; he never changes. In regard to tithing.

2. People will say: "That’s the Old Testament, Pastor. We’re not under it anymore. It does not relate to us."

-Untrue.

-How many women felt pain in childbirth?

-How many have lost a loved one within the past couple years? (Adamic Covenant)

-How many have seen a rainbow recently?

—God’s promise to never again flood the earth. (Hope that covenant is still for today.)

B. The concept of tithing is for today. Just as the children of Israel were instructed to trust in God, we today are instructed by the text to trust in God.

-V. 8, "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me."

2. They were robbing God of tithes and offerings.

a. Tithing is one-tenth or 10% of one’s income given to God through the ministry of the local church.

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