Summary: God desires to bless those who will walk in obedience to His word and the promises that He has given us. Living in the Blessings, means to walk in obedience
“Blessing by obedience”
Intro: As difficult it may seem for people to receive the truth, our finances generally mark the position of our spiritual walk with God. If we cannot learn to trust in the Lord for our finances then what makes us believe that we can trust Him for the rest of our life, including our spiritual being. I have said this a many of times, that you can learn more about a person’s commitment by looking at their checkbook than any other thing. I just believe that God is challenging us in the Word of God to understand the blessings that He gives by our obedience to the command of giving.
ILLUSTRATION: When you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, "Does this hurt? How about this?" If you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, "We’d better do some more tests. It’s not supposed to hurt there!" So it is when pastors preach on financial responsibility, and certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard. Or perhaps there’s something wrong. In that case, I say, "My friend, we’re in need of the Great Physician because it’s not supposed to hurt there."
Let me just stop to say if you are tithing so that the Church can have money, we have missed the purpose of tithing. Many people get wrapped up over whether tithing is a biblical principle in which we are to live by. Sometimes, Christians get swept up in a debate over whether or not we’re required to tithe, when that’s not the real question. The real question is, does the promise of Malachi 3:9-10 still apply today? Your giving God money not the church!!!
Malachi 3:7 “….Return to Me, and I will return to you.” Says the Lord of host. But you said, In what way shall we return.”
Can we not see that the tithe is a starting place in getting God into action in the affairs of man. Knowing that desires to bless us far more than we want a blessing.
“I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all, But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” Martin Luther
I. THE PROBLEM IS OBEDIENCE
A. The problem is how can you expect to be blessed of the Lord if we do not find it in our heart to be obedient Him. If we do not give God our tithe we have robbed Him. Many of us would never think of not paying our taxes on our home, sales taxes, or internal revenue taxes. Yet we will not render to God the things that are God’s , that is His Tithe!
John 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine bu the Father’s who sent Me.”
B. The Lord told the Israelites that they were distant from him and that they needed God to return and once again be the Lord of their lives if they ever wished to see good days. We read, however, that the Lord could not be their God until they first returned unto him.
Malachi 3:7,8 “… In what way shall we return?”
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, In what way have we robbed You?” In Tithes and offerings.”
C. Remember for a robbery to occur there must be ownership. I caution you today that is robbery, taking that which does not belong to you. It is HOLY!!!! It is unthinkable, in the light of the cross of Calvary upon which Jesus died, that any of us under grace would give less than Jews under the law.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
II. THE PLAN IS GOD’S
A. God made a plan to see the lives of believers come into obedience as stewards, causing us to be responsible for taking care of the churches need financially to be able to reach and teach and proclaim this gospel as Jesus Christ desired for us to do, in doing the will of the Father.
Leviticus27:30 “And all the tithe of the land whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”
B. The plan of God is to bring all the tithes into the storehouse. Bringing is an act of obedience to the plan which God has for us. God gave orders not only what to bring but when to bring into the storehouse. Notice God says to receive the offerings, but to bring the tithes unto Him. Offerings are a willingness upon our part and tithe is God’s command.