Summary: How does God want me to grow in my giving to support His work?
God’s plan is for you to give your tithe to the support of His work through your local church. But we need to understand that giving a tithe is only the beginning. God’s plan is for us to grow in our giving.
In Malachi 3:8, we are exhorted to give both "tithes" and "offerings." God wants us to give beyond our tithe to other special needs through our local church. Needs such as our building fund and World Missions. And in the process of growing our giving, God wants to grow us! God plan is for your giving to grow and for you to grow through giving.
In verse 6, we read that if we give generously to the support of God’s work, we will always receive more in return. If we sow generously, we are told we will reap generously. And what is the nature of the harvest we will reap? Verse 10 tells us that it is a "harvest of righteousness." As our giving grows, we will grow through our giving. Why? Because as we grow in giving, we will grow in our appreciation of . . .
1. The Love of God - v. 7
When we grow in giving, we will grow in our appreciation of the love of God. Why? Because the nature of God’s love for us was expressed through giving.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 (NLT)
The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to, at the end of the worship service, ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.
"Here’s a copy of the service," he said impatiently. "But you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."
During the service, the minister paused and said, "Brothers and sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected, and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up."
At that moment, the substitute organist played "The Star-Spangled Banner."
And that is how the substitute became the regular.
Occasionally, need something to motivate them to take action. Friends, we should need no more motivation than the cross! In response to the cry of sinful mankind, God demonstrated His love by deciding to give of Himself unhesitatingly, willingly, and enthusiastically. Likewise, we grow to appreciate the love of God as we, in response to the call of a holy God, decide to give of ourselves unhesitatingly, willingly, and enthusiastically. As we decide to give to God this way, we grow in our appreciation of His love.
"The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]" - John 14:21 (Amplified)