Summary: REPENTANCE IS THE KEY TO THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN.
DEVELOPING A GENEROUS SPIRIT: THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN
MALACHI 3: 6-18
OCTOBER 12, 2003
INTRODUCTION: A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did."
Bits & Pieces, February 4, 1993, p. 23.
STORY OF HAILIE WILLS??
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke 1 out of every 6 verses deals with money. Of the 29 parables Christ told, 16 deal with a person and his money.
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today is the conclusion of our series on DEVELOPING A GENEROUS SPIRIT. The goal all along was to help us realize that God blesses those who honor Him with all that they are. This, of course, includes giving of our time, our abilities, and our resources. Our text combines two primary issues of the GENEROUS SPIRIT. One is the issue of tithing and the other is the issue of serving. The real power of this text, however, is that both of these issues are placed within a core concept of what it means to be a follower of the living God. This central issue of our faith is Repentance. This word has a very simple meaning: Turn! Turn from the way you are living and live for the living God. The fact that tithing and serving follow this call of repentance should tell us something. True repentance includes tithing and serving! Do you think we can go to heaven without Repentance?
THESIS SENTENCE: REPENTANCE IS THE KEY TO THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN.
THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN OPEN WHEN…
I. REPENTANCE IS THE KEY TO THE GATE
A. REPENTANCE IS AN UNCHANGING GOD VV. 6
1. Our text begins with the very character of God. Our God does not change.
2. The issue presented here is that the people of God don’t think God will honor His promise to return to them. In all actuality, they would have to wait another four hundred years until Jesus was born in a stable, and then they would still wonder why God has not returned to them as He promised.
3. Here this first verse of our text: “I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed (verse 6).”
4. Do you get it?? Thank God, He has not changed His mind and gone back on His word, for if He did, we would be destroyed. HOWEVER, our Father has one desire and it is not our destruction, it is our return.
B. REPENTANCE IS AN UNCHANGING PEOPLE VV. 7
1. Yes, the good news is that we are not destroyed. The bad news is that we never seem to change. Think about verse 7: “Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them.”
2. Now, if you were the Lord, and I am thankful that none of us is, how would you feel if your kids never did a thing, you said?
C. REPENTANCE IS TURNING VV. 7
1. The good news is that God hasn’t given up on us. Yes, he said we are not destroyed, but if that were all there is, we would miss so much.
2. Hope is offered in a call to Repentance. “Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty (verse 7).’”
3. Do you catch the implication of this text? If we don’t return to the Lord, He will not return to us! I guess that means we are out in the cold!
TRUTH: REPENTANCE IS THE BEGINNING OF OUR WALK WITH GOD!
QUESTION: HAVE YOU REPENTED?
THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN OPEN WHEN…
II. TITHING IS A NOTCH IN THE KEY OF REPENTANCE
A. TITHING IS NOT ROBBING GOD VV. 8-9
1. This brings up a big question! How can we return to God, we didn’t know (yeah right!) that we were away from the Lord?
2. Well, the Lord says, since you are now asking the right questions, let me ask you a question: “Will a man rob God (verse 8)?”
3. Do you see the volley going? So the people ask, “How do we rob you (verse 8)?” 4. The volley continues: “In tithes and offering (verse 8).”