Summary: Our giving matters to God, because: 1. It's an obligation to God (Mal 3:6-9). 2. It brings demonstrations of God’s blessing (Mal 3:10-12). 3. It reflects our adoration for the Lord (Luk 7:36-50). 4. It can help a desperate situation (Php 4:13-19).
Does Our Giving Matter to God?
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 28, 2014
(Revised and updated from a sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church Nov. 10, 2006.)
*Years ago, a friend of ours started coming to church with us, and one of the first times she ever came, I preached about money. This lady had been a friend for years, so she didn't mind telling me what she really thought. And right after the service, she whined, "Oh, I came to church, and you preached about money."
*Some people get uncomfortable when the preacher talks about money. But we have to talk about money in church, because God's Word talks about money. God talks about money. So does our giving matter to God? -- Without a doubt, the answer is yes, and this morning we will see 4 reasons why.
1. First of all: Our giving is an obligation to God.
*God makes this truth clear to us in vs. 6-9, and there He said:
6. "For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
7. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,'' says the Lord of hosts. "But you said, 'In what way shall we return?'
8. Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
9. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation."
*We could say, "Well, that's Old Testament." And of course it is, but listen to what Jesus said as he was scolding the religious rulers in Matt 23:23: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
*Yes justice, mercy and faith are the most important things. But Jesus said that we also ought to be giving. Give your tithe: That's ten percent of your gross income or profit. And give your offerings: These are special donations on top of our tithes.
*God never took away the requirement for tithing, because He always planned for His Kingdom work to be carried on through the tithes of His people. And God never took away the requirement for offerings, because He knew that there would always be needy people in our world: People needing physical help, and most of all, people needing spiritual help.
*Our giving is an obligation to God. The Lord even says in Malachi 3:8 that if we don't give, we are robbing God. And this is true because every thing we think we own really belongs to God!
*In Acts 7:49-50, God said this about the Jerusalem Temple:
49. 'Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest?
50. Has My hand not made all these things?'
*It all belongs to God. Ben Franklin proved this truth by asking a good question: "If your riches are yours, why don't you take them with you to the other world?" It all belongs to God anyway, so don't rob the Lord of your tithes and offerings. (1)
*Years ago, I punched the answering machine in my office, and got my most unusual voice mail ever. It was a testimony about tithing. I saved it on my machine for several months. And every once in a while I would listen to it, because it was a blessing. I also asked the man to email it to me. Here's part of what he said:
*"I've always believed in tithing. For years I've studied why we tithe; how much to tithe; and who actually owns our possessions. I finally came to the conclusion that 'ten percent of the gross' was the only thing that made sense to me.
*But about three years ago, I was faced with a personal crisis. Family problems overwhelmed me and although 'business was booming,' my family situation was in shambles. In concentrating on sheer survival, I lost focus in several areas of my spiritual life. Tithing was one of them.
*I didn't withhold my tithe. I just never gave it much thought. For two years, my entire focus was on my family relationships, my work, and everything else except what God wanted from me.
*When I reviewed my church contributions for last year, I was shocked, embarrassed, and humiliated. How could I give so little to the God who had given me so much? I prayed for forgiveness and promised that I would pay more attention to my financial duties.