Summary: God instituted the tithe, not to get your money, but to reveal your heart in service to Him. All believrs are called to give a tithe back to God.
Date Written: November 3, 2008
Date Preached: November 02, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: A Series On Tithing
Sermon Title: Encourage the Tithe
Sermon Text: Malachi 3:8-12 (NKJV)
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.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts;
12 And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.
It had been a hard winter in the Rockies. The snow piled deeper and deeper. The temperature dropped below zero and stayed there. The rivers froze over. People were suffering.
The Red Cross used helicopters to fly in supplies. After a long hard day, as they were returning to their base, the rescue team in a helicopter saw a cabin nearly submerged in the snow. A thin wisp, of smoke came from the chimney. The men figured those people in that cabin were probably critically short of food, fuel, and medicine.
Because of the trees they had to set down about a mile from the cabin. They put their heavy emergency equipment on their backs, trudged through waist deep snow, and reached the cabin exhausted, panting, and perspiring.
They pounded on the door and a thin, gaunt mountain woman finally came to the door and the lead man panted, "ma’am, we’re from the Red Cross."
The mountain woman was silent for a moment, looking down at her feet, and then she cautiously said, "Well men, it has been a long and tough winter and I just don’t think we can give anything this year!"
As a pastor, I want you to know that it is understandable that many of us are leery at times to answer the phone or open the door... because it seems that everybody and his brother wants something from you.
But what I want to speak about today is about WORSHIP and WORSHIPPING God thru the giving back to Him out of the abundance you have been blessed with… BY HIM!
What I want to emphasize here this morning is that the act of worship…that we call tithing and offerings… that grace of giving to back to God is not something that Christians should believe is an OPTION in their lives! Total submission and surrender to God includes ALL of who we are… all our time, all our talent and all our tender!
Now it is clear and evident in Scripture that God does not require NOR does He want ALL of your money, but He does set up a standard that represents a surrendered heart… a submitted life and that is what He calls the TITHE…which the Bible describes as 10% of all your income.
Scripture is very clear that tithing is God’s plan for His people from the very beginning. Able brought an offering…a form of tithe to God, we also see that Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek in recognition of God’s blessings. Jesus tithed and He encouraged His disciples to go beyond the tithe.
However, by the time of the prophet Malachi, the people of Israel had become disobedient in their worship of God and many no longer practiced tithing.
The disobedience of the people resulted in the fact that they were suffering… they were suffering because they had strayed away from God. God’s covenant with them was that if they would worship Him, He would bless them, but they had strayed and the result was hardship and suffering.
This suffering was in part because they refused to surrender of themselves to God. Malachi pulled no punches as he confronted the nation in his accusation…their actions were akin to thievery… there withholding in their worship was robbery from God and what He had done for the nation.
So it is really not a surprise when we read what God told Malachi to write, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But you say wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” (Mal. 3:8)
Because of their disobedience God had brought punishment to the people of Israel. And if we look at this verse and say that Malachi was encouraging the people to give to God in the form of a tithe… well that just doesn’t seem strong enough.