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Summary: This is a semron on stewardship and tithing that connects giving with the blood of Christ shed on the cross for us. Emphasis is on God providing for his Bride (Israel and the Church). God’s good gifts should motivate us to give a portion of them back to

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Series: Stewardship,

Message: Brides, French Fries, and Money

Topics: Money, Tithe, Heart, Love

Text: Malachi 3:6-12, 2:11; Psalm 24:1, 50:10; Chronicles 29:14, Ezekiel 16

Date: Dec. 4, 2011

Pastor: David McBeath

This sermon is based on an illustration in a sermon called "Whose Fries Are These" byRick Gillespie- Mobley

REVIEW

Today is the last message in our stewardship series. We began this series emphasizing the fact that we should approach our work as worship. The next week we talked about Thanking God for everything he provides! Last week we discovered that God commands us to invest in heavenly or eternal things. This week my message is Marriage, French Fries, and Money.

Like I said last week, “If anyone is uncomfortable about a sermon on money and stewardship, it is definitely me. The last thing I want to do is contribute to the impression many have that churches are primarily concerned with money. I know it may look self-serving for a pastor to talk about stewardship, but money is a spiritual issue and needs to be addressed first and foremost because the Bible has more to say about money that almost anything else. As we are going to see the Bible tells us money is an issue of the heart. It identifies our heart’s true love.

INTRODUCTION

Now as I recall, last week’s service went a little long and that reminds me of a story. It’s a story about a Dad and his son who went to church together. The service was good. But, during the ride home the Father complained to his son about it being too long. The little boy was quiet for a minute while he thought about the service. He rehearsed in his head all that happened. As he did, he remembered what his Dad put in the offering plate. Then he said, “Daddy, I thought it was pretty good for a buck.”

PREVIEW

For far too many Christians, this is their approach to investing in eternal things and giving to the church. They think to themselves I can give God a buck or two. I can give him a little bit of what I have left at the end of the week. This morning we are going to discover what God calls this type of nominal, empty giving and talk about French Fries (Yes, French Fries) to help us understand how our nominal giving makes God feel. Finally, to spur us to better giving we will consider the great gifts God has lavished on his Bride Israel and the Church.

MALACHI 3:6-12

Please turn to Malachi 3:6-10a. But before I read, let me ask you this question. What causes the most tension, the most stress, and the most fights in the typical marriage? Yes, MONEY or FINANCES! OK, Malachi 3:6-10. Follow along as I read:

“I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings! You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.”

LOVERS QUARREL

Now when we look at this section of Scripture, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a lovers’ quarrel. The lovers are God and his people. It’s a fight between a husband and his wife.

If you think I’m kidding, check out the context. Look at chapter 2, verse 11. The NIV says, “Judah has broken faith.” The KJV and ASV say they have profaned the holiness of God. In other words, God’s people have been unfaithful. His bride has committed adultery. The verse goes on to say they have married the daughter of a foreign God.

Now, when we look at this passage, we see that God is Angry! He is angry because his Bride, the people of Israel have turned away from him! God says, “They haven’t kept my decrees.” Which means, “They haven’t been faithful to their marriage covenant or marriage vows.”

But God is a good lover. He is a good husband. He loves his bride so much that in the midst of her unfaithfulness and spiritual adultery he says, “Return to me and I will return to you.” I want you back it doesn’t matter what you’ve done! Ladies, it’s a hallmark moment I tell you! I am sure you have seen many movies like this on the Hallmark Channel. And guys, I know you’ve seen a movie or two like this and had to fight back a tear! Come one you know it’s true! At least I hope I am not the only SAP here this morning.

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