Summary: Sermon Series geared towards a Christian's responsibility to support the ministry of the church through our tithing.
“God Expects His People to Give”
Malachi 3: 6-12
February 7, 2016
Intro: A homeless man was looking for a handout one day in a picturesque old English village. He was hungry almost to the point of fainting, when he stopped by a pub called “The Inn of St. George and the Dragon.” He knocked on the kitchen door of the pub A lady answered the door and he said, “Please, ma’am, could you spare me a bite to eat?”
-She yelled back at the man, “Why would I give a sorry, smelling beggar a bite to eat? Get out of here!” She then slammed the door in his face. The man began to leave when he noticed the sign of the pub again which said “St. George and the Dragon.” He turned around, went back and knocked on the door again.
-The same lady opened the door and was surprised to see him again. She yelled, “Now what do you want?” He said, “Well, ma’am, I’d like to try and speak w/St. George this time.”
-When the subject of giving or $ is mentioned in church it can sometimes make people feel like the dragon instead of St. George! As a matter of fact I think most of us probably get a little more riled up @ the subject of giving in the church than we do @ the subject of hell.
-Talking @ $ isn’t an issue w/most people…as long as you’re talking @ someone ELSE’S money. When the richest man in America list comes out every year, we see names like Bill Gates on the list. And there’s always a conversation @ what people like him should do w/HIS $. We like to talk @ what other people should do w/their $.
-But the conversation becomes a little different when the subject turns to OUR $. And we think, “Is this really a topic to be covered in church?” It’s interesting to see some stats of giving in the Bible. 1/6th of the Gospels and 1/3 of Jesus’ parables address the subject of Xian stewardship.
-To be honest w/you, I believe so many Xians get nervous @ this subject b/c deep down they know they’re not as generous as they should be. And then others get nervous b/c they didn’t realize that giving their life to Christ meant you gave Him everything.
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see the importance that’s placed on giving for those who are followers of God. And in our text we’ll see a few facts given @ giving that can be helpful for us as we move forward.
TEXT: MALACHI 3: 7-12
Bckgrd: The Jewish people had returned to Israel after spending 70 years in captivity in Babylon. But after a period of time their zeal for God started to wane and the people got slack in their obedience to the Lord. They were living as though obedience to God was optional. But obedience is a requirement. One of the areas where the people had been disobedient to God was in their tithes and offerings. So Malachi shared w/the people some reasons why giving is a requirement and not optional.
-So what are the reasons? The 1st reason the tithe is required is simply b/c:
DIV. 1: GOD COMMANDS WE TITHE (vv. 7-9)
Exp: I want you to understand God doesn’t need our $. He’s already the owner of everything we’ve got. He made this world and it all belongs to Him. So, understand that tithing isn’t @ $. Then what’s it about? It’s @ obedience.
A.God calls for His followers to give back to Him a tithe. You know what tithe means? I always tell our Discovery Class it means 25%. It means 10%. Now contrary to popular belief, preachers didn’t come up w/this concept!
1.I’m not trying to make a sales pitch to you. This isn’t the Jerry Lewis telethon where you’re being ASKED to give. The tithe is a COMMAND that comes from God. Listen to what we’re told @ it. In Lev. 27: 30, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”
a.You know, in Genesis God called for man to the steward of the earth. This set a precedent to show us that we’re not owners of the things around us. We’re merely stewards, caretakers. And that includes our finances.
b.Well, then why does God want us to give Him a tenth of what we have? B/c when we tithe we’re showing that we recognize all things are His. It shows our submission to HIS will instead of our own. As you can imagine, this is an area where many people struggle.