Summary: Everyone should tithe, but some in your audience won’t have reached that level of faith. This sermon is intended to give a way for Christians with young faith to begin a systematic method of giving.
SERMON BASIC THOUGHTS
"IT’S TIME TO PUT GOD TO THE TEST...
AND DISCOVER HIS LOVE!’
Dr. David L. Haun
King David was called by a prophet Gad to build an altar to the honor and glory of God. When he approached the property’s owner, he was offered the land for free. David’s answer: "No, I will not have it as a gift. I will buy it, for I don’t want to offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that have cost me nothing." Today we are given a challenge by God to put Him to the test. Many Christians through the years have taken this challenge of God, have put Him to the test, and have learned the wonder of His fulfilling love. Listen carefully to God’s amazing offer. Our Scriptures for today’s sermon come from the Old and the New Testament:
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE II Samuel 24;18-25 (NIV)
18 On that day [the prophet] Gad went to David and said to him, "Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?"
"To buy your threshing floor," David answered, "so I can build an altar to the Lord that the plague on the people may be stopped."
22 Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 O king, Araunah gives all this to the king." Araunah also said to him, "May the Lord your God accept you."
24 But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
THE OFFERING DEMAND OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. God’s Old Testament demand is to offer Him a Tithe. The OT tithe is 10%
And the Lord owns every tenth animal of your herds and flocks and other domestic animals, as they pass by for counting. The tenth given to the Lord shall not be selected on the basis of whether it is good or bad, and there shall be no substitutions.
Lev 27:32-33 TLB
B. The offering is given because we honor God.
"Tithing has always been a test of the heart, not a matter of money. Our attitude toward tithing is a clear reflection of the confidence we have or don’t have in God. The Lord does not want our money. He wants our trust." (1)
C. The prophet Malachi accused the people of ignoring this Old Testament demand. As a result, they failed to put God first, and dishonored him.
A son honors his father, and servants their master. If then I am a father, where is the honor due me? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? says the Lord of hosts. ...Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing." Malachi 1:6, 3:8-10. (NRSV)
Notice: 1) God’s demanded honor
2) God’s expected respect
3) God’s challenge for a test
4) God’s eternal promise
THE OFFERING METHOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. In II Corinthians 8, Paul urges the Christians in Corinth to consider the Macedonian church as a guide to their own giving.
Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem. Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them. II Cor 8:1-5 ( Living New Testament)