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Summary: The principles of God's word point to God's person. So if we trust His principles it is because we trust Him. If we do not live by His principles we miss out on all there is found in His person.

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Intro: Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.”

What truths are found in the Old Testament that will instruct and encourage us to a deeper trust with God? What can we learn about the relationship to our finances and faith? God is the same yesterday today and forever. He is generous even in the Old Testament so the world will see His hand of blessing on His people.

2 Corinthians 9:11 “God will make you rich enough so that you can always be generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God because of us.”

I. Trust God with your first fruits (Malachi 3.7-12)

7 "Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept [them]. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of Hosts.

A) The real issue relationship

What is God after? When it comes to what God wants it’s you!! God desires that none would perish that all would come to repentance. That means that He really wants everyone to turn or return to Him and see that He is gracious. This is the basis for our relationship with God. We can turn or return to Him.

B) The related issue obedience to God’s principles

If we have not turned toward God we will not observe His principles. What is one of the saddest and sickest things about the church in America? Can I do this and still be saved? Can I smoke and be ok with God. Can I cheat on my wife and be ok. Is it ok that I shack up with this girl? Is it okay if I talk about my pastor behind his back? Is it ok if I talk about so and so? If you are seeing just how much you can push your freedom then I don’t believe you have been set free yet!

1 Cor 16.2 “As the Lord has prospered you.” God gives us principles in His word to guide and direct us. This isn’t any different with our giving. God has given us principles to lead us to freedom from our possessions.

What are we resisting when we resist God’s precepts and principles? We resist trusting Him.

What principles have we learned? God owns it all. God makes us generous so that we can be generous. Learning to Give as God directs leads to freedom. God treasures our hearts. Worldly treasures can be a roadblock to allowing God to have His treasure. God calls us to be stewards

Abraham

Zacheus

Widow of Zarepheth

Widow with two mites

The cost of not obeying God – A curse

II. Trust God to keep His promises

If you return to me and do as I say regarding giving I will bless you. Why? Remember 2 Cor 9.11. God gives to us so that we can be generous always.

A) It will grow your faith

You will see God again and again be faithful as you learn to trust Him and hear his voice to make you more generous.

As God meets your needs you validate what is not seen.

B) It will grow your giving

" ... But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving ... "


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