Summary: WE can get the enemy out of our financial business of we choose to!
• SLIDE #1
• How would you like to have more money left at the end of the month instead of more month left at the end of your money?
• Are you tired of feeling like you are just getting by? Are you tired of stressing over finances all the time?
• How would you like to feel a sense of financial peace in your life?
• Today marks the end of our Equip series. Today’s messages will dovetail into a short three-week series on the issue of everyone’s favorite subject, MONEY!
• Money is the second most talked about subject in the bible behind love. God has a lot to say about the subject and over the next three weeks we are going to take a look at some things God has to say about the subject.
• I will follow up what we examine this week with messages entitles “The Money Pit”, followed by a message entitled “Money Myths”.
• Today we are going to begin this short series by looking at how we can loosen the enemy’s grip on our finances.
• If Satan can keep us in debt, anxious and worried over money. If he can help feed our insatiable appetite for more, if he can keep us from being content, then he can distract us from the blessings that God wants to give to us.
• In life we always need to realize that whatever we put ahead of God slowly becomes our god.
• The things I mentioned in the opening of my remarks are things you can possess, but only if we are willing to put God FIRST in all areas in life but specifically in the area of finances.
• My hope is that these messages will give us a better understanding concerning God’s will for our finances and that as a result of having a better understanding we can make changes that will put us more in line with God’s will for our finances.
• Today we begin our series by looking at the Old Testament book of Malachi.
• Let’s begin by looking at verses 8-9
• SLIDE #2
• Malachi 3:8-9(ESV) 8Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.
• SLIDE #3
I. The crisis.
• The nation of Israel, God’s chosen people were in crisis, things were not looking good for the nation.
• The contents of this book show that, in the time of Malachi, religion was in a very low condition. The people robbed God by keeping back the tithes and offerings, and the priests polluted God’s altar.
• They offered to God what they dared not to have offered to a human governor, and what a human governor would not have accepted at their hands. And yet they seemed unconscious of the evil of their conduct.
• When you read the whole book of Malachi, you see a sad picture painted of what was going on.
• The crisis was that the people were no longer putting God first in their priorities. This is something that happened over a period of time.
• Sin can so blind us that we can miss what is really happening in our lives.
• God is trying to get the people to turn back to him because they were paying a price for turning their backs on God.
• Malachi tells the people they are cursed with a curse because they are robbing God of His due.
• The word “rob” denotes to take by force. They were taking their tithes, which was the annual contribution of 1/10th of the yield from the fields the people were called to give to the Levites to be used for the operation of the tabernacle and for the support of the priests.
• Contributions were monies given on top of the tithe. In Exodus 25:2 God asked the people for contributions to build the tabernacle.
• The nation was hurting economically because of their disregard for God.
• Think about this, in whatever area in our lives we do not turn over to God, in whatever area of our life we do not put god first, we will suffer a loss of God’s blessing.
• The people had disobeyed God by robbing Him of tithes and offerings. Actually, when God’s people are not faithful in their giving, they not only rob God, but they also rob themselves. God had shut off the rain and spoiled the crops because of their selfishness.