Summary: This sermon seriously deals with actually putting your faith into practice at God insistence or encouragement.
Scripture: Malachi 3:1 – 10
Title: “Putting God To The Test”
Introduction: There are some very interesting verses of Scripture located at different places in the Bible. In Malachi in the Scripture we have just read in verse 10, “Prove Me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
MALACHI was the last of the prophets. The times in which he lived, about 400 years before Christ, were typical of any modern community of our day.
MALACHI is dealing with an obstacle that is in the way of the FREE OUTPOURING of God’s blessings on His people.
Israel had been UNWILLING to pay the price of His favor. The WINDOWS of heaven had been CLOSED upon the people of God and they were in the midst of a DRAUGHT.
The WINDOWS of God’s blessing had been CLOSED because the people had been WITHHOLDING their “tithes & offerings.”
God is saying, “If you will bring ALL the “tithes & offerings” into the house of God I will POUR OUT the “showers of My blessings upon on you.””
This REFUSAL by God’s people was an OUTWARD sign of their ALIENATION from God. (They had a SPIRITUAL PROBLEM)
MALACHI was telling the people the best way to show they were willing to REPENT of their UNBELIEF & DISOBEDIENCE was to PAY THEIR TITHES.
I want to deal with the part of verse 10 where it says, “. . . prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
I. THE INTENTIONS OF GOD.
a. God’s DESIRE is to bless His people! (John 3:16 proves this)
b. God has PERFECTLY DESIGNED His plan to so that every Christian can enjoy every blessing God has for them.
c. God INTENDS for us to be in a RELATIONSHIP with Him to the POINT we can COMMUNICATE with Him and KNOW His WILL.
d. We are the CHILDREN of God and Heirs of God and JOINT HEIRS with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17) Everyone knows a PARENT will do their BEST for their children. (God is our HEAVENLY FATHER)
e. On top of all this God puts His Holy Spirit within EVERY one who becomes a Christian so that God can be in CONSTANT CONTACT with us.
f. God has also BUILT into each one of us the ABILITY to TRUST God for the things He has PROMISED us.
g. And on top of this is a Scripture that says, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” (2 Cor. 1:20)
II. THE DIVINE CHALLENGE.
a. “PROVE Me NOW herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
b. What a PROMISE this is, and what a CHALLENGE to our FAITH.
c. “Prove Me” – Put Me to the TEST! (Don’t forget, this is God doing the TALKING!)
d. “Try Me out” and SEE if I will not do this for you!
e. Don’t let the greatness of the BLESSING make your FAITH to STAGGER.
Remember that He who hath promised is the Almighty & the Unchangeable Lord.
f. What God has PROMISED He is ABLE to perform. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20)
g. We could go on and on with places in the Bible where God is giving each one of us a CHALLENGE to Pray, Step Out On His Promises, Believe, Use the FATIH God has GIVEN US.
h. It’s hard to read very far in the Word of God without RECEIVING a CHALLENGE from God.
III. PUTTING GOD TO THE TEST.
a. Just saying these words are DIFFICULT for me! (Why?)
Because of HOW we have been TAUGHT!
b. Do you really understand what God is saying when He said to “Prove Me now”?
c. God was saying, “Use your FAITH and do it NOW!”
d. Do we not TRY ON the clothes we buy? Do we not DRIVE a car before we BUY it? Do we not TASTE a new FOOD before we DIG into the meal?