Summary: Put God to the test, He is ready and through His word He encourages us to. If we reap what we sow lets be sowers.
Today we want to talk about Putting God to the test!
Turn with me to
Malachi 3:6-7 (NIV)
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
God’s patience seems endless! Throughout history, His people have disobeyed laws, but He is always ready to take them back. Here, however like so many times in the world today the people have the nerve to imply that they never disobeyed. (How are we to return?) Many turn their backs on forgiveness and restoration because they refuse to admit their sin. God is always ready to return to us if we are ready to return to Him. Read vs 8-9
Malachi 3:8-9 (NIV)
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.
The people in Malachi’s day ignored God’s command to give a tithe of their income to the temple. They feared losing what they had worked so hard to get, but in this they misjudged God. Read vs 10
Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
This verse challenges us today to give and put God to the test. (Test me in this!)
How do I make room for the gifts of God?
How do I test God?
What if you were going to receive a new houseful of furniture? Wouldn’t you get rid of the old! The same way works for God’s blessings! Give away and receive more!
2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV)
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
A man was nervous about a job interview, he had to get this job. On his way there he passed a lady on the side of the road with a flat tire. He stopped and changed her tire and told her he had to rush and told her be safe and have a blessed day. On his way to the interview he knew he was late and had no chance at the job but needed it so badly he stayed to be interviewed. As he entered the office of the personnel director he noticed it was the lady he changed the tire for. He was hired immediately! Have you ever stepped up or out in faith to help others?
You reap what you sow!
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
This does not just apply to money, but to all aspects of a Christian’s life. Time! Love! Prayer! Mercy! "Abundance in talents and blessings are not God's provision for me to live with excess, but his provision for me to help others live."
Luke 6:27-37 (NIV)
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.