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Summary: God used Malachi to warn His people about their sin and to call them into the place of His blessing. Problem: People fail to give in a scriptural manner.

Introduction:

Pro Football Player Braylon Edwards' Vow

In 2007, the Cleveland Browns rookie announced that he'd give $10,000 in scholarships to 100 Cleveland-area eighth-graders "if they could graduate high school with over a 2.5 GPA and 15 hours community service." It was called the "ADVANCE 100 Program",

On June 5, 2014, Sporting News reported that the students lived up to their end of the bargain, and now Edwards is living up to his end, according to CBSSports.com and the Detroit Free Press.

Edwards tweeted. "The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program and head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. Guys, enjoy and embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way."

Just as Braylon Edwards had the resources and the ability to bless these college students even so, your heavenly Father has the resources and the ability to bless you.

The Main Point: Since Christ is LORD (Yehovah); you ought to give in a scriptural manner to support His work.

The burden of this discourse concerns Israel's unfaithfulness (violate law) in the covenant relationship between them and God.

The exiles had returned… and the inevitable lethargy, laxity, and leniency in spiritual matters had developed. Expositor's Bible

The tithes were in addition to numerous offerings. It was an acknowledgment that everything belonged to God and that He was the Giver of all possessions.

How can you keep from robbing God?

I. Refuse to disobey God. v. 7-9

A. Israel chose to disobey God (7).

1. God pointed out their sin.

Mal 3:7 "… you have turned aside (turn off-depart) from My statutes and have not kept (to attend-take heed) them.

Act 7:51 Stephen before he was martyred... "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

2. They questioned God's indictment.

... "But you say, 'How shall we return?' ... 'How have we robbed You?'

B. Israel practiced thievery (8-9).

1. Thieves misuse God's money (8).

2. Thieves experience judgment (9).

How can you keep from robbing God?

Transitional Statement: First, refuse to disobey God; secondly, since Christ is LORD; give in a scriptural manner.

II. Give in a scriptural manner. v. 10

A. Obedience will prove God's faithfulness (10a).

1. Giving is a biblical mandate.

2. Giving is a test.

B. Obedience will bring God's blessing (10b-11a).

1. God will give you a heavenly blessing.

2. God will give you an abundant blessing.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think...

ILLUSTRATION:

Example: building the sanctuary

Exo 36:6 ... Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, "Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary." Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.

Application:

Now what? The real test is going to be what will you do when you get money?

Is it your answer to problems… your security… source of happiness? Because of the way you use God’s money do you experience loss or blessing? Do you see the heavens opened? Do you experience the elimination of your lack (loss)? Do you reflect a testimony that God is abundantly rich toward me? Obey God... give scriptural!

Be a living testimony to the validity of God's Word...

It has always been given to support His work (Melchizedek... Levitical priesthood and now the local N.T. church).

Why give the bulk of your offering to the local N.T. church?

1) Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for it.

2) The Church is God's central place for the work of the ministry on earth.

3) The Church is where your family gets fed and is helped to grow into Christ-likeness.

4) The Church is where you should primarily use your gifts and talents for the glory of God.

5) The Church is where God's people are & where your heart ought to be!

6) The Church holds leadership accountable for how the funds are used!

Does the use of money take you away from God or bring you closer to God? Is it taking His place in your life?

How can you keep from robbing God?

Transitional Statement: First, refuse to disobey God; secondly, give in a scriptural manner; thirdly, since Christ is LORD trust Him!

III. Trust the Lord! v. 11-12

A. He will provide for you (11).

1. God will intercede for you.

2. God will reverse the curse.

B. He will honor you (12).

1. Your life will be a testimony for Him.

2. Your life will be a delight to all.

Conclusion:

How can you keep from robbing God?

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