Summary: The Biblical tithe is a prescription for the restoration of people.
Tithing is not the art of raising money, it is the art of people raising!
1. READ verse 7 “you have not followed My prescriptions”
2. Malachi 3 was not just another approach to raise money...
3. IT WAS A BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE TO RAISE AND RESTORE PEOPLE!!!!
4. The priests were corrupt & the people in sin. [They offered God polluted, sick animals.]
5. Many like the people of Malachi, living in rebellion, away from the Lord, offering Him only your leftovers (time, talents or treasures) ...
6. Can’t figure out what is wrong????
Three declarations in this passage concerning restoration.
1- God Rebukes our Rebellion (Malachi 3:7-9)
“You have robbed Me.” It is serious when God says, “You are a thief!” (1 Cor 6:10)
1. In the Hebrew language the word “rob” means, “to take forcibly”
2. This is an active not passive crime! In what ways had God’s people robbed God?
(1) God of glory (2) The Church of ministry (3) The World of Missions (4) Yourself of blessing
3. If God were filling out a police report “they robbed me of the tithes and offerings.”
4. Remember for a robbery to occur there must be ownership. [Me - tapes]
5. Some, "Tithe was only under the law and we live under Grace.": Tithe BEFORE!
6. It is foolish to think in light of the Calvary that we would do anything less!
7. Tithe is HOLY! Lev. 23:30. Few things in the Bible called Holy. [Only 15% tithe]
Listen carefully. -- It would be better for you to rob a NationsBank.
There are people who wear the tithe, drive the tithe, watch the tithe, play with the tithe, vacation on the tithe, invest the tithe or pay bills with the tithe.
I caution you today that is robbery, taking that which does not belong to you. It is HOLY!!!!
8. Tragic truth - Malachi says there is a “curse” on those who commit this crime.
The curse according to the O.T. could occur spiritually, physically or materially. -not every spiritual, physical or material crisis may be a result of sin or disobedience... however, there are obviously some cases that should signal us that something is wrong and position us to return to Christ.
2- There is a Road to Repentance and Return: (Malachi 3:10)
1. Where there is conviction and rebuke - always a road map to return and repentance.
2. Every word in verse 10 is critical.
“You bring the whole tithe”..[NOT, "as you feel led or you can afford!"]
The Holy Spirit will NEVER lead you to do that which is contrary to HIS WORD!
Not equal gifts - equal sacrifice! [Millionaire & student with an allowance all give same %.]
“Bring into the storehouse that there my be meat in Mine house”
Simply means enough to provide for the work He has called us to accomplish.
"test Me in this"
There are only FOUR times in the Word where you find the words, "test me" three in Psalms are God’s people calling out to God asking Him to test their hearts...
Only once do you find God calling out to His creation and saying, test Me!
3. God puts His name, His honor, His word on the line and says, "Put me to the test!"
4. Tithing is a “believer’s” concept, NEVER expect unbelievers to understand it!!!
3- Concerns Reaping a Glorious Reward: (Malachi 3:10-12)
1. While there is a curse for rebellion there is a blessing for obedience.
2. There is a two-fold reward for obedience.
1. CORRECTION: I use to say, "God doesn’t need our money" I was convicted...
2. God DOES need our obedient giving or He wouldn’t ask.
3. God’s work is dependent on obedience of His people.
4. You are on the verge of making the next step of faith. [Tithing is about trust]
5. We as a church are on the verge of making the next step of faith.