Summary: This sermon deals with tithing. It reveals how some church finances suffer when the congregation doesn't give to the church like they should.
Should We Be Tithing?
"For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,"
says the Lord of hosts. "But you said, 'In what way shall we return?'
 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," says the Lord of hosts;
 "And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,"
says the Lord of hosts.
The last 2 Sundays the weather forced us to cancel our services.
That means our church finances took a hit.
There was no income from the offering plate.
Even though our church house sat empty,
our usual expenses like electricity, water service, etc. continued.
At the end of this month,
there could be a significant deficit in the church financial report.
Some people still gave this morning
what they would have given the last 2 weeks
plus this week’s offering.
Others may have not done that.
What about the weeks when we don’t go to church?
Should we make up for those Sundays we missed?
If we give money to some other ministry or to someone in need
is it acceptable to count that as our weekly offering
instead of giving to the church that week?
Should we give every week to our church a tithe and offering?
I want to make one thing perfectly clear.
I don’t like to preach sermons on giving.
In my 28 years of preaching,
I have preached very few sermons on giving.
It’s because some people get angry.
However, I feel led by the Lord to preach about giving today.
Our Bible text today comes from the book of Malachi.
God inspired the prophet Malachi to speak to the Hebrew people
about the subject of giving.
I don’t think God was scolding those people.
Instead, He wanted Malachi to educate those people.
Clearly, many of them were not aware of what God expected.
Maybe that’s true for some of us.
Maybe we just don’t know what God expects us to give.
So that’s why I’m preaching this message today.
Point #1. God expected the Hebrew people to give 10% of their income.
Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord.
Giving 10% is also mentioned by God in Genesis.
Genesis 28:22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
The word “tithe” in the Hebrew language means “a tenth.”
The Lord claims the tithe as His.
So Hebrew people knew what God expected.
10% of their income whether it was money, livestock, or food
was supposed to be given to God.
So why did He want them to give 10%.
Well, when the Hebrew people
took possession of the Land of Canaan,
the ground was divided up among the 12 tribes of Israel.
The book of Joshua tells all about that.
However, The tribe of Levi was not given land.
Levi's descendants were consecrated by God to be His priests.
One of their many responsibilities
was to serve and maintain the tabernacle in the wilderness,
then later the temple in Jerusalem.
The Levites received tithes and offerings from the people.
That’s how the Levite people
fed their families and paid for their living expenses.
It also paid for the upkeep of their tabernacles and temples.
If the Hebrew people didn’t pay their tithes
the Levite priests and their families would suffer
and the tabernacles and temples would deteriorate.
Point #2. Churches and pastors today suffer because many church people don’t give like they should.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."