Summary: Our lack of stewardship robs God. How?

Stewardship: A Matter of Choice

Malachi 3:7-11

I. Introduction

A man called at the church and asked if he could speak to the Head Hog at the Trough. The secretary said, “Who?”

The man replied, “I want to speak to the Head Hog at the Trough!”

Sure now that she had heard correctly, the secretary said, “Sir, if you mean our pastor, you will have to treat him with more respect—and ask for ‘The Reverend’ or ‘The Pastor.’ But certainly you cannot refer to him as the Head Hog at the Trough!”

At this, the man came back, “Oh, I see. Well, I have $10,000 dollars I was thinking of giving to the Building Fund.”

Secretary: “Hold the line—I think the Big Pig just walked in the door.”

Review last 2 weeks on Stewardship:

II. Robbing God with Tithes and Offerings

A. Give God First

1. Tithe = “tenth part”

2. Offering = given above the tithe

3. Proverbs 3:9 “Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce;” NAS

4. Many ask me about tithing on take-home pay or gross pay. Scripture says ‘firstfruits.’

5. Illustration: I was told from a family that recently they had a significant increase in their salary, which in turn increased their tithe. The comment was made that that added up to quite a sum of money. The blessing in that is that they have been blessed in a way they CAN give more back to God.

6. But NOTE: we really do not give the tithe, we simply remove our hands from that which is already God’s portion.

B. Give God Foremost

1. Remember the story of Cain & Abel in Genesis 4? Cain knew of God’s requirement of the sacrifice, but gave with a wrong attitude of heart.

2. Abel however, gave by faith. Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, …” NAS

3. Eccl 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might;”

C. Give God Frequently

1. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.” NAS

2. Count it a blessing that you have the privilege to give your tithe & offerings.

III. Robbing God with Time and Opportunities

A. Give God Time

1. When we accept Christ as personal Savior & Lord, we not only receive eternal life, but begin a love relationship with Him.

2. Jesus Himself spent time in prayer w/the Heavenly Father.

B. Give God Attention

1. We must pay attention to the work of God around us.

2. Illustration: There is a story about a man who wanted to train his mule. The first thing he did was to pick up a big stick and hit the mule a resounding wallop between the ears. As the mule staggered about, someone said to the owner, “What is the matter? Why did you do that?” And the man said, “In order to teach a mule, you must first get his attention.”

That may not be true of mules, but there is a good deal of truth in it when dealing w/humans. For any communication to be effective, interest must first be awakened.

C. Give God Opportunity

1. There are opportunities all around us to serve God & make a difference for His Kingdom.

2. Illustration: Heuertz; Hensley; Short

IV. Robbing God with Talents and Abilities

A. Give God Our Talents

1. Talents are gifts that are given by God; those abilities that seem to come natural.

2. Illustration: Talents are like tax deductions, we use them or lose them.

B. Give God Our Abilities

1. Abilities (skills) are those learned talents.

2. Illustration: Between the great things we can’t do and the little things we won’t do, the danger is doing nothing at all.

C. Give God Our All

1. How much of God does He want of us? All of us.

V. Conclusion

Back to Malachi 3:10. “test Me now in this…”

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