Summary: God’s promises are better guarantees than anything this world can offer.
Taking God at His Word part 3
Have you ever met people who refuse to be blessed? They may be very good at giving blessings but not at receiving them. My dad would drive people all over the place, run errands for them, fix things in their houses. He had a hat that said “I’m retired so why am I working more?” Many people were blessed by what he did, but when he had his accident and broke his hip, he had a hard time excepting help from others. He said he felt bad asking people for help, what he finally learned was to let go of his pride and let others bless him. God wants to reward us. We look at people in the Bible and see God’s plan for financial success. Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Solomon, Daniel, Joseph and so on, were extremely blessed. What is the secret of their success? They gave to the Lord FIRST!
The whole point of tithing is not 10%. It is the FIRSTFRUITS.
PR 3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
The whole idea of giving is putting God first.
How do we put God first?
1. In direct proportion with our budget God gets first not what is left over
2. Look at Abraham and Melchizedek, he gave first the tithes and then took what was left.
3. Job went out early in the morning to offer the sacrifices.
Each occasion to give is to give to God first. This is what is meant by FIRSTFRUITS.
There are examples of this throughout the O.T. Abel, Daniel, David, Solomon, it was always the first and the best. It is when we understand the idea of firstfruits then we can move on to the promises. These O.T. patriarchs were not blessed because they gave 10% or more, they were blessed because they gave to God first.
However, let me caution here again, I am not preaching a health wealth gospel and I must warn that just because we give of the firstfruits and it is 10% or more, does not mean we are going to be blessed. There is another truth we must remember. It is also our attitude in which we give. Remember we give to get to give more. This week I wish to bring out another principle of tithing properly
1. Tithing motivates greater faithfulness.
In the Sermon on the Mount we have heard Jesus use the phrase “You have heard it said…but I say to you…” When Jesus taught the multitudes, he taught of a higher standard than the letter of the law. He called us to greater faithfulness than the O.T. heroes. Is it possible to have more faith than Abraham? Moses? Jacob? Joseph? Daniel? The answer is a resounding YES!
Anyone who wishes to be faithful should not want to do less. THE PROBLEM IS WE HAVE A MENTALITY OF JUST DOING ENOUGH TO GET BY.
Hebrews 10:1 says; The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves.
God is like G.E. He brings good things to life.
In the past few weeks we have learned some important principles about giving. In order to receive we got to sow. 2CO 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Dr. John Willis, a distinguished writer/scholar of the O.T. says this about tithing.
By giving, the Israelites were proclaiming that they were giving back to the LORD a portion of that which they prospered. Just as God had given his people the food and resources they needed for their existence, by tithing the people were imitating HIM by giving their God given food and resources to the slaves, the poor, the sojourners, the orphans and the widows. Thus, tithing was the means God gave the Israelites to express their love to God for all HE had given them and to express their love to their neighbor as God had expressed his love to them.
Surely as recipients of the “good things” it is also clear that the LORD has commissioned us to do the same today!
2. TITHING RELEASES GOD’S FINANCIAL BLESSINGS!
In the passage read this morning we see that God wants to bless us. We look back at this principle in the OT and see that these people were blessed by God abundantly. One of the greatest lessons in giving comes when they were wandering in the desert. The plans came for building the tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting. The materials for this building needed to come from the people. If we understand that this is somehow a foreshadow of the church then we must see that everything about the church is fully dependent upon the people. In the desert they gave so much that Moses and the other leaders had to tell the people to stop giving. WOW, what if that were to happen here? What if we were to announce one Sunday that we do not need to take up an offering today because we have everything we need to make our budget for the rest of the month, or year? Incredible, yet that is just like GOD! Yet what blessing did they receive? They had enough food everyday, they had enough water everyday, their clothes did not wear out, their shoes did not wear out, and they survived over 40 years in the desert.