Summary: This sermom, originally prepared for the Christmas Season, but easily adaptable for other times, deals with the issue of Tithes and Offerings, looking at What they are, Why God wants us to give them, and What we are to give.
The Presents of Christmas
The Present of Our Tithes and Offerings
INTRODUCTION: Everybody likes presents under the Christmas tree. We all gather around and wait eagerly, with quiet or not so quiet anticipation, the “opening of the presents”. Now in some houses there is a quick “free-for-all”, and the presents are opened en-mass, all at once. Then after EVERY package has been opened, we all look and laugh at what each person has received. Other families have a “system” for present opening. Some systems are part timing, part scavenger hunt, while others employ a more random opening schedule. Regardless of what method you use, the result is the same – the presents get opened!
What we cannot forget, is that God expects “presents” from us. Given the same way; as a reflection of our love and relationship to Him. God does not expect a gift because He earned it (even though in EVERY sense of the word God did EARN our gifts), but because we desire to give it. Our present to God is to be something personal, and desirable.
I WHY DOES GOD WANT A GIFT OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS?
A Tithes Were And Expression Of Our Love For And Trust Of God!
Deuteronomy 14:29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
1 Tithes were NEVER to be viewed as a burden, because they were not
2 Tithes were NEVER a threat to our personal security, in fact they revealed a confidence that the Lord would make the land produce
3 Tithes were MEANT to bless EVERYTHING that we did
B Offerings Were An Expression Of Our Desire For God’s House
Exodus 36:1-6 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded." 2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work 5 and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done." 6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: "No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary." And so the people were restrained from bringing more,
1 They gave for the building of God’s house
2 They gave more than needed
3 They would do it again – twice!
1 Chronicles 29:6-7a Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly.
7 They gave toward the work on the temple of God, …
Ezra 1:4 And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’"
C God Desires Our Tithes and Offering To Teach Us
1 Not to trust in what we possess or to consider our possessions treasure.
Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Matthew 6:30-33 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.