Summary: Do not rob God, rob yourself (of His blessings) and rob the church. Understand the principle of ownership, trust and sustenance in the practice of tithing.
We are stewards of all that God has given us.
• And the number one thing that we are most concerned about – and therefore God is concerned about – is money.
• God is concerned about your money – or rather, how you handle it. He is interested not because He needs your money, but because you need it.
• Money is something we use everyday, our very survival depends on it.
• And because you need it so much, He is concerned. He wants to know how you secure it, spend it, save it and share it.
Some people say, “Don’t talk about money. Talk about something spiritual.”
• But Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt 6:21) “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Tim 6:10)
• In order words, money affects you spiritual. It affects your relationship with God.
• How can the Lord care about us, and not care about that which is so intrinsically tied to our very survival?
This explains why Jesus spoke so much about money and possessions in the 3½ He was on earth – 16 out of the 36 parables about money, about 500 references on prayer but 2,300 references about money.
• God is concerned also because Satan is interested in your money too. He loves to lure you with it. He wants to make you fall in love with your money.
• In order to stay free from his snare and not allow him to create a stronghold in our lives, we want to hold on to the principles God set for us.
Read Malachi 3:6-12.
• Do words ever jump out at you when you read something? For this passage, the word that jumps out is the word ROB.
• It is a strong word. God says the people of Israel ROB Him. Four times in verses 8 and 9, the word “rob” appears, or some variation of the word.
• Robbery is a serious charge. It’s one of the Ten Commandments.
In a sense, we can see 3 different robberies in this passage – robbing God, robbing the church of resources, and robbing yourselves of God’s blessings.
• This first one – the most foundational one – robbing God – leads to the other two.
(1) Don’t Rob God – Principle of OWNERSHIP
God uses the word ‘rob’ because everything belongs to Him.
• Tithing serves as to remind us that everything we have comes from Him.
• I wish this thought will just come to us naturally but it doesn’t.
There are 3 different groups of people approaching God each Sunday:
(a) Everything is mine. I worked hard, earned it and deserved what I’ve got. And I can do what I want with it. So when the offering bag comes, I can give if I want to, but I don’t have to. If I feel led to give, a dollar or $10, I will, but it’s mine.
(b) The tithe belongs to God, and the rest is mine (90%). In obedience I give Him 10% (since He said so), and with the rest, I’ll do what I want to with the rest. Not really happy but obedient.
(c) It all belongs to God, the tithe and the rest of it. I return to Him what He has commanded, and He entrusts me with the rest of His money. Everything is God’s gift to me, so I want to use them wisely. I want to be a good steward of ALL of His money. I will be judged someday for what I do with it!
• The first one says I will share with God if I want to.
• The second says I will share with God because I have to (He said so).
• The third says it’s all God’s and He shares with me!
So to make sure we remember that, God in His wisdom tells us to return 10%.
• This is not OT Law. God put that in the heart of His people long before the Law was given.
• Gen 14:17-20
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand."
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
He gave a tenth of the spoils of war to the priest, for the continuation of God’s work.