Summary: Trust, honesty, love, giving. Christians should apply all of these words to their personal relationship with God in Christ Jesus. Father God wants to pour out blessings upon us; to those of us who trust, are honest, who love God, and who give to His work
"The Windows of Heaven"
Author: Dr. Neal Gray
Passage: Malachi 3:7-18, KJV
Purpose: Trust, honesty, love, giving. Christians should apply all of these words to their personal relationship with God in Christ Jesus. Father God wants to pour out blessings upon us; to those of us who trust, are honest, who love God, and who give to His work here on earth. Let’s learn to give the tithe; it is such a simple thing to do.
Before we read the entire passage, listen to one of the verses:
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith," saith the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open you THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10)
Someone in the congregation could easily be saying, "Oh no, he’s just like other preachers--always preaching about money." And, to some degree I can sympathize with Christians who think like that.
But, this sermon is not about the church trying to take away your hard-earned money. No. This message is ABOUT YOU LEARNING A CRUCIAL TRUTH on how God wants to give you His blessing. You are a child of the heavenly Father. Hold on, you’ll see.
==> And...I’ve never heard a "tither" complain about a sermon on tithing!
Our Scripture is from the last book in the Older Testament, Malachi 3:7-18. But let’s read only verses 7 through 15, leaving verses 16 through 18 until the end of the message.
THE LESSON OF MALACHI: GOD LOVES HIS PEOPLE
Malachi 3:10 is one of those texts that lends itself to manipulation by people who want to raise money for churches. It could be used that way.
It appeals to a cause-and-effect mentality. It could be used to underscore the mind-set of the ultra-fundamentalist, who sees salvation as a strict contract with the Almighty, namely: you do something good for God, and God will do something good for you. I DON’T GO IN FOR THAT KIND OF THEOLOGY.
But actually, THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF A CONTRACT, of promise, and even hints of cause-and-effect here. God does effectively say:
"If you will do thus and so, you can prove Me now! And I will do thus and so good things for you! I will open the windows of heaven!"
God’s Love for Us!
But to be fair we need to see that the whole book of Malachi REVEALS GOD’S DESIRE TO LOVE HIS PEOPLE AND TO BE LOVED BY HIS PEOPLE. This text (3:10) is a climax of the total lesson of Malachi!
==> The lesson for us to learn is: GOD IS DISAPPOINTED WHEN HIS OWN PEOPLE ARE LESS GODLY, LESS HONEST, LESS GIVING, AND LESS TRUSTING THAN THEY COULD BE.
The reason God’s people do not experience God’s full blessing is plain.
==> THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT REAL LIFE CENTERS AROUND GOD!
SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE ON ISRAEL’S PART
So, one message of Malachi is a revelation of the spiritual ignorance of the people of Israel. Let’s look at that now.
God’s People Seen to be Exasperatingly Ignorant
The Book of Malachi reveals that the people who claim to know all about God and religion are, in fact, EXASPERATINGLY IGNORANT ABOUT GOD and religion! A recurrent theme throughout the short book is...