Summary: This is a sermon teaching about tithes and offerings.
There’s a Thief in the Church
By Pastor Jim May
Today I want to speak to you about a matter that is not something that I have ever taught in this church since I have been pastor. I’ve never felt the need to do so and I really don’t feel the need right now, but I don’t know everything. I do know that I often take it for granted that people who have been in church for a while should know more than they do.
Having been raised in the church and hearing the Word taught as much as I have, it is easy for me to forget that many of you who come to church here did not have that kind of heritage. You were not as fortunate as I was to learn many of the precepts of God’s Word at an early age and therefore you have a lot of catching up to do.
I will confess that I struggled somewhat with this message because I know that for many of you it will not be anything new. You are already fulfilling your obligations to the Lord and to the church, and so to you I will say, Thank You. Thank you for being a faithful and obedient servant. Thank you for supporting the ministry. Thank you for being a member of this congregation. I think that today will serve only as a refresher or a reminder of what God requires of us all.
But I do know that there are some here who do not understand God’s requirement for the support of the ministry. Many of us come to the House of God on a weekly basis and we soak up the Word, worship the Lord and we desire to serve Him with all of our hearts. Yet there is something lacking and we just can’t seem to put our finger on it.
This message may well give you the answer you need if that is how you feel.
The key to this is that unless we are being obedient and faithful servants, fulfilling our duties and obligations and a Child of God, then God cannot bless us in the manner that He wants to. All of the blessings of God and the Promises of God are conditional upon our obedience to His Word.
If you have a child that is rowdy, disobedient and won’t listen, or refuses to do what you tell them to do, I doubt that you would feel like they deserved a reward. You wouldn’t run down to the store and buy a new bicycle for a child who is constantly running away down the street. All you would do is give him a vehicle so that he could run faster and further away than ever before. You wouldn’t go down and buy a cell phone for a child who won’t get off the phone and do her homework now. If you do then you can get ready for bad grades and expensive cell phone bills. You don’t make it easier for a child to do that which they should not be doing in the first place or you will only create a monster that you can’t control worse than the one you already can’t seem to control.
No, we don’t reward bad behavior or if we do will only teach the child that they can get away with it and still get what they want. Bad behavior should be rewarded all right, but it should be rewarded with a trip to the woodshed, or a few hours in the “time out” corner, or the removal of some privileges.
Disciple will build the right kind of character into our children, but if we let them do what they want and reward them in spite of their disobedience, then we will only create a self-centered, disobedient adult who will be a part of the problems that face our society and not a part of solution.
Our Father in Heaven can do no different with His children. If you want God’s best for your life then you have to be an obedient child. If you only want the bare necessities and you are willing to settle for less than the best, then just keep coming to church and trusting in the Lord to save you, but don’t try to be completely obedient. That way you may attain unto eternal life, but you will certainly miss out on so much that could have been yours. When you get to Heaven one day you will realize just how much more of God you could have had, and how much more God wanted to give to you, but He was limited by your own actions.
God was speaking to his own people in the Book of Malachi. This was his final message to Israel under the Old Testament Covenant of the Law of Moses. Israel had been given the privilege to know the Perfect Law of Liberty that taught them how to worship, how to pray and how to know their God, but they had failed to really learn much at all. No matter how much God did for them, they were never faithful and obedient to Him.