Summary: A sermon about giving and tithing.

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Malachi 3:7-10

Mark 12:41-44

“What Can God Do with What You Got?”

When I was serving a church in Virginia, one of the members was a struggling addict who was now going to the local community college and working a part time job at a nearby grocery store.

Some Sunday mornings he would have to work…

…we didn’t have an evening service at Parkview United Methodist Church…

…and so, the week before a Sunday that he would have to miss due to work, he would invariably stop by my office to deliver his tithe.

And it was a tithe; no doubt about it.

And even though his income was small, his regular, weekly tithe came out to actually be more than what about

75 percent of the rest of the congregation were giving.

Pretty amazing, huh?...

…but, sadly it is not terribly unusual.

It is often noted that those who can, quote—unquote, “afford” to give the most…don’t hardly give at all.

And those who make the least often give the biggest percentages.

One day a pastor was called to the house of a church member who was having financial difficulties.

The pastor counseled him for a while and then stopped.

“Let’s have a word of prayer and while I pray, you make a commitment to give one-tenth of your income to the Lord.”

Thinking about his income, the man thought to himself, “That won’t be difficult. That’s only $1,800 a year—only $34.61 a week.”

They prayed, and the man promised to give back 10 percent to the Lord and to the Lord’s work.

Years passed and the man’s income had increased to over $200,000 a year.

He called for the pastor again.

“Pastor, I’d like to be released from that 10 percent I promised the Lord several years back.

A tenth of my income is now over $20,000 a year, and I have some plans for spending that.”

“That’s no problem,” the pastor replied.

“Let’s pray.”

As they bowed their heads, the pastor began to pray, “Lord, You know what a problem this bigger salary has been to my brother here.

I’m asking You to reduce his income, perhaps to the original $18,000 a year, so he’ll be able to afford his tithe once again…”

Tithing helps the Church and it helps the tither.

The Church has been commissioned by Jesus to go into all the world and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

It’s a great commission which also needs great support!

A Church that tithes is not only able to pay its light bills, air conditioning and heating bills, pay it’s pastor and staff…

…but most importantly, a Church that tithes is able to expand its outreach because the Church’s primary motivation is always the reaching of lost souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

And in Malachi Chapter 3 God gives a bit of caution to those who reject God’s call for proportional giving.

“Will a [person] rob God?”

The verb “rob” here literally means “to cover” and thus to defraud and steal.

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