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Summary: Some foundational principles of money.

INTRO: This past January the pastors were at a retreat in Duluth and the speaker told of a missionary friend who was trying to reach this group of people in Mexico.

They had a difficult time because these villagers had what he phrased “a scarcity mentality.” The missionary said their belief affected their whole lives. For example, parents would only have one child because their belief was if we have two children our love would be split in half, 50% going to one child and 50% going to another child. Heaven forbid if you had 4 children, each child would only receive 25% of their parents’ love.

This scarcity view believed there is only so much of the pie, and the more people you had the smaller shares of the pie each would get.

As a result of this belief system, the missionary found it very difficult to reach this group for the gospel because this “scarcity view” created a mentality of greed among the people because there is only so much of the pie so I better get otherwise I’ll be left out.

The missionary tried to teach these people about God’s way and he phrased it “the abundance mentality.” For example, God does not have a limited supply of love. God’s love is abundant, he pours it out on all his children. God’s love is not contingent on the number of children he has.

Question: For us today what is my belief, do I have a scarcity viewpoint or an abundant viewpoint?

Thought: Before you answer that question, you need to realize you were born and raised in a society that has a scarcity mentality. It’s called supply and demand.

Example. What happens when the supply of oil is down - gas prices go up, food prices go up. Reality there is only a limited supply of oil

Problem: When I am raised in a society that believes in a scarcity mentality I need to be very careful that I don’t bring those beliefs into my walk with God otherwise there is going to be a lot of problems.

Question: In my walk with God does my relationship with God show a scarcity mentality or does it show an abundant mentality?

-This can be hard at times to answer, but God so faithful. He gives us a window to see into to see what I truly believe and it’s called money.

Truth: Larry Burkett, famous Christian author and financial counselor says, “How you handle money is the clearest outside expression of your spiritual condition (outward expression of an inward experience).”

Today: I’m going to talk about some foundational principles of money.

TITLE: What Do You Believe?

TEXT: Malachi 3:6-12

I. Background. The Jews have returned home after their horrible ordeal in Babylon. They rebuilt Jerusalem, and had a mighty move of God. But they had become cold religiously and lax morally. They grew comfortable.

A. The Lord does not change. V. 6a, “I the Lord do not change.” God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

1. If God punished sin in the past, he will do so in the future. He is the same; he never changes.

In regard to tithing—

2. People will say, “That’s the Old Testament, Pastor. We’re not under it anymore. It does not relate to us.”

-Untrue. -How many women felt pain in childbirth?

-How many have lost a loved one within the last couple years? (Adamic Covenant)

-How many have seen a rainbow recently?—God’s promise to never again flood the earth. (Hope that covenant is still for today.)

B. The concept of tithing is for today. Just as the children of Israel were instructed to trust in God, we today are instructed by the text to trust in God.

1. Notice—“The Lord says, ‘Return to me, and I will return to you.’” The Lord instructs them. What is the problem?

-V. 8, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.”

2. They were robbing God of tithes and offerings.

a. Tithing is one-tenth or 10% of one’s income given to God through the ministry of the local church.

-Tithing is not an invention of the church or a principle developed in the old covenant of the Mosaic Law.

-Tithing first occurred as an act of faith by Abraham.

Point: Tithes and offerings are simply a trust issue between God and his children.

3. Let me give a simple example to help you understand. If I make $1000 a month gross, I would tithe $100 a month to my local church.

-It wouldn’t be a tithe if I gave it to the Billy Graham Association or some missions program. That would be considered an offering.

a. V. 10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.”

-A storehouse is where you’re being fed, where you and your family belong and have decided to worship together.

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