Summary: Message on tithes and offerings; and the importance of being right before the Lord PRIOR to offering to Him!
Will you rob God?
Reference: Malachi 3:8-18
Last week, we talked about four different goals that you can use this coming year to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. They were 1) Give more time to God, 2) Devote myself to serving, 3) Dedicate more time to pray, and 4) Offer everything you are to God.
This morning, I want to continue that same train of thought in which we will examine how we offer ourselves to the Lord. In two and a half years, I have not brought a message on tithes and offerings because frankly – I just have not felt the Lord speak to me on this issue … until this past week.
Let me preface this by saying I want you to see the MAIN point of this entire message up front: An offering is more than a check in the collection plate, it is more than just serving dinner one day – an offering is anything that is given to God … anything!
You can be an offering, and I want to show you how God rewards offerings, and rebukes those as needed.
Read Malachi 3:8-16
Point 1 – Tithes and Offerings(v8)
Many people look at this message and passage and immediately think of money, but I want you to know that this message is not solely about money.
Of course money affects all of us and instantly causes us to pay attention, but there is so much more in this that I don’t want you to just get wrapped up about money.
Let me first say that tithes in the OT are referenced specifically:
Lev 27:30 says, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.”
Number 18:26 says, “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ’When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering.”
Most have simply adapted what the OT says as the way it should be, and so everyone just assumes that 10% is the goal.
However, in the NT it is not so specific:
1 Cor 16:2 says, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
Note the phrase “… in keeping with his income …” This means that each has to decide how he should give, and the only way to make this decision is to consult the Lord. Without consulting God and asking Him what to do, you are entering this blindly and of your own leading. Not His. Ask Him in prayer what to do.
2 Cor 9:7 says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Can you give 1%? Can you give 5%? Can you give more than 10%? The challenge here is not what can you give – but how much do you trust God to provide for? The Lord is capable of so much – and wants us to know that if we trust Him, He can and will provide for us.
But see, so many people get wrapped around this issue of money – and for those who may have tuned out when I started talking about money let me bring you back in.
There is so much more to this passage of scripture than giving money – so please do not focus on just that.
I want you to see that as the OT was ending, God’s promise to His people is that he would meet our needs!
Point 2 – God Promises to meet our Needs (v10)
Many Christians, especially those with financial issues, are afraid to give. However I want to tell you that God is able to meet ALL of your needs!
David declares in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” God delivers!!
God rewards those who are willing to give to Him, in faith that He will use it for the advancement of His Kingdom. Galatians 6:7 says that we “reap what we sow” – and therefore we have to be willing to reap in order to receive back!
No return? What are you putting in?
This morning, we need to see that God’s rewards will come back as you are willing to give! 2 Corinthians 9:6 says “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” – which means that whatever you put in is what you will get back – but be aware that God’s rewards may be physical, or they be spiritual in nature.