TITHING

 

PASSAGE: MALACHI 3

OUTLINE

Mal 3:7-11
7 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept {them.} Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation {of you}
10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
11 “Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast {its grapes}” says the LORD of hosts. (NAS)

 

 

  • INTRODUCTION

 

  1. Types of giving
  1. Generous giving
  1. Offering – what we give voluntarily in the Church especially during services.
  2. Almsgiving (Charity) – what we give to those in need ex the poor, hungry, orphans, the deceased, etc. It may be through the church, another organization or directly to such people.
  3. Love offering – what you give voluntarily to any church (even if it is not where you attend services). For example, you may give a love offering to your Kenyan Church, an American church that you like, etc. A contribution to a church/ministry for example in a funds drive can be considered a love offering.
  4. Thanksgiving – what we give to appreciate God for what he has done in our lives. For example for academic success, good family, getting a child, safety, and protection, etc.
  1. Sacrificial giving
  1. Planting/Sowing – what you give with a prayer to God to meet a certain need or expecting a particular result. You sacrifice it for something else. These are usually not budgeted for. Often, once given, you have to financially recover from it; it is usually provided by faith. In most cases, it may be the only thing you have left, but you take a step of faith to give it to God believing Him for more. It is just like a seed. You sow/plant so that you can later reap/harvest.
  1. Faithful giving
  1. Tithing – this is what we will be looking at today.

 

 

  • OVERVIEW

 

  1. What a tithe is NOT (Ps 119:66)
  1. The tithe is not … a man made idea.
  2. The tithe is not . . . Mine to use as I desire.

* Does your giving exalt you, or God’s Word?

  1. The tithe is not . . . A gift to God.

    * We are Commanded to pay tithes not give them.
4.  The tithe is not . . . an admission fee.

     * Not just to be given if you are able to attend church.
5. The tithe is not . . . A vote of approval.

    * I like the pastor, so I will tithe etc.

 

  1. The tithe is not . . . Something to be done without faith.

    * When we say we can’t we eliminate Faith.
  ILLUSTRATION
A man received a sharp letter from one of his creditors demanding payment. He wrote back to the firm and said, “Dear Sir. Every month I take all the bills I have and put them on the table, shuffle them, and pick out six, which I pay. Now, if I have any more trouble out of you, next month you’ll be out of the shuffle entirely.” Have you shuffled God out of your giving?

  1. What a tithe is
  1. The tithe is . . . A command of God.
  • Num 18:26
    “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, `When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe.
  • Deut 14:22
    “You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year.
  • Heb 7:5
    And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham.
  1. The tithe is . . . God’s plan to finance the work of the Church.
  • Mal 3:10
    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
  1. The tithe is . . . Part of lordship.
    ILLUSTRATION
    Milo Kauffman develops this thought a step further when he writes:

“Stewardship of Possessions is the effect of God’s saving grace upon one’s self and his property. When God gets a man with a car, He gets a car to be used in His service. Some seem to think of stewardship as a whip or as legal action to drive people to give to the expenses of the church. No doubt too often the attempt has been made to wring generous offerings from selfish souls. Christian stewardship most certainly is not church legislation nor a scheme to deprive men of their cash. It is the natural consequence of an experience with God — the natural reaction of the human heart that has been touched by the divine spirit. — Milo Kauffman, The Challenge of Christian Stewardship.

  1. FIVE CHRISTIAN CHARACTERISTICS OF TITHING

 

  • Obedience

 

10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

The clear command of verse 10 is: bring the tithe into the ‘storehouse.’ The Old Testament child of God heard His clear call. They had to make a decision to obey or not to obey. In the New Testament Jesus said, “For you tithe mint and dill and cumin. . . . These are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” Mt. 23:23 the people in the New Testament times knew the approval of Jesus concerning the tithe. They had a choice to obey or disobey. Today I have the Old and New Testaments. My vote must be cast. Do I receive the Word of God or reject it?

If I received the Word of God and act upon it, I am obedient. If I hear the Word of God, understand it and refuse to act upon it, I am disobedient.

Notice what Paul writes in I Cor. 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.’ What proportion did he mean? These folks only had the Old Testament, so it had to be a minimum of a tithe. Some want to toot a horn that says the tithe is really an Old Testament law. If you buy that idea, it shows how ignorant you are about Biblical truth. There are ceremonial laws in the old Testament that have been eliminated. Tithing is not ceremonial law but moral law. But Abraham and Jacob tithed before the law, so tithing is an eternal principle.

Also please note that the scriptures are clear in telling us when laws are eliminated. The law required an animal sacrifice, but that is apparently changed. The Bible never eliminates tithing. Do you?

ILLUSTRATION
A missionary tells a story of the importance of obedience. One day he was sitting in his back yard. His son was playing in a tree. The father saw a deadly snake moving towards his son. He told his son, “drop to the ground and run towards me as fast as you can.” The boy obeyed immediately. When he got to his father, he saw the result of his obedience. The snake would have bitten him if he had not obeyed his father’s command.

 

  • Honesty 

 

8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.   9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation. Notice that God states, “You have robbed me in tithes and offerings.” Being a thief is not living honestly. Thieves are not trustworthy; they are dishonest. Honesty requires one to give the tithes and offerings.

The Ten Commandments are still in force. One of them says, “Thou shalt not steal.” That law of God is eternal. It can relate to the tithe because God accused His people of robbing Him. Therefore, they were stealing from God which is an act of dishonesty against God. About a year ago some ladies in the choir had money taken from their purses. This happened while they were in the choir. They had left their bags in the choir room. They felt sure they were safe in a church. But as bad as that is, it is worse to steal from God. If you don’t tithe, you are not an honest Christian.

ILLUSTRATION
Yesterday several of us attended an auction at a public school. Bids were made on a slip of paper attached to the items available. At 12:00 noon, the bidding ended. But I saw a lady start to write something after the time had been called. I told her she couldn’t do that. She said, ‘Can’t I just write my name?” I said, “Yes, I guess you can do that.” She then signed her name and started to make another bid. I told her, “Stop that. The man said bidding is ended.”

You see, she was dishonest. She was going to steal from some other bidder. She wasn’t going to play by the rules. God has rules for his children and one of them is “bring all the tithes into the storehouse.” I can’t be an honest Christian and refuse to tithe. Neither can you.

 

  • Love  

 

John 14:15    “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.  

The greatest and purest motive for doing good is love. Real love for the Lord, His Work, and the lost of our world will cause a person to tithe. The Lord said in John 14:15, “If a man loves me, He will keep my words.” His commands include tithing.

Threats will not actually make a child obey his parents. But if love is communicated in the home and a request is made for the child, he will be much more eager to fulfill that request. Love motivates more than just strict orders. Love makes it easy to give. In the Old Testament Abraham gave a tithe. Jacob gave a tithe. Surely all the leading characters gave unto the Lord tithes and offerings. We can conclude from the words of Jesus in John 14:15 that they loved the Lord. Should we love less than they? Do you think an Old Testament believer without the grace you and I have received should give more than us? Surely our motive for giving ought to be greater.  

But when love waxed cold, then the people robbed God. Robbery always indicates a love for self-more than the love of God or others. I cannot be a loving Christian and refuse to tithe. Can you?

 

  • Gratitude

 

10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

The Lord promises to pour out a blessing to those who honor Him with the tithe. Paul says in Rom. 12:1. “I urge you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves a living and holy sacrifice. . .” Gratitude should pour from the heart, mind, and spirit of a Christian. We have received a great blessing in our salvation. We are promised more blessings in proportion to our faithfulness. Surely out of gratitude we should pay the tithe.

We sing a song about counting your blessings. It says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done, Count your blessings, name them one by one. .And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” Jacob promised to give a tithe unto the Lord if He blessed him. A little later in his life, he wrestled with the Lord. Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The Lord blessed him, and Jacob continued to tithe. Has the Lord blessed you? Then out of gratitude, you ought to tithe.

 

  • Faith

 

10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

God makes all of the believer’s life one of faith. In the text, He calls on His people to prove Him. He wants to be put to the test, but it takes faith in Him on the part of the believer. If I claim to be a Christian and I don’t tithe, then it is because I lack faith. If one believes the Word of God they need to act upon it. If they don’t act, it indicates they don’t believe. Do you believe God will do what He said He will do? He says He will bless the tither.

Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. He also said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye measure.” Notice the verse said, “For with the same measure that ye measure.” Some people seem to have a teacup religion. Occasionally someone has said, “I wish God would bless me as he blesses you. Friend, I come to the Lord with a punch bowl, not a teacup. (I’m challenged to come to Him with a 10-gallon tub). But you and I are going to receive by faith if we receive.

If I don’t tithe it indicates my lack of faith and my doubt of God’s Word. What about you? Years ago my mother explained tithing this way. She said, “Son, which would you rather have $100.00 without God’s blessing or $90.00 with God’s blessing?” It made sense then, and it makes even better sense today because I have put my faith and trust in Him. How about you?

 

preachhim.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://preachhim.org/titheis.htm

The Presence Of God

I. Introduction

 The Presence of God is the most important thing in the life of man.

 God intended man to have it always. In the Garden of Eden, God came to visit man every day in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8)

 The Presence of God was lost when man sinned and was chased out of the Garden

 God has been trying to restore His Presence in the life of man ever since

II. The Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25)

 It was a sacred chest

 God instructed Moses to built it to house the two tablets containing the ten commandments

 It represented the Presence of God

III. In the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:22)

 During their time in the desert, the Ark was placed in the Tabernacle and carried from one location to another by Priests

 The Tabernacle was a portable/temporary place of worship

 It means ―Tent of Meeting‖

 It was the dwelling place of God while the Israelites were in the wilderness

IV. In the Temple (1 Kings 8:10-11)

 In the Temple, the Holy of Holies was prepared to receive and house the Ark (1 Kings 6:19); when the Temple was dedicated, the Ark, containing the original tablets of the Ten Commandments, was placed therein (1 Kings 8:6-9). When the priests emerged from the holy place after putting the Ark there, the Temple was filled with a cloud, “for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chron. 5:13, 14)

 Only the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies once a year (Hebrews 9:7)

 The Temple was God’s dwelling place when the Israelites got into Canaan (the Promised Land)
V. Jesus’ Ministry

 Jesus embodied the Presence of God

 He was God (John 1) and brought God’s Presence to man.

 His name is Emmanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23) VI. Today (In our Lives)

 Jesus taught that if anyone obeyed his word, the Father would send him a Helper who will be IN him
15 ―If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17).
 When Jesus died, the curtain of the Temple was torn into two, giving everyone access to the Presence of God
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ―Surely this man was the Son of God!‖ (Mark 15:38)

 We are the Temples of the Holy Spirit, vsco_071816and He dwells in us
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
VII. Conclusion – Revelation 3:20
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
 God wants to come into our hearts.

 He wants us to have His Presence.

Understanding The discipline of seasons.

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com
from the blog http://www.stuckincustoms.com

Our God is transcended, He is above and beyond His creation He is interested in the interest of his people. Understanding that God is also Immanent, that He is within His creation.Ever present in His creation but He does not micro-manage creation.
Ephesians 2:13 For its God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

@ Will. ..choices—- To help us to be willing. God cannot violate your Will.you allow your will to work with his will.
@ Actions..your strengths can only be moved by your Will.
Ecclesiastes 3:1
Everything has it’s proper period and duration that it happens.
@ Time: Is the period something happens.
@ Season: suitable environment within things happen.
14 seasons. ……
The seasons determine the rightness of purpose and actions.
The seasons demand your actions.
Actions become purposeful when they fit into the logic of a season.
Ecclesiastes 3:11
Has made everything beautiful in its times. Timing is in things, not God.
God programmed timing in the things.E.g., seeds when we plant.The beauty of a purpose is only seen in its  maturation.e.g baby
Impatience brings abortion of something.Before the time it’s not beautiful. Patience is required. Just wait. A lot of things will by themselves mature because timing is in things.
The greatest issue is when someone says am waiting for God’s timings. Whatever God intended for me was not altered. Says yes
God’s plans are eternal.I will prosper you. Therefore you kick a process into action, therefore,
Timing doesn’t entirely depend on God. He creates a season, but we must sense the timing. God controls the seasons we control the timing when we allow our Will to connect with the purpose of God.
Be right with the timing it’s related to our actions.
When is the right time?
Haggai 1:4 God plans the seasons but gives us the timing.

Requirements for Determining timing:

1. Conditions that makes it suitable for things to be done.Seasons declare themselves before they happen.
2: Advanced preparation. ..being fully prepared for something. Eventually, an opportunity must meet with preparation. Obama said the timing has come to be president. He was ready. Being right on time it feels good. Getting the timing right feels great.
3: Accessible opportunities. ..doors open.
4: Audacious faith…strong faith Jesus walking on water and Peter seize the moment.stepping out maybe scary.

Indicators of purpose

1.What did God take you out of? …its an indication of what he will use you. Monitor your life what story is.
2.How far have I come with God.are you still a baby are you still a receiver of help or a giver of help.Track your growth
3.what things move me deeply now. Has the music changed then change the dance?
4.What are the current doors that God is opening for me? Doors are for exit and others for entrance. God does not leave open doors only other are shut. More shut doors than open doors.

HUMILITY

1. But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

2. Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)

3. Although he is scornful to arrogant scoffers, yet he shows favor to the humble (Proverbs 3:34)

OUTLINE I. Introduction – Understanding humility!

A. Definition – A personal quality in which an individual shows dependence on God and respect for other persons.

B. It is the absence NOT opposite of pride!

C. Biblical humility is grounded in the character of God. The Father stoops down to help the poor and needy ( Psalm 113:4-9; 138:6-7 ); the incarnate Son exhibits humility from the manger to the cross ( Matt 11:29; Acts 8:32-33; Phil 2:5-8).

D. As a sign of genuine religion (Micah 6:8), humility is necessary to enter God’s kingdom (Matt 5:3; 18:1-4) or to be great in it (Matt 20:26-27; Mark 10:43-44).

E. Humility is the prerequisite for honor (Prov 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; 29:23) and physical blessing (Psalm 37:11; Matt 5:5).

F. It is intimately associated with the fear of the Lord ( Psalms 25:9 Psalms 25:12-14; Prov 15:33 ), it may provide the key to wealth and life ( Prov 22:4 )

II. The Example of Jesus. How did he show humility?

A. His focus was on the Father‟s will, not his own. “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). He prayed as he was facing the cross: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

B. His focus was away from himself, not on himself. He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Because we are to be like Jesus, the Bible says, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24). “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
C. His focus was on serving, not being served. The humility and servant-spirit of Christ is very well demonstrated during the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples. After Jesus washed their feet, he said to them: “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me „Teacher‟ and „Lord,‟ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another‟s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:12-15).

III. Pride Versus Humility

A. Pride sings the song, “How great you are.” Humility sings, “How Great God Is.”

B. Pride refuses to worship and give God glory and honor, but humility is unashamed to praise, honor and glorify the King of the universe.

C. Pride is concerned with what other people think; humility is concerned with what God thinks.

D. Pride refuses to ask for help; humility asks God for help.

E. Pride is exaltation of self; humility is exaltation of God.

F. Pride makes its own way; humility chooses God’s way.

G. Pride wants the credit for the good things done; humility gives God glory for all good things.

large_3935750315-630x418IV. Conclusion – The Christian ought to emulate Christ’s example (Matt 11:28-30; 2 Col 10:1 ) of meekness and humility. There is a great reward for humility. It is the avenue or highway to glory.
AMEN