6. HABIT OF BRINGING
<Tithes, Offerings, & Generosity>
HOW WILL GOD TAKE CARE OF YOUR FINANCES?
As a young married couple, my wife Leslie and I walked through a lean time. After the Lord took us through to the other side, I blurted out to an older pastor, “Guess how much the Lord provided to us!” I was amazed by a dollar amount we received. I wanted to tell him how much!
“I know exactly how much the Lord gave you,” my friend said.
“How much?” I expected him to give me a dollar amount!
“Enough,” he said. He was correct. I laughed at myself. God had provided, but in the end, it was precisely enough to pay the bills Leslie and me faced.
Your Father in heaven wants to bless you “...until there is no more need” in your life (check out Malachi 3:11).
WRITE your SOAP journal first, and share with a friend.
DID THE TITHE MATTER TO JESUS?
Jesus did value the tithe. Here’s one compelling reason: on the last week of his life, Jesus started and ended his public ministry by fulfilling “the tithing chapter” in Malachi 3.
FIRST PUBLIC DAY: Centuries before, Malachi prophesied that Jesus would clear the Temple of people who took money from God, “The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple...” (3:1). Jesus “suddenly” burst into “...the temple and...he overturned the tables of the money...” (Mark 11:15). Jesus upset those who robbed the Lord of tithes and offerings.
LAST PUBLIC DAY: Centuries before, Malachi said that Jesus would sit as “...purifier of silver...” (3:1). That is what we read in Mark 12:41, “[Jesus] sat down opposite the treasurer and watched the people putting money into the offering box.” Jesus sat like a refiner watching people give. Giving was like heating metal into a liquid and letting the dross bubble up to the top. A refiner scrapes off impurities until his face is reflected. When the widow gave all that she had, Jesus saw the pure gold of her faith reflected in her gift. When we bring tithes and offerings, our heart is purified too.
Jesus talked much about money: 40% of his parables are about money. Why? Giving changes our heart.
THE TITHE IS WHERE YOUR HEART CHANGE BEGINS.
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house” Malachi 3:10
1. FIRST SET ASIDE THE TENTH OF YOUR INCOME.
Abraham gave God a tenth of all he had (Genesis 14:20). That was BEFORE Moses and the law. So the tithe is a timeless principle for godly people. God owns all, and he allows us to keep 90 percent. The tenth belongs to him.
2. FIND YOUR WORSHIP HOME BY TITHING.
Each Jewish village had a community grain vault to collect the tithe. It was called “the storehouse.” The elders of the town would use grain stored there to care for the priests, the poor, and to host holy parties (see Deuteronomy 26). The church you trust with your tithe is usually the one that you can trust with the care of your soul.
3. BRING YOUR TITHE.
Note in Malachi 3:10, that we don’t “give” our tithe. Why? Because first, the tenth belongs to the Lord. We bring him what is already his. Everyone has a tithe.
4. TAKE “FOOD” OUT THAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR SPIRITUAL HOUSE.
After we “bring” our tithe, we can take “food” spiritually out of the ministry of the house. Placing your tithe in your church puts your heart there, and you will feel at home (see Matthew 6:21).
5. DARE GOD TO DISAPPOINT YOU.
“’Put me to the test,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need’” (3:10-11). Everywhere else in the Bible, testing God is definitely a bad idea. But with the tithe we are told to test him.
6. TELL OTHERS ABOUT HOW GOOD GOD IS TO YOU.
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name” (3:16).
7. TRUST YOU CFO JESUS.
There is a feeling of great peace in knowing that 90% with God’s blessing is better than 100% without his blessing.
VERSE OF THE WEEK
“...You will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Malachi 3:18
Father, I’ve lived a long time understanding money from my point of view. Give me a picture of provision from your point of view. As I give, purify my heart until you see your face. Amen.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Watch this video from the series Provision.