With the two percent increase in my Social Insecurity taxes, my annual take home pay is down around $1300 annually. That’s a big chunk of change for any family. That covers the annual maintenance we budget for both cars. Karen and I are going to have to be a little more cautious where we spend money. We love to go out and eat and just hang out and so perhaps that will have to be curtailed. Nevertheless, I can tell you where I won’t be cutting back. I won’t be cutting back on my tithing.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.” (Malachi 3:8-9)
If you do not obey God’s command to tithe, then you are not only robbing God, but you also bring a curse upon yourself. I could actually stop right here.
Perhaps you are not motivated by negative outcomes. Well here are some other reasons to tithe fully; it’s the following verse from our passage above:
“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try 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 such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’” (Malachi 3:10)
This is called superabundance. David had experienced it, remember? It’s the next to last verse in the 23rd Psalm:
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” (Psalm 23:5)
The disciples got to see it happen before their very eyes:
“Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 14:19-21)
Did you see the secret to superabundance there? It’s hidden right there in plain sight. We’ll come back to that.
In the category of you reap what you sow, Jesus said:
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
Your homework assignment is to read Joel 2, because the news the prophet begins with in the chapter is bleak. But in the end God’s prevails and Israel is blessed. But in the middle is a call for repentance and then comes the refreshing:
“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things! Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; for the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their strength. Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you—the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.” (Joel 2:21-24)
Did you see it that time?! The secret to superabundance? It’s right there hidden in plain sight. “…for the Lord has done marvelous things.”
Let’s go back to our passage in Matthew 14, “…and looking up to heaven, He blessed…”
It’s Jesus! He’s been there all along. In Christ we not only have repentance and salvation, but we have abundance. Not the abundance the world worships, but the abundant blessing of our needs being met, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. But we must be obedient to Christ’s call on our lives.
Jesus gives, through His word, very clear commands on how we are to live our lives in all areas. The Word is settled; is it settled in you?
If you are contemplating on no longer giving the full tithe, or perhaps you have not been doing so because you don’t believe you can afford to, I’ve shown that you can’t afford not to.
If you believe you can’t afford to, then answer these questions (and here is where some of you get mad at me):
Do you own a Smartphone?
Do you have cable or satellite television?
Do you have a new car payment?
Do you have a boat payment?
How often do you go out to eat?
How often do you go to the movies?
How often to you rent movies?
How often do you go to live sporting events?
How often do you go to concerts?
Where do you go on vacation?
There’s a lot of money to be saved in the answers to those questions. Beloved, it is easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world. I am as guilty as anyone, if not more so.
Take God’s challenge in Malachi 3:10, “…try Me now in this…”
You’ll be amazed how quickly He changes your outlook on money and stuff.
May the Lord abundantly bless you in His good things and may you have a restful weekend.
Please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers