Tithes and Offerings - Section 4 - Lesson 6
"Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:7-11
Surely this is one of the most unusual texts found in the Bible. But within this unusual text, there are two important truths to help you to grow. The first unusual truth you discover is that Malachi charges that a man can rob God. For one to keep back that which God has declared to be His is robbing God. The second important truth you discover is God’s plan for giving. It is essential that you learn to give biblically if you are to grow spiritually.
There are three things you need to know about scriptural giving. As you begin to apply these truths concerning giving, you will discover that a man cannot out give God. The more you give to God, the more He will bless you in return.
Problems of Giving
The first thing you learn from Malachi is the problem of giving. The problem is that many people are reluctant to give scripturally. Some say they do not have to give the tithe because they are not under the law. Yet, the first mention of the tithe being given was before the law was instituted. These individuals misunderstand the reason for giving. It is not the law that motivates the Christian to give, but rather it is love!
There are actually two problems which hinder God’s people from giving.Financial Problem
Some people claim they cannot afford to tithe. This is the most common problem which hinders scriptural giving. Many have unwisely spent and have incurred debt beyond what they can reasonable pay. The truth is you cannot afford to fail to tithe. Financial giving to God along with biblical principles of finance is the road back to financial well-being. The most basic principle to financial recovery is to honor God with your tithe first!Faith Problem
This passage from Malachi, along with others, encourages and exhorts you to give. It is not the lack of finances which keep one from tithing, but rather it is the lack of faith. Failure to tithe is a failure of your faith.
Proportion of Giving
The Bible clearly teaches that a Christian should give to support the work of God on earth. But people often ask, “How much should I give?” This question refers to the proportion of giving.
From Malachi, you discover two things about proportionate giving.Obligation
The first thing you learn about proportionate giving is about your obligation to give. Malachi makes it clear that the Believer has an obligation to give back unto God a portion of what God has blessed him with. The Christian is obligated to give the tithe or ten percent of his income. The least proportion that the Bible teaches a Christian should give is ten percent. In Acts, many early Christians sold all they had and gave one hundred percent of what they made to the Lord’s work. Most of us are better able to give the Old Testament tithe (ten percent) than the New Testament totality (one hundred percent). You have met your scriptural obligation when you give ten percent of your income.
Another question which often arises is whether Christians should give ten percent of their gross income (before deductions) or ten percent of their net income (after deductions). The right answer for the wage earner is to give ten percent before deductions or ten percent of your gross income. Would you like to receive God’s gross blessings or His net blessing? Surely you would want to receive the full blessings of God that are available to you!Offering
The second thing you learn about proportionate giving is about the offering. An offering is considered to be the amount given above the tithe. The tithe is an obligation to give; the offering is an opportunity to give. Luke instructs us concerning giving, saying, “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 mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38). How exciting it is to give and to see that God keeps promises such as this one in Luke! Allow the Spirit of God to impress on your heart to whom, when, and how much to give as an offering.
Promise of Giving
Within the text in Malachi, you find two promises of giving for those who are faithful to honor God with their tithes and offerings.Promise of Provision
The first promise of giving is that of provision. Malachi wrote of the promise of provision saying, “prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10b). God has promised an abundant blessing for those who trust Him by giving their tithes and their offerings. Will you not prove God?Promise of Protection
Another important promise of this text is that of protection. Malachi wrote, “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Malachi 3:11). Someone has wisely said, “You will either give your tithe to God or end up giving it to the doctor or the mechanic. God always gets His tithe!” The choice as to whom you give your tithes is yours.
Failure to honor God with your tithes and offerings will be a hindrance to your spiritual growth. So give that you might grow!
Section Four–Lesson Six
Tithes and Offering
- The first problem which hinders God’s people from giving is a ___________ problem.
- Some people claim they cannot __________ to tithe.
- The most basic principle to financial recovery is to honor God with your _______________ first!
- It is not the lack of finances which keep one from tithing, but rather it is the lack of ______________.
- Malachi makes it clear that the Believer has an _____________ to give back unto God a portion of that with which God has blessed him with.
- The biblical tithe is _____ percent of your gross income.
- An ___________ is considered to be the amount given above the tithe.
- God has promised an abundant ____________ for those who trust Him by giving their tithes and offerings.
- Another important promise of this text is that of ________ for those who tithe.
- Failure to honor God with your ___________ and _____________ will be a hindrance to your spiritual growth.