Scripture: Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (NIV)
I have to pray about this message:
Dear Heavenly Father you alone are worthy of all praise, honor and worship. You have created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. You Lord God own the cattle upon a thousand hills and the hills that they are upon. Lord I pray to you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that you give me wisdom in this message. Lord forgive me of my sins and selfish desires help me Lord to give your message of truth and love without fear. We love you Father and listen now to your words. Let us see Jesus and Him only for it is in His name we pray;
I personally have never taught about the principle of tithing. I do practice tithing and highly recommend it. What I hope to do in this message is not to change your mind on tithing but if I can open your mind to the benefits of it you may, by the leading of the Holy Spirit discover the many blessings yourself someday. Have you ever made one of them oaths to God and then not kept it. That was me about everything. It seems from a very young age I was asking God to get me out of tough situations and I would serve him for the rest of eternity. Well God would do His part and me, well I may have made a half harted effort to hold up my end of the deal but it wouldn’t take long and I would be back to the old bad habits and serving self ahead of God. You know some times we give satan credit for messing up our lives when he didn’t have much if anything to do with it. We did it ourselves. Do you remember the bumper sticker that read “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.” The truth is whoever dies with the most toys still dies! But toys are great aren’t they. I do not suggest that you should be doing without anything. What I am going to show you is how you can enjoy what you have more when you do things God’s way and put things in the proper perspective. I guess the key word would be priorities. So the first thing we are going to do is to look at the Old Testament teachings on blessings. Then we will compare that to the New Testament teachings. Finally we will bring these thought together to see how they work in our lives today.
First I want us to read from the book of the Bible that Jesus most quoted from. The Book of Deuteronomy. In the 28th chapter we will read about blessings and curses. Many of us have felt as if we have been under some generational curse or something. There is a way to break these curses and experience the blessings. You need to know that God is exceedingly abundantly able to totally bless your socks off. And He wants to do it today. First lets look at some of the blessings.
(Deu 28:2-13 NIV) All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways.
Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity--in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground--in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
That is just a drop in the bucket of what God has in store for you. Eyes have not seen nor have ears heard the wonders that God has laid up for those who love Him. The Old Testament The word “Bless” is used in some form 333times through out the Old Testament books. God knows how important it is for us to walk in the blessings. The problem occurs with one little word, “if.” “If you pay attention to the commands, If you keep the commands of the Lord, if you obey the Lord your God….” You see the sad truth is none of us can totally, 100% of the time keep every commandment. How many times in a day do you see something that someone has and think how nice it would be to have one like it. How many of us went do not hesitate to work on Sunday, especially if there is overtime involved. And what about those little white lies. In the Old Testament Law there is no gray area you are either righteous and receive great blessings or you get the curse. And trust me you do not want the curses listed in the continuation of the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy.
I like the Psalm that reads “Delight thyself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of you heart.” (That’s a Pastor Bob paraphrase) The truth that is revealed there is that as we delight in God He gives us the desires of our heart. When you fall head over heals in love with Jesus he turns on the eternal fountains of joy and you get more out of life then you ever knew possible. But again there it is, “If.” If you delight in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart. Lets get into the New Testament where there is grace.
Jesus gave us so many insightful teachings on life. In the gospel of Luke the 6th chapter we find Jesus in the middle of what has become known as the beatitudes. You know, Blessed be you poor for yours is the kingdom of God. Look at verse 38:
(Luke 6:38 KJV) 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.
This is really the whole of today’s message. Every time I read that I remember picking vegetables on the Taylor Farm when I was a boy. My Grand father would have us pick green beans and fill the baskets full. Then He would shake the basket and tap in on the ground and we could fill it some more. I still remember the smells of the vegetables, biting into a fresh picked green been. What a blessing it was to have been able to spend time on that farm growing up. It didn’t seem like it at the time. It seemed like a lot of hard work. But I digress. The point here is that whatever we give weather it be time with a friend, money for a ministry or forgiveness to stranger it comes back to us in abundance. The principle is real; you reap what you sow. What comes around goes around. What goes up must come down. I like the children’s song that goes the blessings come down as our prayers go up, the blessings come down as our prayers go up the blessings come down as our prayers go up when we build our life on the Lord.
I do not want you to misunderstand this principle. God does want to bless you in every area of your life. He wants to give you peace like you never knew. He wants to give you joy unspeakable, He wants to give you complete unconditional love. God will bless your financial life, He will bless your family life, He will bless your emotional life, and God will bless every aspect of your life as you turn it over to Him. But talk is cheep. No pun intended. Do you remember those vows you made to God and never kept? God does. The best way to discover a truth is to test it. In our scripture verse God says to test Him in the area of your finances. See if God doesn’t do amazing things in any area of your life. Put some flesh on this faith thing. Turn your Heart over to God and watch Him remake it. You see the money is not what’s important. It’s your Heart. Jesus taught that where your treasures lie there is your heart. If you can trust God with your money that you can trust Him with your heart. If you can’t trust Him with your finances then do you really trust Him with your Heart? Think about it.
I want to close today’s message with some encouragement. You have been fighting a battle and at times not sure if you’re winning the war. Know that the war is already won. When you wake up in the mornings I want you to visualize putting on the whole armor of God. All His armor. You can find it listed in the 5th chapter of Ephesians. Visualize yourself putting on the belt of truth. Wrap yourself in it, pull it tight. Fell its security. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Nothing can penetrate it, place the Helmut of salvation upon your head and know that it is able to deflect anything that trys to get in your head. Walk on peace throughout the day. More comfortable than Nike, stronger than jump boots, peace will get you through the jungles of the day. Hold up the shield of faith. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Now lift high the sword of the Spirit. It is the word of God. So sharp that it can separate the soul from the spirit. The word of God, it is the one thing you can trust with your eternal soul. See yourself in the whole armor of God and fight the good fight. Amen
Father thank you for your word. Help us to incorporate it into our daily lives. We know that it is you Lord that gives us the will to and the strength to do your good pleasure. Forgive me Lord for breaking any vows, release me from them please and help me to learn the truth that is in you. In Jesus Holy Name I pray;