Sermon Notes | Blessed Life week 3
As a believer, we do not wander around or even try really hard to determine God’s plan for giving. The Bible is FULL of passages on generosity and giving to GOD first and the best.
Genesis 4:4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, …
When God didn’t accept Cain’s offering, he said, “everything will be ok, if you simply follow directions. If not, sin is crouching at your door.”
Genesis 14:9 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he (Abraham) gave him a tithe of all.
This is first record of someone giving a tenth AND giving to another entity representing God.
Genesis 22:2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Exodus 34:19 All that open the womb are Mine, and every male firstborn among your livestock, whether ox or sheep.
Exodus 34:26 The first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
Joshua 6:19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
1 Kings 19:13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.
Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 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. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
(that’s all the Old Testament)
You don’t have to give financially to be saved, therefore, should you just give what is in your heart?
Loving God without giving to God is like being married without sacrificing for your spouse. If you were told by your spouse I will never divorce you. I love you and give myself to you 100%. I will never leave you or go after another. Do we answer that with: “AWESOME- that means I don’t have to be faithful! Sweet, I can do whatever I want!” NO.
What would happen if you were saved by the Mercy and Grace of God? What would happen to your possessions/finances? The Bible tells us:
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
Believers in Jesus understood that HE was in control and that all their possessions were His. They selflessly gave to the body (storehouse) so that there would be “food in His house” as Malachi 3 said. Tithing was now not a legal obligation. They did not consider 10% to be too much. In fact, they not only gave of their “increase”, but sold possessions and gave all.
When looking at the modern day church in America, we people struggling to give anything to the storehouse. They are so wrapped up in their possessions and earnings that they either feel the possessions are not God’s or they are scared that He won’t provide. They don’t trust him. Instead of following scripture’s very clear message: Trust God and have an open hand to the storehouse and those in need, they try to rewrite scripture to fit their lack of trust in God’s all sufficiency.
How the storehouse (local church) stewards over God’s money is a completely different message and could be addressed later. Obviously, there needs to be accountability and Biblical standards in this area as well.