Today, we are continuing our message series, “God’s Plan for Your Finances.” The Bible is the most important book on the planet, bar none. Yet few people take it seriously, even many Christians really do not either study the Bible or apply what it says to their lives. Many like some parts of the Bible, but other parts just don’t make sense to them. If something doesn’t make sense or seems too difficult, they just ignore it. However, God gave us His Word in order to teach us how to live a successful life. Success in God’s eyes is discovering God’s will and then doing it. Listen to how God wants you to be a success.
3 John 1:2 (ESV) Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
God’s will for your life is that all aspect of your life go well and that you are in good health, just as your soul prospers. The language of this verse is a prayer, but if you look closely, it is really a wonderful, but conditional, promise from God. Let me rephrase it so you can understand what God’s Word is saying here. If your spiritual relationship with God is prospering, then God will cause you to prosper in all other respects and give you good health. On the flip side, if your relationship with God is not doing well, the other areas of your life, including your health will not do well. Another way the Bible teaches this principle is in terms of blessing and curse.
Deuteronomy 11:26-28a (ESV) See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God …
The equation is pretty easy to understand, obey God and you will be blessed, disobey God and be under a curse. This operates in all areas of life. Many people, including people who claim to be Christians, do not truly believe these principles. They do not really believe that God brings blessing in this life to people who obey God. Nor do they believe that God allows curses to impact the lives of people who disobey Him. Yet these principles are true and operate in all of our lives day in and day out. True believers understand the fear of the Lord and live in it. What does God want for your life? God wants you to be blessed and to escape the curse.
Today, my message is entitled “How To Be Blessed Financially.” God wants you blessed in your finances, He wants you to prosper financially. Now according to the verses we’ve looked at so far this morning, how is that going to happen? To be blessed financially, you’ve got to understand and obey God’s commands that relate to finances. Ignorance of God’s commands is not an excuse.
Proverbs 10:22 (ESV) The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Acquiring wealth by ungodly means leads to all kinds of trouble. However, to be blessed financially by God is a good thing. How do you know if you’re blessed financially? God’s Word teaches that to be blessed financially is to have enough to meet your needs and to be generous in your giving. So, today we’re going to look at one of the key biblical principles of giving.
What is tithing? Tithing is God’s starting point for being blessed in giving. Tithing is giving 10% of your income to God through the local church. Tithing is proportional giving. The more income you have, the bigger your tithe is. The less income, the lesser your tithe. The Bible speaks of tithes and offerings. An offering is a gift beyond 10% of a tithe. We encourage everyone to give regular offerings to missions by making a Missions Faith Promise. More information on faith promises for missions is in the brochure rack in the foyer. The principle of tithing began in the Old Testament long before the Law was given by God. Abraham and Jacob tithed to God before the Law of Moses. Tithing is mentioned in the Bible over 50 times, both in the Old and New Testaments. Why would God want His people to give 10% of their income back to Him?
Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
The firstfruits mentioned in this verse were the first 10% of the harvest. It was given in gratitude to God for the harvest. Tithing is a way to honor God by acknowledging that all you have came from Him. It is a way to say thank you to God. This verse is both a command and a promise. When a person honors the Lord with his tithe, the promise is an overflowing blessing. Not only does tithing show gratitude to God, but
This is a very important biblical principal that is not well appreciated. Tithing has an effect on your spiritual relationship with God and vice versa.
Matthew 6:20-21 (ESV) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In this passage, Jesus is contrasting storing up treasures on earth with storing up treasures in heaven. You store up treasure in heaven by giving your money to God, which begins with tithing. I want us to concentrate on the last phrase in these verses. You might want to underline it: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In other words, your heart follows your treasure. If your treasure is in bank accounts and IRAs on this earth alone, your heart will trust in them for your future. If you have laid up treasure in heaven through tithing, then your heart will trust in God for your future. As a pastor, I have learned that tithing is a fruit of a spiritually mature life. Every spiritually mature person I have ever met has been a tither, the two go hand in hand. Tithing strengthens your relationship with God.
Let’s take a look at a video about the concept of giving to God the first-fruits of our income, which is what tithing is. Tithing is giving God the first 10% of your income, the firstfruits. The title of the video is simply FirstFruits. God blesses those who bring the firstfruits of their work to Him. The firstfruits of our work is His because He is the one who gave us the ability to work. We give out of gratitude for His blessing and in faith that He will take care of us when we put Him first. Once we understand the basic concept of tithing, we ought to
How would you feel if you wanted to give a wonderful gift to someone, but they just refused to receive the gift? God must feel that way when people are afraid to follow His directions in His Word. God wants to bless people financially, but you’ve got to follow His directions. So, in order to get our attention, God makes a very unusual challenge in His Word regarding tithing.
Malachi 3:10 (ESV) Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby 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.
Let’s look at God’s challenge in some more detail. God says to bring the whole tithe, the whole 10% in to the storehouse. In the OT, the storehouse was the temple where the people came to worship. In the NT, the storehouse would be the church where you worship at. God then says, “Test me in this … and see if I will not bless your socks off.” What is God saying here? He is saying, I know you’re skeptical, I know you’re afraid to give me your money because you don’t think you’ll have enough left over to live.” So, just try it out. Tithe for a while and see what happens. I promise that if you tithe, then I will bless you.
Malachi 3:9 (ESV) You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.
This verse immediately preceded the promise on tithing we just talked about. The people of Israel were not tithing and God said that not tithing was equivalent to robbing God. People who do not tithe are taking for themselves, that which is God’s. And what is the consequence of not tithing, or robbing God? The consequence is that it puts you not under blessing, but under a curse. A curse brings bad things that happen to people because of disobedience to God. Other parts of the Bible teach that when people do not give to God, He causes them to suffer financially. However, when you begin to tithe, not only does God bring blessing into your life, but He also removes the problems of the curse you were under.
I have the seen the truth of these biblical principles in my own life and in the lives of people in the church, both the blessing and the curse. If you’re not tithing currently, I encourage you to take God’s tithing challenge for six months. Bring the whole tithe on your income, the whole 10%, and give to God through the church and see what kind of blessings God brings into your life over the course of 6 months.
Tithing is not the only financial principle that God’s Word teaches. By not following God’s Word, many people have gotten deeply in debt. 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. 64% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $1000 emergency. I believe that everyone would benefit from taking our new class, Financial Peace University. It will be 9 sessions beginning on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 pm right here at the church. The discounted cost will be $109 for all your materials. There is a handout in your bulletin with more information and a link to sign up. Don’t wait for the last minute, as once you sign up, your materials will be mailed to you. If you have questions, please talk to Calvin Holderby.
Now for a promise to work for you, you’ve got to have some kind of faith. You may have some fears or doubts, but you simply have to have some faith that God’s Word is true.
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
You need to have faith that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. When you tithe, you are earnestly seeking to obey God. The proper motivation for tithing is not to give to get. The proper motivation for tithing or any giving is to give out of gratitude so that you will be blessed in order to continue to give. God blesses people so that they can be a blessing to others.
Malachi 3:10b (ESV) … [see] if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
What kind of blessing can you expect by tithing? Well, first of all you can expect a blessing in your finances. You are sowing financial seed, you can expect to reap in your finances. What will blessing in your finances look like? Ultimately, it will be to have enough to tithe, to meet your needs and some more to be generous with on top. Some people have not been following biblical principles for many years and are in a very big hole financially. It may not completely turn around in 6 months, but I believe you will see progress. God’s blessings for tithing are not just restricted to your finances. You will see blessing in your relationship with God, in your family and in your job. Expect God’s blessing in every area.
Tithing is the starting point for giving in God’s Word. As I mentioned last Sunday, I’ve tithed since I was 4. Tithing is not an issue for me, nor is it for many in this church who have been blessed through it. The Bible speaks of giving tithes and offerings. Offerings are money that is given over and above a tithe. What is God’s blessing with regard to offerings?
Luke 6:38 (ESV) give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
The basic principal is that the more you give, the greater the blessing you will receive. Expect God’s reward for tithing.
I’d like to invite Sarah Broadbent up to share an encouraging story about how God has been faithful to His Word in the finances of Eric & Sarah’s family. Thank you Sarah. It’s amazing how God blesses when you obey His Word and put Him to the test. As He blesses, your faith grows so that He can entrust you with a greater blessing, so that you can give even more to extend God’s kingdom. God rewards those who earnestly seek Him by obeying His Word in their giving.
Today we’ve looked at what God’s plan of tithing is all about. God challenges us to test Him by giving Him the whole tithe. He promises to reward you by pouring out a great blessing. God wants everyone in this church family blessed in their giving. Take God at His Word. Test God in giving and experience His blessing in your life.