Sunday Soothings

Malachi 3:10-12Bring 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. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Money.

We all have it. For most, they will tell you that they don’t have enough or that they need just a bit more. But for the most part, all of us struggle in this area.

There are those that will say to have much is sinful. That is not what God says.

1 Timothy 6:10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Money itself is not sinful – loving it is.

I find that most struggle with the idea of giving to the church. We find the cases where the church or some church representative wickedly embezzled and stole from the church. They cite that example as to why they disobey God, when God tells me that because it is not my area of responsibility, I must concern myself with what pertains to me – not that of others.

Yes, to know that I have given hard-earned money only to find it in another man’s pocket when it was given to God for God’s work hurts. We take offense. But please understand; God will deal with that one in His time. But, He will also deal with us regarding our disobedience with regard to giving.

People complain about the misappropriation or fiscal irresponsibility with how the money is handled in their churches. I truly believe it boils down to how attached I am to money or my love for it.

Money is a tool. We exchange it for food, services, land and possessions. What we value and how we value differs as much as there are people on the earth. At its core, is the question – How much do we love our money?

The answer to that question for each of us will be reflected in our giving to God.

But the biggest reason I bring it up in this blog this morning is that it keeps many of us at odds with God because we disobey and try to justify it before a holy God who commands us to give tithes and offerings.

We play God by trying to designate what we give to the things that matter to us. Where is goes and how it is dispersed should be a matter of the leadership who should operate with integrity.

You almost never hear a call to prayer for the treasurer or those that count the money. They are the most tempted in this area by our enemy. They see who gives and who doesn’t. They see how much a person gives.

They see how much a person gives to their church and then hears about the purchases and acquisitions they make outside of their giving. It is enough to cause someone to have such indignation that they leave the church and become at odds with God.

We apply worldly reason to our budget and giving and find that tithing just won’t work. We don’t have enough to give an added ten percent on top of all we spend. The devil is subtle to attack in this area. He leverages our love for money and chokes out the giving to the church. Pretty soon we wonder why we cannot build, repair or sustain the building, a salary, or a ministry.

Th devil’s agenda is simple. Destroy the work of God by any means possible.

If he can get you through money, he will turn up the heat in this area.

If he can do it through worldly entertainment, career choices, friends, immorality or any number of sins – he will use his full arsenal of weapons to attack the work of God to see souls saved.

When a church loses her purpose, her decline becomes a public shame to the name of Jesus Christ. Satan will make sure the community knows just what happened and who is responsible. Even the accusations that may be made falsely, take forever to reclaim.

So what type of attitude should we have?

I have taken up some principles for myself:

  1. All I own belongs to God
  2. He put me in position to be steward over what He has given
  3. I must ask Him how He wants me to give, to what or to whom He wants me to give and how much
  4. I have as much as my God trusts me with
  5. If I set my heart on earning more, it must be a sanctified desire that is God directed, not self motivated.
  6. I must obey – when I miss, it is disobedience and must be made up

These are just a few of the guiding principles I have learned to keep for my life.

Study it our for yourself – see how God will truly rebuke the devourer, open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing for you to testify that God blesses obedience in this area of giving.

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