Temple Baptist Church - 9-13-2009
A. This morning, I am going to preach on stewardship. Not just its command, but its blessings. This matter of tithing and giving is one that strikes fear and anger into the hearts of some professing “Christians.” I have heard people say, “All you Baptist preach on is money!” This will be the first time in several years that I have even touched the subject.
B. The reason that I do not preach on this subject much is this: our church has been one of the most giving churches that I have ever been in. I believe that most here have a good grip on this thing of tithing. But, here is my fear: Giving In A Wrong Spirit!
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (Even among some of God’s people, stewardship has become a thing of “necessity” which brings about “grudgingly” in our giving.)
C. Here is the problem: preachers have been guilty of only preaching the Command of giving and not the Blessings of giving.
1. Tithers do so because they “have to tithe” instead of realizing the blessings and “want to tithe.”
2. If tithing becomes a thing of necessity, they giving above the tithe becomes a thing of grudgingly!
D. Why do people hate the subject?
1. Because many religious charlatans have abused God’s people through their begging tactics. I want to reiterate this morning that God is not broke! I do not have to nor will I beg for God! I will present a need and allow the Holy Spirit to work in the heart of His people to meet the needs of the church!
2. Because tithing and giving are matters that reflect the hearts of individuals! Tithing and giving is a heart matter and shows both obedience to and love for our Saviour.
3. Because tithing has been preached the same way as separation, as a command instead of a blessing from God!
E. Tithing is beneficial to both the tither and a lost world. If we had testimonies this morning from tithing families, they would praise and glorify God for both the ability and blessings of tithing. I have no regrets concerning God’s precious tithe and offerings that my family gives. We tithe and give in the financially hard times as well as the good times because God is faithful.
F. Lets look at these verse for a few minutes and see both the command and the blessings of stewardship.
1. Understanding The Tithe. (Don’t get nervous on me now!J) Vs. 8 Some years ago, as I was passing Mt. Zion Baptist Church here in Laurens, I saw the pastor’s Sunday Morning sermon title on the church sign: “There’s Going To Be A Hold Up Sunday Morning!” I got a kick out of the title. I love to hear a black preacher preach when he is a fundamental Bible believer. They have a rare talent at doing so.
a. Tithing and Giving are place on an equal plane! God requires both.
1) The Tithe - Stewardship is much more than simply “paying a bill” that amounts to 10% of your GROSS INCOME. First fruits mean just that. It comes before your taxes, bills, or entertainment. It comes off of the top.
2) The Gift - My family’s giving above the tithe is more than the tithe. A man once asked me, “Just how much am I to give?” My answer was this: “Whatever God requires of you!” Ten percent, twenty percent, or 100 percent. It is all His and he will not let you starve through your obedience to His leading.
b. Failure To Tithe And Gives Brings A Curse! Because you actually “rob God!” There is a sign in the window of the bank that I use which reads: “What can you get for robbing a South Carolina Bank? Twenty five years!” If robbery of a bank brings about such a severe penalty, how much worse is it to rob God?
Haggai 1:6-11 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.
c. Rob God and you will never prosper if you are saved!
Luke 6:38 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.
2. Understanding The Blessing. Vs. 10-12 God did not command stewardship to hinder your finances or hurt your stand of living! Tithing and giving is beneficial to the giver. It is a blessing, not a burden! It should thrill our souls to be able to give back to God a portion of that which He so graciously has given to us. Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from God. He feeds us, clothes us, and shelters us! It is God who supplies our every need and so graciously allows us to have a part in winning souls both here and on the foreign mission fields. Let’s go back to that verse on “necessity” and “grudgingly” for a minute but add the context to it.
2 Corinthians 9:7-11 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
NOW BACK TO MALACHI 3
a. The Blessing Of Plenty. God will POUR you out a blessing from the windows of heaven! POUR, not trickle! POUR, not drop! God will bless you with so many spiritual blessings that you will not have room to receive it! I don’t know about you this morning, but God has blessed my family. No, we are not rich but we have enough! God’s blessings are so much more than just money. Having “ALL SUFFICIENCY IN ALL THINGS!” “BREAD FOR YOUR FOOD!”
b. The Blessing Of God Rebuking The Devourer. (Things that devour our living such as a “bags with holes.”)
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (You take care of God’s business and let Him take care of yours! “MULTIPLY YOUR SEED SOWN AND INCREASE THE FRUITS!”)
c. The Blessing Of Being Blessed. (All nations will call you blessed!)
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (The song says, “Thank you for giving to the Lord! I am a life that is changed. Only heaven and eternity will reveal what God has laid up for those who love Him!)
d. The Blessing of Pleasing God – True stewardship is because we love God, not because we must give! Faith in finances pleases God! We are trusting God with our lives and our living. “FOR GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER!” If you want to shout, shout while the offering plate is being passed. Shout because God has so blessed your life. Shout because you have a chance to prove you love for and faith in God.
Conclusion: What a privilege to be able to give! What a blessing to be able to give! Tithing and giving are truly faith and heart matters.