Sunday, January 8, 2017

Being Faithful In 2017 - Faithfulness In Finances

Temple Baptist Church - 1-8-2017
1 Kings 17:1-16


A.  As we face a New Year, I am preaching of a subject which many do not like: “Being Faithful in 2017.” 

1.  Unfortunately, “as the manner of some is” in Hebrews 10:25 has become “as the manner of most is.” 

2.  In our day, we find the culmination of the days of Noah (eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage), the days of Lot (they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded - pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness which led to sodomy), the days of 2 Thessalonians 2 (a falling away), and the days of Laodicea (lukewarm and supposedly having need of nothing).

3.  Personally, I do not want to be affected by this world!  I had rather be an old time Christian with old time thinking while standing in the old time Old Paths of our forefathers.

B.  I want to look at faithfulness in finances for a few minutes.  I know that most of our congregation tithes and gives above the tithe.  The number of people divided into the weekly offerings are proof of it.  BUT, so much emphasis has been put on money in our days that it has become the main concern of our nation.  Not morality, money!  It has also affected some people within the church.

1 Timothy 6:6-10  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (7)  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  (8)  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  (9)  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  (10)  For 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.

C.  The Bible teaches the exact opposite of the world’s thinking about finances.  The Bible calls money “the least” and the “unrighteous mammon.”  It also declares that you cannot serve God and mammon at the same time.  Therefore, our thinking about finances dictates our love of and service for the Lord!

Luke 16:10-13  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.  (11)  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  (12)  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?  (13)  No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

D.  As a pastor, I have found that, as a general rule, if you are not faithful in that which God calls the “least,” you will not be faithful in anything else.  People who do not tithe are normally unfaithful to attend services on a regular basis.  People who do not tithe are normally unfaithful to witness.  People who do not tithe are normally not faithful to their families (to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord).

E.  Let us take a short look at our text: God taught Elijah to trust the Lord and then taught the widow to do the same.

1.  Vs 1-9 – The Establishment Of Testimony.  God had to teach Elijah before Elijah could teach others.  We that are tithers and givers can attest to the fact that it is both right and works!  

2 Corinthians 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

2.  Vs 11 – God’s Reasonable Demand.  God owns it all and only requires a “morsel” to be given back. 

Leviticus 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.

3.  Vs 12 – Man’s Faithless Response.  People watch as others obediently tithe but then think “There is not enough to go around, how can I give a part of what I have back to the Lord? 

Malachi 3:8  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

4.  Vs 13-14 – God’s Promised Provision.  Trust me with your “morsel” and I will take care of your needs.  With faithful obedience comes the promise of proving.  The old saying is that “the proof is in the pudding.” 

Malachi 3:10  Bring 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.

5.  Vs 15 – Man’s Faithful Response.  I will trust the Lord with that which is least and depend upon Him to do as He has promised. 

Malachi 3:10-11  Bring 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.  (11)  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.

6.  Vs 16 – God’s Promise Fulfilled.  God gave the widow much more than she had to begin with.

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

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