“Will a man dare to steal from me? But you rob me! You ask, 'How do we rob you?' By holding back your offerings. You also steal from me when you do not bring me a tenth of everything you produce. So you are under my curse. In fact, your whole nation is under it. That is because you are robbing me. Bring the entire tenth to the storerooms in my temple. Then there will be plenty of food. Put me to the test, says the Lord. Then you will see that I will throw open the windows of heaven. I will pour out so many blessings that you will not have enough room for them.” (Malachi 3:8-10 NIrV)
God challenged the Jewish nation to TRY ME …test me (bachan in Hebrew) just as precious metals were to be tried to see if they were genuine. As we do today, the people were giving God leftovers and keeping their money and offerings for themselves. I guess you could say they were trusting the 401K’s, stocks, CD’s and other business investments over God’s plans. I assume that today we have found out that there is no security in the economy! I know after all that has occurred in the past few months world-wide that would not dare rob God anymore? When God says “Test Me”, I think we should agree!
I can tell you for myself, since learning to give God back His money, I have come to realize that the economy can’t take it away, dissolve it, or buy it out. God controls His bank!
“Brothers and sisters, make sure that none of you has a sinful heart. Do not let an unbelieving heart turn you away from the living God. But build one another up every day. Do it as long as there is still time. Then none of you will become stubborn. You won't be fooled by sin's tricks. We belong to Christ if we hold firmly to the faith we had at first. But we must hold to it until the end. It has just been said, (Psalm 95:7, 8) ‘Listen to his voice today. If you hear it, don't be stubborn. You were stubborn when you opposed me.’ ” (Hebrews 3:12-15NIrV)
Why is the church in need today? Why does the Pastor have to plead for the members to support the ministries of the church? Why are pastors working outside of the church? Why are missionaries hamstrung by finances and turning people away who are in need? Why do our neighbors go hungry, without clothes, without medicine, and without basic needs of life? It’s a matter of trust. It’s a question of belief…faith.
While it is the churches role to reach the needs of the people, it is every believer’s responsibility to give to support such ministries. The giving must go beyond the minimum 10%! Did Christ not go beyond 10% in sacrificing His life? Did God not go beyond 10% in rescuing me and you from our mess? Does the Spirit of God not go beyond 10% in protecting, guiding, and teaching us? So are we still robbing God? Oh, I hope not!
We can’t afford to be stubborn anymore. Now is the time to commit to give and do as God commanded: “TRY ME”! As God receives our gifts, many others will receive His blessings. We may even receive a few ourselves.
Let’s pray daily: DADDY, increase my faith, strengthen my unbelieving heart! I want to be obedient to your commands and let you control my resources.