Oh, here we go. Tithing! This is the topic everyone hates to sit down and find out their pastor is teaching on in church. Feelings of guilt, anger and resentment can flare up and create such a wall that the message of giving back doesn’t even make it to our hearts. In the book of Malachi, as God’s people trickle back to their city and the temple is rebuilt, the Lord reminds them of all the ways they need to return to His statutes. It’s beautiful to me when He says, “Return to Me and I will return to you.”
“Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Hosts.
But you ask: “How can we return?” “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!”
You ask: “How do we rob You?”
“By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me. Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. Malachi 3:7-10
Tithing is important to God but also for us because it increases our faith and trust in God. All we have is really His and can be taken away in just a moment. My family and I lived this out several years ago. There’s a book about that too! Revision of A Heart is about the lessons we learned during some very tough financial times. Even in the midst of those times, we continued to give to the church. When others (even family) thought we were crazy, we were to worried to stop because we knew God was providing for us along the way. We knew we would not make it without Him and didn’t want to turn away from him out of fear. We have experienced His provision in incredible ways because we remained faithful by giving back that $1 out the $10 He had blessed us with. Hand me down clothes for our kids would arrive out of the blue, gift certificates, free services and discounts for things that we would have never asked for came our way from all different walks of people. Most not even knowing our situation. This was God! We chose not to test Him in that way and keep what was rightfully His to ourselves because of fear of our financial situation. It rocked our world to see His grand provision and we will never stop giving back to Him!
I’m sure many of you have your own stories of provision from your own faithful giving. I would love to hear them if you are willing to share. If you haven’t stepped out in faith and started giving back to God, please consider it today. Start small and work up to 10%. God will amaze you with His provision and blessings when He sees you start to trust Him and give back.
May these verses touch your heart and bring you courage to follow His ways and commands.
At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. 18 So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. Malachi 3:16-18
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.[a] 3 You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Hosts. Malachi 4:2-3