Trusting God Enough To Tithe
Today I would like to talk a little bit about stewardship.
I would like to begin by asking whom here today love God?
Whom here today love God enough to pray to God?
Whom here today love God enough to study God’s word?
Whom here today love God enough to bare witness of him and his son Jesus Christ?
Whom here today love God enough to seek him first and all of his righteousness?
Whom here today love God enough to trust him with every aspect of our lives?
When we are sick do we trust God for a healing?
When we are hungry do we trust God for food and water?
When we are lonely do we trust God for comfort?
When we are married or about to be married do we trust God for a faithful, loving and caring spouse?
I know this is a lot of trust I’m asking you about today but I have one more trust question for you.
Do You Trust God Enough To Tithe?
Let’s take a look a Judges 7:9-
By now you all should know me enough to know that I love to share stories I’ve heard or read about with you all during the messages I present you. Today is no different. I read a story that I’m not sure is true or false; but the moral of the story caught my heart’s attention. This preacher I follow online stated that as he was preaching one Sunday, an elderly woman fainted and struck her head on the end of the pew. Immediately, an EMT in the congregation called an ambulance. They strapped her to a stretcher and got ready to head out the door, when, all of a sudden, this woman began to regain consciousness. She motioned for her daughter to come near. Everyone thought she was summoning her strength to convey what could be her final words. The daughter leaned over until her ear was at her mother’s mouth. Her mother gently whispered, my offering is in my purse.
This morning I would like to bring you a message entitled Trusting God Enough To Tithe.
A pastor once asked one of his congregation members to serve as financial chairman of the church. The man, a manager of a grain elevator company, agreed on two conditions:
No report would be due for a year, and no one would ask any questions during the year.
At the end of the year he made his report.
He had paid off the church debt of $200,000.
He had redecorated the church.
He had sent $1,000 to missions.
He had $5,000 in the bank.
"How did you do all this?" asked the pastor and the shocked congregation. Quietly he answered, "You people bring your grain to my elevator. As you did business with me, I simply withheld 10 percent and gave it to the church. You never missed it."
There are several foundations of stewardship:
I would like to focus on three of them today:
Lordship, Trust, and God’s Provision.
I asked several trust questions earlier for a reason; and that reason being that if God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is going to be the lordship over our lives we have got to trust in the Holy Trinity eliminating all doubt and distrust. We MUST trust God enough to know without any doubt that he will provide for us just as he said he would. The thing is; we have to do what he instructs us to do and live our lives for him, confessing Jesus Christ to be the son of God, the Savior of the world, and obeying God in every aspect of our lives; including tithing. Being a steward of the kingdom of God is a key aspect of living. If we do not consider ourselves stewards of the Kingdom of God, we are going to have problems with Lordship, and we are going to have big problems when it comes to the area of tithing.
What Is A Steward?
"A steward is someone who is responsible for another man’s property." We are in such a key position as stewards.
When the Possessor of heaven and earth brought you into being and placed you in this world, he placed you here not as an owner but as a steward. God has entrusted you for a season with goods of various kinds, but the sole property of these still rests in him. They cannot ever be alienated from Him. As you are not your own but God’s, such is likewise in everything you enjoy.
Everything belongs to God!
One of the barometers or the tools we can use as to the health of this area of stewardship in our life, is our attitude concerning giving to the work of the Lord.
Notice I said it is our attitude towards giving, not the amount of our giving that is the barometer. The enemy comes in and says that it is the amount but this is not so. There are times in our lives when God blesses us by putting us in the place of the giver, and then there are times in our lives when God blesses us by putting us in the place of the receiver. It is not the amount, but the attitude that is important. Dueteronomy 16:17 says:
"Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given " thee.
The need or use of finances can be one of the most divisive issues within a church. You start talking about money and people come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they don’t tithe properly. You say you trust God; yet I ask you do you trust God enough to obey his command and tithe faithfully and correctly.
With God tithing is not optional.
You don’t tithe if you can. You just do it because God said so and you want to obey God. If you don’t tithe you are disobeying God; and to disobey God is what sin is. No Sin Will Make Into The Kingdom of Heaven. A millionaire once said on TV that he never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars he ever made if he had not tithed his first salary, which was $1.50 per week. A trouble area that I’ve noticed is that too many people are spending money they haven’t yet earned for things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. Give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving.
Mother Teresa once said "If you give what you do not need, " it isn’t giving
Here is another quote that I like:
"There is no portion of our time that is our time, and the rest God’s; there is no portion of money that is our money, It is all his; he made it all, gives and the rest God’s money.it all, and he has simply trusted it to us for his service.
A servant has two purses, the master’s and his own, but we have only one."
Let’s go to God’s word for a few minutes and look and talk about this principle of tithing. Once again we are going to use the Story of Gideon as a road map so to speak to learn about what God is asking of us in this all important area of stewardship. Let’s Read Judges 7:9-
Let’s look at what we learned.
1.) God Promises His Blessings Vs. 9
"During that night the LORD said to Gideon, "Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands."
Verse 10 says "Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
The promise goes forth for those who are willing to give to the Lord. We don’t have time to go into the Old Testament law in defining what this tithe was that Malachi was speaking of other than to say it was a tenth. It was to be the First Fruits…the best. It did not belong to the Children of Israel. There were other offerings expected above the tithe. God has promised to bless his children if they will give. This is not only an Old Testament Principle Matthew 7:9-
2.) Blessings Require Action Vs.9
"Get up, go down against the camp," There are times when God says…I have delivered the camp into your hands…now get up and go. Many times to receive the blessings of God in our lives, we must show action in our camp.
Here Are A Few Scripture In Support of This:
2 Corinthians 9:6
Philippians 4:6, 7
How About The Old Testament:
James sums it up…in 2:26… "Faith Without Works Is Dead" When we say we trust in God, and then we get up and go down to the enemies camp like the Lord told us too…then God truly can perform the miraculous in and through us. Our financial giving once again is a barometer of whether or not we are getting up and going.
3.) Actions Are Designed By God Vs. 13-
When God asks us to do something, it may not always be the most conventional way, do it anyway. He told the Leper to wash in the Dirty Jordon River.
Did it Work? . Yes
Did the Leper’s conventional wisdom say it would work? No!
It goes back to God wanting the credit; not man. Sometimes God asks us to do some pretty unconventional things in our giving. It is so easy to try and talk ourselves out of this… the enemy tries every rational in the book to confound our efforts of obedience.
Here are some lines he pitches to us…and excuses we use:
I Can’t Afford It
If I had more I would
I already tithe just by my own standard
I am so far behind I don’t know where to start
I like to spread my tithe out
Don’t listen to these lies. If God is in it he will help you to be obedient to Him. Is it always easy? No but it is always possible if we truly trust God.
A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did." Is it easy to tithe? . But listen closely to this last point. No
4.) What God Designs He also Empowers Vs.22
When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. God calls us all to be cheerful givers. He will never call you to do something that he will not also empower you to complete. Does this mean if we tithe we will never have to sacrifice financially? In fact in may cause us to sacrifice greatly to fulfill what he is asking us to do. When I say that God empowers us… it doesn’t mean that money will begin to grow on trees in our front yard the moment we begin to tithe. In fact if the tithing principle is correct according to Malachi, 10% is just our reasonable service… it has nothing to do with our gratitude for what he has done for us. When I say that God empowers us…I mean that he will provide, strengthen, equip, discipline, and train you to make it through the lean times. In the case of Elijah there was always just enough oil and flower in the bins.
In My Conclusion:
There was a knock on the door of the hut occupied by a missionary in Africa. Answering, the missionary found one of the native boys holding a large fish in his hands. The boy said, "Reverend, you taught us what tithing is, so here-
We learn Lordship and Trust from Gideon. We also learn four principles we can put into the area of Stewardship, especially the area of financial giving. 1) God Promises His Blessings Vs. 9
2) Blessings Require Action Vs. 9
3) Actions Are Designed By God Vs. 13-
4) What God Designs He Also Empowers Vs. 22
Have you been robbing God?
What is God speaking to You?
Have you been obedient to him?
Have you been trusting him enough to Tithe?
Are you leaning on or leaning against him?