Today you should read: Malachi 1
Today we begin the journey through the final of the minor prophets. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. Many people ignore or rush through them, but there is a lot to learn in them. What’s been your favorite so far? Share a comment below and tells us which is your favorite and why.
The book of Malachi is yet another message to the wayward children of Israel.
This is the message that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.(v.1)
Malachi’s message to us revolves around the people’s offering. As you may know, sin has always demanded a price – death. Before the cross, the only way to atone (it was really just a Band-Aid till Jesus came) was to offer an animal sacrifice for your sin. The animal had to die – it’s blood must be shed. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no payment for sin. God had very specific commands as to what type of animal and its condition. It couldn’t be lame, or sick – it had to be the best. God always deserves our very best. In Malachi 1, we read how the people were offering sacrifices that did not meet God’s requirement – way less than their best.
How do you and I do the same thing? Do you ever offer God a tip rather than a gift in your offering? Do you give grudgingly or with selfish intentions? The Bible has MUCH to say on this subject.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:1-4
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
David faced an interesting dilemma on giving. He wanted to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and attempted to purchase some land on which to do it. When the owner of the land learned what the king wanted it for – he offered to give it to him. David refused:
However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
What about you? Does your offering cost you? Do you give until it hurts? Give to God first, trusting Him for everything else – or are you a convenience giver – giving only a trusted amount in a secure way?
In two days we’ll read one of Malachi’s most famous passages. A passage that reminds us of the critical importance of giving our best to the Lord – giving it first – and giving it through the local church. It’s fine to give to other things – and we should – but our tithe is to God’s church – the one we attend and serve in. Listen to his words:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Malachi 3:8-10
Do you think God is serious about how we give? He always has been. Take a moment today and pray through your giving. Make a commitment to change whatever areas you fall short it.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor
One thought on “December 20, 2017”
Amen Pastor Tim! If all God’s people tithed to their local church, then congregations would need to have special called business meetings to determine how to spend the abundance. When we take matters into our own hands and split up the tithe then the resources are often lacking to support the local church and its ministries.