WHAT CAN THE TITHE PROVE?
Mal 3:10;  2 Cor 8:4& 7-9
10 "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. (NAS)

2 Cor 8:4& 7-9
4 begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,

7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, {see} that you abound in this gracious work also.   8   I am not speaking {this} as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (NAS)

INTRODUCTION
Next Sunday, March 6, is Prove the Tithe Day in our church. On this day we challenge every one to tithe. Some of us have been tithing for years, but some of our membership have never cooperated with the Lord by tithing.

We who regularly ought to give an additional amount of money next Sunday, just as an added indication of how we trust the Lord. But we want everyone to tithe. Try it just one Sunday and you'll like it.

Prove the Tithe Day suggests that tithing can prove something. Therefore this Sunday I want to preach, "What Can The Tithe Prove?" I will suggest that the tithe can prove:

How much you trust the Lord

The sincerity of your love

How much you desire to see God's blessing
 
 
 

1.    What Can The Tithe Prove?
It can prove how much we trust the Lord. v. 10 
10 "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. (NAS)

EXPLANATION
In verse 10, the K.J.V says, "prove me now" while the N. A. S. says, "test me now in this." The idea is the same as the Lord is calling His people to tithe and thereby open the channel where He can bless them. The Lord wants to bless His children but we must be obedient in order to receive.

When you tithe, you are indication that you believe what God says and you're willing to trust that He will make 9 tenths go further than 10 tenths. You can not demonstrate that you trust the Lord in financial matters if you do not honor the Lord by paying the tithe.

In the time setting of this book of Malachi, the Jewish people were expected to pay a tithe. In addition, they were required to give offerings (you see the special offering idea is Biblical also), of prescribed amounts on special occasions. But some of these folks were disobedient. God calls them robbers. They rob God of His tithes and offerings. There are only about 20% of the families in our church really proving they trust the Lord in financial matters. I challenge you next Sunday to renew or begin Proving the Tithe and Prove you trust the Lord in financial matters.

ILLUSTRATION
The Proclaim Magazine shares a story by Pastor Glen Ward. He relates that his six year old daughter and he were driving down the highway one day, and he waved at a car they met. His daughter said, "Who was that, Daddy?" When he mentioned that it was member of the church who never attended the services, she looked confused. Pastor Ward explained that there were folks who never attend. The little girl's response was, "Have they trusted God?

APPLICATION

You see, even a little child recognized trust in God demonstrates itself in action. Do we trust the Lord in financial matters? Do we prove it by being faithful in paying the tithes of all the income in our household? Some wives have gone to work to enable the end of the month and the end of the money to hopefully end at the same time. You can't make ends meet by disregarding the command to "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse."

What can the tithe prove? It can prove you trust the Lord in financial matters. Now notice the second point.
 
 
 

II. What Can the Tithe Prove?
It can prove the sincerity of your love. 2 Cor. 8:4; 7-9 
4 begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,

7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, {see} that you abound in this gracious work also.    8  I am not speaking {this} as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (NAS)

EXPLANATION
The Malachi text has God requesting that we prove Him. This text in 2 Corinthians speaks boldly about the generous giving of the Macedonians. Paul then challenges the Corinthians to give in the same way and prove the sincerity of their love. Notice particularly verses 8 & 9. The sincerity of our love is contrasted with the demonstration of love by the Lord Jesus.

Verse 9 begins with the words, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I can say that to most of you today because the saving grace o the Lord should see the example of Christ in a different light. We should be examples of the fact we have received His grace. One way we can prove the seriousness of our love is by giving the tithe.

ILLUSTRATION
I had a couple come into my office for marriage counseling. I asked the man why he wanted to get married. He said, "Because I love this lady and want to spend the rest of my life with her." I then asked how he would support a wife and perhaps a family. He said, "I plan to give her $15.00 to $25.00 every week to run the household. Thinking that I had not understood, I had him repeat himself and he said the same thing. In surprise I said, "I thought you said you loved this lady!" He replied, "I do!" But I said, "Why don't you prove it by giving more than $15.00 to $25.00 a week?" He then replied that he had a lot of things to do with his money and she would just have to make out on the money he gave her.

APPLICATION

That's obviously not a true story. But it may sound familiar because that's what the majority of church members do when it comes to proving their love for the church. Just give the church the leftovers, if there are any. If not, better luck next time.

You can prove the sincerity of your love by tithing. Notice now the third point.
 
 
 

III. What Can the Tithe Prove?
It can prove how much you desire God's blessing. Mal. 3:10. 
10 "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. (NAS)

EXPLANATION
The Malachi passage says, "pour out for you a blessing until there is no more need." God has blessings ready for His people. They may be financial, mental or physical health. They may be in realm of the spiritual, but He promised blessings. Look at verse 11 and notice one specific blessing God promises to these folks who live in farming communities.

Are you blessed by God? What blessing have you received? The Bible promises blessings to the tither. Recently in a Sunday School class someone disputed the statement of the teacher that God blesses the tither. Would you tell me what this verse says if it doesn't say God will bless the tither?

From our understanding of this text the question must come; How much do we really want God's blessing? Do you want the visible and invisible blessings of God? Do you want heaven to come down and glory to fill your soul? One channel of that kind of blessing is to be a faithful steward.

ILLUSTRATION
Testimony of a communist converted to Christianity:

"When I was a communist I gave 50% of my income to communist work. After I became a Christian, it was a long time before suggested that I give 10% to the church, and then apologetically, saying that I probably couldn't but if I would it was the best thing to do.

"When I was a communist, I was expected to give all my time after work hours to handing out literature and other work; when I do volunteer time for the church, people talk about how earnest and zealous I am.."

In communism he never received the blessings of God. He served out of ignorance and desire for power. As a Christian, he served and gave because of love.
 

APPLICATION

Too many times we Christians are like thermometers just registering the temperature around us. If the heat of God's blessing is available, we might get in on it. But we can be like thermostats that change the temperature. We can be the cause of blessing. God has promised an effect because we tithe. Do you want to prove your desire to see the blessings of God flow freely in your life, our church and the Christian world? One channel is the tithe.
 

CONCLUSION

Ah, when I look up at that Cross
Where God's great Steward suffered loss-
Yea, loss of life and blood for me!-
A trifling thing it seems to be
To pay the tithe, dear Lord, to Thee,

Of time or talent, wealth or store-
Full well I know I owe Thee more;
A million times I owe Thee more!

But that is just the reason why
I lift my heart to God on high,
And pledge Thee by this portion small,
My life, my love, my all in all!

This holy token at Thy Cross
I know, as gold, must seem but dross;
But in my heart, Lord, Thou dost see
How it has pledged my all to Thee,
That I steward true may be!

An invitation hymn will be sung for you to make your public decision. As a Christian you may want to renew your commitment or move your membership. As a non-Christian, you should today acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
 





 


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