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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Whole tithe and offerings(3)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Malachi3:7-10
Date
   2008-12-28



Passage

Malachi 3: 7-10
"From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts. "But you say, 'How shall we return?' "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."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I explained that we are kept as God's children and can receive blessings only when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and keep God's commandments.
In Malachi 3:11 God promises us, "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes, says the LORD of hosts."
According to this promise, if we give the whole tithe and keep the Lord's Day holy, then God will protect us from diseases, accidents, and various other calamities.
There is another stipulation to add here which is that we must not commit the works of flesh leading to death. Then God will keep and bless our workplaces and businesses.
We have to give the tithe, and as today's passage in verse 10 says, "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," we must wholly and completely give the tithe.
From this moment, let me talk to you about the details of how to give whole tithe.
I urge you to keep this message in mind so that there won't be a situation in which you don't give the whole tithe because you don't know how to do it properly.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will receive and enjoy the blessings that the LORD God of hosts wants to pour down on you.

Main

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when children get old enough to have their own incomes, they may express their thanks to their parents by giving some part of it to their parents. This is how they can show respect to the parents.
God is the Father of our spirit and also our body. So it follows that to demonstrate respect to God we should give the tithe from our income.
At the time of King David, the people brought a great quantity of offerings for the Temple of God. David was so moved and said the following.
From 1 Chronicles 29:14 he said, "But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You."
He is saying that everything comes from God, and that the small portion of it that we offer to Him is the tithe.
Furthermore, God gives His children blessings when they give the tithe. So, how grateful are you for that!
But some people say giving the tithe just to receive blessings is not showing true faith.
They say that the purpose of believing and having faith should not be just to receive blessings.
But is it really true? God promised His blessings in many places of the Bible. He tells us that He will give us spiritual and material blessings when we believe in Him and act by His word.
He firmly promised to bless us 'whether we are coming in or going out', to lend but not to borrow, and to become the head and not the tail.
And God shows us examples of such blessings through the many patriarchs including Abraham; Jacob; Joseph; and Daniel and his three friends.
These examples testify that all things will be prosperous as our souls prosper.
Because of the patriarchs God received glory, and the kingdom of God has been accomplished more greatly.
Of course, we don't lead a life in faith just to receive blessings, but blessings are the fruit that is borne when we believe in God.
But obviously we must not be greedy for wealth, fame, and social power.
The children of the Lord have to become good stewards. The good stewards of the Lord are those who can use their wealth, fame, and social power only to accomplish God's will.
The more good stewards there are, the more beautifully the kingdom of God will be accomplished.
God will be pleased with these people and He will give them increased wealth, fame, and social power. Here is my secret for receiving so many blessings.
I don't consider any of my possessions as my own, and I have used them only according to God's will. That is why God has given me more blessings as the days pass.
Also, this message on the tithe and offerings is partly based on my personal testimony.
How thankful I am that I can deliver this kind of message based upon my own experience, giving my testimony to you as your shepherd!
In fact, the way to give whole tithe is very simple. We can just give one tenth of our income. It's even easier if we give a little more than the one tenth.
We don't have to calculate in so much detail and we don't have to worry about giving an amount that is less than what we have to give.
But because each one's measure of faith and circumstances are different, not everyone can give more than what is sufficient.
I am just explaining in detail so that there won't be a situation in which you give less than what you are supposed to, just because you didn't understand how to give the whole tithe properly.
Therefore, I hope you will be full of grace as you listen to this message.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to give whole tithe, first of all, we have to take the one tenth from the total income.
Some people use an amount that is less than their total income as their basis for tithe and thus don't give the whole tithe.
For example, suppose a person receives 1,000 dollars as salary, but because the tax, pension, and insurance are deducted, he receives only 800 dollars as take home income. He thinks his income is 800 dollars and gives 80 dollars as his tithe. Is this right?
We can say he gives the whole tithe when he uses the total amount of his salary, namely 1,000 dollars as his income.
The taxes and other payments are his personal expenses.
Because he has income, he might also pay tax. Because taxes are paid, people can later enjoy the benefits from the country.
Also, the total income includes not only the income in cash but other forms of income as well.
Namely, if we are treated to a meal or if we receive any gift from others, we also have to give the tithe for these things, too.
For example, if you have received a box of apples as a present, you can calculate the ordinary price of a box of apple and give the tithe accordingly.
But it's not easy to calculate the usual market price of everything you receive. The best way is to set apart your tithe and a little extra when you have the income.
The total income also includes the income that is not regular.
In case of a company employee, he may have other income than the paycheck he receives from his company.
Some people think they have to give tithe only on the income they get regularly, such as a monthly paycheck.
But we have to give the tithe for all kinds of income to include the regular income, bonuses, cash gifts, and other gifts.
Secondly, we have to set the tithe apart from other offerings.
Some people think they deduct the amount they give to God as offerings from their income and give the tithe from the remaining amount.
Namely, they subtract their thanks offerings, church construction offerings, charity offerings, and missionary offerings, and even the membership fee for their mission groups, and then give the tithe on the remainder of their income.
Also, they set apart the tithe from their income, but then they divide the tithe into the various kinds of offerings and give the tithe to God that way.
Also, some, when giving the tithe say, "Please use a part of this for charitable works."
They think they are giving to God anyway, so the designating the tithe as other offerings in this way doesn't really matter.
But it does matter. The tithe must be given under the name 'tithe' and must be set apart from other offerings. It's because the tithe belongs to God.
If we give our tithe for other purposes, it is not tithe because we are designating the use of God's money at our own discretion.
Also, what is already given as tithe must be spent by the church according to the will of God.
It's not right to set a specific purpose on the spending of the tithe that is offered to God.
Other kinds of offerings than the tithe should be given from the remaining income after setting apart the tithe, according to each individual's faith and heart.
Here we should understand one thing. We have to give the tithe and the tithe is related to salvation, and it cannot directly be counted as our reward.
But other kinds of offerings will be our heavenly rewards and especially the church construction offering will be the material to build our heavenly houses.
But suppose you give a lot of construction offerings and thanks offerings, but did not give whole tithe.
Then, it means you robbed God, and you cannot receive blessings. I hope you will clearly understand this kind of principle from now on.
Third, we should give the tithe to the church from which you receive the spiritual bread.
Generally, the church you attend and the one where you receive the spiritual bread are the same. But in some cases they are not.
The tithe is not to be given to a church that you just attend, but it is given to the one that raises you in spirit.
The church you belong to is the one where you put your heart, where you spiritually belong, and where you receive the spiritual bread to have faith and life.
For example, suppose you have a terminal disease, and you received treatment at the Seoul National University Hospital and were healed. Then, who would you have to pay?
Suppose there is a small hospital in your own town which has only limited facilities. Would you pay this hospital just because it's in your town and it seems it needs some help?
You cannot actually do that. You should pay the hospital at which you received the treatment.
Also, when you pay the tuition fee to your school, don't you pay the school where you are attending and not some other school?
It's the same with the principle of giving tithes.
Of course, you can give thanks offerings, construction offerings, or other offerings as you like.
For example, if you receive grace when you attend a revival meeting at another church, you can give your thanks offerings and other offerings to that church.
But please keep in mind that you should give your tithe to the church where your spirit actually belongs.
Fourth, the tithe must be given under each individual's name.
The tithe cannot be given under the family name, or the name of both husband and wife.
For example, suppose the wife is only a housewife and the husband is making the money for a living.
In this case, the wife may think she does not have any particular income, and they give the tithe together under both their names.
But the tithe must be given under each individual's name, from each one's income.
If it's the income of the husband, it has to be given under the husband's name, and if it's the wife's income, it has to be given under the wife's name.
In the kingdom of heaven, the husband and wife, or the family members do not live together in one house.
The land and house are given for each individual, and according to each one's deeds, the rewards are also different. Therefore, when we give offerings to God, we have to give under our own individual name.
Of course if a family is a spiritual family, they will not be separated in the kingdom of heaven.
Because they pray hard, work for God, and give tithe, they will be able to go into the same dwelling place in heaven and live near one another.
But husband and wife or the family members that do not have a spiritual relationship will have no relationship to one another in the kingdom of heaven.
Sometimes a wife gives the tithe of her husband on behalf of him because he is an unbeliever.
In this case, if the wife is really doing this with faith, God can give her husband more chances to receive salvation through her effort.
But what she has to do first is guide her husband to accept the Lord and have faith.
Even if she gives the tithe of her husband instead of him, he cannot receive blessings because he does not have faith.
It's the same with the children. We should teach our children to love God and lead their own life in faith giving tithes by themselves.
It's the basic principle that each one gives his/her own tithe, but in some cases, there are exceptions. Sometimes the husband and wife may have a common income.
For example, suppose they receive some inheritance money from their parents, but the parents gave it to both of them.
Then, it is income for both of them. Also, the husband and wife may be running a business together. In this case, the profit belongs to both of them, so they may give the tithe under both their names.
Or, they may split the profit into two halves or in the ratio they agreed and then give the tithe under each one's name.
I will continue to explain about how to give whole tithe in detail in the next session.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this session, I explained to you about how to give whole tithe in detail. Does anybody feel that it's complicated and difficult?
As explained already, if you give it with your love for God, it's not difficult at all.
This is what happened at a certain Sunday school in the United States.
It was the offering time and all the children were giving their offerings, but one child just sat with his eyes closed, not giving an offering.
The teacher later asked him privately why he did so.
The boy's family was too poor for him to be able to give any offerings, and so he was praying with his eyes closed during the offertory time.
The teacher asked him what he was praying for, and he answered, "I pray to give God my body, my strength, and my whole life as my offering."
The teacher was very impressed and gave him some money, telling him to break it into smaller change and give 1 dollar every week.
The boy did exactly what he was told.
He gave offerings for several weeks, but then he stopped giving the offerings.
The teacher asked why, and the boy answered:
"As you said, I got the change and kept it in my pocket and gave offerings each week. But there were so many things I wanted to buy and eat and I thought it would be a sin to do that, so I just gave all that was left last week, and now I just pray."
This young boy was Missionary Underwood who landed with the Gospel in the land of Chosun Dynasty in 1884. God accepted his faithful love, and as he had prayed, he made a sacrifice of himself in this land barren of the Gospel.
God accepts this kind of heart from us.
He accepts the aroma of heart in giving our most precious thing without sparing it at all, with our love for Him.
If we have this kind of heart, even if we don't have anything to give, it doesn't really matter.
2 Corinthians 9:10 says, "Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness."
By seeing that kind of heart, God will give us the things to sow and as we have sown, He will definitely let us bear abundant fruit.
Therefore, I hope you will take delight in giving to God itself all the time, and give thanks to God who gives us what we need.
To these people who give thanks to and love Him, God gives the best thing, the Kingdom of Heaven.
We may not be able to enjoy very many good things on this earth.
But by giving us the Kingdom of Heaven, God lets us enjoy good things and beautiful things that are beyond our comprehension and expression forever.
Therefore, I urge you to store up treasures of love, faith, and hope in the Heavenly Kingdom where there is neither moth nor rust destroying it, and where thieves do not break in.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will cultivate a rich heart and enjoy a life that is filled with peace and joy every day.

[Amen]

 
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