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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Whole Tithe and Offerings(4) - Whole Tithe and Offerings (4)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Malachi 3: 7-10
Date
   2009-01-11



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?' [8] "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. [9] "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! [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."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the fourth session in the series of 'The Whole Tithe and Offerings'. Jacob, the patriarch of Israel, left his home empty-handed. But by the time he returned home after 20 years, he had become very rich.
When he left his home he was escaping from his brother, Esau, who was trying to kill him.
On his way he became exhausted and used a rock as pillow as he slept. He saw an angel of God in his dream.
When he awoke he built an altar and made a vow before God.
In Genesis 28:20-22 is recorded, "Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
Jacob sought God for prosperity and protection, but he didn't ask for it unconditionally.
He made a vow that he would give back one tenth of all that he was given.
He did so because he believed only God could bring blessings, and because he knew the spiritual law of reaping according to what is sown.
I hope you will all become as wise a person as Jacob.
Even in difficult situations, we can solve the problem and receive blessings if we acknowledge God and rely on His word.
I will continue from the last session to explain in detail about how to give a proper and whole tithe.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will receive amazing blessings like Jacob received.

Main

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in brief review, to give the whole tithe, first of all, we have to calculate the tithe from the whole income.
Secondly, we have to set the tithe apart from other offerings.
Third, we have to give the tithe to the church from which we receive the spiritual bread.
Fourth, we have to give tithe under each individual's own name. I explained about these four aspects in the last session.
The fifth point in offering the whole tithe, we have to give the tithe on additional income that is not the regular income.
Some people say they are jobless and they don't have the income to give tithe.
But there is no one who has no tithe to give. Because they receive something to eat, clothes to wear and transportation expenses, people are able to continue to live.
For example, suppose the husband is not a believer, and the wife is a housewife and in this case she receives the living expenses from her husband only.
Even in such a case as this, it's not true that she has no income. There is a part of that living expense which she can spend at her disposal.
If she meets with her friends for lunch or dinner or she does something in her leisure time, that kind of expenditure is her 'income'.
She has to consider that part as her income and tithe on it.
But if both the husband and the wife are believers, the husband will take out the tithe and give the living expenses to the wife.
In this case, the wife doesn't have to give the tithe again. The head of the family is supporting the whole family, and so they can give the tithe just once from the income of the husband.
But after spending what has to be spent as living expenses for the family the wife may give a tithe under her name for the money that she can spend at her personal disposal.
If she does this looking forward to receiving blessings with faith, then, it will be done according to her faith. Little children should also give their tithes.
They receive pocket money from their parents or relatives, or they may receive some presents from their friends.
But if they get any money for the tuition or for their school supplies, this money has a specific purpose, and it is not considered as their income.
If they take away the tithe from this, they may not be able to pay the tuition fee or buy the necessary things. Thus, they don't have to set apart the tithe from this kind of money.
In the cases of very little children who cannot give the tithe on their own, the parents have to give the tithe for them.
Even little children have some income such as pocket money from relatives or friends of the parents, or presents for their 100th day celebration or birthday presents.
The parents can give the tithe under the children's name for this kind of income. This kind of income is not the parents' income, but the children's.
But what about in such cases as the following example?
Let's say that a young child received a gift that cost a lot, like a computer or a piano, from some friends or from a social welfare agency.
A little child does not have income as such, so it's difficult for them to give the tithe for it.
In this case, the parents can check the common market value of those gifts and give the tithe under the children's name. Then, it is same as the children having given the tithe for the gift they received.
But the parents may not have the ability to give the tithe because the amount is too much.
Also, in a case where the children have faith, but their parents are not believers, the children cannot really give the tithe on their own.

In this case, will God say these children didn't give whole tithe?
If the children give thanks to God for what they received and have the willingness to give the tithe after they grow up, God will accept their heart.
Also, many times the church members asked me about the tithe on scholarships received, so let me explain about it briefly.
If your children receive scholarships, you can give the tithe under your children's name.
Also, if the parents are paying for the tuition of their children, you can give the tithe for the tuition fee under the parents' name. Generally there are two kinds of scholarships.
One is to get a portion of the tuition fee exempted, and the other is to receive cash gift that is equivalent to the tuition fee or it may exceed it.
Basically you have to give the tithe for both kinds of scholarships.
If you receive an exemption of a part of the tuition fee, it is not income in cash, but it is still income because you now don't have to pay what you formerly had to pay.
Thus, you can give the tithe according to the amount of the remission of the tuition fee. It's the same with a scholarship in cash.
But sometimes some students are in a financially difficult situation.
If they get an exemption or receive cash that is the same amount as the tuition fee, it may be difficult for them to give the tithe.
Then what should they do? They cannot attend school if they take the tithe out of the amount received, so do they still have to pay it? They cannot stop studying. So in this situation, it is OK for them to give the tithe later.
They can save money and give the tithe later, or if it is a really big amount, they can give it after they graduate and get a job that provides them with income.
God of love looks at the heart. In this kind of a case they cannot give the tithe immediately. So, God will accept their heart of thanksgiving and willingness to give the tithe.
Also, if they ask earnestly with thanks, love, and faith, God can open a way for them so that they can give the tithe.
After all, the important thing is faith. We have to have the deeds of faith in trying to give the tithe that belongs to God and believe that everything we get is through the grace of God.
Thus, if we have the ability to give the tithe at the time, we should not postpone giving it thinking we will give it later when we are financially better-off. It's the same in all cases.
We don't know when God will call our spirit.
And the tithe is directly related to salvation. If we don't give even though we can give, how can we be sure of our salvation?
Also, accidents, disease or personal hardships may come upon us through the accusations of the enemy devil, Satan.
It is through such ways as this that God allows us the next best alternative for the salvation of our souls.
He is showing us His compassion so that we will not build up a wall of sin because of tithes.
God knows the innermost heart of each person. Therefore, I hope you will give the whole tithe with reverent respect towards God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the sixth point in giving the tithe is to give the tithe at least once a month. Some people give the tithe only once or twice a year. Then, they may not be able to give the whole tithe.
God provides us with the things we need every day. So, we should determine our tithe at least once a month so that we can give the whole tithe.
It is of course good to give the tithe whenever you receive income, or more than once a month if income is received more than once a month.
Of course, there may be exceptions, too.

For instance, in the countryside farmers might receive their income only after they harvest the crops and sell the harvest, so it may be difficult for them to give tithe every month.
Also, some people do not have regular income. They have income when there is work to do. It may be income for a period of just several months annually.
Except for such cases as these, we should give the tithe at least once a month.
But even those who do not have regular income may receive income from other sources. It may not only be income in cash. It can come from being treated to a meal or the receipt of a gift.
In these cases, it's best to calculate and give the tithe monthly. But if a person has no other form of extra income, they can just give the tithe on income as it is received.
The seventh point in giving tithe is to take out and set apart the tithe from our income before all other expenses.
In some special cases we may give a little later but basically, we first have to give the tithe from our total income.
It is proper to give the tithe first from our income and then spend according to expenditures from the remainder.
If we take out and set apart the tithe immediately after we receive income, then, we can avoid a situation where we cannot give the tithe because we don't have any money. Some people say that because they are farmers or because they run a business, after they pay their employees and the taxes, they have a deficit in the income and they are not able to give the tithe.
But, if they have no income because of such a deficit, where did they get their food and living expenses during the year?
If we get a loan to pay for living expenses, or for conducting personal business, or to buy a house, it is proper to consider it as our income.
It is our income because we can spend it at our disposal, whether it is for the business or to buy a house. If we have faith, whether we earned it or got a loan, we will first give the tithe.
Then, God will protect us and attest us in all things.
There won't be any problems and we will prosper. It's because this is the rules of the spiritual realm.
God promised us that He would bless us to make our storehouse overflow if we give the tithes.
We have to realize that if we think we will give the tithe later after we first spend for ourselves, then we will not receive blessings because we have stingy hearts.
If we think we will give the tithe later, it means we will give it if things go well, and we will not give if things don't go well.
Therefore, I hope you will first give to God what belongs to Him and make it a strict personal rule.
Of course, you may have some cases where you cannot first give the tithe. Some of you have asked questions about situations when you received a loan.
"I got a loan to buy a house, but I got only the amount that is needed to buy the house. What should I do?"
"I got a loan for tuition fee, and I got the exact amount only, so if I give the tithe, I cannot pay the tuition fee. What should I do?"
Take a moment and try to find the answer yourself. Suppose you got a loan for your tuition. Now, don't you have any other income than the loan?
You also have to make money for a living and you can also work and earn money, so you are able to give the tithe for the loan.
If you really have faith and love God, and if you really want to give the whole tithe, you will always try to do your best to first give the tithe.
In a case where you get a loan, you may try to receive a little more than what you need so you can give the tithe, too. But this may not be possible in all cases.
Then, it would be better for you to go ahead with your plan at that particular time.
For example, you saw a house that you like very much. You consulted a bank and found out that you cannot get a loan amount sufficient to be able to give the tithe from it too.
In this case, which one of the following would be more proper in the sight of God, to think, "I will buy the house first and then give the tithe later when I have more," or "I will save some more money and buy the house later when I am able to give the tithe as well"?
If we hurry with our selfish desires, we may not be prosperous. When we pray and prepare with the willingness to give the tithe first, God will lead us to the best way.
Even when I was a new believer, when there was a time to make a vowed church construction offering, I pledged a large amount. But I was not in a good financial situation at all. In fact, I had a very significant amount of debt.
So I had to get a loan to give that vowed offering. If I made a vow to give 1 million won, then, I would get a loan more than 1 million to be able to give the tithe, too.
So, I took out the tithe first and then gave what I promised to give to God. Since I came to know about having to give tithes, I have always given my tithes wholly and properly.
Because I got a loan to give my tithe, did I have more difficulties?
Not at all! I was always protected and guaranteed by God and that is why I am as blessed as I am today.
Even though we give it later, if we still give the tithe, God will not say it is sin because He knows our heart.
But in my case, I prefer to give the tithe as soon as possible, and actually it's my first priority to set apart the tithe.
I would feel sorry and somewhat ashamed before God that what I have to give to God is being delayed.
In the next session, I will continue to explain the things that you should know about tithing.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the United States, there was a person called Albert Alexander Hyde. After his business had failed due to economic depression and he had a debt of 100,000 dollars, he then made up his mind to give the tithe.
When he got a loan to give tithe, his employees came and said to him, "We first have to pay the debt back first. What you are doing is not morally right."
But he answered, "When I pay back my debt, my principle is not just to pay back the debt but to first pay back what I have stolen."
When his employees asked what he meant by that, he opened the book of Malachi and answered them saying, "I am a thief who robbed God. It's important to pay back my debt, but isn't it more important to pay back what I have stolen?"
Eventually, when so many other companies fell during the economic depression, his company didn't fail. He became a very wealthy man with his very well-known medicine Metholatum.
The secret of Hyde's rebounding from his business failure was that he found the solution to his problem from the word of God.
He realized that the reason why he had problems and he couldn't receive blessings was because he robbed God by not giving the tithe.
After realizing his fault, he just practiced the word of God, not looking at the reality.
Then, the miracle happened. Even though it was impossible for his business to recover, it did.
You all know this law of the spiritual realm very well. I hope you will practice it with faith and then experience the works of the living God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will bring the whole tithe into the storehouse of God so that you will receive all solutions and answers to your problems and receive blessings!

[Amen]

 
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