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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Whole Tithe and Offerings(5) - Whole Tithe and Offerings (5)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Malachi 3: 7-10
Date
   2009-01-18



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 fifth session in the sermon series, 'The Whole Tithe and Offerings'. Today many people are very interested in managing their assets, namely their money.
It's because if they manage their money very well, the money can generate more money. There are experts who professionally manage people's money as well.
They do their research and develop different ways and theories to predict where it would be good to invest money. They then suggest it to their customers.
Our God is the origin of wisdom and He also suggests a course of action for you to become rich.
It is to invest in the kingdom of God by giving whole tithe and offerings. It is the surest way to become rich.
But then, there are two fundamental principles in this. First, we have to sow with faith.
Second, we can reap a lot only when we sow a lot. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
Therefore, I urge you to give the whole tithe and offerings and offer them abundantly with faith.
I pray in the name of the Lord that in doing so, you will experience the hand of God that is pouring down blessings on you until it is overflowing.

Main

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, until the last session, I explained to you the seven different aspects of how to give whole tithe.
In this session, I will give you some additional explanations to the some of the questions I've received. After that I will get into the whole offerings.
First, let me give you supplementary explanations on giving the tithe for the income gained by getting a loan.
If you give the tithe on the loan as soon as you get it, then, when you pay back the loan with the income earned later, you don't have to give the tithe for the principal on loan amount.
Suppose you got a loan of 10 million won and gave the 1 million won tithe. Then when you pay back the loan later with your income, you don't have to give the tithe for that 10 million won again.
If you do not pay back the loan at one time but in many installments every month, then you don't have to give the tithe for that amount since it was already given.
For example, your monthly income is 1 million won, and the principal of the loan is 300,000 won every month, then you don't have to give the tithe for that 300,000 won.
Because you have already given the tithe for that loan, you give the tithe on only the remaining 700,000 won income.
There were some other questions as well.
As a part of housing policy, the government is paying the deposit money for rented houses to the landlord on behalf of those who are renting the house, so those with low income can live in that house for a certain period of time.
This seems that they got a loan for the deposit money for renting the house, but in fact, it's not a loan. It may seem as though they got a loan from the government, but this money cannot be spent at the discretion of those people.
It is only paid to the landlord as the deposit money. And after some time, it will go back to the government directly.
Therefore, we cannot say this money is income received by getting a loan. Therefore, you don't have to give the tithe for this kind of money.
But of course, according to your faith, and according to your situation allows, you can give thanks offerings with the gratitude that you can have a place to stay. Then, that faith can bring blessings.
When we acknowledge that the clothes we wear, food we eat, and the house we live in come from God, He can fill us in every aspect.
God is very precise. He will certainly pay back as we have sown and acted. If we have generous hearts in giving to God by trusting Him, it's not difficult to give the tithe.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, next, I will talk to you about some of the questions that those who run personal businesses usually ask.
Somebody asked the following question. He is running a shop and he asked whether he had to calculate the tithe after paying the salaries of his employees or before paying them.
In this case, both ways are OK.
The paycheck of the employees is a part of the expenditures of operating the shop. Therefore, you can give the tithe from the net income after paying the salaries of the employees.
Of course, some people take out the tithe with faith from the gross income of total sales to receive more blessings.
But that doesn't mean everyone who is running a shop has to do this.
If you have the faith and confidence of being able to receive greater blessings, and if you have the total authority over the company or the shop, you can try to tithe like this.
Then, God will certainly bless your business as you have sown and acted.
In the case of the chairman and the vice chairman of our church's businessmen's mission group, they give the tithe from the income of the company all the time.
The vice chairman additionally gives his tithe from his salary given by the company, too.
These two men have the authority over the profit of their companies.
But they regard their business as God's and operate their companies like a good steward.
Because they are working only for the kingdom of God, they are a great strength to the church by receiving great blessings. They have many testimonies of such blessings.
But sometimes, even the CEOs of some companies do not have the full authority over the profit of the company.
For example, even though the annual profit of the company reaches into the billions or trillions of won, the CEO only receives his paycheck and some dividend from his stocks.
In this case, they should give the tithe only for their personal income.
God has declared this year as the year of blessing. Today, I hope this message will give you faith and challenge those of you who are managing your own businesses.
Brothers and sisters, next, let me talk about the tithe of groups or organizations such as mission groups and parishes.
Organizations or groups that gather in the name of God have income, too. And, the main source is the membership fee.
Because each organization in the church gathers in the name of God, their membership fee and donations are also spent for God's works. And they have to give the tithe for the membership fees and donations which they can spend at their discretion.
Of course, the membership fee is given by the members who have already given their tithes from their income. Nevertheless, the membership fees are the income of an organization, and it has to give the tithe under the name of the organization.
But in the case of each mission group, the small groups have to give a part of their membership fee to the mission groups and the united mission groups.
So, if the small groups have already taken out the tithe from the membership fees, the mission groups and the united mission groups do not have to take out the tithe again.
In case of donations, if that donation can be spent at their discretion, such as to provide some personnel with meals, they have to give the tithe on it.
But some donations have a very specific purpose when given.
For example, in the case of performance teams, the donations have specific purposes, such as to buy the costumes or for the props.
This cannot be spent at the discretion of the teams themselves. And for this, they don't have to give the tithe. But for the donations that they can use at their discretion, they have to give the tithe.
In the case of groups and organizations, the best way to give the tithe is to give more than necessary with faith.
I hope you will receive abundant blessings of God by giving to God more than you need to give.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, next, I will talk about how to give complete offerings.
Offerings can be all kinds of monetary and other kinds of offerings given to God other than the tithe.
In the book of Leviticus, we can find many kinds of offerings: burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, and guilt offering. Also, the book explains in detail about the herd, flock, goat, dove, grains and fruits that are given to God.
Today, we do not give sacrifices and offerings in the same way as in the Old Testament times, but we still have the spirit and meaning of them in attending worship services and giving offerings.
In the case of offerings, we have thanks, church construction, feast, charitable, missionary, cell worship service and peace offerings.
We can also offer to God rice and other kinds of things that are needed for the kingdom of God.
In today's reading passage, God says it is also to rob God if we do not give offerings as well as the tithe.
It's because if we don't give offerings, it also proves that we don't have true faith. If we do have faith, we cannot help but give offerings to God as well as the tithe.
Matthew 6:20-21 says, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
If we really have hope for the kingdom of heaven, we will not store up our treasure on this momentary earth, but in the eternal kingdom of heaven.
If we give offerings, we will have the heavenly rewards stored. God will also keep our families, workplaces, and businesses while on earth.
Especially to give thanks offerings and other kinds of feast offerings is the act of acknowledging that all the blessings have come from God above.
Deuteronomy 16:16-17 says, "Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. [17] "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you."
Namely, God tells us to come before Him and give thanks to Him, and they should not come empty-handed but bring their offerings to God.
Not to give thanks means we don't believe that God gave us all the things that we should be thankful for.
Some people may think they are in a difficult situation and they have nothing to give. But how many people would actually not have anything to give?
Everybody can still give a very minimal offering. The amount of the offering to God is not what really matters. It is rather the love and heart contained in the offering.
Thus, for some offerings, God let the people give a lamb and others a dove if they couldn't afford to give from the herd.
In Luke 21, we see Jesus commending a widow who gave a very small amount of offering, which was two copper coins.
Jesus considered her heart and love in giving all she had, though it was little. He said she gave more than anybody else.
Then, how can we give the complete and whole offerings that are acceptable to God?
First, we have to give what is without blemish. In the Old Testament, God emphasized many times that they had to give offerings without defect.
Malachi 1:8 also says, "But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts."
Even between people, when we give a present to somebody important, we don't give something that has blemish or defect. We give something of the best quality in a nice wrapping.
And how much more precious things should we give to God? An offering without defect means that the heart of the person who is giving the offering and the offering itself must have no defect.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
If you give but with stingy heart or grudgingly under compulsion, how can God accept it pleasingly?
Also, if we give offerings while we have a wall of sin between us and God or we have conflicts with other brothers, then we cannot please God.
Therefore, when we give offerings to God, first of all we have to give with a joyful heart.
If we have any sin or iniquity, we have to repent and tear down the wall of sin, and also be reconciled to other brothers first, and then give the offerings, so that God can accept them joyfully.
Not only the heart, but when you give the offerings, the offering itself must not have blemish. For example, when you give offerings to God, what kind of bill do you give?
I believe you try to give God bills that are not dirty or torn but clean and new.
Also, even for the offerings, you should not just give whatever is left after you spend for yourself, but you should set them apart just like in the case of tithes.
When I have a new bill, I don't spend it because I want to give it to God.
When I get the new bills, I put them in the offering envelop with much care, write down my name neatly on it and put it in the draw where I keep the offerings.
And whenever I give offerings in worship services, I give to God these offerings that I prepared in advance.
Then, we don't have to hurry to prepare the offerings, and we can also avoid a situation where we cannot give because it's not prepared.
I suggest that you do this, too. Then, God will say your offering is 'fragrant' and accept it pleasingly.
Second, to give whole, perfect offering, we must not change our mind in giving offering.
Deuteronomy 23:23 says, "You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God, what you have promised."
What we have to give as thanks offering, we have to give it as thanks offering. So is the case with church construction offerings and other offerings.
For example, suppose you made a vowed construction offering, and if you later give that amount as charity offering or other offerings, it is not right.
If you give that amount that you are supposed to give as construction offering as other kinds of offerings, then, the vowed construction offering is not yet given to God. Also, the amount of offering must not be changed either.
Also, when you have something better, you cannot change it with the former one just because you think the latter is better. Whatever you decide to give to God, from that moment it belongs to God.
Leviticus 27:9-10 says, 'Now if it is an animal of the kind which men can present as an offering to the LORD, any such that one gives to the LORD shall be holy. [10] 'He shall not replace it or exchange it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good; or if he does exchange animal for animal, then both it and its substitute shall become holy.'
If you really want to give God something better, then you have to give both offerings.
Third, what you give to God must be offered to the altar and prayed upon.
Even the offerings in the Old Testament were touched by the priests and offered under their control.
To lay hands on the offerings has many meanings, not just laying the sins of the people on them.
One of the meanings is that they are sealed as God's. That is why in the worship services today, the pastor lays his/her hand on the offerings and prays on it.
It is to set apart and seal the offerings as God's so that He can accept the offerings given by the believers.
Therefore, what is given to God must be given to the altar and prayed on so it can be accepted by God, and the giver can receive blessings.
Also, that offering will become the finances of the church and can be spent according to the will of God.
I hope you will keep this in mind.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as of today we will end the sermons on whole tithe and offerings.
I spoke to you in detail on how to give whole tithe and offerings in these five sessions.

It is such a great blessing to know the will of the Father and the truth in properly leading our Christian life. God's commands are not something heavy.
We may think we are acting by the will of God, but what if God says it's not His will? How meaningless it is!
We can please God and receive the blessings promised only when we correctly understand the will of God and follow it in our believing life.
Above all, this way we have the assurance of salvation so we can march on towards the heavenly kingdom joyfully.
God has promised us that He would bless us overflowingly and keep our businesses if we give whole tithe to God.
Also, Malachi 3:12 says, "All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says the LORD of hosts."
As the days go by, this gospel of holiness will be preached to more souls in every corner of the world. Then, you will gain praise by becoming the role-models of the believers who receive blessings by following the will of God.
Malachi 3:16-17 says, "Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. "They will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him."
To give the whole tithe and offerings is the act of revering God and respecting His name.
I hope you will receive the blessings that are promised and you will be esteemed by God by obeying the word of God and giving offerings that are beautiful to Him.
I pray in the name of the Lord that in doing so you will be set apart as true children in New Jerusalem.

[Amen]

 
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