“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of host. See if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you overflowing blessings.” Malachi 3:10
There is only one place in the Bible where God explicitly says to put him to the test. That verse is Malachi 3:10. The prophet Malachi, speaking on behalf of God, accused his people of “robbing” God because they were not offering a fitting amount in their tithes and offerings. “Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In your tithes and offerings!” (Malachi 3:8) These people were not honoring God with their finances and the results were devastating. “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you!” (Malachi 3:9) This curse meant that locusts were destroying their crops (vs. 11) and their vines were barren. In other words, they had given sparingly to God and as a result they were reaping little! The text doesn’t say that they weren’t giving anything to God. Rather it indicates that they were not giving the amount that they should or could—thus they were robbing God. You can still be putting something in the offering plate and still fail to honor God!
Yet, God in his mercy, gives us many chances to repent and become obedient. The prophet called his people to repent, “Ever since the days of your ancestors, 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.” (Malachi 3:7) I have openly shared that preaching and teaching on financial stewardship is one of my least favorite topics. It is so easy for people to characterize the church, and church leaders, as always begging for money. The truth is that some churches and some big name religious leaders have taken advantage of people and their financial giving. That is shameful and it makes people skeptical of giving to the church. Yet, Malachi makes it clear that financial faithfulness is one of the greatest tests of our heart for God. What we do with money indicates what we really believe and value about God!
I want to challenge us in the spirit of Malachi 3:10 to put God to the test during the month of June. Let’s declare June 2021 to be Biblical Tithes Month at Neill’s Creek Baptist.
If you don’t give to the church on a regular basis, make it a point to give an offering each Sunday in June.
If you do give to the church on a regular basis, but you don’t tithe, then make a disciplined effort to tithe (10% of your gross income) during the month of June.
If you regularly tithe, then prayerfully consider giving an overflow offering, above and beyond your tithe (perhaps a double tithe of 20%).
You can mail it in, give online, or drop it in the offering plate in person.
Why would I ask you to do such a thing? Because I firmly believe if we trust God, obey scripture, and take him at his word, we will see blessings poured out in our lives (and on our church) that will blow our mind! I really do believe that! I also know how easily a habit (good or bad) can be formed in as short as 3-4 weeks. If you start now, continue through the month of June, you might well discover that what you thought was impossible before, has suddenly become possible for you with God’s help. NCBC is a generous church and I am so thankful for that. But I know we also have room for improvement in how we honor God with what he has entrusted to us. Many are not at a level of financial faithfulness that fully honors God. So let’s give our best effort for Biblical Tithes Month and watch what God can do when we obey his word!