You Cannot Out Give God    

Many people decide they cannot afford to tithe 10% to God, but what we (yes, “we” includes me sometimes) forget is His PROMISE to fill up our storehouses for us if we will just be obedient and trust Him. Knowing the God of our Bible the way I do, it appears that God truly wants our RESPECT and TRUST, which is proven through obedience to His prescripts (rule or regulation of conduct).

Please keep in mind the purpose of this sermon is to help you understand what you are MISSING in gifts from God by not giving Him your first fruits. As a church, we DO NOT ASK FOR MONEY and are supported only by those donations that God puts upon the hearts of certain individuals. So, understand completely this is not another lecture on tithing, it is a teaching on how to gain all of the promises and gifts from our almighty God!

**Note: Malachi and Proverbs are the same chapter and verses in regard to this subject. 3:6-10. Isn’t that interesting?

Today I am going to tell you a couple of interesting stories, then refer back to the two scriptures listed below this introduction. These scriptures are so important, I feel that putting them first will get people to read them. Especially “skimmers” who get bored with reading.

Malachi 3:6-10 – “Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes

“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

Proverbs 3:6-10 “In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth with the first fruits of all your crops;  then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Storytime:

Back in 2003, I became very ill. For two years I could do very little, mostly lay in bed (bedridden) and wasting away. Concurrently, I had an odd CRAVING to study the Bible and watch documentaries about all the Books of the Bible. I could not get enough, and with each passing day, I craved more knowledge about God.

During this time God Himself came directly to me. As I was weak and withering away, not even having enough breath to talk some days, He taught me His ways. At the end of two years, I was a mere 118 pounds on a 5’8” frame (looked like a skeleton) and begged God to let me die. Although I will not disclose in detail what happened between Jesus and me in this sermon, suffice it to say I decided suicide was a great answer. Jesus then came to me for 7 days in a row and held me in His right hand, close to His chest. No words, just a strange but intensely loving interaction during my daily meditation time.

At the end of this 7-day period, on day 8, Jesus did not appear even though I anxiously awaited Him, craving His loving hand to hold me again that day and for eternity. (I later learned the number of perfection is 7 and the number of new things is 8) However, from that day (day 8) forward a “voice” has spoken to me and led me step by step to where I am today. That was in 2005.

The first command was to GET UP and build a church. Miraculously, even though the doctors had nothing left to try and my natural remedies had failed, I started to heal. It took about 8 years to fully regain my strength and health, but the Ministry of Mercy for Christ was immediately established and I made a vow to God that I would work for Him, for free for as long as I was on this earth. Our first missions were working with abused children, having Bible study classes, and performing homeless missions. God’s training for me personally (the VOICE) was different. He constantly told me to give money and things I wanted to keep for myself to other people. Most often complete strangers, which was embarrassing to me. Just walking up to someone who wasn’t begging or asking for anything and offering money! Slowly, but surely, He built my courage and ability to proclaim anything He said to me by sharing it with others as He directed.

On the other side of servitude, He blessed me beyond comprehension. Suddenly, I was receiving 2 ½ times the monthly pay I had received working 12 hours a day and most Saturdays! Money flowed like water and I found that I lacked for nothing. I could provide for my children’s college and get them started in life, while supporting myself and the church. Looking back, what He did still astonishes me. While at my lowest point in life, He was working in the background (and often forefront) showing His system of provision (health, wealth, love, and building my humanity) in exchange for my full attention and obedience! Today I speak humbly from experiencing His healing and provisional miracles, full of love and gratitude every moment of every day!

Now, for our very recent story proving what God has shown me hundreds of times: we obey, He provides! A story from just yesterday, but starting back a week or so ago to my interaction with Jerry. (You can catch up by reading last week’s sermon, The Final Judgement, that discussed my interaction with Jerry). It is important to note that I treat EVERYONE God puts in my path like I treated Jerry. Listen, love, cloth, and feed. No, not everyone needs all four, but those are my main ways of evangelizing to others.

On Saturday, Carl (I am still shocked because he is NOT a Starbucks fan) asked me if I would like to go get one of my favorite Decaf mochas. I jumped at his invitation and got ready while he got Count ready. We arrived and there were two chairs left in the “cozy corner” where there were 4 very comfortable chairs and two small round tables. I placed Count, then went to request his puppachino treat, while picking up the coffee I had pre-ordered. I then sat down next to Carl and allowed  Count his eat his treat.

In the meantime, three ladies had started a conversation with Carl about Count. They were full of smiles and questions, while the man sitting directly across from me was obviously extremely displeased with having a big, fuzzy dog close to him. I spoke with the ladies while doing my best to keep a 95-pound “bear” away from a man only 2 feet away. I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to rush out, however, the ladies wanted to talk and talk, so we stayed and I silently prayed the man wouldn’t be so offended.

Suddenly, as we spoke to the three ladies, the oldest one jumped up and placed a folded $20 bill in my hand. Carl and I looked at her, questioning her actions with our eyes and she said “It’s to pay for his treats.” Meaning his puppachinos. Carl thought she had given me a $1 or $5 dollar bill and had no idea it was $20! We laughed and said “they are free” and I tried to give the money back to her. She refused and said, “Then buy something for yourself, I want to give you the money!” Stunned, I told her I didn’t need anything but I would buy Count and Lucky toys. (I have since decided to give the money to the Starbucks workers as a tip because they are the ones who always provide Count with his treats!)

I can hear your question. “How does this prove you can’t out-give God?” I agree it is a very small example of much bigger things that have happened, but the food I bought for Jerry a week before wasn’t even close to $20. On top of that, I have never had a stranger approach me and hand me money for no reason. We look neither poor nor needy. As small as a gesture this may appear to be, it means so much more…

It means God is always with me. He watches how I treat others and wants to REWARD me for my obedience and loving heart. The $20, which is (oddly) about 2 ½ times what I spent on Jerry, tells me my rewards in heaven are much bigger than what I sow on earth. It reminds me that even though I give because it makes me happy, He wants me to receive His promised provisions in unique, wonderful, and happy ways.

As a prologue to that interaction, the seemingly disturbed/upset man suddenly initiated a pleasant conversation with us, finally laughing and smiling like the rest of us. Obviously, whatever happened in those 30 minutes changed his attitude too! What an amazing and wonderful blessing from our God who is honorable, caring, loving, and trustworthy! I hope sharing my simple story shows you how God does look at your heart and deeds, just waiting to bless YOU!

Please read and meditate on the two scriptures I have provided above and see what your Holy Spirit speaks to you about God’s Word in regard to tithing. Note that even though God repeats “DO NOT TEST YOUR LORD, YOUR GOD” throughout the Bible, in this situation He INVITES you to test Him! He wants to fill your life with overflowing blessings that are too big to contain! Read, heed, learn, and put His tithing demand into practice. Test Him in this as He asks. Trust Him with your soul AND your money. After all, we know that God’s omnipotent will is ultimately what will happen and through the Bible, He has told us exactly what is going to happen (what we clearly see happening now) so trust Him to carry you safely through whatever challenges you face, while blessing you every step of the way. Amen.

If you enjoyed this sermon check out our others here or if you have questions please send us a message.

Love, hugs, and blessings, Lisa ><>

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