Compromising Our Giving
Though Moses and Paul lived centuries apart they shared some of the same qualities that made them both great men of God. Just two of these qualities that we need the most for our day is; insight and backbone. They were able to not only look at a situation, but to see the situation! Many today look and never really see what is at sake in the Christian lives. They never really see beyond the surface of their problems, they look only at the effects of their problems and never see the cause for their problems! The best thing that will give us insight on any situation is the word of God. The Psalmist revealed where his insight came from.
Psa 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”
Psa 119:130 “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”
The Word of God offers light and direction to any situation or problem. Moses and Paul were men of great insight. Paul saw how that the devil desired the advantage of him and his ministry and Paul saw how that advantage is gained too, Paul wrote about it in 2 Cor. 2;11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” It is through the devils’ devices where he gains the advantage over lives, ministries, families, marriages. We said some weeks ago that the first device of Satan that we saw from the word of God was compromise. We saw this easily enough in the compromises that Pharaoh put before Moses. Moses proved his insight when He rejected the first three compromises that were put before him. Moses saw right throw them! Moses gave no heed to them at all! But not only do we see their insight but we see their backbone, their firmness, their fortitude, their resolution; and determination to stay with the Lord’s plan no matter what come their way.
And what comes Moses’ way is the last of four compromises. Pharaoh sure didn’t want to let Israel go, so he stalled and schemed throwing compromises at Moses.
We saw in these three proceeding compromises how the devil tries to get us to compromise with Him. We saw how the devil wanted us to compromise with our worship, then with our service, [our lives], then in our loyalties. Just as Moses showed some backbone so can we! It is not written that you or I must give in too defeat as a Christian; some live like it is. But the truth is if you are still breathing, no matter how bad things become there is always a second chance with the lord, if we would but repent and get right!
Tonight, we see the last compromise from Pharaoh to Moses and from the devil to us. Notice again, v24 “And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed:”
Moses protested because they needed their resources, their flocks and their herds for their sacrifices unto God. As Moses stormed out of Pharaoh’s presence; Moses said there shall not a hoof be left behind in Egypt! What a backbone? What uncommon firmness and determination about their walk with God? That they would take seriously God what God required of them.
Pharaoh tried to trick Moses in serving God with an empty hand! Serving God without a sacrifice, without an offering! Serving God with good intentions and wishes only!
The same goes for the devil today. The devil uses the exact same approach on unexpecting Christians when it comes to their giving. The devil doesn’t mind you being saved, but he just doesn’t want you to give that others might be saved. The devil doesn’t mind that you go to church, as long as your check book doesn’t go to church with you! The devil doesn’t mind you living like you have a cause; but just don’t finance the cause of God with your money! The devil wants you to keep your resources, your assets in Egypt, in the things of the world, where he can have some amount of control over them.
Here again I want you to remember, that it is your influence as a Christian that the devil is gunning after and trying to corrupt. The devil doesn’t want you or I influencing none for God or heaven.
Your giving is a big part to your overall influence that you have on this world. Your giving tells a lot of your heart! Money is said to be a great servant; but a terrible master! Boy, how true that is! Some Christians can’t give to God at all because of their misuse and abuse of money! That’s sad, because not only do the individuals suffer; but also the work of God suffers in some degree also. It takes money to have ministry; humanly speaking. The church of God has bills to pay, just like any business or family; and sometimes even more bills that the ordinary family or business. So to think that the church doesn’t need your money is to think in lines with the devil; and contrary to common sense. That’s why Pharaoh offered this compromise like he did; he knew the impact that their offerings and sacrifices would have on the overall good of the people. If they gave their best, that would have meant that God had their hearts! That’s why the devil fights like he does when it comes to you and I giving to the lord. Giving is supposed to be connected with your heart! Christ is supposed to have all of our hearts as well as our souls!
Nothing would probably please the devil more than if you and I would come to God empty handed!
The first thing the devil wants missing from our hands is:
I. The Lord’s Tithe
Giving the tithe was first displayed by Abraham in Genesis 15. Abraham gave a tenth of all the spoils to God by the man named Melchizedek. Then as Moses would write their moral, civil and religious law; the tithe was included and made apart of their law and life. But in the process of time they came to despise giving to the lord. Despise it because they began slipping away from giving it altogether or giving not their best when they did give. God addressed their problem because their giving was a good outward indicator of their hearts. And their hearts weren’t where they should have been.
In Malachi’s day, this all came to a head; and God did address this problem of not giving their tithes. God says in Mal 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me” God quotes them by saying, But ye say, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” God replies; “In tithes and offerings.” Two things her; tithes and offerings. The tithe is a set amount, ten percent just as the word tithe means. That was the starting point, because they were to give offerings beyond their tithe. Offerings as they felt God lead them. Love offerings or freewill offerings.
And because of their disobedience God had been chastising them; Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
The only way to get right about this was to start where they has stopped; Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
God told them what they needed to do and even gave them a promise that he would open the windows of heaven and rebuke the devourer for them if they would comply.
Tithing is carried over into the new testament also; Paul said, 1Co 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
And, 2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Tithing is the means that the work and man of God is taken care of.
1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
In fact, Paul confessed that he had done wrong in not accepting monetary support from the Corinthians; 2Co 12:13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you [Paul would not take any support from them] forgive me this wrong.
2Co 11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
Paul realized that he had done them wrong because their tithing meant becoming more mature as believers; he wasn’t giving them room to grow into mature believers. Paul called it a wrong, not me!
To sum up tithing:
Mathematically it is a tenth. "...and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee" (Gen_28:11).
Scripturally it is a law. "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase" (Deu_14:22).
Morally it is a debt. "...Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings" (Mal_3:8).
Economically it is an investment. "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Mat 6:20). "Give, and it shall be given unto you" (Luk_6:38).
Spiritually it is a blessing. "I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal_3:10).
When you forget or leave your tithe at home the only one you are pleasing is the devil, because you are empty handed?
II. Our Spiritual gifts
Another thing that is sometimes missing from our hands is our spiritual gift. The bible tells us that every saved person has a least one spiritual gift [I’m not talking about the gift of gab either]. 1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. That means though some Christians may have more than one gift; no Christian has none! The Holy Spirit as God is totally sovereign in his bestowal of gifts. Why has God bestowed gifts in the first place? Well, God did that so that you as the individual may have the chance and opportunity to contribute to the whole overall body of the church! Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Notice that Christ is the head and we are members of his body; we as such have something to contribute to the whole body. Notice, “that which every join supplieth” “the measure of every part”; which results in not the exaltation of just the one part, member but the whole body increases! We don’t have time to cover all the gifts, but you need to find out what you have. Because it is not you that will the loser but the whole body, the whole church will be the loser also!
But I will tell the law of the gifts. Even spiritual gifts are governed by a law. In Matthew 25 Jesus spoke about the servants receiving the different talents. One servant received 5, one received 2, and one servant revived just The first two servants were faithful with what their lord had given them and both received the same acknowledgment, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” But the third servant went and hid his lord’s talent; didn’t even try to use what his Lord gave him, maybe he was ashamed at such a small responsibly, or whatever. He received a scathing rebuke, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
The law of Gifts is stated here by our Lord, Mat 25:29. That sounds like a mind teaser, but it isn’t hard at all when you keep in mind the story that precedes it and what it taught. Let me read it again with the inserted idea that the story taught, Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath [tried/ used] shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not [tried/ used] shall be taken away even that which he hath.
The third servant didn’t even try to use what his lord had given him, he was lazy, and even tried to justify his laziness, but it didn’t work. This teaches, that each one of us has some spiritual gifts, some have more like the five talented man, some have a moderate number like the two talented man, and some have just one gift to be faithful too. Those that try and use their gifts for the lord will increase their influence for God’s glory. But hose that don’t even what to try and use what they do have will suffer loss and the rebuke of the lord for not using what he gave them.
Is your hand empty where your spiritual gift ought to be?
Is your hand empty where your tithe ought to be?
The devil wants our hands to be empty when it comes to giving God yourself!
III. Our selves, our all. Romans 12; 1-2
We as Christians are priests in the New Testament sense. But we are not only the priests, but also the sacrifice too. So we are to offer ourselves to God just as the Old Testament priests would offer up those animal sacrifices.
We should be offering ourselves as “living sacrifices” Paul says. Our lives should be continually on the alter for God, that means if we are living for him there will be none leave for sin to have.
A. Paul’s reason for you offering your life. “The mercies of God”
From those great things our good and merciful God has done for us we should easily live for him
Other religions motive their devotees by the judgments and terror of their gods. None but Christianity ever thought of love as the motive to obedience.
Roman general ill.
B. What Paul calls it Our reasonable service.
It should be a stretch of your heart to wan to do this, it should come so natural that it is even reasonable!
One thing that is missing fro the hands of God’s people is their life, their all!
2Co 8:1-5 v5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
No sacrifice, price was to high because they had first given themselves to the Lord.
Closing: The devil wants you hands to be empty. The question you need to answer is, do I want hands to be empty for the Lord.
Chances are that if you hands are empty here they will be empty there in heaven!
Like the old hymn reads;
Must I go and empty handed be,
Must I meet my Saviour so?
Not one soul with which to greet him,
Must I go and empty handed be?