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What's In Your Way

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BBC JANUARY 27, MAL 3:8-10 STEWARDSHIP SERIES: WHAT’S IN YOUR WAY?

INTRO:THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS, THE PRESIDENT SAID HE’S GONNA SEND YOU SOME MORE MONEY....145 BILLION DOLLARS...TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY....FOR YOU SPEND, INVEST, OR GIVE AWAY.  BUT OUR DOLLAR IS FALLING... ONE ENGLISH POUND IS WORTH TWO DOLLARS, BUT WHEN WE GO TO ENGLAND...ONE OF OUR DOLLARS IS WORTH .50 CENTS.

.AND IT IS INDICATIVE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN

OUR COUNTRY... NIXON FELL, CLINTON FELL, TWIN TOWERS FELL,

OUR MARRIAGES ARE FALING

OUR INFRASTURES, OUR BRIDGES AND ROADS ARE FALLING

OUR MORALE IS FALLING

OUR POLITICIANS, PASTOR’S AND PREACHERS ARE FALLING

OUR MEN, WOMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS ARE FALLING

ALMOST EVERYBODY ON THE TAKE IS ON THE TAKE....... AND WHEN WE DO RECEIVE ...WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PUT YOUR MONEY?  AND WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW IT THAT AMERICA...IS A HOUSE OF CARDS.  WHETHER WE WANT TO BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

EXPL: THE BOOK OF MALACHI REFLECTS THE WRITINGS OF THE RESTORATION PROPHET...HE IS THE LAST OF THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS...AND THERE WILL BE A SPAN OF TIME WHEN GOD IS SILENT FOR 400 YEARS.

COMPENPRAIES OF HAGGAI AND ZECHARIAH. HAGGI TO STIR UP THE PEOPLE TO BUILD UP THE TEMPLE. GOD WILL BLESS, IF THEY SERVE AND WORSHIP GOD.

ZECHARIAH HAD THE LONG TERM VISION, AS THE TEMPLE WAS REBUILT, GOD WOULD BLESS AND PREPARE THEM FOR CHRIST. BUT THE AGAIN THE CYCLE OF SIN AND SUFFERING I.E. CH. 11, BUT THEN CH. 12 TO THE END OF TIME..HE SEE THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.

MALACHI IS TO SHOW THE SINFULNESS OF THE PEOPLE AND CHALLENGE THEM IN THEIR UNGRATEFULNESS.

THE PRIVILEGE OF ISRAEL PROGENY OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB

THE POLLUTION OF ISRAEL BY THE PRIEST AND THE PEOPLE

THEIR SINS WHICH WERE MANY INCLUDED;

THEIR INIQUITY

THEIR FALSE WITNESSES 2:10

THEIR DEVOTION TO DIVORCE

THEIR UNEQUALLY YOKED MARRIAGE TO PAGAN WOMEN

THEIR CLAIMS THAT EVIL IS GOOD

THEIR INVOLVEMENT WITH SORCERERS, LIARS AND CHEATERS

THEIR SLANDER OF GOD

THEIR ROBBERY OF GOD.

THE DIAGNOSIS WAS THAT ISRAEL WAS FULL OF ROT AND  RUIN

THE PRESCRIPTION WAS FOR ISRAEL TO REPENT

THE PROMISES TO ISRAEL VIA JOHN THE BAPTIST, AND ELIJAH.

THE PROPHET CHALLENGES ISRAEL IN THEIR LACK OF COMMITMENT, AND ISRAEL ENTERS INTO DEBATE SEEDED WITH COMPLAINT.

MALACHI CONFRONTS AND ANSWERS THEIR DUMBFOUNDED QUESTIONS...

HOW HAS GOD LOVED US

HOW HAVE WE DESPISED HIS NAME

WHY WONT GOD ACCEPT OUR OFFERINGS

HOW HAVE WE WEARIED GOD

HOW SHALL WE RETURN TO GOD

HOW HAVE WE SPOKEN AGAINST GOD?

JUST LIKE THINGS WERE BAD IN ISRAEL THEN, THINGS ARE BAD NOW IN THE  CHURCH....THEY WERE CARELESS IN THEIR WORSHIP..AND THE BOOK ENDED WITH A CURSE.

 

 

WHEN WE BOIL IT DOWN....THE PEOPLE ..

  • DOUBT GOD’S LOVE
  • DESPISE GOD’S NAME
  • DEFILE HIS COVENANT
  • DISOBEY HIS WORD

INTER: WHAT IS ONE THING THAT LED ISRAEL DISOBEY GOD.

 

PROP: UNGRATEFULNESS WOOS US AWAY FROM GOD.

TS: AS WE LOOK AT THE TEXT WE WILL SEE HOW ISRAEL DISOBEY GOD AS  A RESULT OF THEIR UNGRATEFULNESS... UNGRATEFULNESS’ GOT IN THEIR WAY.

IF FAMILIARITY HAS BRED CONTEMPT, AND WE STAND CONVICTED UNDER HIS GREAT GRACE...WHAT SHOULD WE DO...???

MP I. RETURN TO GOD V. 7 – NLT MALACHI 3:7 EVER SINCE THE DAYS OF YOUR ANCESTORS, YOU HAVE SCORNED MY LAWS AND FAILED TO OBEY THEM. NOW RETURN TO ME, AND I WILL RETURN TO YOU," SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY. "BUT YOU ASK, 'HOW CAN WE RETURN WHEN WE HAVE NEVER GONE AWAY?'

 

OUR SOCIETY NEEDS TO RETURN TO GOD. FROM THE DAYS OF JUDEO-CHRISTIAN VALUES WHERE FAMILY WAS ESTEEMED; PEOPLE STUCK TOGETHER, CHURCH WAS A FAMILY WAS CONNECTED; WHERE PRAYER WAS IN THE SCHOOL AND IT WAS NO CRIME FOR THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TO BE POSTED IN THE HALLS OF JUSTICE. WHERE A DRUG PROBLEM WAS CHARACTERIZED BY BEING DRUG TO SCHOOL, DRUG TO CHURCH, DRUG HOME AND BEING DRUG TO WORK. NOW..OUR SOCIETY IS SATURATED WITH SEX, DRUGS, ALCOHOL, MUSIC, MEDIA AND VIDEO THAT HAVE INFILTRATED OUR HOMES, OUR WORKPLACE AND OUR CHURCHES.

 

THERE ARE OVER 400 REFERENCES TO STORIES OF RETURN. FROM THE FLOOD OF NOAH, AS HE SENT OUT THE DOVE TO FIND LAND; TO JACOB’S FLIGHT TO LABAN AND THEN HIS RETURN TO THE LAND OF HIS FATHER; TO THE RETURN OF JOSEPH’S BONES TO ISRAEL AT HIS DEATH. FROM THE EXODUS AND THE EXILE, ISRAEL RETURNS TO THE LAND OF PROMISE, NAOMI RETURNS TO BETHLEHEM; THE MAGI RETURN TO BABYLON; JOSEPH AND MARY GO FROM EGYPT AND RETURN TO GALILEE...AND WHO CAN FORGET THE PRODIGAL SON, WHO CAME TO HIMSELF AND RETURN TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE.

IMP. UNGRATEFULNESS LEADS US TO DISOBEDIENCE. IN THE JOURNEY OF LIFE WHEN WE REALIZE WE ARE ON THE WRONG ROAD, REALIZE THAT WE ARE HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION; WHEN WE REALIZE THAT WE ARE FAR FROM THE PEACEFUL SHORES...WE NEED TO STOP, DROP AND REPENT. AND TO HELP US GET THERE...THE NEXT IMPLICATION IS...

UNGRATEFULNESS LEADS US TO BE DISCIPLINED. V. 1-3..SAYS THE LORD WILL COME SUDDENLY TO HIS TEMPLE...AND WHO MAY ABIDE THE DAY OF HIS COMING...FOR HE SHALL PURIFY THE SONS OF LEVI AND PURGE THEM AS SILVER AND GOLD. GOD USES DISCIPLINE SO WE REPENT AND RETURN TO A STATE OF FAVOR WITH GOD. GOD DISCIPLINES HS OWN AND THOSE WHO HE LOVES...AND IT WILL BEGIN AT THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH. 1 PETER 4:17

DEUT 4:30-31 SAYS...WHEN YOU ARE IN TRIBULATION, AND ALL THESE THINGS ARE COME UPON THEE (CURSES), EVEN IN THE LATTER DAYS, IF YOU WILL TURN TO THE LORD THY GOD, AND WILL BE OBEY HIS VOICE...FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS A MERCIFUL GOD, HE WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU NOR DESTROY YOU, NOR FORGET THE COVENANT OF YOUR FATHERS WHICH HE SWORE TO THEM

1 CHRONICLES 7:14...IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY, AND SEEK MY FACE, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAY, THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN, AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.

PSALM 51:11-13   11 DO NOT CAST ME AWAY FROM YOUR PRESENCE, AND DO NOT TAKE YOUR HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME.  12 RESTORE TO ME THE JOY OF YOUR SALVATION, AND UPHOLD ME BY YOUR GENEROUS SPIRIT.  13 THEN I WILL TEACH TRANSGRESSORS YOUR WAYS, AND SINNERS SHALL BE CONVERTED TO YOU.

JEREMIAH 3:12 "GO AND PROCLAIM THESE WORDS TOWARD THE NORTH, AND SAY: 'RETURN, BACKSLIDING ISRAEL,' SAYS THE LORD; 'I WILL NOT CAUSE MY ANGER TO FALL ON YOU. FOR I AM MERCIFUL,' SAYS THE LORD; 'I WILL NOT REMAIN ANGRY FOREVER.

JOHN 14:3 "AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF; THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO.

APP: RETURN AND RECOMMIT TO GOD. GO BACK, EMBRACE YOUR FIRST LOVE.

GO BACK TO GOD. THE PARADOX IS THAT IN ORDER TO GO FORWARD, WE MUST GO BACK. IN ORDER TO GET AHEAD, WE MUST GO BACK.  RETURN TO THE HEART OF WORSHIP.

REALIZE THE WE CANNOT LIVE THIS LIFE IN OUR OWN STRENGTH

REMOVE ANY OBSTACLE THAT IMPEDES THE RELATIONSHIP.

ILL: PILLS OF PLEASURE TO AVOID THE PAIN OF SIN

YOU AND I LIVE IN A WORLD THAT IS OBSESSED WITH THE ELIMINATION OF PAIN. JUST TAKE A STROLL DOWN THE MEDICINE AISLE NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN THE GROCERY STORE, CVS, WAL-MART, WALGREENS, ACME, SHOPRITE...OR TARGET ..AND WHAT WE WON’T SEE IS THE $2 BILLION PLUS WORTH OF OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS SOLD LAST YEAR.  WHAT YOU WILL SEE IS ...A MYRIAD OF CHOICES ...FROM PLAIN OLD

ASPIRIN...DISCOVERED IN THE LATE 1800 AS AN EXTRACT FROM THE WILLOW BARK...AND FIRST SOLD BY BAYER....TO...ANACIN, EXCEDRIN...STORE BRAND..

ACETAMINOPHEN AKA TYLENOL...@ 1955

IBUPROPHEN AKA MOTRIN @ 1984  AND ADVIL

NAPROXEN AKA ALEVE...

ALL IN VARYING STRENGTHS, AND MILLIGRAMS...TO DIFFERENT FORMS...

FROM GEL CAPS, COOL CAPLETS, LIQUID GELS, TO QUICK DISSOLVING .AND EVEN LIQUID FORM...WHEN WE HAVE A HEADACHE, BACKACHE, OR TOOTHACHE...

WE TAKE TWO ASPIRIN, TAKE A NAP, AND WAKE UP FEELING BETTER. WE FORGET THE PAIN. FACE IT, WE DO NOT LIKE PAIN. BUT IS THAT ENTIRELY HEALTHY? COULD IT BE THAT IN SOME MATTER OF MY LIFE, THERE IS ROOM FOR PAIN? CAN IT BE AT TIMES I SHOULD FEEL SOME PAIN?

THE QUESTION PLEADS FOR AFFIRMATION. ALONG WITH SOLUTIONS TO OUR PHYSICAL PAINS, I AM AFRAID WE HAVE MISTAKENLY FOUND A CURE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL PAIN. SADLY, THIS IS A DEADLY CURE! TO AVOID THE PAIN OF SIN, WE HAVE TAKEN A DEADLY PILL WHICH DIMINISHES THE IMPACT AND CONSEQUENCE OF SIN IN OUR LIVES.

WE HAVE CLOSED OUR EYES TO THE DESTRUCTION OF SIN AND SWALLOWED A PILL OF DECEPTION.

THESE PILLS COME IN ALL TYPES OF FORMS ALL IN VARYING STRENGTHS, AND MILLIGRAMS...TO DIFFERENT FORMS...

EXCESSIVE ESCAPISM...VIA ENTERTAINMENT – FROM MOVIES, SHOWS, FUN AND GAMES; INDIVIDUAL TO GROUP ENTERPRISES THAT COME INTO OUR HOMES OR WE CHASE AFTER...EXCESSIVE SLEEP, SHOPPING, BACKBITING AND GOSSIP, SEXUAL IMMORALITY, WORRY, ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ABUSE...ETC...ETC...ETC. 

WE DO NOT FEEL THE BURDENSOME ACHE OF SIN. FOR ISRAEL, IT WAS NOT ENOUGH FOR A PROPHET TO FORECAST IMPENDING DOOM AS A CONSEQUENCE OF SIN TO GET THEM TO REPENT. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, ISRAEL HAD TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN TO COME TO REPENTANCE; THEY HAD TO FEEL PAIN. IN JOEL 2:12, 13, WE SEE ISRAEL’S PAIN MANIFESTED: “RETURN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH FASTING AND WEEPING AND MOURNING. REND YOUR HEART AND NOT YOUR GARMENTS.” TO REND SOMETHING MEANS TO RIP OR TEAR IN GRIEF, ANGER, RAGE, ETC. WE MUST ASK OURSELVES WHEN WE LAST FELT THE NEED TO TEAR OUR HEARTS BECAUSE OF SIN. FEEL THE INJURY OF SIN AND AVOID THE PROBLEM OF PAIN! LET US REND OUR HEARTS TODAY AND FEEL THE PAIN. WE MUST RETURN TO GOD.[1]

MPII. REVERENCE GOD -  V. 8.

 

MALACHI 3:8 "SHOULD PEOPLE CHEAT GOD? YET YOU HAVE CHEATED ME! "BUT YOU ASK, 'WHAT DO YOU MEAN? WHEN DID WE EVER CHEAT YOU?' "YOU HAVE CHEATED ME OF THE TITHES AND OFFERINGS DUE TO ME.

 

THE PRINCIPLE OF REVERENCE. - THE OPPOSITE OF REVERENCE IS IRREVERENCE WHICH IS THE MENTAL MINDSET THAT LEADS US TO DISRESPECT. ISRAEL ACT AND ATTITUDE OF DISRESPECT IS LINKED WITH IDOLATRY WHERE WE ESTEEM PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS ABOVE GOD. WE WORSHIP THE CREATURE VS. THE CREATOR. AND ISRAEL, WITH THE PROMISES OF GOD AND BANNER OF GOD OVER THEM... SOUGHT TO CHEAT, DECEIVE, DEFRAUD, EXPLOIT, PLOT AND PLUNDER AND CON GOD. THE TEXT ASK THE QUESTION...WILL WE “ROB” GOD? WE WILL ATTEMPT TO RIP GOD OFF? IT IS IRREVERENT TO TRY TO RIP OFF GOD. MALACHI ACCUSES THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL OF CHEATING GOD IN TITHES AND OFFERINGS IN THE MATTER OF WORSHIP.

 

THE PRINCIPLE OF THE TITHE AND OFFERINGS (HEAVE) – TITHES MEANS 1 OUT OF 10 OR TEN PERCENT. IT WAS INSTITUTED BY GOD IN THE WORSHIP OF ISRAEL IN LEV. 27. IT IS A TENTH OF THE PRODUCE OF THE LAND THAT IS DEDICATED TO GOD BY THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL WITH THE EXCEPTION GIVEN TO THE LEVITES.  IT IS AN ACT PRIOR TO THE LAW OF MOSES, AS ABRAHAM PAID TITHES TO THE PRIEST OF SALEM CALLED MELCHIZEDEK IN GEN. 14. YES, ABRAHAM WAS BLESSED AND GAVE TO THIS PRIEST; ALSO JACOB ALSO PROCLAIMED HE WOULD GIVE A TENTH TO GOD. NOW...

MEANING OF TITHE

WORD MEANING “TENTH,” USED OF THE OFFERING OF A TENTH FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. ABRAHAM GAVE A TENTH TO MELCHIZEDEK, THE PRIEST-KING (GEN. 14:18–20). THE ISRAELITES WERE REQUIRED TO GIVE A TITHE TO THE LEVITES (NUM. 18:21, 24), AND THE LEVITES IN TURN WERE TO GIVE A TITHE OF THE TITHE TO THE PRIESTS (NUM. 18:25–28). THE TITHE WAS TAKEN FROM THINGS LIKE GRAIN, FRUITS, AND ANIMALS (LEV. 27:30–32). THERE IS NO COMMAND TO TITHE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (CF. 1 COR. 16:2), BUT MANY CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THAT THE CONCEPT IS A USEFUL GUIDE IN THEIR GIVING.

THE SHAW POCKET BIBLE HANDBOOK, WALTER A. ELWELL, EDITOR, (HAROLD SHAW PUBL., WHEATON , IL; 1984), P. 360

[2]

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” (DEUT. 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” (MATT. 6:20). “GIVE, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU” (LUKE 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).

[3]

 

IMP. A INDIVIDUAL ADVANTAGEOUS ATTITUDE OF INGRATITUDE, IN THE FACE OF GOD’S GRACE, WITHIN THE ENVIRONMENT OF WORSHIP IS A SELF – DEFEATING ACTION. WHEN THE PREVAILING ATTITUDE IS WHAT CAN I GET THAT IS GREATER IN VALUE TO WHAT I CAN GIVE; THE DYNAMICS THEN WE FOSTER A DEN OF THIEVES MENTALITY.

WE HAVE TO SEE WHAT WE ARE GETTING FOR OUR EFFORTS. TANGIBLE VS. INTANGIBLE.

WE HAVE THE HAND OUT BUT ONLY TO RECEIVE; WE SEE THIS EFFORTS TWO FOLD; IN MEMBERS AND MINISTRY. MEMBERS GO FROM CHURCH TO CHURCH TO CHURCH FOR WHAT THEY CAN GET AND MINISTRY AS WE HOLD FUNDRAISERS DEPEND ON OTHERS TO DO THE

WORK WE CAN DO...OVER AND ABOVE OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS.

 

JOSHUA 7:11 "ISRAEL HAS SINNED, AND THEY HAVE ALSO TRANSGRESSED MY COVENANT WHICH I COMMANDED THEM. FOR THEY HAVE EVEN TAKEN SOME OF THE ACCURSED THINGS, AND HAVE BOTH STOLEN AND DECEIVED; AND THEY HAVE ALSO PUT IT AMONG THEIR OWN STUFF.

MALACHI 1:8 AND WHEN YOU OFFER THE BLIND AS A SACRIFICE, IS IT NOT EVIL? AND WHEN YOU OFFER THE LAME AND SICK, IS IT NOT EVIL? OFFER IT THEN TO YOUR GOVERNOR! WOULD HE BE PLEASED WITH YOU? WOULD HE ACCEPT YOU FAVORABLY?" SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS.

MALACHI 1:13 YOU ALSO SAY, 'OH, WHAT A WEARINESS!' AND YOU SNEER AT IT," SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS. "AND YOU BRING THE STOLEN, THE LAME, AND THE SICK; THUS YOU BRING AN OFFERING! SHOULD I ACCEPT THIS FROM YOUR HAND?" SAYS THE LORD.

 E

WHAT TO DO...

APP: DISHONESTY LEADS TO IRREVERENCE AND IRREVERENCE LEADS TO RUIN.

WE CANNOT TAKE ANYTHING FROM GOD AND MAKE HIM POORER; BUT WE ARE ABLE TO GIVE UNTO HIM AND INCREASE THE BOARDERS OF HEAVEN AS OTHERS GIVE HIM PRAISE.

APP: CURE FOR THE COVETOUSNESS

CONTENTMENT - BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.

FRAME OF MIND – FROM HEAD TO HEART. 

 

DON’T’ WITHHOLD THAT WHICH BELONGS TO GOD. IT, THE 10TH BELONGS TO GOD.

ILL: ON THE WEEKEND OF AUGUST 6, 2005 AND AUGUST 7, 2005 A GANG OF BURGLARS TUNNELED INTO THE BANCO CENTRAL IN FORTALEZA. THEY REMOVED FIVE CONTAINERS OF 50-REAL NOTES, WITH AN ESTIMATED VALUE OF 164,755,150 REAIS (AS ON OCTOBER, 2006 --> US$70.1 MILLION, £41.2 MILLION, €61.6 MILLION) AND WEIGHING ABOUT 3,5 TONS. THE MONEY WAS UNINSURED; A BANK SPOKESWOMAN STATED THAT THE RISKS WERE TOO SMALL TO JUSTIFY THE INSURANCE PREMIUMS. THE BURGLARS MANAGED TO EVADE OR DISABLE THE BANK'S INTERNAL ALARMS AND SENSORS; THE BURGLARY REMAINED UNDISCOVERED UNTIL THE BANK OPENED FOR BUSINESS ON THE MORNING OF MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2005.

THE BANCO CENTRAL IS A NATIONAL BANKING INSTITUTION CHARGED WITH CONTROL OF THE MONEY SUPPLY. THE MONEY IN THE VAULT WAS BEING EXAMINED TO SEE IF IT SHOULD BE RECIRCULATED OR DESTROYED. THE BILLS WERE NOT NUMBERED SEQUENTIALLY, MAKING THEM ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO TRACE.

 PLANNING  THREE MONTHS EARLIER, THE GANG OF BURGLARS HAD RENTED AN EMPTY PROPERTY IN THE CENTRE OF THE CITY AND THEN TUNNELED 78 METERS (256 FT) BENEATH TWO CITY BLOCKS TO A POSITION BENEATH THE BANK. THE GANG HAD RENOVATED A HOUSE AND PUT UP A SIGN INDICATING IT WAS A LANDSCAPING COMPANY SELLING BOTH NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL GRASS AS WELL AS PLANTS. NEIGHBOURS, WHO ESTIMATED THAT THE GANG CONSISTED OF BETWEEN SIX AND TEN MEN, DESCRIBED HOW THEY HAD SEEN VAN-LOADS OF SOIL BEING REMOVED DAILY, BUT UNDERSTOOD THIS TO BE A NORMAL ACTIVITY OF THE BUSINESS. THE TUNNEL, BEING ROUGHLY 70 CM (2.3 FT) SQUARE AND RUNNING 4 METERS (13 FT) BENEATH THE SURFACE, WAS WELL-CONSTRUCTED: IT WAS LINED WITH WOOD AND PLASTIC AND HAD ITS OWN LIGHTING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS.

 EXECUTION - ON THE FINAL WEEKEND, THE GANG BROKE THROUGH 1.1 METERS (3.6 FT) OF STEEL-REINFORCED CONCRETE TO ENTER THE BANK VAULT. THE BANK NOTES WEIGHED APPROXIMATELY 3,500 KG (APPROX. 7,700 LBS) AND WOULD HAVE REQUIRED A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME AND EFFORT TO REMOVE.

 

SO FAR, AUTHORITIES HAVE RECOVERED MORE THAN $8.93 MILLION BUT $61.16 MILLION REMAINS UNACCOUNTED FOR.

 

 

MP III.  RESPOND TO GOD.   BRING ALL THE TITHE, AND PROVE ME NOW...AND SEE

MALACHI 3:10   10 BRING ALL THE TITHES INTO THE STOREHOUSE, THAT THERE MAY BE FOOD IN MY HOUSE, AND TRY 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 SUCH BLESSING THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ROOM ENOUGH TO RECEIVE IT.

BRING AL THE TITHES IS A IMPERATIVE INTO THE TEMPLE, INTO THE TREASURY AND TEST ME PLEASE...PUT ME TO THE TEST WITH AN EXCLAMATION!!!! IT COUNTERS THE PEOPLE’S DOUBTING RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE REFUSE TO GIVE TITHES, WITHEREFOR REFUSE TO GIVE TO THE LEVITES AND THE PRIEST (WHO HAVE NO LAND) WHAT IS DUE THEM.  I.E THE REQUIRED OFFERING WHICH ARE THE INCOME OF THE SONS OF LEVI.  THE IMPLICATION IS THAT WE BECOME LIKE JACOB, THE SURPLANTER, THE SCHEMER, THE DECEIVER ..

IMP. CRITICAL EVENTS MOVES US FROM TO GIVE FROM TAKE. HE E MPTIES US OUT SO HE CAN EMPTY OUT THE STORE ROOM OF HEAVEN, NO GOOD THING WILL HE WITHHOLD TO THEM THAT WALK UPRIGHT

GENESIS 28:12-22   12 AND HE DREAMED, AND BEHOLD A 1 LADDER SET UP ON THE EARTH, AND THE TOP OF IT REACHED TO HEAVEN: AND BEHOLD THE ANGELS OF GOD ASCENDING AND DESCENDING ON IT.  13 AND, BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD ABOVE IT, AND SAID, I AM THE LORD GOD OF ABRAHAM THY FATHER, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC: THE LAND WHEREON THOU LIEST, TO THEE 1 WILL I GIVE IT, AND TO THY SEED;  14 AND THY SEED SHALL BE AS THE DUST OF THE EARTH, AND THOU SHALT SPREAD ABROAD TO THE WEST, AND TO THE EAST, AND TO THE NORTH, AND TO THE SOUTH: AND IN THEE AND IN THY SEED SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.  15 AND, BEHOLD, I AM WITH THEE, AND WILL KEEP THEE IN ALL PLACES WHITHER THOU GOEST, AND WILL BRING THEE AGAIN INTO THIS LAND; FOR I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE, UNTIL I HAVE DONE THAT WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN TO THEE OF.  16 AND JACOB AWAKED OUT OF HIS SLEEP, AND HE SAID, SURELY THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE; AND I KNEW IT NOT.  17 AND HE WAS 1 AFRAID, AND SAID, HOW DREADFUL IS THIS PLACE! THIS IS NONE OTHER BUT THE HOUSE OF GOD, AND THIS IS THE GATE OF HEAVEN.  18 AND JACOB ROSE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING, AND TOOK THE STONE THAT HE HAD PUT FOR HIS PILLOWS, AND 1 SET IT UP FOR A PILLAR, AND POURED OIL UPON THE TOP OF IT.  19 AND HE CALLED THE NAME OF THAT PLACE BETHEL: BUT THE NAME OF THAT CITY WAS CALLED LUZ AT THE FIRST.  20 AND JACOB VOWED A VOW, SAYING, IF 1 GOD WILL BE WITH ME, AND WILL KEEP ME IN THIS WAY THAT I GO, AND WILL GIVE ME BREAD TO EAT, AND RAIMENT TO PUT ON,  21 SO THAT I COME AGAIN TO MY FATHER'S HOUSE IN PEACE; THEN SHALL THE LORD BE MY GOD:  22 AND THIS STONE, WHICH I HAVE SET FOR A PILLAR, SHALL BE GOD'S HOUSE: AND OF ALL THAT THOU SHALT GIVE ME I WILL SURELY GIVE THE TENTH UNTO THEE.

AND STILL AFTER SCHEMEING...

GENESIS 32:24-31   24 AND JACOB WAS LEFT ALONE; AND THERE WRESTLED A 1 MAN WITH HIM UNTIL THE BREAKING OF THE DAY.  25 AND WHEN HE SAW THAT HE 1 PREVAILED NOT AGAINST HIM, HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH; AND THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH WAS OUT OF JOINT, AS HE WRESTLED WITH HIM.  26 AND HE SAID, LET ME GO, FOR THE DAY BREAKETH. AND HE SAID, I WILL NOT LET THEE GO, EXCEPT THOU BLESS ME.  27 AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT IS THY NAME? AND HE SAID, JACOB.  28 AND HE SAID, THY NAME SHALL BE CALLED NO MORE JACOB, BUT ISRAEL: FOR AS A PRINCE HAST THOU 1 POWER WITH GOD AND WITH MEN, AND HAST PREVAILED.  29 AND JACOB ASKED HIM, AND SAID, TELL ME, I PRAY THEE, THY NAME. AND HE SAID, WHEREFORE IS IT THAT THOU DOST ASK AFTER MY NAME? AND HE BLESSED HIM THERE.  30 AND JACOB CALLED THE NAME OF THE PLACE PENIEL: FOR I HAVE SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE, AND MY LIFE IS PRESERVED.  31 AND AS HE PASSED OVER PENIEL THE SUN ROSE UPON HIM, AND HE 1 HALTED UPON HIS THIGH.

APP: IT’S A TEST OF OUR INTEGRITY, DEVOTION AND TRUST.

ALLOW GOD TO BREAK YOU DOWN SO HE CAN BUILD YOU UP.

IN THE ELEMENTS OF RESPONDING; THERE ARE VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY RESPONSE SYSTEMS.

 

PSALM 29:2 GIVE UNTO THE LORD THE GLORY DUE TO HIS NAME; WORSHIP THE LORD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS.

 PROVERBS 3:9 HONOR THE LORD WITH YOUR POSSESSIONS, AND WITH THE FIRSTFRUITS OF ALL YOUR INCREASE; 10 SO YOUR BARNS WILL BE FILLED WITH PLENTY, AND YOUR VATS WILL OVERFLOW WITH NEW WINE.

MATTHEW 22:21 THEY SAID TO HIM, "CAESAR'S." AND HE SAID TO THEM, "RENDER THEREFORE TO CAESAR THE THINGS THAT ARE CAESAR'S, AND TO GOD THE THINGS THAT ARE GOD'S."

ROMANS 13:7 RENDER THEREFORE TO ALL THEIR DUE: TAXES TO WHOM TAXES ARE DUE, CUSTOMS TO WHOM CUSTOMS, FEAR TO WHOM FEAR, HONOR TO WHOM HONOR.

GIVE AS GOD HAS PROSPERED YOU....ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN HOW HE LOVES US.

GIVE FAITHFULLY

GIVE SYSTEMATICALLY

GIVE PROPORTIONATELY

GIVE SACRIFICIALLY

GIVE GENEROUSLY

ILL:WHEN IS 90% GREATER THAN 100%?" NOW, MATHEMATICALLY, THAT'S AN OXYMORON. HOW CAN PART OF THE WHOLE BE GREATER THAN THE WHOLE? IT CAN WHEN THE 90% IS WHAT GOD BLESSES AFTER YOU GIVE HIM THE FIRST 10%!

TAKE CARE OF HIS HOUSE AND HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOME.

WHAT ARE YOU INVESTING IN...????


----

[1] AMG Bible Illustrations. electronic ed. Chattanooga : AMG Publishers, 2000 (Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series)

[2]Galaxie Software: 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press, 2002; 2002

[3] AMG Bible Illustrations. electronic ed. Chattanooga : AMG Publishers, 2000 (Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series)

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