Faithlife Sermons

Shaped By the 10 % Principle

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Good morning, Just want to start by saying thank you to everyone that made it out to the workday yesterday. We had great breakfast, word and got lots done around the building.
We are coming to the conclusion of this sermon series on The Generous life.
One of the goals of this series is to give us a framework for understanding Why we need to be concerned about the Generous life…
The First reason we should consider the Generous life… is because…
Generosity is God’s way (His method) of Blessing us… God pours out His grace towards us…
“The way that God Gives is through the currency of Grace.
God gives out His nature — His Goodness, kindness, mercy, long Suffering, Patience… God giving doesn’t change… He is not generous one day and stingy the next… immutability — God never changes…
The apostle Paul was inspired when he sees God grace at work in the Church... The Macedonian gave not only that they had but beyond their means…
Paul gives thanks and praise…
2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV
15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Grace is an inexpressible Gift... Paul is at loss for words when he try’s describe the vastness of God’s grace…its
indescribable adj. — defying expression or description.
Grace is Unmerited Favor…
Grace is Every Blessing that God can give us in Christ Jesus
It’s the very best of everything God has for us in His plan of Salvation…
The Christian life starts with grace, continues with grace, and ends with grace.
The second REASON we should pursue a Generous life..- is Generosity if God’s method of blessing others…
When God Called Abram to leave his homeland of Ur — God made a Covenant with Abram—
God says to Abram I am going to make you into a great nation and I am going use your seed to bless others..
Genesis 12:3 ESV
3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God was going to favor Israel with influence and wealth… For a purpose... Through Israel all the nations of the Earth would be blessed....
Abram couldn’t have understood this fully. But as the rest of the Old Testament unfolds we begin to understand that, through the Jewish nation—Abram’s family—God was going to send a Savior, whose atoning blood would bless to Israel and surrounding gentile nations.
When we allow Gods Grace to flow into and through our lives we become this pipeline conduit of Grace — blessing to others.…
Generosity is God’s way of inviting us into His blessing...
This morning we are going to talk about being shaped by the 10% principle.... We are going
What difference does 10 % make?
Ray Johnson in his book, “The Hope Quotient,” asks the question about hope… what would happen if we could raise our hope quotient by 10% - What if we could have 10% more hope in our lives, our work, our marriages.
Would that make a difference?
When a struggling individual gets just a 10 percent boost in hope, almost anything becomes possible.” Ray Johnson
Well you could take this analogy a little further and ask…
How about 10% more joy, love, purpose,
How about Growing 10 % in relationships and friends...
What if you could get 10% more health and energy than what you had last year?
Would that make a difference to your life?
10 % is an interesting number
Athletes who train for marathons — often increase there weekly runs by 10 %..
Experts tell us to try and save 10 % of our earning for retirement… Mary Hunt in her book on “How to Debt Proof your Marriage” -
Give this Formula — 10 - 10 - 80— In that Order.... not 80 -10 -10- Here is why… because
The first 10 % speaks of our giving — first fruits - our tithe.. … the second 10 % goes to savings or towards debt reduction.. retirement.. Then she talks about using the 80 % to living with in your means --- She point out the problem is that most of us.. live on 125% of our income...
What is it about .... 10 % - So here is my thoughts.. First it is a manageable number… it is possible..but it also stretches us...
it’s a number that is attainable and not out of reach…
We all like the idea of improving our lives..
But here is the thing about getting 10 % more out of life .... is that you have to contribute at least 10 % more to get the return… It’s a little a bit like exercise… you have to exert energy upfront to get the health benefits later..
In other words there has to be a contribution somewhere before there are rewards...
But the good news is that studies have proven that people who make contributions are much happier than those who don’t....
When we volunteer our time and give donations ..Not only do our stress levels go down… but it can significantly impact our health..
In his book Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University, reports that giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illness… generosity can reverse disease...
The generous life is a healthy life…that depends on the sufficiency of God’s Grace…
When we expend energy and resources Grace... trusts that as we give... God will replenish…that we will have more grace..
2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Don’t you love those three words - God is Able… When human limitations and sufficiency fails —God is able...
Paul tells us that God is not only able to meet your needs but that you will have sufficiency in all things at all times.. What a promise...
One of the ways we understand the Bible is through Redemptive Historywhich basically means that as we read scripture we see God’s plan unfolding
for example.. In Genesis at the Fall - God says to the Serpent — the deceiver…there would always be enmity (dislike/conflict) between the woman’s off spring and satans offspring but Her seed would bruise his head and you will bruise his heal..
Satan would cripple mankind (you will strike at his heel), but the Seed, Christ, would deliver the fatal blow (He will crush your head)…
When it comes to Giving and the tithe we see Redemptive History.. Moves from offerings to tithe to this Grace giving…
If we don’t connect the dots it can get confusing...
In the modern Church there are some difference in opinions on tithing… some say that we don’t see tithing in the NT… we no longer under law but we are now under grace…
But we have to follow the flow of Redemptive History and connect the dots..
We see - Tithing continued through the times of the prophets into the Rabbinic period..it’s present both in the Gospels and in the early church... Tithing Continues for the first three centuries… The early Church Fathers Jerome and Augustine all promoted tithing as a principle as ---”the least that one should give”
The early church was shaped by the Tithe...
We making the wrong assumption if we think that Giving in the new covenant involves less sacrifice… We see greater sacrifice than giving in the old covenant, not less … greater sacrifices, not less.
.... In Acts chapter 4:34 The church was united..they had one heart and soul and people shared everything in common..
Acts 4:34–35 ESV
34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
The question is — How do we understand tithes and Offerings today? I’m going to give you a guiding principle..
Guiding Principle is this.. - “Our Giving should be shaped by the OT but defined by Jesus and the Pauls exhortations on giving.”
T/s There are four ways that Tithes should shape our worldview.

1. Our Priorities are Shaped by the Tithe.

It’s been said that there are two places that we can find our priorities in life… our check book and our Calendar… What we think is important we will invest in… and we will make time for it…
— Erasmus — theologian in 1500’s wrote in a letter.
“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”—
Our calendars and checkbooks often determine our priorities,
The principle of tithing is about setting the proper priorities -
It’s about our contribution and stewardship of time, talents and treasure..
giving God your first fruits -Putting God first…
the word Tithe comes from the Hebrew word tenth… it literally means giving a 10th of persons income…
In the OT it was often in the form of cattle and crops.... they would literally count cattle and every tenth was given to the Lord.... In so doing so they would avoid discriminating between those that were weak or strong..
Tithing began by a generous gesture by Abram… in Genesis 14.. When Lot was living Sodom — the city was captured and Lot and his family were carried off as prisoners of war...
Abram goes on this risky covert mission to rescue Lot… Not only is Abram successful in his mission but returns with plunder of war..
Some of Abram’s allies come to see him on his return, and one of them is the king of Salem, Melchizedek, who is also “priest of God Most High.” He blesses Abram, and Abram gives him a tenth of his plunder...
When Abram gave to Melchizedek there was no specific instruction about tithing — Rather his giving was a very human response… Abram had received favor… not only saving his family but came back with spoils of war… It seemed good to give back… Interesting that tithing happened before the Law…
The first instruction on tithing is given in Lev 27 — Tithing became part of the Mosaic law… Moses said that a 10th of crops and flocks belongs to the Lord…was given to support the priesthood..
If you look at that Law — Required Tithing — It was the Rule… When it come to Gospel Jesus was more concerned about the principle or the reason… Paul is is concerned about Practice or Relationships..
law = Rules
Christ = Reason
Paul (Epistles) - Relationship..
For the Law the priority was obedience that brought blessings… Blessing and the curses in Deuteronomy 28..
For Jesus the Priority was about the Kingdom..
Jesus was more concerned about Eternal life than temporary wealth and gains.
In the sermon on the mount… He warned his disciples of the dangers of becoming to become preoccupied with the love of money… Jesus said..
Matthew 6:19–21 ESV
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus didn’t teach that having money is unimportant… What he is talking about is excessive devotion to money… Where money becomes your sole goal in life…
He compares it to a Master… no one can serve two masters because He will love the one and hate the other… Where your treasure is --- there is your heart will be also…
Jesus said look at Nature… Don’t be anxious is the heavenly Father feeds the Birds of the air.. who neither sow nor reap he will take care of your needs...
Jesus put the Kingdom as the priority and everything else as secondary...
Matthew 6:33 ESV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Jesus ministry was based around the Kingdom of God -Kingdom points to rule, and the expression is to be understood in terms of doing the will of God now as well as looking for the coming of his final kingdom.
“Worry” comes up 6 times in this section of scripture... Jesus wasn’t saying Don’t plan for the future, but when we put God firs there will be no need not to worry… When we put trust in God first, God will take care of the rest of life.
T/s There are four ways that Tithes should shape our worldview.
1. Our Priorities are Shaped by the Tithe.

2. Our Willingness to Obey God is Shaped through our Tithe.

Dale Rooks, a school crossing guard in Florida, tried everything to get cars to slow down through the school zone. But nothing worked…
until he took a blow dryer and wrapped it in electrical tape, making it look like a radar gun.
Dale just points the thing at cars, and it's incredible how quickly they hit the brakes.
"It's almost comical," Dale says. "It's amazing how well it works."
Why is it that we struggle with obedience… Even when we know it’s the right thing to do… Well the OT it was the law that promoted obedience…
You get to the book of Malachi…we find that Israel has been unfaithful for generations --- since the time of the Exile.. Kept on ignoring his instruction to give— ignoring things like Sabath year, and debtors were not released… The results was that there was no blessing in the land… crops were failing…kings kept raising taxes…People never had enough --- they were debtors instead of lenders..
God Raises up Prophets to bring course correction....We all need course correction from time to tie...
Sometimes we are struggling and we wonder what am I doing wrong… we can’t see the forest for the trees… Why Can’t we ever get out of debt? Why are we always a day late and a dollar short?
We learn that God is still faithful to Israel…
Malachi connects the dots… for Israel...he links their hardship to their failure to give their tithe.. to Obedience/
Malachi 3:8–10 ESV
8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Malachi tells Israel that there is a reason that they are experiencing hardship is …because they were ignoring Biblical principle of obedience…
Israels relationship to God was covenantal… it was a Obedience-blessing relationship
Mosaic law outlines Blessing and cursing in Deut 28:1-14--- where God tells Israel to be careful to keep all his commands in statutes… when they disobey they will experience seasons of lack… But obedience brings the blessing... their enemies would be defeated before them — Deut 28
Deuteronomy 28:8 ESV
8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Israel forgot that Blessing is tied to obedience… Malachi appeals to the Covenant of blessing… If Israel wanted to see a reversal of their fortunes… they need to bring their tithe into the Temple…
Malachi challenges with this Rhetorical Question… Will anyone Rob God? Shocking thought...
This phrase has cause some puzzlement among scholars because it is a rare word. It’s not at all the normal Hebrew word for robbery, which, of course, would just mean to take something that’s not yours. It’s only used one other place in the Bible, and it’s a word that really means to oppress. It means to pillage, to plunder.
It’s absurd thought that we could possibly steal from God…
How in the world could we be robbing God? What are you talking about?”
God comes back and says, “I’m talking about your lack of generosity with your money. I’m talking about the fact you hold on to too much of it and you spend too much on yourself and you don’t give enough away.”
you rob me through your giving… the reason why the nation struggles..is because your disobedience has caused you to come under the consequences of the Law...
Notice that it is...Not just as individuals but the whole nation was under a curse —
We need to remember that the tithe Shapes our world view.
the Law was about Rules…blessings and curses..
Jesus was interested in the principle.. or the reason…Jesus wasn’t as concerned about the amount heart behind the tithe… the heart of obedience..
Mark 12:42–44 ESV
42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Giving for Jesus was a matter of heart… When Jesus watched people putting money into offering at the temple… He noticed a widow who gave small copper coins… He called his disciples together and said this woman has given more than all the wealthy people who put in large sums…
but they will still not honoring the tithe… large gift… but still not having a heart of obedience…
The reason they were to observe the widow was she gave out of her poverty… she gave everything that she had.. even though it seemed insignificant… Who is obedient..
Giving is about obeying God with a good attitude...
Giving does something for us…...
It connects us to the world, and that lets us see past ourselves. Giving allows us to see the world through eyes of compassion. Giving develops our faith and pulls the plug on our greed and compulsive money behaviors.
It tells when we have had enough.. sometimes we struggle with enough… it seems that we never quite have enough..
Giving calms down that thing that lives inside some of us that says “I want more and more and more!”
It quiets our insatiable desires because it takes our eyes off ourselves...
When we give back to God, we acknowledge that everything we have and all that we are come from him in the first place. When we give, we are acknowledging that while we cannot have it all, we do have enough.
T/s There are four ways that Tithes should shape our worldview.
1. Our Priorities are Shaped by the Tithe.
2. Our Willingness to Obey God is Shaped through our Tithe.

3. Our Participation in God’s Mission is Shaped by the Tithe.

You may have encountered the "little free library" phenomenon that has popped up in neighborhoods all over the country: a cabinet-like box filled with books that's set out in a front yard, with a sign urging passerby to check out a book (or to donate their own). Now, a similar movement is taking place—except instead of little libraries adorning front lawns, little pantries are appearing, "stocked with free food and personal care items like toothbrushes and diapers for people in need."
For one pantry owner, Maggie Ballard of Wichita, her "blessing box" is "something small that … would benefit so many people so long as the word got out about it." She and her son "check on it every day and restock as needed." The box isn't locked, and the items inside are free—often, community members donate them.
What sets these tiny pantries apart from traditional food pantries—aside from their size—is their "sense of anonymity." Most visitors to the pantry come during the night, but Ballard has spotted a few: "On Christmas Eve she watched as a family of three opened her box to find a bag of bagels and started eating them right there."
"We're all short on time and money," she said, "and this is way that people can feel like they are making a difference."
One of the purposes of the tithes was provision for ministry in the temple… take care of the priests… but also … took care of ministry needs.. it’s just like provisions in that food pantry....
Our giving of time, talents and treasure impacts — effectiveness in ministry.
What happens is when we ignore sharing our gifts.... there is this slow and steady leak … When we stop contributing — Ministries get impacted…Slowly the storehouse becomes empty...
If you stop restocking your pantry at home—what eventually is that you have nothing to offer… When a local church stops giving…Eventually What happens is that there is nothing to give others…
The Malachi principle matters…
What Malachi tells Israel? Is that you keep on suffering… you keep on lacking… and there is a connection and it has to do with your contribution… or lack of contribution.. therefore the ministry of the temple was suffering...
Malachi resolution to problem of lack — may sound simplistic — if you want to remove the curse..simply start tithing again…acting out of obedience...
b. bring your full tithe…
Specifying “the whole tithe” suggests that many were either withholding part of the tithe or were bringing nothing. Bring in the whole 10% — not 2% --- 5% 8% — Start at base line of 10% in regular giving…
c. God says test me..
This is the only time in scripture where God tells us to test him..
The word test is ṣārap and it occurs in twenty-nine verses and usually refers to the process of refining. The active participle is used of literal metalworkers in gold or silver...
…the word means to Examine.... This can be taken literally… its same language that is used when David tested Sauls armor before going against Goliath...
Start giving and then to a comparison… check it against last years income.
Today terms it would be compared to accounting language… look at your journal entries…..look at your income and expenditures…... check it against your balance sheet.. go all the way the trial balance.... When you have examined everything carefully… look at the bottom line.. You will see that God is faithful.
T/s There are four ways that Tithes should shape our worldview.
1. Our Priorities are Shaped by the Tithe.
2. Our Willingness to Obey God is Shaped through our Tithe.
3. Our Participation in God’s Mission is Shaped by the Tithe.

4. Our Confidence that God will meet our Needs is Shaped by the Tithe.

God says … test me… with your tithe… See God’s blessing..
God will not pour out this blessing from heaven…The rain will provide a harvest too large to be stored in the ordinary ways.. not only will God’s house be thriving… but your will have more than enough...
Malachi tells us that not only will the Lord bless you, but he will rebuke the locus that devours the crop.. Sometimes it’s not an income issue… it is an expenditure issue… thing break downs… crops don’t grow…AC that break… car repairs… debt...
Have you been in the prayer meeting where someone has quoted this verse… “Lord we rebuke the devourer.” It sounds good in the moment… but think about it… this is an obedience issue — not a prayer issue… The Lord says test me in your giving.... and He will rebuke the devourer…The promises is conditional on obedience… We prayed and nothing happened…
God promises that when we honor the tithe he will rebuke the devourer...
Malachi 3:11–12 ESV
11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
We have to understand that Israels blessing is tied to the land… abundance meant blessing…not only blessing to them but to the other nations.. What is the Test all about???? God wants Israel to know and experience His faithfulness...
The thesis is - Test me in your Giving…
Proposition …
God will Bless - I will Pour Blessings
I will Protect I will Rebuke the Devour.
The result.... The nations will consider you fortunate… FOR YOU WILL BE A DELIGHTFUL LAND..
Conclusion..
Several years ago we stepped out in faith — I was 38 years old — three children… leave a secure position and attend seminary… Pam was supporting us… I was earning a little by working for the Seminary.. Giving wasn’t always easy… but we continued to tithe..
Amazing how God provided.. we had a man Daniel who would bring bread by the house regularly.. one day Pam had no money for the groceries and our neighbor had bought extra food and offered it to us… One Christmas Pam’s Bible study ladies bought gifts for our children… Thankful… for the generosity of others...
So many times we saw God working....
We just kept on tithing… giving…trusting.. We still see God providing and blessing in unexpected ways… The last seven years we have seen number of times God blessings in and through our local church..
Richvale historically has been a generous church… planting churches, supporting missionaries… some for more than 40 years…
Here is the thing about tithing is that you just have start..
The easiest way to get started with consistent giving is to treat it like a regular bill. Make up envelopes and your own payment coupons and keep them in the front of your bills folder.
Treat your giving with the same level of commitment as you do your rent or mortgage payment and other essential expenses.
We online Giving too.. help as a tool…
If this idea of giving is something new for you, 10 percent may seem like a high hurdle.
Don’t let that number appear to be so large that you convince yourself to give nothing. Start somewhere… Allow the 10% principle to shape your life… and stand back and see how God provideds.
Related Media
Related Sermons