The Basis of Your Blessings

God spoke through the prophet Malachi to confront the people of Jerusalem about the condition of their faith. When the exiles returned to Jerusalem after many years of captivity there was great excitement to rebuild the city and live out their destiny as the people of God. However, at this time they had lost their excitement and the fervor of their faith. Priests and Levites were working odd jobs to support themselves because of decreased tithes and offerings, thus the practices of their worship were not occurring with great regularity.

Look at the message of Malachi to the people (3:6-12)

1.God wants to restore you.
Here was the problem. "Ever since the time of (their) forefathers..." they had sin separating them from the LORD. Sin is not only a departure from righteous living, it's a departure from God.

But note here the desire of God's heart. God took the initiative to confront the sin and call the people to repentance, that they might live obediently to his commands and have fellowship with him.

"Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty."

If you realize that there is sin in your life, you'll recognize that is has affected your relationship with the LORD. You need to repent and be restored to God.

2.You need to make restitution for what you've withheld.
The people of Jerusalem were living outside of God's grace -- living cursed lives. God calls them to live obediently -- to start tithing again and to bring what they had withheld. The "whole tithe" signifies the addition of interest required for tithes that were late.

You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.

Here's what was stated in regards to bringing their tithes:

a-There's a place to give.
The storehouse was the designated spot for depositing tithes and offerings, ever since the time of Hezekiah (2Chronicles 31:11)

b-There's a proportion to give.
A tithe, meaning a tenth, was to be given to honor the LORD as Provider and to supply what was needed for the ministry of the LORD.
Tithing is older than the Law-- Genesis 14:18-20
Tithing was enforced by the Law-- Leviticus 27:30
Tithing was acknowledged and enforced by Jesus-- Matthew 23:23
Tithing was taught by the Apostles-- 1 Corinthians 16:2

c-There's a purpose for your giving.
"That there may be food in my house"
As with the Old Testament implication, where tithing was to supply those who worked in the Temple and their ministry, in the New Testament we read that tithing is to do the same in the Church.

3.Discover the basis of your relationship with God.
Through the message of Malachi, God wants the people to realize that the basis of their relationship with him is TRUST!

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. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

Here's what God wants to do for you:
a-He wants to reward your faith.

b-He wants to rebuke your enemies.

c-He wants to renew your life for all the world to see.

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