From "Counting the Cost"
"ÖTest 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 you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10
To understand what is going on in this passage, you must read the surrounding verses. In these scriptures, the Lord was speaking to His people through Malachi, the prophet. The Lord was condemning the people for breaking their covenant with Him in many ways. One serious problem was that they were neglecting their tithes and offerings. In verse 8, God even went so far as to say the people were robbing Him. Now thatís a pretty heavy accusation!
God sternly condemned the people but He didnít stop there. In His loving kindness, He also offered them a challenge and a promise if they would repent and obey. In verse 10, He basically said, "Just step back and let me show you what I can do!" Not only did He promise to bless them for their obedience but in verse 11, He also promised protection for their crops and vineyards. Itís almost as if God gave the people a no-risk, money back guarantee. "Obey me and Iíll not only bless you more than you can imagine, but Iíll also protect your livelihoods." Talk about making an offer they couldnít refuse!
Although this passage was written thousands of years ago, this principle of giving still holds true today. God wants us to give generously to support His work and help others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Whether you choose to give to your home congregation or to ministries in other places, God is pleased with faithful and faith-filled giving.
Some of you may be thinking, "Yeah, but my budget is so tight, I canít possibly give. After I pay all my bills, thereís nothing left!" Wait a minute; letís look back at what Malachi 3:10 says. "ÖSee if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Wow! This verse says that if we take that step of faith and give even when thereís nothing to spare, God promises Heíll overwhelm us with blessings. Not only that, Heíll also protect us from other forms of financial hardship. We give God our offerings and in return, He protects us and gives us back even more. What a bargain!
Throughout my own life, I have never seen this principle fail. Even at times when the money was tight, God has always blessed me when I gave my tithe before divvying up the rest of the money. Not only have I seen God provide in totally unpredictable ways, but I have also felt that ďprotectionĒ mentioned in Malachi 3:10. Because Iíve seen it happen so dependably, I am a firm believer that obeying this verse is an essential ingredient in having financial peace.
These days it seems that people everywhere are looking for advice on managing their money. Although this financial advice was given thousands of years ago, it is timeless. No other investment I know of offers this kind of return. God promises that we wonít be disappointed if we take that step of faith and test Him in our giving. If you havenít already, why donít you try it and see what happens!
Nancy Twigg is the editor of Counting the Cost, a free bi-monthly Christian e-zine devoted to everyday abundant living at its best. Topics include experiencing life more joyfully, using our time and money wisely, building stronger family relationships, and spiritual enrichment. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail message to: email@example.com or visit Nancy online at www.countingthecost.com and subscribe there.
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