Does Tithing Open Heaven?
Malachi 1:13-14, 3:7-12
I. Preeminence: Putting God first in every area of our lives.
A. As a disciple of Christ, my financial life is connected to my worship. Jesus is Lord. (Psalm 24:1)
B. As a lover of God, I want to reflect Him in all areas. He is a giver, so I am a giver.
C. When we give our lives to God it means our time, talent and treasure become His. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
D. Tithing is a biblical principal that teaches us to be consistent in putting God first. Tithing is not a legal law that we are under. As New Testament believers we are not bound to the Mosaic Law. Tithing is an issue of the heart. When we honor God with our first, He then activates the blessing of heaven upon the rest. (Proverbs 3:9-10)
E. Some people think that tithing is a part of the law but Abraham actually tithed 430 years before the Law of Moses was given. We are the seed of Abraham, therefore, we have access to the promises of God as well as the responsibility to follow his lead in giving. (Genesis 14:19-20; Galatians 3:26-29)
F. Jacob, before the law was instituted, committed to tithe. (Genesis 28:20-22) All people who were even connected to Jacob were blessed. (Genesis 28:27)
G. At MPC we believe tithing the first and best of all of our increase is how we respond by faith to Abraham’s seed through Christ.
H. Jesus affirms tithing. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law – justice, mercy and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. (Matthew 23:23NLT)
II. Plan: When should I start tithing? Should I pray this whole year?
A. No, you need to do two things: Make a decision and be disciplined.
B. Every week be consistent when you get paid to bring your tithe or what you purpose in your heart to give. Paul used the giving of the churches in Galatia as a model for New Testament giving. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God has prospered him.” (I Corinthians 16:1-2)
C. Again, tithing is not a New Testament law but a biblical principal and pattern to give your first and best in a consistent manner in proportion to your income.
III. Praise: When we give to God we worship and honor Him.
A. Tithing teaches us to trust God and not ourselves. (Deuteronomy 14:22-23KJV)
B. Tithing breaks the power of greed and selfishness off of our lives. As we praise and worship God with our giving, it releases God’s favor and blessing which always ends up being more than what we gave.
C. Tithing breaks the neck of the spirit of poverty and releases the spirit of abundance.
IV. Promise: When = Then – When we tithe then the windows of heaven open.
A. “Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the measure you mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38KJV) Every time we give it comes back and then some!
B. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (II Corinthians 9:6KVJ) The more we give, the more we reap.
C. “Give freely and become wealthier; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in a time of need.” (Proverbs11:24-26) So the law of sowing and reaping applies in the New Testament church. So when I give, when I tithe, I live under an open heaven of blessing. I’m blessed when I give because God blesses everything I give to Him.
D. When we tithe and honor God and His house, He opens the windows of heaven (open heaven upon you). He pours out a blessing so great we won’t even have enough room for it all. God tells us to prove Him, test Him, try Him and see if He doesn’t cause everything in our homes to flourish and see if He won’t keep every enemy from stealing, killing and hindering our prosperity. (Malachi 3:10-11)
V. Provision: All of these provisions in these scriptures are conditional.
A. “My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:15)
B. “Now He that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness. Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness which causes through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgiving unto God.” (II Corinthian 9:10-12)
C. At MPC we never want to say we are under law or compulsion to give because we are not legalistic. But we do say in order to follow the biblical pattern of giving we do believe in tithing. We are praying that God gives all MPC members the revelation of tithing to support His kingdom. We are people experiencing God in His love, grace, mercy and presence.
D. Jesus is our High Priest and our inheritance in the New Covenant. When we give our tithes, we are giving to our High Priest. He decrees all the blessing and favor of God upon us as Melchizedek blessed Abraham when he tithed to him. (Hebrews 7:1-28). Now all the blessing of Christ is upon us.