Are you a thief and a robber?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 19, 2009
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse–the whole nation of you–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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 you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:8-10)
Are you a thief and a robber? Many who claim Christ are. I have heard all kinds of pathetic excuses from those who claim Christ in order to get out of the mandate that Malachi is given by God here in these verses. Everything from, “That’s Old Testament!” to “We are not bound by the Law anymore,” and of course my personal ungodly favorite that “Jesus will lay on my heart what I need to give to Him.” This is simply a sad situation which shows a shallow spiritual stupidity.
At the rate supposed Christians “rob” God in our day and age, many are guilty of grand larceny on a major scale! We all get excited about business men flying around in their or corporate jets, receiving Government funds, and then paying out their contractual bonuses to workers, but we give no thought whatsoever of our own ungodly heretical behavior in how we blatantly steal from God. Even our own President, at this time of writing, while professing faith in Christ gives hardly anything back to the work of the Lord. His example is less than stellar and displays a flagrant ungodly attitude that is reflected by most of those nowadays who try to claim Christ.
Christians are to be about setting up the kingdom of God here on earth and they are to be about it in their local church, period. Part of this requirement has already been discussed by me and you can go back and read about what church membership means in previous devotions. But what I am addressing here is the wholesale robbing of God by believers.
Some churches even encourage this spiritual stealing by allowing their congregations to decide for themselves what they should be giving, if anything! We forget that if we say we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we have given Him everything in our life, including our finances. They are to be totally His. (This, by the way, is where some falsely think they can blame their ungodliness on Jesus by declaring that Jesus will “tell” them what amount to give. Pure and utter… hogwash!) Literally billions of dollars are withheld and wasted annually to worldly pleasures by pathetic people who do not support their church with a proper tithe or any offerings.
If you are a member of God’s household, you as a Christian are to give to His household, His body here on earth, in order to see that His kingdom is established. Did you forget a little prayer that Jesus taught that says, “Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? (Matthew 6:9-10) His will is the establishment of His kingdom through His church body until His Son returns! Jesus related that “you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when He returns.” (Matthew 24:44-46) Jesus warned His disciples also with these words that we would do well to remember: “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.” (Mark 13:35) For some of you He will find you picking the pockets of His church of what you should be giving. You expect your church to meet your needs, but you give little to meet the work of Jesus’ church.
So, are you Dear child of the Lord, a thief and a robber? You are if you withhold your proper tithes and offerings. You are if are trying to claim the promises of God, that you belong inside His household as part of His family, and yet contribute next to nothing — you are living a lie! You are a leach and like a welfare relative that never leaves. Shame on you! You are in fact a thief, a robber, and worse you are working against the kingdom work of the Lord by withholding your tithes and offerings. And notice, it is both. A tithe is one tenth of your gross income, since we no longer slaughter livestock and give a portion of our crops to the church and its upkeep. Your offerings are to be above and beyond your tithe and is that which the Lord lays on your heart to give. Part of what shows the world that you truly follow the Him is your willingness to tithe. Begin this week.
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