Return to Me… Finding Blessing Through Giving

Ever since the time of your ancestors, you have deviated from my laws and have not kept them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of heavenly forces. But you say, “How should we return?”
Should a person deceive God? Yet you deceive me. But you say, “How have we deceived you?” With your tenth-part gifts and offerings.
You are being cursed with a curse, and you, the entire nation, are robbing me.
10 Bring the whole tenth-part to the storage house so there might be food in my house. Please test me in this, says the Lord of heavenly forces. See whether I do not open all the windows of the heavens for you and empty out a blessing until there is enough.
11 I will threaten the one who wants to devour you so that it doesn’t spoil the fruit of your fertile land, and so that the vine doesn’t abort its fruit in your field,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
12 All the nations will consider you fortunate, for you will be a desirable land, says the Lord of heavenly forces.

13 You have spoken harshly about me, says the Lordbut you say, “What have we spoken about you?”
14 You said, “Serving God is useless. What do we gain by keeping his obligation or by walking around as mourners before the Lord of heavenly forces?
15 So now we consider the arrogant fortunate. Moreover, those doing evil are built up; they test God and escape.” (Malachi 3:7-15, Common English Bible).

Throughout my years in ministry I have heard many people say, “When you give the way you are supposed to, when you tithe, you get more back than you ever gave,” or words to that effect. I have also had a number of people who have heard those words and imagine it something like an interest bearing account. You give your money to some ministry and God will give you money back in return, perhaps many times over.

In my experience that isn’t what that means at all. Yes, sometimes after people give generously God gives to them generously in a financial way. I would not put a limit on what God can and will do by telling you God won’t bless you financially. God has and God will. For most of us, however, we give and when we see what happens with what we have given, when we see how lives are changed by what we give, we feel a real blessing because our generosity made a real difference.

In today’s lesson God throws out a challenge to the reader. I love verse 10. “Bring the whole tenth-part to the storage house so there might be food in my house. Please test me in this, says the Lord of heavenly forces. See whether I do not open all the windows of the heavens for you and empty out a blessing until there is enough.”

God is saying, “Do it and then sit back and wait and see what I will do.” The truth is, none of us know what God will do when we are generous and faithful in what we give. It is a privilege to be able to watch to see what God will do next.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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