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Message

A Matter of Trust - Part 4, Tithing Challenge, Part 2
Miles McPherson - January 26, 2014

Message Recap

Often we treat God like a dog waiting under the dinner table; we take the best of what we have for ourselves and give Him the leftovers.  But God gives us His best and deserves our best.  The Bible teaches that our best is our firsts.  That is why giving is not a money issue, but a heart issue.  It has nothing to do with how much we have.

God gives us His best and deserves our best.

When you need advice, you should go to God first.  Some turn to the bottle, others to cursing, to tantrums, or to other people, but you should go to God.  If you have a tragedy, are sick, need a miracle, or have something to celebrate, God should be your first call – and you don’t need a phone or WiFi to reach Him!

1. God blesses what is given.   Luke 6:38

If you go to the car wash, you have to bring your car to receive the service.  Your clothes can’t be cleaned at the dry cleaners if you don’t carry them in.  The barber can’t trim your hair if you don’t sit down and put your hair in front of him.  So how will God bless your money if you don’t first give it to Him?

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

God wants to bless your life and help you to grow, but you have to trust Him with your heart first.  When we openly offer what we have to God, He has access to offer His blessings in every area.

2. Our gifts need to be given first. Proverbs 3:9-10, 1 Corinthians 16:2

“You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. Likewise you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.” Exodus 22:29-30

Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

  Proverbs 3:9-10

Giving our first and best to God is a sign that we honor Him, acknowledging Him above all things as the Provider of all we have.

Are there people in your life that you sometimes avoid because you know they will drain you of time, energy, money, etc?  On the other hand, there are likely people who are overflowing with blessing so that being near them is a blessing to you.  God says that when we give Him our best, we will overflow with blessing!

3. Giving to God first secures a blessing on the rest. Malachi 3:8-10, Romans 11:16, Deuteronomy 26:13-15

In Exodus, God’s final plague on Egypt, the killing of the firstborn sons of every household with did not bear the blood of the lamb, was the final straw that convinced Pharaoh to release the Israelites; the death of the firstborn secured the freedom and lives of God’s people.

God calls for our firsts to be dedicated to Him as a reminder that His firstborn set us free from sin and death.

[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15

4. Giving to God first demonstrates faith of more to come.  1 Corinthians 15:20, 23, 1 Corinthians 16:15

If you own a cow and it is your sole form of sustenance, its milk and its first calf would be of great value to you.  It represents the security of your future.  But God asks that we dedicate the firstborn to Him in trust that He will provide more for us in the future.

You may not own a cow, but when your paycheck comes in from your job, there is the same opportunity to honor God.  When you give Him your first 10%, you are demonstrating your trust that He will provide whatever you need as the month goes on.  Giving the first of what we have is an acknowledgment of faith in the Giver.

God promises to care for us and trust that there is more to come.

So have you dedicated your first fruits this year?  Right now you have the opportunity to take the 90-day tithing challenge.  God tells us in Malachi to test Him in this method of giving and He promises a return of blessing on our lives. God has many different ways (finances, health, opportunities, relationships, etc.) to bless you and show you that He honors your faith.   If you haven’t experienced God’s blessing in 90 days of tithing, your money will be returned!

A Matter of Trust

This 4-part series explores how God wants us to trust Him in all situations and with everything we have. In Part 4, Pastor Miles talks about giving God our first and our best. God will bless what we give Him, however our gifts need to be given first.

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