God’s Love and Stingy Givers
Malachi 3:6–15 (ESV)
6“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
7From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’
8Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.
9You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.
10Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.
12Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
13“Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’
14You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts?
15And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’ ”
1. We don’t preach on giving much at NRBC. We deal with it as much as the text does. Do you think we should preach on giving more? Less?
2. What does God’s immutability have to do with giving? Why is it so encouraging to know that you are giving to an immutable God?
3. Do you think that the NT requires believers to tithe?
a. Compare the language of Malachi 3:10 with 2 Corinthians 9:8-12. Does this help answer the question?
b. What are some principles for giving that we know the NT specifically teaches? What passages are you basing your answer on?
4. The Israelites had been repeatedly “turned aside” (v.7) from God over the years when it came to giving.
a. Why is it so very difficult to give faithfully to the Lord’s work?
b. How do v.14-15 help answer that question?
5. This is the main point of the sermon: God has given his Son to us. We should be overjoyed at the opportunity to generously support his Son’s body on this earth.
a. What institution is God’s primary means for accomplishing his purposes on earth?
b. What are some secondary means that God also uses?
c. Do you agree that the NT believer’s primary giving should be to his or her local church?
d. Are you comfortable with the practice of tithing (10%) to yoru local church and giving offerings above and beyond that to other Christian or charitable organizations?
6. Could somebody look at your giving record and say, “That person ‘follows, trusts, and serves’ God”?
7. Could somebody look at your giving record and say, “That person robs God”?
8. Do you think Malachi 3:10-12 are “promises” for the NT believer? If not, what do they teach us about God’s character?
9. What are some practical steps that you can take to move from a robber to a giver?
a. Will you sit down at the beginning of the New Year and budget your finances so that you have more to give to God’s primary purposes on this earth?
b. Will you consider confiding in somebody else in the church (not one of the Elders!) about your giving habits to help hold you accountable?