Scripture Passage: Malachi 3:7-12
At its core definition, stewardship is our relationship with money: how we obtain, save, invest, spend and give our wealth. God is interested in this relationship, as is Satan—our enemy who would love to keep us in financial bondage.
If money increases our worries, or if we have plenty in the bank, but we have no treasure in Heaven, we are in financial bondage. We all want to be free from the curse of debt, but freedom is only found when we are faithful in stewardship.
Malachi 3:7 says, “Yet from the days of your fathers, you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’”
In order to obtain financial freedom, we must first personally return to God; He does not need our money, but He wants our fellowship. When we remember tithing is God’s way of revealing our priorities to ourselves, we will see tithing as a great blessing. It is our privilege to show God that He is first in our lives and everything else is secondary.
Adrian Rogers says, “God is not raising money; God is growing Christians. God wants us to grow in grace and knowledge and to love Him.”
After our personal return, there is a financial release: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:8).
By biblical definition, tithing is ten percent given to the temple of God (church), for the work of the temple. Giving to charities or ministries is good, but it is not a replacement for our tithes.
When we learn to give back to God freely, there will be a spiritual renewal. God will renew our faith, rebuke our foes and restore our fruitfulness. Our offerings are like seeds for a crop: when we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.
Apply it to your life
Are you in financial bondage, seeking freedom from an indebted spirit? Remain faithful in stewardship; return to God, understanding He wants you first and foremost. Then, show your faithfulness through tithing.
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