Introduction: Do you really believe that God is a promise keeper? If you do, you should want to line up with the promises He makes for those who give and try to avoid the promises that He makes for those who don’t give. We should overcome unbelief by acting on knowledge.
1. I can’t afford it. Notice that passages like Psalms 24:1 and John 3:16 talk about God’s wealth and love for us. To say that “we cannot afford it” is to say that we don’t believe God is able and/or willing to take care of us.
The only reason a saved person doesn’t tithe is because he/she doesn’t believe God. Some behave as if God is broke, a liar, or unreliable. In spite of all of our apparent agreement with God being a way maker and promise keeper, when it comes down to giving $50 to $200 a week tithes, many fall by the way side.
God is calling for faith in Him more than what seems right to us (see Lk. 21:3; Pro. 14:12). Let’s work on trusting God to provide for us.
2. I’m just not feeling it. Notice in passages like Malachi 3:8-10 (as well as Josh. 7 w/Achan and Hag. 1 w/God’s blowing blessing away) that God promises punishment for robbing Him.
Too many behave as if how they “feel” about giving is more important than God’s promises of punishment for not giving. They behave as if they don’t believe that God will do anything about robbing Him.
We are call to believe/trust that God will get around to those who don’t obey Him, especially those who willfully disobey Him. Let’s live like we really believe the promises of God about punishing disobedience.
3. God knows my heart. Notice that John 14:15 teaches that if we love the Lord, we would obey Him. Think about how after a wife gives her best in child bearing, housing keeping, and being a faithful supporter, she deserves to be loved in her love language. If she wants candy then you would not go for a walk.
Think about how after a husband has kept bills paid, keep home and cars in operating order, and been faithful in companionship, he deserves to be respected in his respect language. If talking to him about major purchase, before they are made, is important to him then that would be a great place to start.
By the same logic, after God has given His Son, Holy Spirt, sovereign plan, and all kinds of physical blessings, He deserves to be loved and respected in His language of obedience. Too many behave as if they don’t believe that God is worth loving and respecting in His chosen way.
Matthew 7:20; 15:8 support the need to honor God from our obedient hearts, instead of with empty lip service. Let’s live like God deserves whatever He asks for.
4. Decision. Notice in passages like John 5:6; Luke 9:23 that everyone must decide to be healthy or to be a stronger disciple of Christ. It would seem as if God would feel some way about our giving over 10% of our income in taxes to a country with significant issues in our education, prison, and economic systems, but resist giving 10% to the God who is so faithful and gracious.
We know enough about God’s will and have experienced enough of His goodness to decide to obey Him. Let’s live like we have really decided to obey the Lord. This application is good for every area of our lives, not just giving.
5. Our level of faithfulness. Notice in passages like Luke 19:12-27 that God will bless us at our level of faith. If we obey very well then God will bless us very well. If we obey at an average level then God will bless us at an average level. But when we obey at a terrible level, we are subject to be punished.
Let’s work on growing in the right direction. Even though God calls for 10%, giving 5% until we grow to 7% and 7% until we grow to 10% is much better than doing nothing but making excuses.
Note: Continue to 1. Pray for the faithful tithers (80% of SBC’s revenue comes from less than 20% of those on our active/voting roster); 2. Pray for those willing to commit to growing towards God’s will; 3. Pray for God to change the hearts of those who refuse to obey Him (i.e., sometimes this is done with preaching and patience but other times pain), and 4. Pray for God to give us wisdom and favor with what we have (i.e., even though we were lagging by $26k in revenue at the end of August w/other major repairs expected, God is able to increase revenues and decreases expenses, so His will is done).