I hope you have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to enjoying another blessed Sabbath!
You might remember a couple of weeks ago in our time together we watched the amazing story of Abraham, the Maasai man in Tanzania who decided to return tithe by giving a tenth of all his livestock, and God blessed him in an amazing way as his cattle and sheep multiplied greatly! What a powerful testimony of how God fulfills His promise of pouring out blessings from the windows of heaven when we are faithful to Him!
The returning of tithe and the giving of offerings are ancient practices established by God Himself. They are meant to be an incredible blessing to us as they connect our hearts with the heart of God.
Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 6:19–21—“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What an incredible, beautiful thought it is that today, through the return of tithe and the giving of offerings, our hearts can be in heaven!
God loves a cheerful giver and longs to knit our hearts together with His. While He asks us to return tithe—10 percent of all our increase—back to Him, He also asks that we give regular, systematic offerings to support the mission of His Church. This is different than freewill offerings, which are given only from time-to-time when one is impressed to give.
According to the Bible, as we receive, so should we give. In Proverbs 3:9 we read, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase.”
And the Bible also tells us that we should be systematic in our offerings—meaning we should determine ahead of time what percentage of our income we will give as offerings on a regular basis.
One way to identify these regular, systematic offerings is by the word “Promise.” This concept of “Promise” is explained further in this short video produced by the Stewardship department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Friends, we can never outgive the Lord! He is just waiting to pour out His blessings upon you! If you would like to learn more about “Promise” and putting God first, I encourage you to visit the Stewardship Ministries website.
Let me have a word of prayer with you now, especially about this precious subject. Father in heaven, we thank you that you have given to us so many things, including our talents, our abilities, our time and our resources. Lord, we intrust all of these into your hands. Give us an understanding of how beautiful your wonderful prescription is for returning the tithes to you, it’s yours already and we just returned that 10%, and then the additional systematic offerings that are given. Help each one to determine in consultation with you, what is appropriate for them to give to you as a precious offering. Lord thank you for the blessings you provide, thank you that you have promised to pour out blessings out of the windows of heaven more than we will ever be able to receive. Lord I testify to the fact that you have done that for me, for my family. Lord may that be the case for everyone watching today. You tell us to prove you and to see if you will not do so, thank you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.