Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Most people never experience the joy of willingly and cheerfully giving to the Lord and His work. The Old Testament set precedence for how much man would give to the Lord. This standard was not the maximum offering but simply the minimum. The Bible repeatedly identifies the amount in scripture as a tithe, which means a tenth (Leviticus 27:32). Failure to give the tithe to the Lord was deemed robbery by God (Malachi 3:8). Simply put, the tithe belonged to God. The tithe, however, was not to be considered the peak of what man gave back to God. It never was intended to be so, nor ever should it be. Those who truly love the Lord will not use the tithe as a maximum amount to give. Instead, they realize that this portion already belongs to the Lord and it serves as the bare minimum of what they should give to Him. Those who pride themselves on tithing, pride themselves on giving God the least.
- (For children): Count out ten pennies. Pick up one of them. Everytime you gain ten pennies,at least one of these belongs to God. That is called a tenth or a tithe. If you decide to give God extra out of the other nine pennies that remain, that is an offering above the tithe.
- (For everyone): How much is too much for the Lord to ask of His people? What does complaining about giving to the Lord reveal about your heart?
- Why do we choose to pay others what we owe them and fail to pay God what we owe Him for all that He has done for us? Do we not owe the Lord so much more than we owe any man?
- Ask God to help you see tithing as a start rather than an end.
- Ask God to work in your heart so that you enjoy giving to Him.