ResourcesGod says, I will HEAL my people and will let them enjoy abundant Peace and Security (Jeremiah 33:6)
Receiving God's Abundant Blessing
Text: Malachi 3:6-12
By Pastor Dean L. Wong
Eric Shipton, an explorer related an incident of overlooking God’s blessings. When he reached Bergen, Norway, He found that, due to some slight miscalculation, he had only just enough money for his ticket by boat to London and none to spare for food. In those days he had a healthy appetite, and the prospect of a two-day fast was not pleasant. He grew more and more ravenous (very hungry) as the voyage progressed. Finally, he could not stand it no more.
As the other passengers were entering the ship’s dining room for the last meal, he asked a kindly looking old gentleman if he would bring him some bread when he had finished. The old gentleman looked at him in astonishment, and said, “But why don’t you come in and eat?” He explained his plight (serious and difficult situation and condition), to which the gentleman replied, “But you don’t have to pay; meals are included in your ticket.”
God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”? (Ephesians 3:20)
Do you not know that it is God’s will to bless his children; just like earthly fathers who bless their children?
Jesus says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
In this passage there are three simple steps (3As) you can take to receive God’s abundant blessings.
I. Admit your Sin – Violating and Bending God’s Law
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. 7 “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ (Malachi 3:6-7)
A. Never disobey God
Throughout history, God’s people have disobeyed, even scorned his laws, but God has always been willing to accept them back.
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:8-10)
B. Never challenge God
Here, however, the people have the nerve to imply that they never disobeyed. They asked, “How are we to return?” (Malachi 3:7)
Many people have turned their backs on restoration because they have refused to admit their sin.
Nevertheless, the Lord’s love and compassion are on those who fear Him.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm 103:11-13)
II. Acknowledge your Shortcomings – Failure to honor God
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. (Malachi 3:8-9)
A. God owns everything
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1)
8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. (Haggai 2:8)
B. God wants to bless you
6 You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! (Haggai 1:6)
Malachi urged the people to stop holding back their tithes, to stop cheating God, and thereby stop the curse!
King David acknowledged that everything he had come from God.
14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. (1 Chronicles 29:14)
Let’s take a look at the example of Abram.
Abram went to war and recovered everything.
14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people. (Genesis 14:14-16)
Abram gave a tenth of everything he had recovered.
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:17-20)
God makes the purpose of tithing very clear – to put Him first.
What we do first with our money shows what we value most. Giving the first part of our paycheck to God shows that we acknowledge God is the One who gives us the power to get wealth, and that all we have belongs to him.
III. Act on Scripture – Do what God Says
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:10-12)
A. Our Faith in God must be accompanied with deeds – Return what belongs to God
The reason people withhold the tithe is that they don’t understand that God owns it. They think it is their money and they become possessive!
Illustration: The tithing system began during the time of Moses
A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. (Leviticus 27:30)
You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. (Deuteronomy 14:22)
A habit of regular tithing keeps God at the top of our priority.
It give us a proper perspective on everything else we have. A church of Jesus Christ is the storehouse of God, which you must give your 10% tithe. Anything more than that is an offering to God, which you may give freely as God convicts your hearts of the needs of His people.
Many people are ignorant about the importance of giving to the church of Jesus Christ. They think they are helping God. They did not recognize the spiritual significance in relation to God’s Blessings.
A habit of regular tithing pleases God to honor His promises.
What’s given to God will come back to us a hundred fold. We are just returning a portion as the first-fruit acknowledging God’s provision, and He will give us the increase.
B. Our Faith in God will cause us to be blessed – Receive blessing from God
During Malachi’s day, the people were not giving tithes. So the Levites went to work to earn a living. Thereby neglecting their God-given responsibilities to care for the Temple and for the service of worship.
Therefore when we refuse to return (10% tithe) to God a part of what he has given us, we rob God and slow down His ministry.
Do you selfishly want to keep 100 percent of what God gives, and rob yourself of God’s blessing? Or do you want God to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing” with just a 10 percent tithe (Malachi 3:10)?
When we honor God, He will honor us with His blessing.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10)
Giving first to God helps us conquer greed, and opens us up to receive God’s special blessings.
11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:11-12)
Whatever your investment, you can be sure of God’s protection, fruitfulness, and blessing.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” in Jesus’ name (3 John 2). Amen!
The Reason For Our Being – The Church of Jesus Christ
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)
I. The reason for our being is to Worship God – offer your bodies as living sacrifices.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
A. Worship God in our Mission
We are a Healing and Restoration Church called by God to save, heal, drive out demons, redeem from sin’s power and make known His Presence and Power all over the world with the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:4-5; 4:20; Mark 16:15-18).
Preach the Message of the Cross
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21)
Preach with a Demonstration of the Spirit’s Power
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Preach with a Living Example for others to follow
16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Corinthians 4:16-20)
Preach wherever we go with Signs Following
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:15-18)
B. Worship God in our Vision
To glorify God by bearing much fruit, showing ourselves to be Jesus’ disciples (John 15:5-8), and helping others do the same in living by faith (Galatians 2:20-21).
Glorifying God through Christ Connection – believing in Jesus and His Word
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)
Glorifying God through Faith Connection – accepting the Grace of God
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:20-21)
C. Worship God in our Purpose Statement
We are committed to the Great Commandment to Love (Matthew 22:37-40), and the Great Commission to Exalt the Lord, Equip the Saints, and Evangelize the Community (Matthew 28:19-20).
Obeying The Great Commandment
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:35-40)
Fulfilling The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
II. The reason for our being is to Serve God – be a people belonging to God.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
As a people belonging to God, we need to
A. Heal the sick and deliver the oppressed.
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:13-16)
B. Minister to the Lord and to one another.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
C. Administer God’s grace to serve others.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10)
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
The church of Jesus Christ helps us to persevere in our faith.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
The church of Jesus Christ provides opportunities for us to minister.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16)
The church of Jesus Christ provides spiritual guidance and covering.
17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:15-17)
However, if any church leader refuses to obey God – be bold and be wise.
18 Then they [elders and teachers of the law] called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)
20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)