Malachi 3:8-10 - "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring you 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."
God has commanded all His children to give tithes and offerings. Failure to tithe is called robbery and spiritual idolatry. Because of this blatant financial disobedience, many believers are not filled with the Holy Spirit and forfeit so much of God's blessing. To refuse to tithe is to place money and things ahead of God. Failing to tithe is nothing less than common thievery against the God who has given everything for us. It is disturbing that many think nothing of giving a fifteen percent tip to a restaurant waiter, yet find ten percent too much for the Giver of all life. (What does this say about our priorities?) Most would not dare defraud the IRS; yet think nothing of defrauding God every week in His own house of worship. (What does this say about our fear and reverence of God?)
Questions for Reflection: Have you been honest to fully tithe your time and talents to God? Have you been honest in calculating your tithe or have you tithed from the leftovers rather than the fast fruits of your income? (Do you give God what's left over after everyone else gets theirs?)
Jesus Christ cannot be Lord of your life if He is not Lord of your finances. Have you figured the tithe to the penny but been stingy with any offerings beyond the tithe? Would you be willing to give far more than a tithe if God leads you? After all, a tithe is the bare minimum God requires. How can we not joyfully give far more than the bare minimum?
Spirit-filled believers give cheerfully, generously and sacrificially. Carnal believers put money and things ahead of God. If you sense God's conviction about finances, obey Him now. Friend, you will quickly discover you cannot out-give God! He will give back to you far more than you could ever give to Him (Luke 6:38).
As we confess and forsake our sins of withholding tithes and offerings from God, let us rejoice in His full acceptance of us, even in our weakness (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:9) His mercy is higher than the heavens!
Proverbs 13:11 - "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished but he that gathers by labor shall increase."
God's Word gives clear principles concerning the believers' use of money. In Proverbs, we see God honors hard work and consistent savings. Believers are to do honest work and make wise, steady investments. In plain terms, this means gambling is utterly contrary to God's will! We are to trust God, not chance. Gambling and get rich quick schemes are the exact opposite of God's laws of finance.
America is experiencing an unprecedented explosion of gambling. Through technology, society is becoming ever more saturated with new forms of this spiritual disease. Increasingly, politicians are so ready to put money ahead of what is biblical and right. Mark this well, no Christian should have anything to do with gambling!
Questions for Reflection: If gambling is a good personal investment, why are the casinos getting rich? If gambling is a healthy practice, why do countless thousands become addicted to it? If gambling is good, why do bankruptcies explode in cities where gaming takes root? Have you been deceived into thinking gambling is just a harmless recreational activity? Remember friend, your money is not your own, it is God's. If you have engaged in any form of gambling, immediately confess and forsake this serious misuse of God's money.
As we confess our sins of gambling and participating in get rich quick schemes, and set our hearts to forsake such behavior, let us set our faith and hearts on God, the "author and finisher of our faith," who holds our futures in His hands (Hebrews 12:2).