This week, Pastor Chris brought our sermon series through Malachi to a close with a powerful word on the consequences of robbing God. In Malachi, God’s people were in spiritual decay, distant from God and distrusting His unchanging goodness and love over them. In their sin, they blamed God for the consequences of their own rebellion. In response, God told them about how they were robbing and dishonoring Him. We want to be a people who place our trust in the God who never changes, who honor Him in all our ways, and who fully submit our will to His.
The Reliability of God – Our God does not and will never change. This means that we can fully trust in Him and His immutable goodness.
Malachi 3:6 (ESV)
6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
• We will never do anything successfully without trusting God.
“Every spiritual battle we face…in fact, all of spiritual warfare itself, center on trust in God.” Banning Liebscher
Ways the enemy attacks our trust in God:
• He tries to trick us into mistrusting God.
• He tries to trick us into taking matters into our own hands.
• He tries to trick us into putting ourselves on the throne of our lives.
Acknowledge Your Proximity – If you are not close to God, it is not because He has moved or changed.
Malachi 3:7 (ESV)
7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’
James 4:6–8 (ESV)
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Who Owns It?
Malachi 3:8 (ESV)
8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.
Proverbs 3:9–10 (ESV)
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Consecrated or Cursed?
Malachi 3:9 (ESV)
9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.
Deuteronomy 8:16–18 (ESV)
16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
1. Where our money goes, our hearts will follow.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
2. We are stewards, not owners.
What is treasure in heaven?
“It includes power (Luke 19:15–19), possessions (Matthew 19:21), and pleasures (Psalm 16:11). Jesus promises that those who sacrifice on earth will receive a hundred times as much in heaven (Matthew 19:29). That’s 10,000 percent—an impressive return!” Randy Alcorn
Full Tithe or Paying Dues?
Malachi 3:10 (ESV)
10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
• Only 5% of church goers in America tithe.
• 80% of Americans church goers only give 2% of their income.
• Christians are giving at 2.5% of income; during the Great Depression it was 3.3%.
• Average Hebrew 25-27% in the OT.
Malachi 3:11–12 (ESV)
11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
1. Something must be sown before it can multiply.
2. Only what is given away can multiply.
3. The point is not to rob God less – it’s not to rob God at all.
4. Spiritual health and financial generosity are deeply connected.
1. What is the immutability of God? What does this theological truth mean for our walk with Him?
2. Pastor Chris said, “If you’re not close to God, it’s not because He’s moved or has changed.” What creates distance between us and God?
3. Have you ever experienced any of the attacks on trust that Pastor Chris shared (mistrusting God, taking matters into our own hands, putting ourselves on the throne of our lives)? Which do you struggle with the most?
4. Do you view your finances as 100% belonging to the Lord? If not, what stands in the way of this perspective?
5. How can we increasingly become stewards instead of owners of our finances?
1. Ask yourself honestly this week, “who or what am I putting my trust in?” Is it in something that changes (a feeling, your circumstances, financial stability, a person)? Commit this week to place your entire trust in God and His immutable goodness.
2. Are you currently feeling far off from the Lord? Choose this week to pursue intimacy with Him, knowing that God never changes or moves away from us.
3. Based on your answer to #3 in our discussion questions, ask a friend or mentor to pray and intercede for you against this specific attack. Declare war this week on your mistrust of God, your control, or your desire to be on the throne of your life.
4. Do you need to recalibrate how you steward the resources God has entrusted you with? Ask the Lord to give you His eyes for your finances and revelation for how to align with His will for them.