by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Happy New Year!I believe that this is God’s resolve for us. I will let Him speak in His own Words…

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.  Malachi 3:8

You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.  Malachi 3:9

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.  Malachi 3:10

“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:11

Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you to live in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts; “Consider your ways! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! Thus, says the LORD of hosts; “Consider your ways!”  Haggai 1:4-7

“Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze.”  Exodus 35:5

“Well, then,” He said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” Matthew 22:21

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Matthew 19:21

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.  Matthew 19:22

Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Act 20:35

“This [I say], “he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”  2 Corinthians 9:6

“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And do not give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” giving 2 Corinthians 9:7

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”                   2 Corinthians 9:8

“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”  Ecclesiastes 11:4

 “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”  Ecclesiastes 11:6

 “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”  Ephesians 4:28

“She, poor as she is, has given everything she had…” Mark 12:44

At a time when unemployment is high and there is an over abundance of empty houses and standing room only homeless shelters; frequent calls are from bill collectors; the cost of energy and healthcare is rising; and government is taking more in taxes, God has called us to be givers. I know that it seems like an enigma that one who is in need is asked by God to give, but he is.  Think about it.  If you were a farmer desiring potatoes, you would plant potatoes.  However, you can’t stand over the dry ground and pray “Lord give me potatoes!” That’s not faith; that’s a magician’s dream.  Faith is when you put some seeds in the ground and pray.  By the same token if you need finances, you have to plant money.  

Some of you might laugh at this resolve or even get angry, but it’s the law of reaping and sowing.  If you don’t sow, you don’t reap.  I’ve been in  a period where I had no money and no job.  I went on interviews after interviews. One day I was challenged to make a vow to be a giver not a blamer.  This is what a blamer says; “the preacher is a crook and I’m not going to give him my money”; “I don’t have a job”; “I have bills that I must pay”; “I don’t have a dime”;etc.  I was going to a church where the pastor was a crook. I did have bills and I didn’t have a job. Nevertheless, God chose this time to teach me about the law of sowing and reaping. Because I valued my relationship with God, I decided that I would make the vow according to my means. I started giving a quarter and doubling the quarter when I could.  Eventually my giving increased, because God began to provide me a resource of income. As a matter of fact, instead of my thumbing thru the ‘want ads’, the jobs started chasing me. It would take a book to tell you my experience of giving my way out of financial deficiency. Believe me, it is more blessed to give than to receive! God can bless you beyond measure.

Pardon me, but I’ve got to shout right now: Hallelujah!

You won’t understand it until you try it. Because of the uncertainties and the economic collapse, I must confess that I have frequently been a blamer, but God by His grace has once again confronted me. Therefore I have repented and promised to remember my vows.  I learned that the money is God’s and He decides if, when and how He will give the increase.  I vow what the Holy Spirit tells me to give.

Some may be experiencing what Haggai spoke of: eating but still hungry; drinking but still thirsty; putting on clothes but still cold; and working but your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! You might want to “Consider your ways!”  Do you give?  That is the bottom line. Do you even give to God what is due Him? Do you tithe? Now, some say that since we are New Testament Christians, tithing is not necessary.  Okay, by that logic then God is not obligated to give to you… That is a theological argument that those who are financially deprived don’t need to have now.  The question is ‘are you willing to accept God’s challenge?’  You have tried everything else. You have tried ‘get rich’ schemes and fads, and lotteries.  You probably sent your money to TV evangelists and you are discouraged.  How about this, give some time to God in prayer and Bible study, you will reap wisdom and direction. How about giving yourself to Jesus Christ, you will reap an immeasurable relationship.

May we resolve to be givers who give as The LORD instructs.  Remember it is not just about money, though the Bible talks a lot about money;  it is about what you value and your willingness to sacrifice whatever you treasure.  It is about a mindset, relationship, and honoring God with our obedience.  In Matthew 25, Christ talked about the people who will depart from His presence, because they did not give.  He embraced and rewarded the ones who gave a drink of water; gave the time to visit the sick and imprisoned; gave food to the hungry and clothes to the naked. He talked about this after He told the parables of the talent. God gave the talent so that you could prosper and be able to give to the needy. However, if you do not sow, you cannot be a giver. If you do not use what God has given you, you cannot prosper and be a blessing to others.

Remembering that obedience is better than sacrifice, let us resolve this New Year, with the help of the Holy Spirit,  to be obedient to God and His Word and practice giving more than receiving.

“God loves a cheerful giver.”  2Corinthians 9:7

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…

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