Praise the Lord. Today I would like to begin with a story of carrot and stick, a combination of reward and punishment. Let’s all quickly turn with me to Malachi 3:8-12. For your kind information, the book of Malachi is an Old Testament book or you can say it was during the time of Old Covenant.
Malachi 3:8-12 (NKJV)
8 “Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,
‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me,
Even this whole nation.
10 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.
11 “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;
12 “And all nations will call you blessed,
For you will be a delightful land,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
Dear friends, I believe this scripture is something used as a big stick to manipulate people into giving. I have heard preachers said, “If you don’t give your offering or 10% of your gross income, you’re robbing God and opening the door to the enemy.” Have you heard anyone saying that?
Well, the Bible in the context of New Covenant said in Galatians 3:13, “Christ Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” Hallelujah! Today, I am glad to say that whether you give or don’t give, all the carrot parts mentioned in Malachi are ours meaning all the blessings mentioned in Malachi belongs to you and I, because Jesus is our Offering and our Tithe. Amen!
Now let me ask you this, should you give or shouldn’t? You may have two responses: “You should give” or “You shouldn’t give”. But both the responses are expressed as commands, and we are not under law. So let’s not care for neither. Now you may say, “Brother James, you are being tricky. Please address the issue!” Well, I have two statements:
First statement: “I give to the Church regularly, therefore I am spiritual.”
Second statement: “I don’t give to the Church regularly as I also give to the poor, therefore I am spiritual.”
Dear Church, both these statements are in error because each one is boasting in what they are doing or not doing. In fact, the problem is not what you’re doing or not doing; the problem is you’re identifying yourselves as a source. This is one of the major problems. The Bible says in John 1:12-13 that you do not become a child of God because you are born in a Christian family; you are a child of God and God is your Father only because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and believed in His finished work at the Cross. Amen! And John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Can you see that God our Father has a nature of giving? So, are you and I being a children of God. His nature of giving is in our DNA.
My dear brothers and sisters, as a singer, stage is the right platform to practise his talent. As a footballer, football field is the right platform to practise his skill. And as a child of God, giving to the Church is the right way to practise our nature. Amen!