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Don't Hit the Snooze Button!!!

I love it when ideas pop in my head for a new post.  More times than not I’m either talking with someone or just riding down the road and see something and say to myself, “that would be a great idea for a new post!”  Well that’s exactly where this post originated.  I was making a joke with someone and said “Man…I almost hit the snooze button one too many times this morning” (….by the way it was Sunday morning and we were at church).  He laughed and said, “Dude that would preach right there!”   We both laughed and I kind of went on about my day.  As my day usually goes from August to January each year, I was sitting down getting ready to watch some Sunday afternoon football, and it popped into my head just how important it is not to miss church on Sunday.  Not just for the spiritual feeling we receive but also the blessings we can receive from making sure we tithe, participate in offerings and other instances of giving to the Kingdom of God.  As I sat there on the couch one particular verse came to mind….Malachi 3:10 (NLT)

10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

            I chose to use the NLT version because I believe it’s a little easier to understand without getting into some great theological debate.  The assertion for this verse is simple…it deals with a sort of revival in so many ways…to me both spiritually and fruitfully.  Yes, you will hear some theologians teach that Malachi is Old Testament nonsense…but come on…I don’t think any part of the Bible is nonsense!  If it’s there it’s there because God deemed it necessary to be there.  All of Scripture is God breathed and extremely important!
What I am about to show you is that there is an importance in attending church and why we shouldn’t be so eager to hit the snooze button.  There are numerous ways to interpret this passage but we have to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us and that’s what I believe is happening with this post.  I honestly believe we find a command in Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.”  There is the action of “BRING” that is important here.  It doesn’t say send your tithe; it specifically tells us to bring it and that means in today’s world bring it to church; especially if you are healthy and able. If you aren’t physically able to bring it to church then by all means send it… God is an understanding God. Or…if you attend church and pay your tithe online… fine… but still attend church to pray over that tithe and worship Him in His house.

Why is bringing it to church so important…because we are told to? What is God’s reasoning behind this?  To me, there are several possibilities but the main one I believe is to worship God through our giving.  Doesn’t God deserve our worship!!!  We can worship God in several ways but the two main ways you might be most familiar with is through song and praise and the other is through our tithe and offering.  Now before I go any further, I believe there is a difference between offering and tithing.  Offering is above and beyond what has been laid on your heart by God to give.  Tithing is the first fruits of your finances, which rightfully and scripturally belongs to God.  Again, I’m not going to tell you 10% because what you can afford to tithe might be more than 10% and remember it should be given cheerfully and by what God has laid on your heart and spirit.

Another important fact…God is not necessarily concerned about your money He is concerned about you!!!  God is not in a situation where He needs our money.  God chose to place us in His plan so we would have a chance at salvation and for us to worship Him.  There were numerous ways He could have done this but He chose to include us because He loved us.  That is why we should worship Him not only through praise and song but through our giving.  You see the important thing to remember here is that by giving we then are doing our part in living a Christ-like life.  God always gives…after all He gave us His Son.  God did all this for our benefit not His…that’s why we should stay in tune with what God is teaching us.

Something we all need to remember is that we need to give far more than God needs our money.  It is our giving that helps us become as close to Christ-like as we can.  I’ve referenced that several times now in hope that you will see my point for this entire post.

If we truly want to be the believers God has created us to be then we must be a walking testimony…not only in the way we live but the way we give!!!  We must live our lives in a way that we can help teach those around us what a blessing it is to be a Christian.  That means walking the right way when we are at church, with our friends, in our schools, at our jobs, and even when we play.  There is no doubt in my mind that lost people, or pre-Christians as we like to say at our church, will be drawn to Christ directly as a result as the way we live and walk with our faith.  At the same time these lost folks will see how God has poured out His blessings on us because we have positioned ourselves to receive the blessings of God.

Finally, in our understanding of how to give; we must realize God has a plan for each and every one of us.  Again, do you understand God’s plan for giving in your life…if not pray about it and listen and obey God’s answer to you.  I believe we should all be willing to offer more than a tithe to God.  We should be willing to step out in faith that God will provide for us…especially when we worship Him through our giving.   Remember, blessings aren’t always in financial form.  Blessings come in all shapes and sizes…the best ones are rarely financial.   One last thought.  We should be willing to tithe no matter our financial situation.  I’m sure many might say, “I don’t have enough money to tithe.” What you should be saying is, “I can’t afford not to tithe…my faith is in God to provide!”  So today take with you if nothing else that through your faith and giving…God does have the power to provide!!!!  So don’t hit that “SNOOZE BUTTON” on Sunday morning get up and get to church and be blessed!!!

Be blessed and always be a blessing!

Pastor Mike