By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North  - Shreveport, La.
WILL A MAN ROB GOD?

   INTRODUCTION:

       A.  Read:  Malachi 3:8-12.

            1.  God told Israel that they were robbing Him.

            2.  They were robbing God in their tithes and offerings.

            3.  Yet if they would bring in what they owed God, He would  "open the
                 windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be
                 room enough to receive it". (v. 10)

       B.  Giving is a much needed subject:

            1.  Our work here depends on  your generous giving.

                 a.  Discuss some of the work.

                 b.  Future work.

            2.  Christianity was founded upon sacrifice.

                 a.  Phil. 4:17 - "Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that
                      increaseth to your account."

                 b.  2 Cor. 8:9 - "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that,
                      though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye
                      through his poverty might become rich."

                 c.  Matt. 16:24 - Then said Jesus unto his disciples, "If any man would
                      come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and
                      follow me."

       C.  In this lesson, let's look at Giving in the N.T. and see how we are to give.
             Doing this, we will be able to answer the question in our lives, "Will a
             man rob God?" 

   I.  GOD'S PLAN FOR GIVING.

      A.  God's plan will always work because it will be the ONLY plan.

            1.  He will always do what is right and best.

            2.  To say that there is another plan is to impugn the wisdom and authority of God.

      B.  What is God's plan for giving?

            1.  I Cor. 16:1-2 - "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave
                 order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye.  Upon the first day of
                 the week let each one of you lay by in store, as he may prosper, that
                 no collections be made when I come."

                 a.  WHEN -- first day of the week. General assembly.

                        1)  Gal. 6:10 - Christian do good all the time.

                 b.  WHO -- Each one of you. (young folks too, learn it)

                        1)  Acts 5 - they lied to God

                        2)  2 Cor. 8:13-18 - that there be equality.

                 c.  HOW MUCH? -- As prospered.

                        1)  2 Cor. 9:6.

       C.  Let's look at the Jew's giving.

            1.  Counting the sabbaths, feast days, sabbatical year, and the year of
                  jubilee --- they gave nearly 1/3 of their time to the Lord.

            2.  They gave 1/10 to their religion. (Deut.14)

            3.  They gave 1/10 to support their King. (I Sam. 8)

            4.  They offered the BEST of their flocks in sacrifice.

            5.  When they failed to do these things God said, "You are robbing me".

       D.  Shouldn't we be as liberal as the Jews?

            1.  They gave 1/3 of time.

            2.  They gave 1/5 of income.

            3.  The gave their best in sacrifices.

 II.  WHAT SHOULD OUR ATTITUDE BE IN GIVING?

       A.  Giving to prove our love.

            1.  2 Cor. 8:16-24

       B.  Giving as a promise or a pledge.

            1.  2 Cor. 8L 10-11.

            2.  You should make a pledge with yourself, your family and to God as to
                  how much you will give.

       C.  Giving cheerfully.

            1.  2 Cor. 9:7.

                 a.  Must learn cheerfulness, not an accidental or inherited attitude.

                 b.  Grudging is wrong -- but not to give is SIN.

                 c.  Covetousness is idolatry - Eph. 5:5.

                 d.  Selfishness shut the love of God out.

                       1) I John 3:17 - "But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth
                           his brother in need, and shuteth up his compassion from him,
                           how doeth the love of God abide in him?"

       D.  Giving with contentment.

            1.  Phil. 4:10-19.

                 a.  v. 11 --- learned

                 b.  Does not mean to be satisfied.

                 c.  Be content to do something, even if it is just a little something.

                       1)  Some think that they must do something great to be
                             recognized by God --- not true.

            2.  Use whatever you have to the best advantage in service to our Christ.

                 a.  Time, talents, job and money.

   CONCLUSION:

       A.  Jesus is our answer.  He gave up all for us.

       B.  We must give what we can for Him and use it to the glory of God.

       C.  Are you really giving what you can and should?