ROBBED

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While worshipping at one of our fine CCCU churches on a recent Sunday morning I witnessed a robbery. The most disconcerting aspect of the robbery was that it was pulled off by a number of members of the church. It happened while the offering was being lifted and beautiful music was being played by the instruments. It was shocking that so many members of the church were involved in the theft.

There were many injuries as a result of the robbery. The number has not been fully comprehended. Missionaries, teens, children, senior adults and pastoral staff were all harmed to some degree, not to mention the hungry and the poor. Only eternity will reveal the total amount of the enormous loss.

The stunning aspect of the hoist is those most seriously wounded were the perpetrators of the crime. It is really unthinkable that professing Christians would rob God. Malachi addressed the problem when he said, "Will a man rob God?" One might respond, "Of course not, I would never rob God." Malachi then addressed that statement by saying, "You have robbed God in "tithes and offerings." (Mal.3:8)

Malachi then goes on to state, that because they have robbed from God, they are living under a curse. Without question, the failure of many Christians to give their tithe to the Lord hurts a multitude of ministries and people. However, the greatest loss is suffered by the one who steals that which belongs to God. Malachi told the Israelis that they would be living under a curse.

Many Christians have said, "I just can't afford to tithe." The reality is, you can't afford not to tithe. Again in Malachi and chapter three, God said, "Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough to contain it."

The tithe, ten percent of your income, is really the minimum for our giving. It is the place where we begin the stewardship of our finances. However, it is certainly not the end when it comes to supporting the work of the Kingdom.

Looking at this from a New Testament perspective when we rob from God, His tithe, we are cheating ourselves out of the spiritual blessings that come from obeying God and giving Him first place in our lives.

We simply cannot out give the Lord. He will not be a debtor to us in any way. R. G. Letourneau, invented earth moving machines. He gave away 90% of his income. He said, "The money came in faster than he could give it away. I shovel it out and God shovels it back, but God has a bigger shovel."

God is a generous, benevolent God. He said, "Test me." I challenge you to go ahead and try Him and see what happens. If you will obey God, and bring some personal discipline into your life style and spending habits, you will be blessed. The way we live and give is a choice we all must make. Choose to obey God and experience His multitude of blessings.

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