“Test 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 a blessing until it overflows.”
–Malachi 3:10

We have seen this week that the beginning place for God’s blessing is the tithe. Some people say, “I don’t think I can live on only 90 percent of my income.” Is that so? Someone has said, “I would rather live on 90 percent blessed by God than to live on 100 percent cursed by God.” God says, “Test Me now in this … if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (Malachi 3:10).

This is the only verse in the Bible when God says, “Test Me.” Every other place in the Bible says do not test God, do not put the Lord your God to the test. This is the only exception. God not only tells us that it is okay to test Him, but He encourages us to do so. He says, in essence, “Do what I ask you to about giving and see if I do not bless you beyond anything imaginable.” Now, is God saying that tithing is a guarantee that you will be financially prosperous? If that were true, then tithing wouldn’t be an act of giving; it would be a good investment. That’s not what God is saying. Is God saying that if you tithe, it is like an insurance policy that insures you will never have a job loss or downturn in the stock market? No, it is not an insurance policy either. Here is what God is saying: Over the long term, a person who tithes and gives to God’s work will be more blessed financially and every other way than the person who disobeys God in this area. That’s what He is saying. If you want to be blessed by God, then you obey God. If you want to be cursed by God, then you disobey Him.

I once heard someone explain the tithe this way: “God ain’t in business against Himself.” If God has a desire to spread the gospel throughout this world and save as many people as possible, then don’t you think He is going to bless those who support that vision? Would it make any sense for God to curse those who support His vision and bless those who disobey His commands? Of course not. “God ain’t in business against Himself.” God says, “Test Me. Put Me to the test. You give and invest in faith, and then see how I bless you beyond expectation.”

How much do you care about God’s work? How will you reflect it in your giving? Tithing is a measure of our faithfulness. Jesus said it this way in Luke 16:10-11: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Beginning Place for God’s Blessing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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