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“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.

But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ ‘Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.’ But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

‘In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse — your whole nation — because you are robbing me.” (Malachi 3:6-9)

God holds us accountable for our actions. There is no doubt about that. As He held His children accountable for their actions financially, He holds us accountable, too. These are strong words, indeed. God looked upon the withholding of tithes and offerings, as an act of thievery. I believe He still does. Let’s own it. We don’t give naturally, do we? As all God’s creation gives, like the sun, moon, the trees and grass, and even the animals, we have a tendency to be only receivers. In fact, that sense of entitlement plagues not only our country, but us individually. We have become professional consumers, who exist to receive and then evaluate how well we have been served. It seems like every generation gets deeper into self-absorption. Somewhere, it must stop!

It can stop one person at a time…and it needs to stop with us individually. The Lord sees returning to Him is coupled with giving honor to Him with our resources. There is no way to rationalize our way out of that. This is what He desires. He wants us to be givers, not takers. His plan for us is to be people who live to honor Him tangibly and proportionately with how He has blessed us.

So, how’s that going with you today? Are you a hold-out or are you a person who has learned the discipline and experienced the blessings of actually being a real giver? Not a “tipper” to God, but a real giver! The word, “tithe” actually means one-tenth. Do the biblical research and you will find that the place to give that tithe is the storehouse, and not just anywhere you want to give it. I believe that the local church today is the storehouse. Anywhere you worship and are connected to the body of Christ fits that description. And by the way, “offerings” are over and above basic tithing. You see, God wants us to live with open hands to Him and to others. You can’t “out give” God, but you can surely shortchange yourself when you choose to be a “grasper” instead of a “giver.”

“Lord, help me to return to You this day and show it in a measurable way… through my giving. You know how I struggle here, so HELP! In Jesus’ name, Amen”

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