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The Other Blessing

Malachi 3:10
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Today, we are going to spend our time we will spend together studying God's Word a little differently. Though it is not unusual for me to quote from a book during a sermon, the quote is usually just about a paragraph long, today I'm going to read an extended passage to you to help us think about what I'm calling, "the other blessing." Last week, I read several of God's Promises to you, one of them included a promise that God will bless tithers. It says, "'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and 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 NASB) 

We didn't define that blessing, because the scripture doesn't. Some will interpret this verse to say that if you give money to God, He will bless you with more money for you to have and keep. If that's the case, why wasn't Mother Teresa a wealthy woman when she died? Why wasn't Jesus Christ a wealthy man when He died? I certainly don't know anyone who has spend a more giving life that Jesus, or people like Mother Teresa, yet their giving didn't result in more wealth for them.

Now I believe the cliche is true, you can't out give God. Mainly because He gives us 100% of what we have, and we only return a portion of that to His storehouse-the local church. But my observation of watching God bless people financially is that God is more likely to give through someone than to someone. Yes sometimes He blesses people financially, but I don't believe it is so they will have more comfort in their life, but because He knows they will spread it around where He wants it to go. 

One way I'm sure He blesses us, is that we have the assurance that we are doing our part to help the church fulfill its kingdom responsibilities. The scripture puts it this way, "that there may be food in My house."

For the past four years, I've been looking for "them" in our church but have only found "us." I often hear people say, "THEY ought to do something about that, or THEY ought to fix that." THEY aren't members of the church-all we have is "US." We are responsible. No one has more responsibility than another-we share equal responsibility. I don't mean to imply that we should give an equal amount to the work of the church, just that we should make an equal sacrifice. That's why the tithe is so just-it is a percentage of income, not a flat fee.

But enough talk about money. Because, really, money is only one component of what I'm talking about. One of the most powerful blessings we enjoy from tithing, is not an individual blessing, but a corporate one. Let me illustrate my point by reading you something that has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with the mentality of taking responsibility for the church and reaping the benefits of knowing that you

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