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Showers of Blessing (2 of 3)
Series: Taking God at His Word
A minister took his son with him one night to a small church where he'd been invited to preach. At the entrance of the church building, they passed a little table with a box on it and a sign which read ''Alms Box.''
Reaching into his pocket, the preacher took out $10 and dropped it in. When the service was over, one of the deacons approached. ''Preacher,'' he said, ''we have a custom in this church of paying our evening minister the contents of the alms box.'' Whereupon he removed the lid, poured the money into the preacher's hand, and you guessed it! One lone $10 bill.
As they made their way to the car, the boy turned to his father and said, ''Hey, dad, I just thought of something. If you'd put more in, you'd have got more out.''
APPLY: Malachi chapter 3 is perhaps the most preached Scripture when it comes to the issue of tithing. Preachers have been known to use this text to shame Christians who don't give a whole lot to God's cause. And (in many churches) there is reason to do that. The national average of giving (for most congregations) is 3%, with the majority of the support - in any given church - coming from only a handful of people.
ILLUS: In an article in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, reporter Sean O'Neill wrote, ''Immediately following WWII people gave proportionately more of their income than they do today.'' O'Neill reported that the average evangelical Christian today gives only 3.5% of his income. As a result, the average church is only able to support half the outreach and missions that they'd like to.
Talk show host Dave Ramsey once observed how different America would be if all those who claimed to be Christians tithed. He said, ''There would be no more welfare in North America. In 90 days, there would be… no existing church debts. And in the next 90 days, the entire world could be evangelized.''
So, preaching Malachi 3 is almost a no-b ...
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