by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Tithe If You Love Jesus; Anyone Can Honk (2 of 5)
Series: Stewardship--Taking God at His Word
Roger Thomas
Malachi 3:6-18

Introduction: "I triple dog dare you!" Do you remember the line from the movie A Christmas Story? Set in the 1940's, the film tells the story of Ralphie Parker's Christmas. All Ralphie wanted from Santa was a Red Ryder Carbine Action, 200 Shot, Range Model Air Rifle. Ralphie's dad, otherwise known throughout the movie as The Old Man, (played by Darren McGavin) was all for it. Mom was absolutely sure Ralphie would shoot his eye out or worse. On the way to the Big Day, Ralphie experiences one misadventure after another.

The scene takes place at recess in the schoolyard just before Christmas break. One of Ralphie's friends and another kid are challenging each other. The war of words is about what would happen if you touched your tongue to the ice-cold flagpole. "I dare you to do it," one kid challenges. A crowd of on lookers gathers. Ralphie's buddy immediately responds, "Well, I double dog dare you." Every eye turns to the first challenger. Will he or won't he? A hush falls over the crowd. Then the fatal words come tumbling out. "I triple dog dare you!"

The narrator's voice explains in the background, "Everybody knows that a triple dog dare is the ultimate." Ralphie's friend closes his eyes and licks the metal flagpole. Just then the bell rings. Every kid runs for class--except one!

Today I have a dare for you. In fact, I triple dog dare you! Actually, though it may sound a little strange to you, God is the one making the dare. In our text, the Lord of heaven challenges any comers (you included!). He is not daring you to stick your tongue to a flagpole or any other such nonsense. But the tone of our text is clearly that of a challenge--a triple dog dare, if you will. Listen to God's dare: Malachi 3:10. Now let's read the entire context: Malachi 3:6-18.

The text is not really a command. Certainly, the Lor ...

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