August 30, 2011

Robbing God

Malachi 3:6-12

“Test me … and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing …”
Malachi 3:10


A man stormed heaven’s throne room, wearing a ski mask over his face. Coming up to God, he demanded, “Give me everything you have!”

Sound absurd? Yes. And yet Malachi says that was how Israel was behaving. When it came time to bring offerings to the temple, Israel was stingy. The people brought offerings, but only the bare minimum. The farmers offered grain and wheat, but only what was left after they had taken what they wanted for themselves. Israel lived as though everything belonged to them. They acted as though they were free to decide for themselves how much to give to God and what they could use for themselves. That was sin!

The Bible tells us that everything belongs to God. The grain, the cattle, our money, our homes, our possessions—all are God’s gifts to us, and we are to use everything for his glory. In Christ, God has given us everything. He sacrificed his only Son to make us his children. God didn’t hold back what is most precious to him! And, in response, we are to be generous with everything that we have.

Giving is not something we do to secure God’s blessings. It is a response to God’s most generous gift to us. How will you be generous with all God has given to you for his glory?

Gracious God, sometimes we live as though we own everything we have. Remind us again and again of your supreme generosity so that we too will be generous. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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