You Cannot Outgive God
“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10, NIV)
The Bible says there’s only one way you can test God: through giving, specifically through tithing.
Malachi 3:9-10 says, “‘You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it’” (NIV).
I’ll never forget the first time I let God test my faith about giving. I was 19 years old, in college, and in debt. I owed my school $500 that was due at the end of the month. I owed 10 bucks to a friend. And all I had was $50 in the bank. I knew I couldn’t pay my debts, so I thought, “God says to put him to the test. I may as well try it.”
So I took the $50 out of the bank and decided I was going to send it to a Christian organization. I chose the American Bible Society, which prints Bibles and gives them away. I included a little note that said, “Whoever opens this letter, would you pray for me? I’m a poor, starving college student, and I’ve got some personal debts I need to pay off. I’m just trusting that God, when I put him first in my life, will meet all my needs. Please pray!” I didn’t know what was going to happen.
About three weeks later I got invited to speak at a church for a weekend youth event. On Sunday the pastor said, “We took up an offering for you, Rick.” I was really just there to help and had a great time. I never thought about getting paid! I waited until I was back at the dorm to open it. Inside was $561. I gave the college $500. I gave my friend $10. And I took the $51 and gave it back to God as a tithe. I was still poor, but I wasn’t in debt!
Since then, I’ve seen God do this hundreds of times.
You say you trust God with your salvation, forgiveness, freedom, and future in heaven—but do you trust him with your finances? If not, what’s the logic of that?
When it comes to your finances, you have to decide: Do you trust God to keep his promises? After a lifetime of following him, I promise he will!
Talk It Over
What does it mean to “rob” God, as Malachi 3:9 says? What are some ways you’ve done that?
What do you think God wants you to learn about him through tithing? What does he want you to learn about yourself?
How do you know you can trust God’s promises?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.