Day Four: Try and Outgive God
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” (Malachi 3:10, NLT)
Did you know that money is one of the most frequently mentioned topics in the Bible? It is. And that poses a delicate dilemma for pastors: how to bring messages to the folks in the pews that open their eyes…and their wallets.
Why is it so difficult? People don’t like to be told what to do with their money. But even more than that, I think we cling to our cash for a sense of security. Try living without, and wondering if we’ll be able to make the ends meet…or just at each other from a distance. What’s that about?
Fear. Fear that there won’t be enough to pay the bills. Fear of having to go without. Fear of having to do with less.
Our verse today is one of my favorite challenges in scripture. Set in the context of giving offerings, the message was as difficult to receive to the original hearers, as we find it today.
TO PONDER: What could you do that would like you were trying to outgive God? Have you withheld your gifts out of fear? Our you more concerned with using your means to increase your sense of security and comfort?
TO DISCUSS: Accountability enables growth and progress. Is there someone whose help you could enlist in this challenge? What ways has God poured his blessings into your life? Beyond monetary offerings, what ways could you return a tithe of your time and talents to him?
PRAYER: God, you are so generous. Forgive us for giving into the fear of what might be and show us not only how to be wiser stewards of your blessings in our lives—but show us how we could never outgive you. And help us to know how we can be more faithful and generous. Amen.