Malachi 3 verse 10 addresses the subject of money when speaking about the nature of God's promises on giving: “.. and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, and there shall not be a room enough to receive it.”
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson says that this statement by the prophet Malachi is not said in a vacuum, rather it is part of a wider discussion that centres on the following issues:
The religious leaders are robbing God of His love to His people,
They are presenting blemished offerings,
They are doing this by honouring those who cheat and steal,
Moreover they are withholding tithes, and
They are justifying impiety.
The prophet Malachi lists these issues and is then able to challenge both the leaders and the people with his classic statement (verse 10)
“.. and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, and there shall not be a room enough to receive it.”
In this wider context the prophet Malachi is challenging them on issues such as being pure of heart for God, Malachi spells out the nature of God's earthy concern for their every day lives that His people are si precious to Him they are described as jewels.
In other words, the great faith test both the leaders and the people. Giving of their wealth abundantly to the Lord, proportionately to whatever ones has, then an even greater blessing will come, so much so, the receiver won't have enough storage.
Mark Tronson says there are two components in this teaching. The first is the giving, and the second is the receiving.
Both have their rewards. Those that gives with joy know the astonishing warmth of heart one receives in that pure giving. Mark Tronson has spoken previously of this, in that every Christian who gives to the Lord, whether it be to the work of the local congregation or to a mission or a specific missionary couple, there is a special joy of the Lord that accompanies such giving.
The Apostle Paul goes further. 2 Corinthians 9 verse 7: “.. as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Then there is the receiving. This is the other side of the coin (forgive the pun). They can also attest attest to this promise in that he and his wife Delma have lived by faith finances for 29 years, initiating the Sports and Leisure Ministry in 1982 and then in 2000 Well-Being Australia.
This is the same testimony that hundreds of thousands of similar mission people can affirm, that this promise from Malachi 3 verse 10 is true and faithful.
But the warns, these promises must not be taken lightly, for they are conditional on the pureness of the heart and on the preparedness to receive such honour. blessings. Many sadly fail the first in that they give grudgingly.
Moreover they fail the test in the second, they they cannot receive with a joyful heart, but with a sense of unworthiness as they have failed to grasp that it is all of His Grace and nothing that we have done to earn such blessing.
For a more general discussion, Mark Tronson has written about faith mission giving previously, which was titled: “How do faith financed missionaries get their money”.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html
Biblical principles of giving and receiving money
Wednesday, 2 November 2011, 10:44 (EST)