The Power of Ten – Tithe Commitment Day

Title: The Power of Ten - Tithe Commitment Day

Bible Book: Malachi 3 : 8-10

Author: James Merritt

Subject: Tithe; Money; Obedience; Prove the Tithe; Tithe Commitment Day



For the last four weeks I have done something that I have never done before in my ministry and quite frankly I am ashamed of it. For the first time in my ministry I have actually preached an entire series of messages on the topic of money – stuff – wealth – possessions or the modern day term “bling”. I am sure that there are those who skipped out on some of these messages when they found out what it was about. I wouldn’t be surprised if there have not been others who have walked in and left saying things such as “I knew it. All he wants is my money” or “All this church talks about is money.”

I would just like to say a couple of things in response to that kind of thinking.

If I were to preach a series of messages on how to have a strong marriage would you expect me to apologize for it? If I were to preach a series of messages on how to be a good parent and raise responsible children would you expect me to apologize for it? If I were to preach a series of messages on prayer and how to connect with God, on the Bible and how to understand scripture, on faith and how to trust God and receive the blessings of God, would you expect me to apologize? Of course the answer to that would be “no.” Why is it that people expect a pastor to be almost apologetic when it comes to the matter of managing money God’s way and giving so you can get in on God’s blessing for your life? It doesn’t matter whether I am preaching on marriage, raising children, handling your emotions or managing your money. The reason why we preach these things is because we are trying to help you live a more joyful, fulfilled, blessed, abundant life.

As far as talking about money, I realize there are people who believe that money should never be mentioned in the church and that the church talks too much about it. Can I be very frank and honest? I want to apologize to you, because I haven’t talked to you enough about it. Did you know that the Bible has about 500 verses on prayer, but over 2350 verses on how to handle your money? Did you know that there are 126 different biblical principles on finances and managing money in the New Testament alone?

Did you know that Jesus talked more about money that He did about heaven and hell?

The Bible has much to say about money matters, because money matters. Money matters to you, because you need it. Money matters to God because He owns it. Money matters to Satan, because he wants it and that is why God has a plan for you and money. He has a plan on how you are to accumulate money, how you should assimilate money and how you should allocate money.

I am going to share with you today the single most powerful financial principle that I have ever found in the Bible. It is directly from the mind and the heart of God himself. I don’t make a lot of money-back guarantees, but I am going to make one to you today. If you will follow this one biblical principle, you will not only become an instant better manager of your money than you are right now, but God will instantly become a partner with you in your financial future and you can get an eternal rate of return on your money that you can’t find on Wall Street or anywhere else. I call it “The Power of Ten.” The Power of Ten is found in one simple word – “tithe.” The word tithe simply means “tenth.”

You are going to see, in a passage of scripture today, where God doesn’t mince words, stammer or stutter, equivocate or hesitate that if you will commit to giving God the first ten-percent of everything you earn, and everything that He gives you, He will unleash the Power of Ten in your life that will enable you to do more with your money than you ever dreamed possible. What is The Power of Ten?

I. It Is The Power To Be In God’s Will

With the passage that we are about to read in the last book of the Old Testament it was written by, probably, the most unpopular preacher in the history of Israel. The Book of Malachi is unusual in that the Prophet Malachi uses the socratic method of making his point. If you remember, Socrates use to teach by asking questions. Every time he asked a question of the Nation of Israel, it was always one that called for them to condemn themselves. Of all the questions he asked, this is perhaps the most amazing question ever asked in the Bible.

"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi 3:8, NASB)

We all know it is one thing to charge someone with a crime, but it is another thing to prove it. Like most people accused of a crime, the initial response was to plead innocent. They said, “In what way have we robbed God?” In effect, they were saying, “Do you have any witnesses? Is there a smoking gun? What is your evidence?” The reply sent the entire nation into a stunned silence when God gives out His one piece of evidence - “In tithes and offerings.”

Let me tell you why this had happened. They had forgotten two things. They had forgotten something about God and they had forgotten something about money. What they had forgotten about God was that God was keeping the books. God was checking the leger. God was watching every time they wrote out a check or they transferred funds. God was watching everyone to see who was giving to His work and who wasn’t. The ushers didn’t see it. The pastor didn’t know it. The finance ministry team couldn’t prove it, but every time the people came together to worship people were robbing God.

They weren’t doing it with a gun. They weren’t taking something when nobody was looking, because you can steal in one of two ways. You can steal by taking something that does not belong to you or you can steal by keeping something that belongs to somebody else. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know where you sit, but if the scripture is true, then every week in our church, when the basket is passed, there are people who rob God. It is not because they take something out of the basket, but because they don’t put anything in the basket and God sees that and God notes that and God realizes that.

They had also forgotten something about money. They had forgotten that their money was not their money; it belonged to God. The tithe was meant to be a reminder to the people who gave it that God owns it all. He owns the fields. He owns the crops. He owns the livestock. He owns the silver. He owns the gold. He owns the real estate. He owns the checking account and God’s tithe and what it represents is so important that when you don’t give it, you are robbing God.

That is why the tithe is more than just a tithe. It is more than just a tenth. When a person gives ten percent of their income to God what they are really doing is acknowledging that God owns the other ninety-percent too! Ten percent is simply an acknowledgement and a confession that God owns it all.

The tithe is more than just that. The first part of our mission statement is that we are to Love God. If you remember, I told you that one of the ways you love God is with you treasure. It is with your tithes and with your offerings. Just as God loved us and showed it to us by giving His son, one of the ways we show God that we love Him is by giving Him his tithe.

Have you ever seen that bumper-sticker that says, “Honk if you love Jesus”? I saw one not long ago that I thought was a lot better than that. It said, “Tithe is you love Jesus. Anybody can blow their horn.” That is The Power of Ten. It gives me the power to be in God’s will and God’s will is for me to be a giver and not a robber.

II. It Is The Power To Bless God’s Work

In verse 10, Malachi gives the remedy for robbery. Let’s break it down, part-by-part. First, he says, “Bring the whole tithe.” (Malachi 3:10, NASB)

Each word there is important. First of all, you are to bring it with you. Part of your worship to God is the financial offering that you bring to Him when you come to His house. You are not to bring a tip. You are to bring a tithe. Some people treat the offering the same way they treat the bill at a restaurant and they just simply give a tip. I read the other day about a one-dollar bill that met up with a twenty-dollar bill. The one dollar bill said, “Where have you been? I haven’t seen you around very much.” The twenty-dollar bill said, “I’ve been on the road. I have been everywhere. I have been hanging out at casinos, going on cruises, at the golf course, baseball games, out to the mall and I’ve been having a blast. How about you?” The dollar bill said, “Same old stuff. You know…church, church, church." We are not to bring a tip to God we are to bring the tithe to God – that is the first ten-percent of what we earn. That includes every source of your income whether it is a paycheck, the sale of real estate, or stocks, or bonds, or dividends. Whatever is the source of income the first ten percent belongs to God. Then we are not only told what to bring, but where to bring it. We are to bring it “to the storehouse.” The storehouse was a storage room in a temple where people would come and deposit their tithes and offerings. There is a modern day storehouse, because the New Testament church is the counterpart to the Old Testament temple.

In 1 Corinthians 16:2 the Apostle Paul said, “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside storing up as he may prosper that there be no collections when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:2, NKVJ)

Do you see the words there “storing up?” That is a play on words based on the concept of the storehouse in the Old Testament. Paul was simply saying to the New Testament church what they did in the Old Testament when they brought their tithes to the temple you are to do today by bringing your tithes to the church.

That is why the Prophet Malachi is specific when he says, “Bring your whole tithe to the storehouse.” (Malachi 3:10, NASB)

There are some people who think they can give their tithe anywhere they want to give it. God has commanded us not only what to give; He has commanded us on where to give it. There is nothing wrong with supporting other organizations and there is nothing wrong with supporting other charities and other people who do good things for God, but your tithe belongs to the church. If you are not tithing to the church you are really not tithing.

God was so specific that the tithe be brought to the place of worship, to His house, that He said in Deuteronomy 12:11, “You must bring everything I command you – your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow – to the designated place of worship, the place, the Lord your God chooses for His name to be honored.” (Deuteronomy 12:11, NLT) That obviously is (today) the church.

Just as a footnote, you remember in verse 8 he talks about robbing God in tithes and offerings. The tithe is not a ceiling that you stop at, but a floor you stand on. The tithe is not the maximum. It is the minimum. Financially, tithing is the first grade of giving. You don’t get to graduate school until you give an offering. What is the purpose of the tithe and the offering?

He goes on to say, “So that there may be food in My house.” That simply means that the tithe is God’s way of financing the work of His church. I want you to stop for a moment and think about what you learned and what happens when you finally decide to write out a check and give God His tithe for His work. Let me show you how The Power of Ten is unleashed in that magical moment. Think about all the powerful lessons you are taught when you give that tithe.

Think about, first of all, just writing the check out. The first thing you do when you write out a check you enter the date. Automatically, you are reminded that you are a creature of time. One of these days, you are going to die and leave it all behind and everything you have is either going to rust or burn, so the best thing you can do is give it while you can.

Then, you put down the name of whom you are writing the check to. I wish the bank would cash it. You could just write out the name “God”, because that is actually who you are giving your money to, but since they don’t do that you write out the name of the church which is simply God’s representative.

When you write out the amount of the check, which is your tithe, and you realize that you are giving it to God’s work, you just made a confession. You just confessed that you understand that God owns everything you have anyway and it all belongs to Him.

Then, you know that line that is in the lower left-hand corner of the check where you write what the check is for? You could write down all kinds of things there. Yes, it is for paying light bills, and literature, and salaries, but it is also for marriages to be restored, for lives to be changed, for people to be saved, for teenagers to go on mission trips, for the dying and sick to be ministered to and prayed for, and for the Gospel to be preached in 144 countries and all 50 states through a media ministry. Even more, it pays for the way the church has blessed your family and blessed your marriage and serves ready to help you in any time of spiritual need that you might have. Yes, the tithe is the power to bless God’s work and to bless you at the same time.

III. It Is The Power To Believe God’s Word

A few years ago, you may remember that Pepsi created an ad campaign that they called “The Pepsi Challenge.” They asked consumers to compare their brand of fizz with that of their chief rival (and we all know who that is). They said, “We believe that our fizz tastes better than theirs and we are willing for you to try it and prove it.” God does something in relation to the Power of Ten that He never does anywhere else in the Bible. He asks us to test it. He gives us the tithing challenge. He says,

“Test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”(Malachi 3:10, NASB)

Now God beats us to the punch. He says, “I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.” He says when we open up our wallet and give Him His tithe, He will open up His window and give us His blessing. Now, I want to cut to the chase. God just made a deal that you cannot refuse if you believe God.

If you take that verse at face value then there can only be one reason why a follower of Christ doesn’t tithe – only one. Because, he doesn’t believe God. He doesn’t take God at His word. Now, we are getting to where the rubber really hits the road. Tithing has nothing to do with your finances. It has everything to do with your faith. If you don’t hear anything else I’ve said or believe anything else I’ve said in the last four weeks I hope and pray you will believe this.

Tithing is not God’s way of getting something from you. It is God’s way of giving something to you. Here is the way it works. When you put God first in the area of your finances, God gets involved in your finances and God blesses it and God makes sure that you don’t out give Him. Deuteronomy

14:23 says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.”

Do you know what tithing does? It not only puts your money where it belongs, it puts God where He belongs.

Tithing is not a matter of what you think about giving. Tithing is a matter of what you think about God. Do you trust the person of God that He will keep His word? Do you trust the power of God to meet every financial need that you have? Do you trust the promise of God to honor you if you will honor Him? If the answer to those questions is “yes”, you won’t have to tithe, you will want to tithe. You not only will want to tithe, but you will also want to start giving an offering above.


On the basis of everything that we have listen to and read today, let me ask you this question. Are you giving to God what is right or what is left? Does your money come before God or does God come before your money?

[Pull Out Commitment Card and go over commitment card] [Pray over card and have card filled out]


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