A Financial Plan
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Watch A Financial Plan video.
Malachi 3:3, 6-15
I. Introduction—During these difficult economic times, many people are thinking about their finances. The national debt, high gas prices, and a struggling housing market are causing people to re-evaluate their financial plans. But do their plans match those of the Lord (Mal. 3: 7-15)? God’s plans are the very best, and in His Word, He has given us the wisdom we need to avoid the bondage of debt and attain His blessings.
II. God’s financial plan of promise requires active participation from us. It requires us to step out in faith and actively participate by tithing.
What is tithing?
• A tithe is ten percent of what we produce or earn.
• In the simplest terms, it is a penny of every dime you have. The same policy is as true for a dollar or for a million dollars. God provides all that you enjoy, so you must be willing to give a portion of it back to honor Him for all He has blessed you with.
The command is clear.
• It should come from our first fruits, not our leftovers (Prov. 3:9-10).
• We are to bring it to the storehouse—the church—to accomplish the work God would have us to do (Mal. 3:10; 1 Cor. 16:2).
The purpose is clear. The Lord asks us to give to benefit both our own financial health and the community. Tithing allows for three important things:
• To provide for the work of God. Our tithes provide for the ministry of the church in its day-to-day operations and to assist those in need both physically and with the Gospel (Acts 2:44-47).
• To prove the faithfulness of God. When you and I tithe, the Lord promises to bless us for our faithfulness. He tells us “Test Me now in this. . . I will. . . pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (Mal. 3:10).
• To properly honor God. Tithing allows us to express reverence for the Lord, the source of all good things in our lives (James 1:17). We honor Him when we acknowledge His blessings in our lives, and He blesses that. Remember, our Father will never let us be in need when we are obedient.
III. God is saying two things . . .
Obey Me. Obeying God in all areas of your life, including your finances, is wise. Blessings will always follow when we are in the will of God.
Trust Me. God doesn’t tell us, “I might pour out blessings if you obey.” He tells us, “I will give you more than you feel like you can receive.” In fact, Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over” (Luke 6:38). We simply cannot outgive God!
IV. Consider the promises. Those who have claimed the Lord’s promise have not been disappointed. He has transformed their lives. When you tithe, God promises:
• “I will . . . open you the windows of heaven” (Mal. 3:10). In other words, you will experience the Lord’s provision firsthand.
• “I will . . . pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (v. 10). As you honor God, He increases the blessings in your life in wonderful ways you could never imagine.
• “I will rebuke the devourer” (v. 11). The Father will protect you, your family, your job, and all your possessions.
• “All the nations will call you blessed” (v. 12). The Lord will give you a powerful testimony among your friends and loved ones. Many will come to know Him through your obedience. Also, your children and grandchildren will learn from your example.
V. Consider the penalties. Refusing to tithe is the same as robbing God, and discipline is sure to follow (Mal 3:8).
Because of your rebellion, unbelief, and ingratitude . . .
• You miss out on God’s awesome provision and blessing.
• You experience the effects of disobedience in every area of your life.
• You are outside the Father’s umbrella of protection.
• You damage your testimony because of your unbelief.
VI. Conclusion—Do you believe the Word of God? Do you have faith that the Father will save you and provide for all your needs? Then trust Him with your tithe and watch as He provides for you. Surely, He will fulfill His promise to bless your obedience.