Read Malachi 3:6-12.

This message to Malachi (whose name means “my messenger”) was a warning from God to the Israelites concerning the many ways they had turned from His teaching. This passage points out that the people have not been following God’s standard for tithes and offerings, and He’s charging them to return to His way and see how much He’ll bless them.

We too have a tendency not to want to give God what is so rightly due Him. We can not only struggle with tithing but also with our time, control, image, personal wants and more. God deserves to be the Lord of all these things, but we long for something else, our own desires and goals. It can sometimes be very tempting to not give God the authority in our lives.

I don’t preach a gospel of prosperity, but I do believe in a gospel of peace. God Himself challenges His people to give to Him what is owed and see if He won’t bless us immeasurably in return. This blessing may not be monetary or even physical. Often times the greatest blessing of all is simply knowing God more and growing even closer to Him. This affects every aspect of our lives; it makes tough times joyful and serving Him a pleasure. It also helps us have a right relationship with God. The more we know and love God the more we can honor Him and enjoy honoring Him too.

God deserves a lot more than just our 10% tithe per paycheck. He deserves to be sovereign and first in our lives. He deserves the best of our time, energy and abilities. In Luke 20:25, Jesus tells us to give back “to God what is God’s.” What has God given us? Everything! Therefore we should give Him our everything in return.

Often times we have good intentions, but we never bring them to completion. We want to honor God, but we don’t want to give up our best. The Israelites were the same way; Malachi 1:14 says, “‘Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and my name is to be feared among the nations.’” When we refuse God our best, we’re being selfish towards the One Who gave His best to forgive us for our sins.

The more we let go of, the more room we have to receive what God wants to give us. The less we try to depend on our own strength, the more God is our strength. When we surrender all to Him, He becomes our all. He will not only fill us with such incredibly good things, He will also protect us from worry and frustration (v.11). What we receive is far better than what we give up. Let it go.

Dear Lord, thank You that You are such a good, good Father. You are so forgiving even when we keep messing up. Thank You that You want to bless us, and that Your love is greater than we will ever know. Please show us what we need to give into Your hands today, Lord.