총 게시물 593건, 최근 2 건

The Life-giving Authority (2)

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2019-09-09 (월) 09:52 조회 : 29
설교일 : 2019.09.08
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
본문말씀 : Malachi 3:7-12

September 8, 2019

Life-giving Authority Series #2

 

The Life-giving Authority (2)

Malachi 3:7-12

 

Rev. Eungyong Kim’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

“What authority are you under?”

Are you under the worldly authority or under the life-giving authority? Last Sunday, we shared that Lord Jesus was converting the worldly authority of the Samaritan woman at the well into the life-giving authority. Jesus came down to earth to convert the authority that people were under, and having faith means being under a different authority.

 

Today we continue with the same subject, but this time with the passage in Malachi, which is generally known as God’s Word on the tithing. But is it really about the tithing? We want to find out what Prophet Malachi really meant with these verses.

 

Today’s passage has been interpreted in two ways.

The first:          We will be blessed, when we tithe.

                        Only by our tithing, we will be blessed. Otherwise, we will not be blessed.

                        The blessings for us are directly based on whether we tithe or not.

 

< When a member, who was going through difficult times with his business, consulted his Cell Group Leader, he was advised to do the tithing. I don’t think that our tithe offering should be used in that way. The beginning and the end got reversed. After experiencing the grace and having been touched by it, one should do the tithing as his holy offering to God. When this proper order is reversed, our tithing becomes just a measure to receive more blessings. >

 

The second:    By tithing, we can test God to see if He will bless us or not.

                        Many give this advice of testing God by our tithe offering and seeing if God will                                   bless us or not. Deuteronomy 6:16 says, “Do not test the LORD your God”. We                                should never test God with our tithing and then say that God does not exist, if no               blessing is poured upon us right away.

 

I have pondered over the reasons why we interpret today’s passage in these ways. Anyone, who thinks that the blessings from God are dependent on one’s tithing, must be in the firm grip of the worldly authority. And those, who want to strengthen their own authority by their tithe offering to God, must be also in the grip of the worldly authority. On the other hand, those who use their own material possessions for the expansion of the kingdom of God are under the life-giving authority.

 

What does Malachi want to tell us in today’s passage? I want to share this message with our focus on the life-giving authority.

 

 

These are the messages given to us by God through Malachi.

 

1.  Return to me.

 

The book of Malachi has a fundamental request from God for the Israelites, and it does not have anything to do with the tithing.

 

God says “Return to me” in verse 7.

 

Why did God say this to them? God said this to the Israelites because they had turned away from Him, and God was extremely sad about it. God wants them to return to Him and be His people.

 

What did the Israelites do, instead of returning to God? By offering the tithing, they hid their bad faith and believed that they were faithful.

 

God does not want us to be good at the tithing only. Before our tithe offering, God wants to make sure that we are faithful. He doesn’t want any ceremonial offerings from us, when we are not returning to Him in our hearts.

 

The same principle applies to the observation of the Sabbath. God doesn’t want us to observe the Sabbath only. He wants us to always live our lives as the people of God.

 

Then, why do we and the Israelites misunderstand what God wants? It is all because we are under the influence of the worldly authority. Even though we attend church regularly and think we have a strong faith, we are so much under the worldly authority that we believe the material wealth and worldly success are the most important things in our lives. Outwardly we act like the people of God, but inwardly we may be still under the worldly authority.

 

Therefore, by our tithe offering, we are trying to appease God, while not living our lives according to the Word of God.

 

That is why God is asking us to return to Him.

 

What will happen to us, if we continue to live under the worldly authority, like the Samaritan woman did?

 

    1)  We become thirsty because of the worldly authority.

            Like the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar, we are always thirsty, even when sitting    at the well, because we are never filled up.             

 

    2)  We lose the authority of God.

            We begin to lose our faith in God.

            What was the difference between Caleb and the 10 other scouts who were sent to the      land of Canaan? Caleb was under the authority of God and kept his steadfast faith in         God, so he continued to hope for great things from God.

 

    3)  Israel was conquered by Babylon.

            Israel had to be defeated by more powerful authority.

            David was able to defeat Goliath because of the more powerful authority he was under.

 

Now, the Word of God through Malachi says the following.

   

    1)  Return to God.

            Come back to the true satisfaction and peace that God provides.

            Come back to the abundant life-giving authority and enjoy the abundant grace.

 

    2)  Restore the authority of God.

            < One deaconess gave this testimony during the Discipleship training. Among three friends, hers was the only Christian family, so she prayed to God that her family should be more prosperous than others to show that Christians are more blessed. But it turned out that her family was the one suffering the most financially because of a bounced check from a big client. She began to worry that her husband might complain why their family was doing so badly, even with her faith in Jesus.

 

            From then on, she wanted to separate the worldly prosperity from the spiritual aspects and only prayed for the spiritual aspect of her husband.

 

            After hearing her testimony, I disagreed with her. Then, I suggested the following prayers for her.

            a)  Pray for her husband’s business to be lifted up by God.

            b)  Pray for her husband to realize the hand of God in his prosperity.

            c)  Pray for their new wealth to be used for the holy purpose of helping the poor, as           well as for their own family.

            d)  Pray for her husband and family to get to know God more, with this new prosperity.

            e)  In everything they do, they should give all the glory to God. >

 

These prayers show that they are under the life-giving authority. And these prayers are coming from faithful hearts.

 

    3)  Keep the steadfast faith, no matter how powerful the worldly authority is.

We will never be defeated by any powerful worldly authority.

 

 

Now this is the second message given to us by God through Malachi.

 

2.  You rob God.

 

When God said “Return to me”, the Israelites asked “How can we return to you?”

 

At this question from them, God said “You rob me”.

 

The Israelites at first didn’t understand what God was saying; “Yet you rob me, in tithes and offerings. You are under a curse, because you are robbing me.”

 

What does it mean that they were robbing God?

 

< What I learned, while meditating upon the construction of God’s temple; I realized that the interior of the temple should be more beautiful than the exterior of the temple, to accommodate the presence and glory of God. The same goes with our faith. The interior of our faith should be more beautiful than the exterior, to accommodate the presence and glory of God. This is the true faith. >

 

When God said they were robbing Him, the Israelites didn’t understand what God was saying and asked Him instead how they had robbed God and defended that their offerings to God had been the perfect tithing.

 

< Which do you offer, the tithe of your gross income or the tithe of your net profit? Is it the tithe of what your husband gives you for living expenses or the tithe of his whole income? My answer to these questions is that it should be the tithe from your heart. When you follow what your heart tells you in accordance with God’s wishes, that is the perfect tithing. >

 

Even if anyone offered the most accurate amount of tithing, without heart-felt thanks to God, it would not serve the purpose. God said to the Israelites that without their hearts, their perfect offerings were useless and that they were robbing God.

 

< What we want is having our hearts filled with God’s grace and with the Word of God, and then filled with God Himself. When we are under the life-giving authority, we dwell in the love and grace of God. >

 

God wants us to stop robbing God and return to Him.

 

 

This third message makes us to reflect upon what kind of authority we are now under.

 

3.  Test me in this.

 

This is the third message given by God through Malachi and God says, “Test me in this.”

 

A lot of people interpret this message as God is asking us to test Him to see if He will give us blessings, when we do the tithing. But this is not about us testing God, because God cannot be tested by us.

 

But those under the worldly authority are trying to test God with their small offerings to Him.

 

This message is about the result of their return to God in verse 7.

God is explaining what will happen when the Israelites stop robbing God and return to Him as the true people of God.

 

When we return to God as His people, God says He will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much true blessings upon us.

 

This is God’s outcry to the corrupt people and His promise for them when they return to Him. But those under the worldly authority want to test God with their material offerings, as their response to Him has been corrupted. Conversely, those under the life-giving authority will experience the amazing works of God, when they come out and stand before the living God.

 

What God wants to receive from us as the tithings is not the material things, but our own selves. God wants us to return to Him. God wants to receive us as the tithing for Him.

 

The worldly authority corrupts us with its emphasis on material offerings to God and confuses us by misinterpreting the heart of God who wants to receive us as the tithing.

 

What should we test? Is it God or our own self?

 

Now I want to show you a picture.

 

< Teddy Bear picture >

 

What did you see?  Did you notice the small teddy bear the child was holding? Now, Jesus is asking the child to give it to Him. When you look closely, there is a bigger teddy bear behind Lord Jesus. Looking at this picture, I thought this child reminded me of ourselves. If this child knew that there was a huge gift waiting for him behind Jesus, he would have gladly given his small teddy bear to Jesus.

 

How about us? Aren’t we holding onto the small worldly authority and trying very hard to make it larger? Perhaps it may be because we don’t know that there is an amazing life waiting for us behind Jesus! 

 

 

 


   

총 게시물 593건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
593 2019.09.15  The Life-giving Authority (3) 1 Samuel 17:17-27 Rev. Eungyong Kim
592 2019.09.15  생명 권세 (3) 사무엘상 17:17-27 김응용 목사
591 2019.09.08  The Life-giving Authority (2) Malachi 3:7-12 Rev. Eungyong Kim
590 2019.09.08  생명 권세 (2) 말라지 3:7-12 김응용 목사
589 2019.09.01  The Life-giving Authority John 4:10-14 Rev. Eungyong Kim
588 2019.09.01  생명 권세 요한 복음 4:10-14 김응용 목사
587 2019.08.25  The Gospel of God's one and only Son John 3:16 Rev. Eungyong Kim
586 2019.08.25  독생자의 복음 요한 복음 3:16 김응용 목사
585 2019.08.18  The eager expectation of God 1 Samuel 9:11-27 Rev. Eungyong Kim
584 2019.08.18  하나님의 마중 사무엘상 9:11-27 김응용 목사
583 2019.08.11  The Good Detroiters Luke 10:30-37 Rev. Eungyong Kim
582 2019.08.11  선한 디트로이트 사람 누가 복음 10:30-37 김응용 목사
581 2019.08.04  To preach good news to the poor Luke 4:16-19 Rev. Eungyong Kim
580 2019.08.04  가난한 자에게 복음을 누가 복음4:16-19 김응용 목사
579 2019.07.28  The invisible aspects of the Sabbath Matthew 12:1-8 Rev. Eungyong Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The Life-giving Authority (3)
설교일 : 2019.09.15
본문말씀 : 1 Samuel 17:17-27
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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