Hope Hill Community Church
Easter Sunday
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        Family Game Night

        April 6, 2022 - 7:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        Join us for Bible Study/Game Night! Dinner and games will be provided, so be sure to bring your appetite and your competitive spirit!
      • Download

        Family Game Night

        April 6, 2022 - 7:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        Join us for Bible Study/Game Night! Dinner and games will be provided, so be sure to bring your appetite and your competitive spirit!
  • Malachi 3:8–10 NIV
    “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
    Preachers have used this text for centuries to convince a reluctant congregation to give their hard earned money to the church.
    And out of context, it seems scary.
    I certainly don’t want to rob God!
    And towards the end there’s certainly some hope for an awesome reward.
    Who wouldn’t want to receive so many blessings that there won’t be enough room to store it!?
    But while there is truth to all of what is being proficied here in Malachi, it’s not quite the whole truth.
    Throughout this series, my intent was to uncover the truth about worshiping the Lord with our giving in all of its various forms, and now we have come to our final and probably most controversial topic:

    Tithing

    In my experience as a preacher, I’ve noticed that the subject of giving is one that is avoided outside of right before passing the offering plates.
    The literal Hebrew definition of the word Tithe is Tenth.
    Under the Mosaic Law, tithing was a requirement
    It was sinful not to give 10% of your harvest
    because it was meant to remind the people that all things come from the Lord and we are just stewards of what He provides.
    The concept of tithing can be traced back as early as the book of Genesis where in
    Genesis 14 we see that Abraham gave a tenth of his possessions to Melchizedek, who is identified as the king of Salem and a “priest of God Most High”
    But this idea of giving a tenth of your “income” is especially prevalent in the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
    Here we can see where Moses’ command is explained in detail.
    It was expected that one tenth of the produce of the land belonged to the Lord and a tenth of the herdsman’s flock belong to the Lord.
    Now, it would be irresponsible of me, as your spiritual leader, to continue without mentioning that as modern Christians, we no longer live under the confines of the Mosaic Law.
    Jesus came and lived and died and was resurrected so that the Law can be fulfilled.
    This does not, in any way, suggest that the Old Testament is irrelevant by any means
    But it does mean that certain practices such as (spoiler alert) tithing are no longer a requirement for redemption or salvation.
    In other words, because of Jesus, you don’t have to tithe to make it to heaven.
    You bought your ticket when you gave the preacher your hand and the Lord your heart.
    But before we get too excited, let’s examine why the practice of tithing is still around today and why it’s still a good idea to give sacrificially to the Lord.
    My first argument for the practice of tithing is that tithing is practical.

    Tithing is Practical

    1 John 3:17 NIV
    If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
    The biggest and most impactful answer to the question of why do we tithe it simple:
    Because there is still a need.
    The church exists to make disciples and to make a difference in the communities we serve.
    Every dime that we receive should be put to work towards one of those two objectives.
    If there’s homelessness in our community, let’s use our resources to make blessing bags.
    If there are foster children displaced from their homes, let’s use our recourses to buy gifts and provide for their needs.
    If there’s a member in need of counseling or a card or a meal or whatever, we should have the resources in place to take care of them
    But we can’t give as a church if all we do when we arrive is take.
    Church is not simply an hour of entertainment every Sunday.
    Being a Christian is more than just receiving a Word, hearing a good song
    We are called to participate in the worship experience.
    That includes you time, talent and your tithe.
    My pastor always said that salvation is free, but ministry costs money.
    But with that being said, we do still have to be very careful.
    Charles Spurgeon (a biblical scholar) and his wife, according to a story in the Chaplain magazine, would sell, but refused to give away, the eggs their chickens laid. Even close relatives were told, "You may have them if you pay for them." As a result some people labeled the Spurgeons greedy and grasping.
    They accepted the criticisms without defending themselves, and only after Mrs. Spurgeon died was the full story revealed. All the profits from the sale of eggs went to support two elderly widows. They endured the attacks in silence.
    You see, tithing is supposed to be personal.

    Tithing is Personal

    Matthew 6:1–4 (NIV)
    “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    “So when you give to the needy […] do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    We don’t give so that everyone will know that we’re giving.
    We give because that’s what’s in our hearts.
    We are very unconventional in the fact that we don’t even pass plates here at Hope Hill
    And there is some truth to the old adige that you should never give to be seen but you should always be seen giving.
    But the reason we don’t pass plates or walk to the front of the alter to give is Because I truly believe that it’s no one’s business what you give, when you give, or even, for that matter, if you give at all.
    The truth of the matter is, if we can’t afford to do something as a church, we just won’t do it.
    We’re not going to beg for donations, we’re not going to do fund raisers, we’re not gonna sell chicken plates after service.
    But the Word will go forth, and the outreach will continue even if we have zero dollars in the account, because that’s what we were called to do!
    finally, we discussed earlier that tithing isn’t a requirement by God
    So why bother? Why do it at all? What’s the point if I’m going to make it to heaven anyways?
    Well, because while tithing may not necessarily be a rule, it’s still a good practice.

    Tithing is not a Rule, it’s a Practice

    A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did."
    Now that’s a silly illustration and we all can laugh, but there’s a lot of truth and honesty to that little girl’s story.
    2 Corinthians 9:6–7 NIV
    Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
    I don’t know about you, but I wan’t God’s love
    And the promises of Malachi still apply!
    When it’s all said and done, our giving, this worship in sacrifice can be summed up as simply as this
    We give because God has given us so much.
    We have experienced the ultimate example of giving there ever could be.
    John 3:16 NIV
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    That’s why giving is a form of worship!
    We’re blessing God by sacrificing our time
    We’re blessing God by sacrificing our gifts and talents
    We’re blessing God by sacrificing a tenth of our income
    We’re acknowledging that everything that is or ever was or ever will be was created by Him and that we are just stewards of the rich blessings that He allows us to enjoy.
    I used to think that God has given us so much and asks for so little in return
    But literally as I was writing this I had the thought that that isn’t entirely true.
    God asks for a lot in return
    He’s asking is to sacrifice our egos.
    He’s asking us to relinquish control
    He’s asking us to trade our faith in the tangible for faith in the invisible.
    Just know that no matter how much you give of yourself, whether it be in time talent or tithe, or any combination of the three, you gain nothing if not done in love.
    I’ll leave you with this scripture.
    1 Corinthians 13:3–8 (NIV)
    If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    Love never fails[…]
      • Psalm 30:5KJV1900

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