There is a tragic but true story of one man’s search for wealth. The man was a farmer who settled in Africa. When he learned of other settlers like himself making millions discovering diamonds on the rich African continent, he sold his farm to join them. He searched for years but found nothing. Finally, broke and hopelessly beaten, he threw himself into a river and drowned. In the meantime, the man who bought his farm found a large stone on his property which turned out to be a diamond of enormous value. That was only the beginning. The farm was covered with millions of dollars in the gleaming gems. All within easy reach of the first farmer who had wasted his life searching for something that was there all the time. The farm became the famous Kimberly Diamond Mine.
All of us would agree that we believe in God. But there are some who believe in God who still live empty lives. Something is missing! The irony is that we waste our lives frantically searching for something already within our reach.
After 420 years in Egypt it was time for the Hebrew people to return to their home and be free. God sent Moses to Pharaoh to ask for their release. To prove that it is God, Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. It didn’t mean a thing to Pharaoh, why? Pharaoh then summoned his sorcerers, and they also did the same things by their secret arts. A second time God offers proof – He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts. At what point is Pharaoh going to believe God and become faithful? We think that it is at the point, where Pharaoh can’t do it for himself.
I will plague your whole country with frogs. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt. But there was one thing they could not do, get rid of them. Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.” “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said (Exodus 8:1-11).
Can you believe that? The frogs are everywhere and Pharaoh is willing to spend one more night with those frogs. Tomorrow I will stop sinning! Tomorrow I will stop smoking. Tomorrow I will not take another drink. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! When will the people of God be obedient and faithful, tomorrow?
Giving to God is not a request, it is a command. I firmly believe that God is seeking to bless those who are faithful and obedient to His word. And we will never understand the full measure of that blessing until we comply. MAT 7:2 …and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. The more that we have the higher the tenancy not to give.
What preacher hasn’t heard all the excuses? 2CO 9:7 God loves a cheerful giver. So if I can’t be a cheerful giver, I won’t give. But when are we going to become a cheerful giver, tomorrow? Tithing is not a New Testament concept. Jesus said, MAT 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Jesus re-enforces that by saying, MAT 22:21 Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When are we going to believe that the scripture calls us to be faithful givers, tomorrow? I have too many bills to pay to give to God. Now scripture commands to “give the first” to God. MAT 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” We have never gotten the message, it’s not our money! If you manage a company you spend the money in a wise and prudent fashion. You spend it as the boss tells you to spend the money. After all, it is the bosses money. The problem, we spend it as if it is ours, not His. I’ll give it to Him when I die, tomorrow. LUK 12:20 “But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?
The issue is one that is bigger than our gifts, it is one of obedience. So, when are we going to be obedient? Tomorrow, which never comes? A 1000 years before the 10 Commandments were ever given, the Law of giving was in effect. Cain and Able were required to present their gifts to God. When was Cain going to give God the best and the first of his gifts, tomorrow.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, `How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – 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 you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:8-10).
God invites us to test Him in the truthfulness of this principle. LUK 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
It is the difference between living to the world’s standards and living with God’s standards. I challenge you today to begin that journey of faithfulness. Do not spend one more night with the frogs.