Prove Me Now Herewith
by Marnie Pehrson
Most of the time when we read Malachi 3:8-11 we think of the law of tithing and how the Lord promises to open the windows of heaven for our sake when we are honest with Him and give Him ten percent of our increase. Tithing is a principle Ive been taught and practiced since childhood. Ive found that paying tithing has blessed me with the things I need when I needed them. We may scrape by financially but somehow the money we need appears when we need it most or well be given the wisdom to get by on what we have. The windows of heaven have opened for me spiritually and physically in knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
But Ill be honest with you, Im not the best money manager in the world and monetarily-speaking I dont know that you could say that the windows of heaven have poured me out more money than I could receive! Weve struggled a lot with debt in our married life. Perhaps you know what its like when it feels like every dollar you earn is already earmarked by the interest monster. Or maybe you know what its like when no matter how much you make, you still manage to spend it all. Getting out of debt and managing our money wisely has been a heightened concern for me over the last year. Ive felt an urgency to get out of debt and have made it a matter of prayer and fasting and the Lord has repeatedly opened the windows of heaven and given me insights and hope.
Then, three months ago while listening to a lesson at church I heard a powerful principle taught which Id either never heard or never paid attention to before. Perhaps I wasnt ready to receive it until that particular Sunday morning when it hit me with such force that I decided to test it. Before I tell you this principle, lets take a look at Malachi 3:8-11 because its in here I just never noticed it before.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts (Malachi 3:8-11).
Most of the time when we read this passage we think of tithing that ten percent. But He says we rob God when we do not give tithes AND offerings. Offerings are over and above the 10 percent. While tithing is generally what we give to our church to help it function and provide the building, facilities, utilities, etc to operate, our offerings are over and above the ten percent and would go toward other charitable causes like feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, supporting missionaries, helping the needy obtain education, etc.
I believe that the windows of heaven are not fully opened until we address both tithes AND offerings. If we really want to have showered upon us so much that we cannot receive it, then we must be generous in our offerings as well. I realize this can be hard to do when youre still struggling with the tithing principle, but it is one of those tests of faith that Jesus spoke of when he said, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine (John 7:17).
Malachi 3 is one of the few places in scripture where the Lord says prove me. In other words, test me, try me, and see if I dont do it. When I heard this, I decided to put the principle to the test and Ive seen amazing results. Ive also corroborated these results with a friend who has faithfully paid generous tithes and offerings for years. It has been our experience that whatever we give over and above tithing comes back to us ten-fold if not more. We looked at what we normally make and compared our increase to the amount we gave in offerings and it was ten times the offerings. For example, if you give a dollar, you get back ten. If you give ten, you get back one-hundred.
Its almost as if the Lord is saying, if youll give me ten percent of your increase, Ill see that youre taken care of. If youll give me more, Ill repay you ten-fold. I cant find a scriptural reference to back up this ten-factor, so youll just have to do as Malachi says and prove the Lord for yourself and see what your own personal multiplier is. But its definitely worth trying to see how it works for you. It may not come back to you exactly ten-fold, but it will come back to you abundantly. As Melvin J. Ballard once said, a person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return. (1)
I find that as I keep this principle in mind, Im wiser in my spending because I know that five dollars spent on a frivolous or discretionary item is five dollars less that Ill be able to give to the Lord and about $50 less Hell be able to bless me with. Its helping us not only have the money we need to pay down our debts, but also helping us to be wiser with the money were given.
Its that time of year again for New Years resolutions. If youre anything like me, those resolutions fall by the wayside within a few weeks. This year Im making only one resolution and I believe its one Ill be able to stick with. Im not focusing on getting out of debt or even on spending money more frugally. Neither one of those get me excited or motivate me. No, this year, Im setting only this one resolution to daily ask myself, How much can I give?
How can I stretch and give more to the Lord spiritually and monetarily? How can I use my talents and resources to build the Kingdom of God? For in so doing, the Lord will rebuke the devourer for my sake and will rain blessings down from heaven. Jesus said, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. (Luke 6: 38)
Along with wishing you a prosperous and Happy New Year, I issue you a challenge to put this principle to the test. Let the Lord prove His faithfulness in your life, and if you feel like it, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how the Lord blesses you as a result! Happy New Year!
1. Marion G. Romney, The Blessings of the Fast, Ensign, July 1982, 2
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