Series Introduction

Our finances can get so out of control so fast, especially heading into Christmas season. Back in the Black will help us avoid financial pitfalls, climb out of financial potholes, and experience financial freedom.

  • What is the best financial choice you have made?


Sermon Introduction

Have someone in the group read Malachi 3:6-12.

The word tithe means a “tenth part.” Throughout Scripture the number ten represents testing. There were 10 plagues in Egypt and in the wilderness God gave Moses ten commandments. This is seen throughout the Old Testament. God tests our hearts through tithing. The interesting thing is that tithing is the only area where God says we can test Him too.

We are not supposed to test God; however, when it comes to tithing, God says, “Try me now in this.” God desires His children to bring their tithes and offerings into the storehouse of the church. When we do this, God says He will pour out His blessings upon us, and He will guard us.

Tithing is a test of our hearts.  If we tithe, we are under God’s blessing. Tithing is a subject that many are uncomfortable with. We shy away from talking about it to our family or friends. When we are fearful of talking about this it keeps us from being accountable or seeking wise counsel. Last week Gene talked about 10 Financial Commandments. He talked about how we honor God when we give him our first fruits.

  • When you think of tithing, do you cringe or do you feel excited? Explain.

Have someone read Leviticus 27:30 and Deuteronomy 26 1-2, 13-15.

Pastor Robert talked about tithing being biblical. Many people will say that it isn’t in the Bible or that it was under the law so it doesn’t apply today. In reality there are numerous passages, written even 500 years before the law was given, that talks about tithing.  Jesus told many parables around money and being a good steward of what we are given. It was important to Him.

Have someone read Deuteronomy 26:1-2.

God gave the command that all His people are to tithe; however, with our obedience comes a blessing. Our tithe helps support the work of the church, and allows us to unleash compassion to those in need. The place where we receive our “spiritual food” is the place where we are to pay our tithes. Obeying God’s word through tithing breaks the curse and invites God’s blessings and provision for our lives and finances.

Pastor Robert talked about two types of people. The first are tithers and they say “I am so blessed. “The second are the people who don’t tithe. These people say “I can’t afford to tithe. “He talked about how you will never be able to afford to tithe until you start.

Have someone read aloud Matthew 6:21

Matthew 6:21 talks about where our treasure is, that is where our heart will be. When we are able to give 10% or more of our income instead of keeping that money for ourselves, it shows that we love God more than our money. 

Often you will hear stories of people who choose to tithe, even when they didn’t know how they would pay the bills or provide for their family. They take that step of faith and say, “I trust you Lord.” As time passes you will hear these same people share the amazing ways God met them and provided for all their needs. It can be scary to take that first step. In our small group, we have the opportunity to cheer each other on and to pray for one another. We can celebrate together as we share how God is meeting our needs. Our hearts grow bigger and our faith grows stronger when we trust God with our money.

Have someone read Matthew 25:14-30.

Tithing is more than the obedience. It is personal to Jesus, he desires to provide for us.

  • In his message, Pastor Robert shared that tithing is a blessing for the believer. Do you agree or disagree? Explain. If you agree, how is the tithe a blessing for the believer? Have you experienced this firsthand?

Pastor Robert began his message saying, “Every time we get paid we face a test…whom shall we thank?” As followers of Jesus, we have trusted Him for the forgiveness of our sin. It’s a big step to honor God first with the tithe and it takes faith that the God who you are trusting for your entire eternal destiny in heaven forever and ever can also be trusted in this area of your life.

  • Many believers struggle when it comes to tithing. Why do you think this is? What are some of the barriers or misunderstandings that hinder believers from tithing? If you are comfortable, share your personal experience with tithing.


Application

This weekend Gene encouraged us to take the tithe challenge. The 3-month tithe challenge is an opportunity for you to trust God in this area of your life in the next 3 months. Gene boldly offered a money back guarantee.  If you get to the end of the 3 months and feel like God hasn’t blessed you, and God hasn’t kept His promises to you, the church will return the money. Pray you have the courage to fill it out and test God and trust God.

Spend time in small groups praying for each other in the area of finances and tithing.

This week consider journaling down your responses to these questions:

Are you currently tithing? Where is God asking you to grow in this area? Maybe you are struggling to become debt free. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to continue to trust Him in this area and for wisdom in your day to day financial decisions.

If you have not taken the challenge, take time to pray about it this week. How can you overcome the things in your heart that keep you from tithing? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you and make a plan to begin tithing.