Note how Paul suggests that God gives financial resources to those who are already using what they have in the right way. If one gives bountifully, with a cheerful heart, void of selfishness, God may be more inclined to continue flowing blessings into that good Christian’s life. Maybe this is why some Christians are convinced they cannot out-give God—because they have tried, and failed!

Should We Test God in This Matter?

The only place in Scripture that I know of where God tells His people to test Him is in the Old Testament book of Malachi, and it's in regards to this very topic of giving. Speaking on God’s behalf, Malachi came on the scene about 430 years before Jesus. Despite hundreds of years of prophetic teaching and exhortation, the Israeli culture did not bear the evidence of their labor. Most of the people were corrupt—as were many of the priests. But God was still in charge, on the throne—sovereign. In chapter three, Malachi confronts the people for their selfish hearts and ungiving spirits:

"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee? In tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until there is no more need. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes…and all the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land."

There is so much to say about this passage, but for my purposes at this time, I will note the following two points:

1) God is upset that His people have "robbed" Him by not giving as they should.

2) He tells them to change their ways, and to test Him to see if He does not bless their giving in three specific ways: A blessing from heaven, crop protection, and honor from other nations.

Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminarat churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

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