Dover Assembly of God
1.12.2020 | Biblical Life Lessons - Tithing
Locations & Times
  • Dover Assembly of God
    4790 Carlisle Rd, Dover, PA 17315, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Dover Assembly Online
    Sunday 10:30 AM


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This Week's Bulletin
January 12, 2020

Welcome to Dover Assembly!
We are so glad you have chosen to attend Dover Assembly this morning. It is not by accident that you are here. We believe that God has allowed you to be here so that you might receive all that He has for you. We pray you are blessed as you allow the Lord to work in your life.


9:00 am ~ Coffee & Donuts
9:30 am ~ Sunday School
10:30 am ~ R.O.C.K. Children’s Ministries
10:30 am ~ Worship Service
1:00 pm ~ Spanish Service

6:30 pm ~ FAMILY NIGHT

6:30 pm ~ Saturday Night Spanish Service


New Wednesday Night Bible Study
Beginning this week, we will have a 5 part video series on worship. It is entitled “Worship-Our Highest Calling”.We will begin each night with a short video clip and have discussion following. If you are interested in any aspect of our form of worship, be sure to mark your calendars and plan on attending.

Women of Purpose Annual Birthday Celebration
All ladies are encouraged to join us for our annual birthday celebration on Friday, Jan 24, 6:00 — 8:00 pm here at the church. Please sign up at the Women’s table in the upper foyer.

Human Life Services
Join us on Sunday, Jan., 26 as Human Life Services will minister and share testimonies of women who have been helped by this tremendous organization! We will receive a special offering to bless this important ministry. Due to the possible sensitive nature of this service, parents, use your discretion as to whether or not you want your children to remain with you in the service. All are welcome to remain in the R. O. C. K. Room.

We will be passing our baby bottles this week that are designed to be filled with coins (and dollars) to support Human Life Service! We will collect them on Jan 26, when they will be in our service.

We will also receive a love offering for their ministry.

New Life For Girls
After several unforeseen schedule changes, the girls will be ministering on Sun, Mar. 1 during the 10:30 service. Be sure to come to support them and bring someone who needs to hear their testimonies. We will provide a luncheon following the service. A love offering for their ministry will be taken.

Women of Purpose Spring Tour
This year’s District Spring conference will be held at Christian Life A/G on Saturday, Mar., 21. Please mark your calendars for this date! More information coming!


Annual Business Meeting
As we prepare for our annual church business meeting on Sunday, Jan. 19, we ask that you pray for the election of our new deacon board members. The following have been nominated and have accepted the nomination to run for our 2 open positions.
~ Mark Crumrine
~ Pete D’Agostino
~ Keith Housseal

Special Thanks!
To Katie and Jamie for taking down all the Christmas decorations and to Katie, Dave & Brad for re-decorating the church. Everything looks awesome! Thanks again!

Please take time to review and pray for those on this list. Drop them a card or call to set up a time to visit. They will be blessed!
~ Gladys J.
~ Beulah S.
~ Olga K.
~ Marian T.

Jan 15 ~ Worship Practice
Jan 19 ~ Annual Business Meeting
Jan 24 ~ Annual Women’s Birthday Dinner
Jan 26 ~ Human Life Sunday
Mar 1 ~ New Life for Girls
Mar 21 ~ Women’s Spring Tour

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Week 14 - January 12, 2020 - Pastor Jeff Bender

We're going to talk about everyone’s favorite topic today - Tithing or giving.

It took me a while to fully understand how God does this and why, but when I got a hold of it, it changed my outlook. Before I was a Christian, I was a pretty stingy guy. I never have any money to anyone. I never gambled because I didn’t want to basically give that money away. I only played the numbers one time (off book) and won. But I never did it again.

My dad used to tell me that there were people who actually gave 10% of their money to the church. I didn’t believe him. Or at least this couldn’t be a common practice.

So when I came to know Christ and they taught me about that, I was really reluctant to do it. But when I realized that this was God’s way of increasing our faith with an almost immediate blessing, it was easier for me to do.

So let’s see what God says about giving.
Turn with me to Malachi 3.

As with everything else we read in the Bible, it’s important to know the context of why it was written, when it was written and to whom it was written.

As you know it is the last book in the Old Testament. It was written to the Old Testament Israelites (specifically the priests first then the people as a whole) who had gotten into a state of formalism.

What does that mean? It means they were doing things out of ritual and not out of the heart. They were doing the formalities, but had no relationship with God. It was basically a dead religion.

God chooses this guy Malachi, of which not a lot is known. Malachi then starts to talk to the priests and people about their relationship.
They were clueless about God’s love for them.

All that they did, they did out of habit.
The people and the priests were offering to God the things that they wanted to offer, not what God had told them to offer. They were giving God the leftovers and the junk.

It wasn’t a sacrifice. . .

This letter was intended to be a rebuke to His people about formality and heart attitudes. And a challenge to get right with God.

Do we give God our leftovers and things we don’t want? Do we give God our leftover time and talents? Does God take 2nd place to our schedules?
God always give us a chance to get it right, but we have to want it.

You’ll see that God begins to answer their questions one at a time.
These folks were blinded to the fact that they were sinning against God. “What do you mean return, where have we gone, aren’t we doing it right already”?

Sometimes we and they feel that because we are doing the externals, our relationship is fine.

The Pharisees were doing all the externals and we see what Jesus said to them.
God tells them that by withholding the tithes and offerings, they were in effect stealing from God.

He then tells then what they are required to do. Bring it into the storehouse. God uses a familiar term.

Similar to Siloh, Barn. A Place where it is gathered and dispersed as needed. A tithe is not giving to a favorite TV ministry. That’s an offering

He then tells them that the whole nation is under God’s curse because they have not obeyed in this area.

What were the requirements of Israel? They were to bring God the first fruits of whatever they raised. And the rate that God told them was 10%.

If they raised 100 sheep, they were to bring God 10 of them as their tithe. And these 10 were to be the best of the flock.
God did not want leftovers or things that they couldn’t sell.

He wanted their best.

Now how does this relate to today? How does tithing from the Old Testament translate to the New Testament church?

A recent statistic is that the average American gives about 2.5%

Fun fact: During the depression, that number was 3.3%
Some believe that this is an Old Testament law and that it has no place in the New Testament church.

1) Yes it was Old Testament.

2) It was a concept that was not abolished in the New Testament. In fact, it was now meant to be the minimum.

The New Covenant replaced and is superior to the Old Covenant. It is a covenant that with its manifold blessings imposes greater responsibilities than the Old Testament did.
Jesus said you not only have to tithe, you have to take care of the important matters of justice, mercy and faithfulness.

He says we have to do both.
We no longer sacrifice animals, but we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Look at Romans 12:1.

We no longer have to be circumcised, but we let the Holy Spirit circumcise out hearts.

How many of us have claimed blessings and promises found in the Old Testament?

If the New Testament got rid of the Old Testament for tithing, then why do we accept the blessings?
What is the purpose of the tithe?

We often say that God doesn’t “need” your money. He needs what? Your obedience.

The main principle behind tithing and giving is that it shows where our heart is. If we are able to part with money freely, then our desire is to please God rather than ourselves.
God knows that the measure of heart is found in our wallets.

Larry Burkett said that he can tell you a person’s faith walk, where they are spiritually, by looking at their checkbook.

The Bible mentions money over 800 times and half of Jesus’ parables talk about money.

Why? Because that is where people get tripped up.
People’s desire for money more than God, has led them from the faith.

He mentioned wandering from the faith. What does that mean? It means when we do not give, we are indicating that we do not have the faith to believe God will provide.
You do not believe that God will do this, so you try to handle it yourself. We forget that all that we have has been given to us by God.

If you have a job, consider that a blessing from God. If you have the ability to do that job, it also is a gift from God.
If our hearts are right with God, and we realize that he gave us everything, then we should have no problem being obedient and acknowledging that by giving back.

It truly is an act or test of faith.
This is the only area that God says to test him.

The KJV says “prove me”. Have you ever said “prove it”? God is saying let me prove it to you.

Prove what?
Prove that God will meet your need if you trust Him to.

Often God will not meet the need until you first step out in faith.

And all of that is an issue of the heart.
Some people think that because we are in the age of grace, that mandatory tithing is against God’s grace.

We don’t have to tithe to be right with God. While it is true that tithing does not save a person, it nonetheless is a requirement.

God has a requirement of no sex before marriage. You could say that it is mandatory that you not have sex before you are married.

Will sex outside of marriage keep you out of heaven? Possibly? Since that is a sin, and if you continue to do it in spite of God’s requirements, what does the Bible say?
Let’s look at God’s reasoning behind the “no-sex-before-marriage” rule.

Why does he say that? To kill our fun? On the contrary, to limit our negative consequences. He knows what that does to a person and he wants us to avoid it.
Paul is talking about spiritual death, you choose to ignore the Holy Spirit’s conviction and thus become spiritually dead.

So if that is true about sex before marriage, the same would be true about tithing. If we consistently refuse to do what God requires, then our spiritual hearts will become dead.
What has been the result of sex outside of marriage?

Diseases, abortion, unwanted pregnancies, destroyed marriages. Baggage going into a marriage.

Do you think that God knew this would be the result? Yes, so he said don’t do it for your own good.

Tithing is the same. He tells us to do it, so that our faith is challenged and built up and our trust in the Lord is built.

If we continue to ignore that, our conscience will be seared and we will “wander away from the truth”.

Tithing is for our good.
Andrew Hill, professor of Old Testament Studies at Wheaton College says this:

"It is true that there really is no carry-over stipulation in the New Testament to give a tithe,” says Hill. “Ten percent seems to be an assumption rather than a given imperative. He says he personally thinks the 10 percent mandate from the Old Testament should be a minimum carry over from the old covenant to the new. “It’s a baseline, a suggested idea for proportional giving. The tithe in the Old Testament was designed to make a statement about God as the source of good things. By giving our tithe, we acknowledge God as source and tangibly demonstrate our thanksgiving and faith.”
Preaching on tithing is just like preaching on anything else. It is a challenge to each of us. Are we going to do what God tells us to do, or not?

Do we trust God in every area of our life, or not? Do we believe that God will provide more than enough to cover our faith?

What are the “windows of heaven that God will pour blessings from?

We may not receive a raise at work, or a check in the mail, even though we might. Our car may not breakdown causing us more expenses.

You may have good health and not require any medical bills or have to take time off work, thus saving money.

Maybe he keeps you house from being damaged from the weather or vandals. He may provide an item on sale that you need.
If you are currently tithing, you know what I’m talking about. I do not know anyone who tithes but yet wishes they didn’t. In fact the more they give, the more they see God at work in their lives.

If you are struggling with tithing, you need to step out in faith and allow God to prove it.

Aside from the material blessings we receive, the most important thing we receive is the knowledge that we are being obedient to what God asks us to do. And from that, our faith and trust can only grow and mature.

The time to tithe is not when you can afford it, because that time will never come. There will always be other expenses and emergencies that arise.

It’s at the point of not having enough that your trust is put to the test. That is the point where you say to God, “you told me to have you prove it, so here goes"

If we give to God what we have an abundance of, where is our faith? If we give to God when we are in need, then our faith is taking action.
Last week we talked a little about the widow at Zerapath. Elijah asked her to use the last of her flour to make him something to eat before she made herself something.

She stepped out in faith and was rewarded.
Back in Pittsburgh, we didn’t make a lot, so our tithe checks were smaller. When we moved to FL, I was making much more so our checks were more. I actually paused because the tithe checks were so much bigger. But I did it anyways because God had proved himself when we had a little. So I knew God would prove himself when we had a lot. And He did.

I can tell you from personal experience, that 90% goes further than 100%.

On paper, it doesn’t work. But God . . .

This is the only time that God tells us to put him to the test. If you struggle to make ends meet, put God to the test. I’m here to tell you it works. God will provide for you when you trust him to!

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