Would a man rob God? - Pastor says too many churches are guilty
How is it possible for a man to rob God when He is the provider for all that man is bestowed with? Pastor Thomas 'Hurricane' Bryan, the stewardship director of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, says to the unwillingness to return a percentage from that which we earn or possess.
"When God blesses you, be faithful. Ellen G. White says in the book Stewardship that robbery is (evident) in many churches. When you hold back that tithe and that offering ... God is not just interested in the tithe, but in the offering, too."
Bryan revealed that based on studies, if more people were faithful in returning their tithes and giving an offering, churches would be better able to operate financially.
"The Bible says, 'Will a man rob God, yet you have robbed me in tithes and in offering'. If every time we return a $1,000 for tithe, we would return even $400 for offering or at least 40 per cent for offering, the empirical studies show that there wouldn't be any need for concerts or rallies, because the local church would have enough money to take care of itself."
GOD DOES NOT DISLIKE RICHES
During Thomas' sermon in the Asia District of Churches, partially based on Luke 12: 16-21, the veteran preacher said, God does not dislike riches but is broken hearted when it is not used to His glory.
"God is not vexed when we are rich. If riches increase, set not your heart on it. What God would be vexed for is if I scam somebody to get rich."
He continued: "God said, 'I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health'. God wants three kinds of prosperity for his children: spiritual, material, and prosperity in health. What God would be vexed for is if I am rich and I do not use my riches to glorify Him."
Bryan referred to individuals who pray for riches and have not been granted same as God's saving graces.
"Material things should not be the only goal in life. The farmer plants the seed, but God nourishes it. Whatever man may contribute to the process of growth, it is man who gives the increase. God has to hold back riches for many of us.
"When we don't have money, we are the best Christians, but when we have money, we know not God.
"Because God wants to save us in His kingdom and give us internal riches, sometimes He has to hold back (earthly riches) because your soul is more important."
While many may say life is too hard and they can barely make ends meet financially, Bryan offered the reminder that only God can turn their situations around - if one is faithful.
"The God who carried you through from youth ... you should never turn your back on Him. The Lord says, 'Cast your bread upon the waters and you shall find it after many days.' God is not a liar, when you give to God, He gives back to you. God is sure to bless you when you are faithful in tithes and offerings and when you stretch a hand to the poor."
LOOKING FOR WEATLH
Most individuals struggle every day to find solutions to increasing wealth. Bryan had this to say:
"Anytime you rob God, you are cursed with a curse, but anytime you don't rob God, you are blessed with a blessing. If you are living and you don't have God's blessing, you haven't started to live. If you want to have money, take care of God's business and God will take care of your business. All He asks for is one-tenth. He wants your heart because He wants to bless you and take you to live with Him forever," he ended.