by Jim Hughes
Mal. 3:8-10 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!” But you ask, “What do you mean? When did we cheat you?” “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!”
“Should people cheat God?” Let us pause and reflect on this question. How might we cheat God? Malachi addresses the issue of tithes and offerings. God, through Malachi, challenged His people to be faithful givers to Him. He equated their disobedience in giving to their difficulties in life. He promised to bless His children if they brought to Him their tithes and offerings. There are other ways that we cheat God as well.
When we fail to acknowledge God before man, we cheat Him. When we fail to be a witness for the Lord we are depriving others of the opportunity to perhaps come to Him. We are cheating the Lord of the opportunity to speak to a person’s needs.
When we fail to give thanks and praise the Lord, we are cheating Him of the glory He so richly deserves. Others need to hear what God has done and our gratitude to Him for doing it.
When we fail to serve the Lord, we are cheating Him. God gives us gifts and talents to use to reach others with the Gospel message. He graciously blesses us to use us and when we don’t let Him use us, we are cheating Him of the glory He deserves.
When we fail to spend time alone with Him, we are cheating Him of our fellowship. The Lord longs for us to spend time alone with Him in His Word. It is there that He speaks most often to us. It is there that we learn how to live holy lives that please Him. The Lord longs for us to spend time alone waiting before Him. Prayer is a vital part of our fellowship with God and when we don’t pray, we are cheating Him of our fellowship.
Can God accuse us of cheating Him? Ask Him in what ways you have cheated Him. Wait quietly for Him to answer. Listen to what He is telling you and start now doing something about it. Perhaps you are cheating God in other ways. Let Him guide you. God wants to bless you, but when you cheat Him, you are keeping Him from doing it. Let Him have His way with you.
About the Author:
Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.
C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.
I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.