4 Nov 2013 by Natasha Kim CM-
Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam recently preached at the Calvary Convention Centre (CCC), where he assured everyone that it doesn’t matter what their response is to the country’s recent budget. “I have good news for you… no one and no circumstance determines what God wants to do or what He wants to say,” shared Prince. Instead it is important to know that God has His own vision for His people no matter what man tries to do. His promises are always delivered!
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Why do we practice tithes? How does it have anything to do with us? Prince shared that tithing originated way back from the time of Adam and Eve.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
The Lord gave Adam and Eve dominion over everything in the Garden of Eden with one condition, and that was to not eat from the forbidden tree. Prince shared that the tree was to remind them that God is the owner! “God said listen… Here is a tree… Don’t touch it; it’s not yours it’s mine. When you walk by and when you see the tree and the beautiful fruits in that tree, the message is I’m a steward (keeper) and God is saying to me that He is the owner,” shared Prince. He placed everything in this world from the sea to the land to the air and entrusted us to take care of it; we were given authority and administration over the earth.
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.
It is the same with tithes, where God gives us a designated sacred portion. “Everything you have belongs to God and everything that you have by what has given you… a tenth (tithe) is His,” he said. God wants to be the God in your life and He wants to show himself as the owner of all things. Once we allow God to be God and recognize Him in our lives, He will protect us and rebuke the devourer just as it was cited in scripture. Therefore, break away from the misconception that a tithe is a gift or a payment. It is sacred! It is you giving back to God what belongs to Him and recognizing ownership as well as acknowledging God as the Creator.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own
(1 Corinthians 6:19)
“When you pay taxes are you giving the government a gift? No, it’s not a gift, it’s a responsibility, and it’s due to them. When you don’t pay your tax they fine you because the tax is theirs and because they have made it possible for you to make whatever you’re making,” shared Prince. In addition to that, Prince stressed that tithes are not to be designated for it belongs to God’s storehouse (the Church).
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord.
God loves a cheerful Giver
The Bible speaks about an open heaven which releases God’s blessings, harvest, prosperity, health and goodness; a shut heaven on the other hand, speaks of a curse that comes when heaven is closed. “When the Bible talks about the heavens being shut it talks about the curse that’s coming. Now listen! God doesn’t curse. When a curse takes place it happens because God withdraws Himself,” shared Prince. God’s presence is able to keep all evil out however, when God withdraws Himself from people or circumstances, the devil slyly comes in and occupies the place, to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Hardship, famine, pain and sicknesses are not what God wants for us.
God blesses those who obey Him. How do you get an open Heaven? Find out what God tells you by reading the Bible. “Just be obedient to what He tells you! You should serve Him with all your heart and love Him with all your might,” he said. When God blesses us we can walk in prosperity (no lack) because our needs are being met. “It’s important that you and I realize that when we come to Church like this we pray for the presence because when He is present there is blessing. Satan has a way of doing what he can in the physical world but we are more than what affects us physically. We need to rise up and say, 'God your grace is sufficient!'” shared Prince.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try 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 such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
There are those that often say, “God is everywhere so why do I need to come to Church?” That is true, but what you may not know is that God has a storehouse and that is the Church (His House). Heavens open windows has to do with God’s sacred portion and Gods storehouse is where He keeps the spiritual food that we need, so that we can face our mountains, challenges and sicknesses. It is the support that we need and it is where we enter in to be blessed! “The interesting is this, that nowhere else in scripture will you find this phrase, 'Try Me'", said Prince.
“God does not need to be tested. He says that because He knows how human you are,” he said. The natural mind cannot understand and questions everything e.g How can this be? Or Why give to a God that’s almighty? God has it all! So then why would a powerful and mighty God need to be tested? The answer is so that you can bless the work of God and be a testimony of good works, so that others will be able to see and glorify God. If you want to experience Heavens opened doors where satan finds himself outside and unable to perform destruction, bring your tithes and offerings. “An offering is not a tip, you tip waiters…you don’t tip God. An offering is a way God’s people sow and they sow to reap,” he said.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.(Luke 6:38)
The Bible verse above in Luke is one that clarifies Malachi 3:10. A question often asked is how do we distinguish the blessings of God from those who seem to prosper from living a sinful life? The answer is simple, there are many people who have testified over and over again that they have a lot of money and yet they feel incomplete, unprotected and unhappy. The beauty of having a relationship with God is the peace and love that you receive, that even when you may not have much, you will still feel fulfilled, protected, complete, and still able to bless others. Many will not understand this until they have experienced a personal relationship with God. An open heaven upon your life assures you that there is no sorrow or curse that will come with your richness.
The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.
The devil is also known as a devourer, and if he gives to you it’s only a trap, like a rat trap that snaps once the bait is taken. “He tempts you by giving you a sweet but once you get it you’re trapped and then he pounces on you and destroys you. God saves you from those kind of traps,” said Prince. Many times there are people who hopelessly believe that they can save themselves from their problems but find themselves stuck in a rut. If you can’t seem to hold on to your money, and often don’t know where it went, this is because the devil cuts holes in your pockets. God is greater than you and you will need His help to rebuke the devil. Many times it is only a matter of trusting God that if God says so then that’s it! It’s the truth and it will be done! “Be a doer of what God says and the windows of heaven will be open unto you will receive the protection and prosperity that God has in store for you,” he shared.