Earlier today I said I’d share an excerpt from a sermon where I offered our Forefront money back guarantee. Here it is:
Listen: If you give (let’s say) ten percent of your income to God, that is the greatest trade you could ever make. It is! Trading ten percent of your income for the blessings that God will give you in return is the greatest trade you could ever make. And if you would argue with that, the only thing it says to me is that you’ve never tithed. Because people who tithe would never argue with that, because they know it’s true. They know that 90%, with God’s blessing, is way more than 100% without it.
Now you might be thinking, “Wait. Is it really true that God will bless me if I give ten percent (or more) of my income to Him? Is it really true that He will bless me more if I do that than if I don’t?” The answer is yes, He will. Uh huh. Sure. Mmmhmmm. Now He doesn’t love you any more because you give lots of money. He loves you perfectly and He couldn’t and wouldn’t love you anymore no matter what you do. But He will bless you more. How do I know that? Because He tells us! For instance, in, Deuteronomy 12:6a-7, “… bring … your tithes and special gifts … in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.” And in Malachi 3:10, “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” And in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
You get that? God is saying that He will bless you when you are generous with Him, so much so that you will not have enough room for His blessings. Now is that promise for everyone? No, it’s not. There’s a condition connected to that promise. What is it? If . . . you tithe. If you give ten percent of what you bring in to God. And I’ll tell you what: ten percent of your income in exchange for the blessings of God is the greatest trade you will ever make.
Now I don’t think these verses are necessarily always talking about financial blessing. The promise isn’t necessarily that if you give ten percent of your money, God will bless you with that money back plus more. It’s not necessarily financial or material blessing. Now it can be. That does happen, it’s happened in my life, and for most of the Christians I know who tithe. That when you give to God He blesses you financially. You find that you’re able to mysteriously make ends meet better with 90% of your income than you used to with 100%. Or things stop breaking down in your house and car so you’re not spending as much as you used to. Or I’ve had people I had long forgotten about send us money out of nowhere, for no reason. Sometimes it is financial blessing, but that’s not necessarily the promise. The blessings God gives you might be peace in your soul, a joy you’ve never before had, total contentment, less stress, better relationships, I don’t know, it could be anything. But I do know that God promises to bless you if you do this. And to you that may sound like a ploy on my part to get you to give more, but I’m just teaching you God’s Word straight from the Bible. He will bless you if you do this.
And listen, if you think that I’m just trying to pull one over on you, that I’m trying to get you to give more by promising God’s blessings, then what I would do is ask you to take us up on our money back guarantee. This is something we’ve had in place since just about the beginning of our church. Our policy is that if you tithe to Forefront, not nineth, or eighth, or seventh, but tenth, which is what tithe means, tithe means tenth. If you tithe to Forefront, like God asks, for one year straight, and you don’t feel like God has blessed you – again not necessarily financially, but that He has not blessed you for doing it – then we will refund in-full all the money you gave us for that year. Every penny. We’re serious. Now you have to write checks so we have a record of how much you gave, (you can’t just show up at the end of the year and say, “Yeah, I gave you guys a million dollars and I’d like it back now.”) but if at the end of one year of tithing (ten percenting) you say, “That really was a bad idea, it was the wrong thing to do, I gave too much, God didn’t bless me,” we will give you a complete refund of your money.
You might be thinking, “Wow, that’s pretty risky.” But if you think that, you obviously don’t tithe, because it’s not risky at all. God made a promise, He will bless you if you tithe, and God always delivers on His promises. This is the greatest trade you could ever make. You’d be crazy not to take God up on it.