Listening to someone’s testimony is powerful. However, telling our own testimony is far better! Telling a Bible story about God’s miraculous power is inspiring, but telling a story about how God delivered us yesterday is even more so! I truly believe many well-meaning Christians have settled for living off the testimonies of others when God desires to bless them and give them their own testimony. It’s when we are describing our own relationship with Him and our own experiences with Him that the light really shines in our eyes and joy is fully expressed in our voices.
Our new book Test Me! The Malachi Mystery was recently released. The reception has been beyond expectations! I am blown away by how people have read the book and have begun to implement its principles. God has been so good to me and to those around me. This book is simply a compilation of experiences from my twenty-seven years of ministry when God has shown Himself faithful to His word. The purpose of this book is to pass on to you the same principles of tithing that changed my life thirty years ago. Today, thirty years later, I am living a life full of the blessings that he promised me when I chose to test Him!
Deuteronomy 28 says, “1Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face. 8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand” (emphasis added).
Malachi 3:10-11 adds, “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. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes” (emphasis added).
Literally, the blessings of the Lord overtake me daily! Put Deuteronomy a Malachi together and you have a powerful combination of promises.
This week alone, one week after the book’s release, I have witnessed God move in so many ways. For one, I have seen huge increases in my own personal investment portfolio. Thirty years ago, I was advised by my pastor to tithe the first ten percent of my income to the Lord, allow ten percent for investments, live off the remaining eighty percent, and give offerings as the Lord blessed our dedication to tithe. I am still in awe of how God has protected us in this process for all these years. Listening to the counsel of leaders is a wise decision.
Additionally, my mother has been in heaven for four years now. One week after she passed away, Joyce Peters, our church financial minster, told me she received a letter from mom. In the letter was a one hundred dollar check for her tithe and offering. Mom was living on a limited budget, but she always faithfully tithed to Powerhouse Church! Well, about two months ago I receive a call informing me that mom had a small piece of land in west Texas and someone was interested in the oil and gas rights. Needless to say, I received a very nice check from that sale. Mom is still blessing me from heaven!
In the same week, one of our Genesis Team pastors sold his building for cash. He was able to become completely debt-free and has been able to move his church to an area suited perfectly for their ministry. The church was able to buy land and make plans to build using only cash. This all happened one week after launching Test Me!
I could go on and on with praise reports. Really, I could. The Lord is good, and he never goes back on His Word. Will you test Him today? He is no respecter of persons. The blessings will overtake you. You cannot out run them! If you aren’t in the blessing zone, it’s not His fault. Come on, get off the bench and get in the game! He wants to give you your own testimony!
Get your copy of Test Me! The Malachi Mystery today by visiting our website, GFWatkins.org.
Sometimes it seems as though the church is operating on one leg. How can anything have the strength to perform its created purpose if it is not built to completion? The following illustration may help explain where the strength of the church has gone and how it can be restored. First, find a chair in your room that has four legs. Now, sit in it. This design was thought out in advance to support your weight. Each chair is designed and built for the purpose of holding your weight while performing the task you sat down to complete. What would happen if you removed three of the four legs from your chair and continued to attempt sitting in it? Even if you could make it work, your focus would be on not falling over instead of accomplishing your task. Likewise, each church has a design and a purpose that is given to it by God, and when it is not standing on all four legs, so to speak, it cannot perform its created purpose effectively.
Unfortunately, this is the case with many churches. The church is designed, like the chair, to support you in your purpose, which is bringing people to Christ. However, most churches support the entire work of their ministry on the tithe of ten percent of those who attend. If the church doesn’t have the financially stability to know if they will be able to cover all of the bills each month, it is basically sitting in a chair created to have four legs but operating on one!
Imagine with me what could be done if all of us who say we have given our lives to Christ, would really give our lives to Christ.
An obedient heart can change the world. Can you imagine the impact we could have if the entire body of Christ was obedient in the tithe? How can we start? First, you and I must commit to tithe now. Today. Then we must teach and influence our children and other believers in our lives such as siblings, parents, and friends on the importance of the tithe. Giving is an important indicator of what we value. This is important to evaluate because the Bible clearly states that God commands us to judge ourselves so that we won’t be judged guilty by Him (1 Corinthians 11:31).
2 Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” If you are a new creation and old things have passed away, such as selfishness and hardness of heart, why are these these qualities still present? A sure sign that you are saved is that you no longer have a stingy heart, but you instead exhibit a generous heart. In becoming a new creation in Christ, you have been given a heart that now values people before money!
• “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” (Proverbs 21:2 NLT) The King sets the tithe as a standard so we know where our heart is according to Him. After all, He is the final judge!
• “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son.” (John 3:16) Loving and giving are inseparable! You can give without loving but you will never be able to love without giving.
Let’s keep the numbers small and applicable to Americans. The median U.S. household income for 2014 according was $53,647.00. If we take the number of professing Christians in America, which Gallup says is 75%, it would equal 243 million people. Let’s divide 243 by 3 to calculate the correct family ratio and we get 81 million Christian families in America. If we multiply 81 million by the average annual income of an American family then we have an annual combined Christian income in the USA of approximately $4.35 trillion dollars! Divide this by 10 for the tithe and we see $435 billion dollars that should be in the American Christian storehouse! No offerings, just the tithe. (See Malachi 3:8-12)
Here is the “good news” of God’s strategy: the total cost to eradicate annual WORLD HUNGER today is estimated to be 20 billion dollars! The total cost to eradicate homelessness in America annually is estimated at 30 billion dollars. God’s original plan, when followed, removes hunger from the world and provides a home for every person in the United States with over 385 billion remaining to solve the world’s issues! And the beauty is this: it is an investment of 10 cents of every dollar you earn! It’s a percentage not an amount. It’s the same percentage for all, rich or poor! It is fair and it solves huge problems that government has proven to be inept at solving. Best of all, God gets the glory! When you help a hungry person, they will be open to The Gospel. When you give a homeless family shelter, they will listen to the message of the Cross! Yes, people get saved!! Heaven gets filled! Hell is avoided! God is glorified! God’s strategy works!
1 Timothy 2:3-4 reads: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Once again - the King’s strategy is perfect. However, He is asking us to participate. That is why it’s called the Great Co-Mission! Man wants victory so God gives strategy, men get the victory and God gets the glory! Perfect plan! Follow your King.
Consider the following story...
A Pastor was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."
The Lord led the Pastor to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the Pastor looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The Pastor shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, "You have seen Hell." They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew, which made the Pastor's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The Pastor said, "I don't understand." The Lord said, “It is simple. It requires only one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."
When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!
When you tithe, you are using your long-handled spoon to feed others. You have chosen to be unselfish. You are obeying God’s plan to fill His storehouse and put meat in His house to feed others. When you offer above the tithe, you are saying, I’ve met what God asked for but he is worth so much more to me that I can’t help but give more.
Read more in Test Me: The Malachi Mystery. Click here to order.
A good friend tells the story of a small industrial town that lost 100 percent of its electricity when the plant shut down. They called a local electrician to take a look at it. He was unable to fix the problem. The next step was to call the large electric company in the metropolitan city an hour away. An electrician was sent out. He took out a hammer and began to tap in one area, listen, and then tap another. He did this for an hour. Then he returned to the second area he had tapped and drew back and hit the area with his hammer at full strength. The lights came on in the city.
A week went by and the town received a bill for $100,000 for the electrician’s services. The town mayor was upset at the outrageous cost. A letter was sent to the electrician stating the town felt the amount was not fair for the amount of time and effort expended on this job. The electrician replied,
“The hammer cost $5.00. Knowing where to strike costs $95,995.00.”
The value of this small book lies in the fact that God, through the ages, has given us the place to strike with the hammer, and we have literally missed His clues for solving a great mystery. Now, He is pointing to the key place again to strike. When you know where to strike, it makes all the difference in the world! Take hold of your “hammer.”
I dare you!
Israel has always been God’s strategic family, meant to be used to bless the earth. If you are a born-again believer, you are entitled to Israel’s promised blessing. Now, that’s good news. Throughout Test Me!, I unravel the secret key to unlock where to use the hammer.
Finding this key will…
I will reveal to you what God has revealed to me, my family, and thousands of others: The Malachi Mystery!
I’ve always believed God has given us a decoder to the mysteries of His Word. Understand this: God has not hidden secrets from us; He’s hidden them for us. The only qualification for you to understand the revelatory keys to unlocking His mysteries is to give Him control of your entire life. When you decide to give Him your life, you become set apart from the rest of the world who has not yet declared allegiance to Him.
- G.F. Watkins
G.F. Watkins preached on Test Me! at PowerHouse Church in Katy, Texas on Oct. 1, 2017. Watch the full sermon here:
The enemy is trying to destroy the church. He is doing it by cutting off its supply…the tithe. The devil will either put people in fear by saying they can’t tithe, he will get them in greed, or he will create a false doctrine stating that the tithe is not for today. The bottom line is if the devil can cut off the money to the church then he can make the church impotent and ineffective. Why? Because where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt 6:21).
Look what happened when the Holy Spirit was flowing powerfully on the original unselfish church in Acts 4:32-35:
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”
The Bible says that they were of one heart and one soul. It also says that there was none among them who lacked, because they brought everything they owned and gave it to the church and allowed the church to distribute it as needed. The early church had a system; it was God’s system. God’s system works.
Observe how human nature works around finances in Acts 4:36-37 where Scripture highlights that Barnabas, a Levite, owned land and sold it and brought the money and laid all the money at the apostles’ feet. In Acts 5 we have a story of Ananias and Sapphira who obviously had seen Barnabas give large. Barnabas gave it all. Ananias and Sapphira made a public declaration but were unwilling to fulfill their word and make the sacrifice. Many people want the appearance of being all-in and sacrificial, but the true test is what is in the heart.
The church has satisfied itself with feeding the homeless once a month instead of eliminating homelessness altogether. We have become so adjusted to not having the resources that it has molded our thinking. We are accustomed to working with only 10 percent tithing memberships, but that is not what God intended for His church.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it would cost about $30 billion to effectively eliminate homelessness in the United States. That is just slightly less money than Americans spend on Christmas decorations, according to an analysis from ThinkProgress.
Additionally, one in every six persons in the world is hungry. A price has been set to solve this crisis and according to the Borgen Project it would take $20 billion a year.
A tithing American church could bring $435 billion in resources to the table to address these needs!
The all-in strategy is to prepare the bride to receive her groom. We must be fully committed and not withholding from God the Holy Thing. How we handle the Holy Thing will determine the measure of His presence in our services and lives.
God wants you to spread the word that he is coming back. He needs your help to mature the believers in this generation to be givers instead of takers. Get your copy of Test Me and get a copy for your pastor and friends. Together, we can do this. I’m all-in, are you?