Don’t Hand over Your Gift

by Dec 27, 2022Devotional

(I’ve listened to broadcasts before that did a “top of the year.”  As we are ending 2022, I would like to share one of my favorite messages from my pastor, Brother Johnny Wade, from this year.  Consider this one of the “top of the year” for me.)

“Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?  In tithes and offerings.”  Malachi 3:8

The devil will steal things from you.  That’s his whole purpose.

Sometimes we look for thieves.  I’ve been places where I’ve seen people and thought, “Hmmm, I don’t think I’d trust you.”

When I’ve been in places like that, I try to get out as soon as I can.

We watch for that.  Maybe we lock the doors when we leave and make sure all the windows are shut.  But God said, “You have robbed me.”  You!

It doesn’t say a thief came in.  You have robbed me in tithe and offering.

I had been saved when I was a boy at ten years old.  But I had turned my back on God and was running toward the world.  When I was about seventeen, I was working at a restaurant.  Another boy who was working there came up to me and said, “Hey Johnny, what would you do if you found a billfold full of money?”

I said, “I’d take the money out and throw the billfold away.”

He said, “Would you really?”

I said, “Yes, I really would.”

He said, “Oh, ok.”

Later on that night, I got home and I couldn’t find my billfold.  My billfold was full of money.  I called the city bus that I had ridden. I looked and looked.

Finally, it dawned on me what that conversation was all about.  I think that boy had every intention of giving me my billfold back, but I had talked him into stealing it.

I wonder sometimes.

We may not feel like singing.  We may not feel like praying.  We want to blame the devil for taking these things away from us.  But I wonder how much we’ve given up.  We’ve more or less handed it over to him.  I wonder what we’ve allowed the devil to steal from us because we haven’t given the Lord our best—everything that He deserves.  The Lord deserves to be praised.

I come to church and look out over the people, and I know some of the things that God has done for you, some of the marvelous things.  I think, “How could you not stand to your feet and say, ‘Praise ye the Lord’?”

Praise the Lord for all that He has done for me, all that He has given me!  I have loved ones on this side of eternity that God is still talking to them and dealing with them.  Praise the Lord!

Sometimes we allow the devil to slip in.  “I don’t have much to say.  I don’t have much of a testimony.”

Am I talking the devil into taking my testimony?  Have I just talked myself out of standing up and telling the marvelous things that God has done?   How many times have we allowed the devil to steal?  To take our testimony?  Our song?  Our joy?

We should guard our treasure.  If we don’t tell about it, we will forget these things.

God says that he will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing if we will give Him what belongs to Him.  We owe Him the praise and the glory!  (A portion back, a tithe in praise.)

I see people who all they have to live for is to get drunk and fight.  I think, there but for the grace of God goes Johnny Wade. 

There have been times that I was going down the road and a car swerved, and I reacted in just the right way.  Praise the Lord!

I have lots of tithe and offering that I owe the Lord.  If we would give God 10% of what He has done for us, we would have testimonies every time we come to church.

You look at a church that’s lost the glory, and I’ll show you a church that doesn’t have testimonies anymore.  If you’re going to have the glory, you’re going to tell what God’s done for you.

At Christmas time, I’ve seen “Merry Xmas.”  You won’t see it at my house.  In mathematics, “x” is unknown factor.  That’s the world today.  They have an unknown factor.  “Merry Unknown Factor.” 

But I don’t have an unknown factor. Merry Christ Who has done everything for me.  Merry Christ Who has brought me out of a life of sin, turned me around, and put me in this good way.  Merry Christ-mas.

Don’t take Christ out of your life.  Don’t x it.  The world goes out and gets drunk.  It’s just another day.  “It’s the spirit of Christmas.”  No, that’s the spirit of xmas.  The spirit of Christmas is love, joy, peace, and kindness.  We can have it all year long.  We need to tell about it.  So tell it!

We owe God praise and glory for all He’s done for us.  If we aren’t giving Him this, He will not pour out the blessings.  Do you want a blessing poured out?  Prove the Lord.  See if you can outgive Him.  See if He does not do more for you.  Don’t let the devil rob you!

We have access to the windows of heaven.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  Malach 3:10

(I am aware that we could debate “x” being the first letter in the Greek word for Christ and the historical reasons xmas might have been used.  I am also aware that I did not know any Greek as a child, and neither do most people who use the term.  For many people today, “the unknown factor” describes their holiday celebrations.  Oh how I desire to have Christmas all year long!  How I desire to have a blessing from those windows of heaven!

I remember that day that I asked God if He had a present with MY name on it.  He pulled it out and showed it to me.  I don’t want to hand my gift over to the devil.

I want to tell what God has done!  -Elizabeth)


  1. Roberta Sarver

    Just when I needed this. Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      I’m so glad!