Illustration results for Gifts: Giving
Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
IT WAS PENTECOST SUNDAY. As the congregation filed into church, the ushers handed each person a bright red carnation to symbolize the festive spirit of the day. The people listened attentively to the reading of the Pentecost story from the Book of Acts about how the disciples had heard “what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven”; about how the Holy Spirit had appeared “like tongues of fire.” Then came the sermon: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon us,” the preacher began. “Like the powerful wind from heaven!” shouted a woman sitting in the first pew. Then she threw one of the red carnations toward the altar. The preacher began again: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon us.” The same woman’s voce rang out again, “Like the tongues of fire, the tongues of fire!” Again, she threw a red carnation toward the altar. The preacher looked straight at her and said, “Now throw your pocketbook.” To which the woman replied, “Preacher, you have just calmed the wind and put out the fire.”
We laugh at stories like these, but the truth is, the whole issue of stewardship is no laughing matter, is it? This is serious business. Today, I want to approach the subject of giving from a positive perspective.
1. Ellin is 30 years old. She has a $3,500 balance on her Citibank credit card at 18% interest. She makes the minimum payment each month. How old will she be when she has her credit card paid off? [70 years old]
2. Susan and Tom needed a new washing machine, so they went to Sears and found one for $299. They got a Sears charge card and made the minimum payment each month. By the time the washing machine was paid off, how much did Susan and Tom actually pay for that washing machine? [$1,199]
In 1998, Americans spent more money on legalized gambling (approximately 50 billion) than on recorded music, theme parks, video games, spectator sports, and movie tickets combined (39.9 billion). Gambling Impact Study Commission, Final Report. Last Update: Jan. 28, 2001
I heard a story of a missionary in Africa who received a knock on the door of his hut one afternoon. Answering, the missionary found a native boy holding a large fish in his hands. The boy said, "Reverend, you taught us what tithing is, so here. I've brought you my tithe." As the missionary gratefully took the fish, he questioned the boy. "If this is your tithe, where are the...
Reformed Bible scholar Dr. Bruce Lockerbie urges ministers to “stop saying ‘I’m OK, you’re OK’ and start preaching why giving is not optional.”
A New York City businessman decided to avoid a $20 service charge by replacing a fluorescent light himself. After he had smuggled a new light into his office and put it in place, he decided to get rid of the old tube by throwing it in the trash can near his subway stop. That night he got on the subway holding the seven-foot light vertically, with one end resting on the floor of the car. As the train became more crowded other passengers took hold of the tube, assuming it was a grab bar. By the time the man reached his stop, he simply removed his hand and exited the car, leaving the other passengers gripping the fluorescent tube! (from www.higherpraise.org)
I remember hearing of a man who was deeply in debt. The bill collectors called constantly. One in particular was extremely harassing. The man finally told the bill collector: “When I cash my pay check, I put the name of all my creditors in my hat. I shake the hat. Then I reach in and randomly pick a name. I then pay that bill and then as long as the money lasts, I continue picking names and paying bills until the cash is gone. He then told the collector: “If you do not stop harassing me, I will not even put your name in the hat.”
Leighton Farrell was the minister of Highland Park Church in Dallas for many years. He tells of a man in the church who once made a covenant with a former pastor to tithe ten percent of their income every year. They were both young and neither of them had much money. But things changed. The layman tithed one thousand dollars the year he earned ten thousand, ten thousand dollars the year he earned one-hundred thousand, and one- hundred thousand dollars the year he earned one million. But the year he earned six million dollars he just could not bring himself to write out that check for six-hundred thousand dollars to the Church.
He telephoned the minister, long since having moved to another church, and asked to see him. Walking into the pastor’s office the man begged to be let out of the covenant, saying, "This tithing business has to stop. It was fine when my tithe was one thousand dollars, but I just cannot afford six-hundred thousand dollars. Youˇ¦ve got to do something...
The Presbytery was engaged in a major debate over the approval of the budget. Those on one side said we ought to cut the budget because the funds were not available. The other side argued that we ought to solicit more funds from the people so the budget would not have to be cut. It seemed to me that we had arrived at a stalemate. And then Bobby Hughes (Our Commissioner) arose to his feet. Now remember, this was Bobby’s first time at Presbytery meeting. But he stood, nevertheless, and offered a different view. “Why don’t we leave the budget as it is”, he said. “And why don’t we leave the pledges as they are”, he continued. “Why don’t we simply proceed on faith, believing that God will honor our faith and meet our needs”.
What’s your reaction when you go to the home of a peer and it’s nicer than yours? Are you devastated? Bitter? Do you drive home and say to your wife, "Did you see that house? It’s so elaborate! They’re the same age that we are and yet they have twice the house we do. They must of inherited their money, I can’t believe it! Two acres, a 3 car garage, an entire wall of video & stereo equipment, and did you see that furniture? It goes back to Louis XIV, ours goes back to Sears on the 15th, if we don’t pay it." God says, "don’t be envious of your neighbors house. If he has something nicer than you, compliment him, say, "I’m glad for you, that’s great, enjoy it. I’m just glad I don’t have your payments."