Sermon Illustrations

When I was a young boy, I started mowing yards to make money so I could buy hundreds and hundreds of baseball cards! When I made my first money, my mother reminded me of what God says in the Bible about tithing. "Now, son, the word tithe means one-tenth. God asks us to bring 1 out of every 10 dollars to Him and give it to His church."

"Why does God need my money? You said He aleady owns everything in the world. Why does He need my one little dollar?" I asked in a little bit of self-righteous anger.

"God doesn't need your money. He does that to build His Church on the earth through us. And He also does this to remind you that every dollar you make mowing yards belongs to Him because He does own everything. Everything in our lives belongs to Him. We don't own anything. We are just renters. It all belongs to Him, even our money."

I mulled through that theological teaching for a moment. That's pretty tough for a kid who wants to buy baseball cards with that money!

Then Mom read the one verse we all know in Malachi - "Bring all of the tithes into the STOREHOUSE, says the Lord." I stopped her right there.

"What is a storehouse?" I asked.

Mom explained in simple words that the "Storehouse" was a storage room inside of the Temple in Jerusalem where the Jews in the Old Testament worshipped God. They used this space to store up grain for the hungry and needy of the congregation and community and also to give to the priests who served the people in the Temple.

It is how they fed people.

"Hmmmmm, never heard that one. That was a long time ago. So, where is the Storehouse now?" I asked.

Mom replied, "The Storehouse today in my opinion is the local church where we serve God and where we are fed spiritually. Sometimes, Dad and I give to missionaries outside of our church, but we do not call that a tithe. It is not part of our 10% to the church. The Bible calls that an offering. It is above and beyond our tithes."

Mom was the greatest theologian I ever met. Through years of working on a doctorate in ministry, I never heard anyone explain tithing better than my Mom.

In her latter years, Mom used to say, "The reason why we have been blessed with so many years on this good earth is because of God's faithfulness to honor the Word and to honor our tithes."

Mom is gone Home now...but the lesson on the Storehouse has stayed in my heart all of these years. What is that lesson?

Put your local storehouse, your home church, first in your giving. Give to outside ministries with an offering above your tithe if you feel led. But don't forsake your local church family who cares for you each week as opposed to a popular minister on social media who will never even know your name.

- Dr. Larry Petton

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media