Sermon Illustrations

From his very first paycheck, John Rockefeller gave ten percent of his earnings to his church. As his wealth grew, so did his giving, to educational and public health causes, and for basic science and the arts. Oddly enough, Rockefeller was probably best known in his later life for the practice of giving a dime to children wherever he went. During the great depression, he switched to giving nickels instead of dimes.

The basic practice of Rockefellers’ personal finances—was give 10% to the church first; pay yourself 10% to put into savings. Use the remaining 80% then to meet the necessities of life and to do more good. That might not be a bad plan for all of us on a monthly basis.

Give all that you can. First, Wesley states, your duty is to provide for your household "food to eat and clothes to wear, enough to keep you healthy." Wesley often said do all things in moderation; so it is with meeting our basic needs. The key is self restraint.

After that obligation is met, then you "do good to those who belong to our family in faith." Then, "If there is any left after this as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone.” Wesley basis this teaching on the passage from Galatians 6:10, here’s how it reads in The Message:

Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

So, we are to gain all we can, save all we can and give all we can. Or, as John Wesley summarizes his rules at the end of his sermon on the right use of money: "No more laziness! more wasteful spending of money, no more covetousness.”