Summary: The outline is origional the il;ustrations and statistics were compiled mainly from sermon central contributers.
Giving That Prompts Greatness
Eric A. Snyder, Minister
Farwell Church of Christ
October 21, 2001
A wealthy older gentleman had just recently married a lovely young lady, and was beginning to wonder whether she might have married him for his money. So he asked her, "Tell me the truth: if I lost all my money, would you still love me?" She said reassuringly, "Oh honey, don’t be silly. Of course I would still love you. And I’d miss you terribly."
Money can change your attitude and who you are as a person
I heard about a farmer who called the office of Wayne Smith asking to see “The Head Hog at the trough.”
The receptionist said, “Sir, if you’re talking about our Minster, you may call him Evangelist or Minister, but I don’t think it would be proper to refer to him as the “head Hog at the trough.’”
“Well, all right,” the farmer said. “I just sold a few sows and was going to donate ten thousand dollars to the building fund, so I was hopping to catch him.”
“Oh, just a minute, sir.” The receptionist said, “I think the big pig just walked in!”
There is a story about a guy who came to church with his family. As they were driving home afterwards he was complaining about everything. He said, “The music was too loud. The sermon was too long. The announcements were unclear. The building was hot. The people were unfriendly.” He went on & on, complaining about virtually everything. Finally, his very observant son said, “Dad, you’ve got to admit it wasn’t a bad show for just a dollar.”
Average annual income in India is $1000 a year
Average annual income in Afghanistan. $800 a year
Wealthiest nation on earth
Americans are taken care of.
1/2% of our population controls 40% of our nation’s wealth.
Why does God bless Christians? The same reason He blessed the Jews, part of the promise was that all nations would look to you and see that you are taken care of very nicely. Is it because they share the wealth.
So the question this morning is: Does your giving reflect greatness?
- A Barna research study back in April 2000 found that only 8% of Christians give 10% of their income or more.
According to statistics, in American Churches the breakdown of giving looks like this:
20% of members Give 80% of all funds
30% of members Give the other 20%
50% of members Give nothing – ever!
I don’t know if that’s true here I doubt it, and I hope it isn’t
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, said, “Get all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” We say “Get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the lid.”
Martin Luther said, I have tried to keep things in my hands and lost them all, but what I have given into God’s hands I still possess.
The roof of the church hall of a little Swiss church, at the turn of the 20th century, was falling down. So the members of the church held regular prayer meetings in the hall after the service to pray for funds to repair the roof .
There was an old man, known to be very tight with his money, who used to attend and sit near the back of the hall. He could sneak out just before the collection plate came round at the end of the prayer meeting.
One Sunday, he was held up on his way to the prayer meeting in the Hall by the vicar and could only find a seat at the front of the church.
During the prayer meeting, a piece of the roof fell and hit him on the head. Feeling spoke to by the Lord, he stood up and said "Lord, I’ll give $1000"
A voice at the back of the church was heard to say " Hit him again, Lord"!
God is a gentleman and He isn’t going to beat you or cause misfortune if you don’t give, but He patiently reminds us that He has asked us to give to Him
How should I give
1. Give out of your Poverty
Luke 21:1-4 1 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 all these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
People who give sacrificially know where their money came from.
Jimmy Stewart in the movie Shanendoah plays a farmer who has a bunch of sons. The Boys are of fighting age and the father will not let them go off to fight. The family gets the reputation of sitting out the war. There is a scene where they are all around the dinner table and they bow their heads for prayer. Jimmy Stewart says “Lord we planted this seed, we watered the plants, we picked the food and we cooked it, we did it all ourselves, we worked dog bone hard for this but we thank you just the same amen”