STORY: PRAYER THAT YOUR INCOME WILL EQUAL WHAT
YOU'RE WILLING TO TITHE: 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.
You’ve got to do something, Reverend!" The pastor knelt on the floor and prayed
silently for a long time. Eventually the man said, "What are you doing? Are you
praying that God will let me out of the covenant to tithe?" "No," said the
minister. "I am praying for God to reduce your income back to the level where
one thousand dollars will be your tithe!"
JOHN WESLEY STORY:
When John Wesley visited his congregations he would question his assistants as
to their progress in the faith. He would often ask if their Christianity had
affected their pockets? That can be an acid test of our values.
GIVING STORY: A
steward is like a manager of a local McDonald’s Restaurant who carries out the
aims of the owners, maximizes profits, while handling all the problems. Dr.
Towns teaches a stewardship lesson in the Pastor’s Bible Class at Thomas Road
Baptist Church which is the most requested lesson of all he has taught. "Who
Owns Your French Fries". It is the story of a man who buys his little boy some
french fries. Then the father does what all fathers do, he reaches over and
takes one french fry to taste it. The little boy slaps his father’s hand and
says, "Don’t touch my french fries." The father thinks that his son is selfish.
The father knows that he bought the french fries and they belong to him. The
father knows that his son belongs to him. The father could get angry and never
buy his son another french fry again to teach his son a lesson, or the father
could "bury" his son in french fries. The father thinks, "Why is my son selfish,
I have given him a whole package of french fries; I just want one french fry."
God has given us money, when He asks for a tithe, people figuratively slap His
hand and say, "Keep Your hands off my money." God owns everything we have. He
wants us: 1. To manage what we have for His glory. God expects us to manage our
time, talent, temple, testimony and treasures. 2. To give back a portion of what
he has given us.
HUMOR: Did you see the bumper sticker the other day
that read " Tithe if you love Jesus. Any fool can honk".
5 GIVING POCKETS by Jerry Falwell:
Money that individuals give comes to the church from five sources, or "pockets."
Obviously, these are not actual pockets, but symbolic pictures representing five
major motives of church members in giving to their church. When church leaders
understand the nature and source of their church’s income, they can better plan
a strategy for outreach and growth.
- First Pocket: Money for "Light and
Heat Bills". This represents the desire of some people to contribute to the
general fund. Members are motivated out of concern for the operating expenses
of the church. "The light and heat" pocket represents money given to salaries,
supplies, utilities and general maintenance.
- Second Pocket: Money for "Missions".
Certain members want to contribute most of their money to foreign missions.
This appeal will motivate them to give more than any other appeal. Other
members want at least some of their money to go to outreach, usually out of
their concern for the Great Commission.
- Third Pocket: Money to Support "Ivy
Walls". Some members are best motivated by the needs of education. Because
some church members value higher education, they direct their money to build
college classrooms, libraries, or to equip science laboratories.
- Fourth Pocket: Money for the "Cup of
Cold Water". Some members are best motivated to give to humanitarian purposes.
These members have compassion for the needs of their hurting brothers. They
give to hunger projects, hospitals, and to provide housing and emergency
- Fifth Pocket: Money for "Bricks and
Mortar". Some people are best motivated to give for buildings or physical
expansion. This money is specially earmarked for church buildings. Some give
large amounts to physical projects, but only occasionally fund other projects.
However, almost all members want to give something for their church building
THREE KINDS OF GIVERS: Some
one has said, there are three kinds of givers -- the flint, the sponge and the
honeycomb. To get anything out of a flint you must hammer it. And then you get
only chips and sparks. To get water out of a sponge you must squeeze it, and the
more you use pressure, the more you will get. But the honeycomb just overflows
with its own sweetness. Which kind of giver are you?
SPURGEON AND THE WEALHTY MAN:
SPURGEON was once invited by a wealthy man to come down and preach
in a country church in order to help them raise funds to pay a debt. The man
told Spurgeon he was free to use his country house, his town house, or his
seaside home. Spurgeon wrote back and declined coming and said, ‘Sell one of
your homes and pay the debt yourself’.
THE GIRL AND THE PENNY FOR MISSIONS:
he seed growing secretly can be best communicated by the following
true story. A little girl loved the Lord and longed to share the message of
Christ to those on the mission field. She contributed a penny to a missionary to
help in the work of evangelizing the people of Burma. The missionary was so
touched by the little girl’s response that he decided to do the most he could
with that little penny. After careful thought, he bought a gospel tract and
personally gave it to a young chieftain. The chieftain would not admit that he
could not read, yet he burned with a desire to know the contents of the leaflet.
He traveled 250 miles to find someone who would read it top him. After hearing
the gospel message, it was not long after that this young chief made a
profession of faith in Christ. Returning to his people, he told them what the
Lord had done for him. Later he invited missionaries to come and share Jesus
with the village. Many tribesmen accepted the good news and were converted. All
this and probably more resulted from one dedicated penny given in Christ’s name
by a little girl who gave from her heart.
TONY CAMPOLO AT A WOMEN'S CONFERENCE:
Tony Campolo tells of being invited to speak at a ladies meeting. There were 300
women there. Before he spoke the president of the organization read a letter
from a missionary. It was a very moving letter. In the letter the missionary
expressed a need for $4,000 to take care of an emergency that had cropped up. So
the president of the organization said, "We need to pray that God will provide
the resources to meet the need of this missionary. Bro. Campolo will you please
pray for us?" Tony Campolo, who is very outspoken said, "No." Startled, she
said, "I beg your pardon." He said, "No, I won’t pray for that." He said, "I
believe that God has already provided the resources & that all we need to do is
give. Tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to step up to this table & give
every bit of cash I have in my pocket. And if all of you will do the same thing,
I think God has already provided the resources." The president of the
organization chuckled a little bit & said, "Well, I guess we get the point. He
is trying to teach us that we all need to give sacrificially." He said,
"No, that is not what I am trying to teach you. I’m trying to teach you that God
has already provided for this missionary. All we need to do is give it. Here,
I’m going to put down all of my money I have with me." He wrote, "I only had
$15 in my pocket so I wasn’t too worried about that." So he put down his $15 &
then looked at the president of the organization. Reluctantly, she opened her
purse & took out all of her money, which was about $40, & put it on the table.
One by one the rest of the ladies filed by & put their money on the table, too.
When the money was counted they had collected more than $4,000." Tony Campolo
said, "Now, here’s the lesson. God always supplies for our needs, & he supplied
for this missionary, too. The only problem was we were keeping it for ourselves.
Now let’s pray & thank God for His provision."
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER - THE FIRST
BILLIONAIRE: The very first person to reach the status of
billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age
of 23, he had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every
decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power
and wealth. But three years later at the age of 53 he became ill. His entire
body became racked with pain and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete
agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could
only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, "He could not sleep, would
not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him." His personal, highly
skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year. That year passed
agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague
remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had
something to do with not being able to take any of his successes with him into
the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized
he was not in in control of his own life. He was left with a choice. He called
his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel
his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. On that day John D.
Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the
discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and
diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting from his choice is enormous.
But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he
began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was
altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would die at 53
but he lived to be 98. Rockefeller learned gratitude and gave back from his
wealth. Doing so made him whole. It is one thing to be healed it is another to
be made whole.
HUMOR - MONEY IN THE CASKET:
Ann Landers had an interesting letter in her column. It was from a girl who was
writing about her uncle & aunt. She said, "My uncle was the tightest man I’ve
ever known. All his life, every time he got paid he took $20 out of his paycheck
& put it under his mattress. Then he got sick & was about to die. As he was
dying, he said to his wife, "I want you to promise me one thing." "Promise
what?" she asked. "I want you to promise me that when I’m dead you’ll take my
money from under the mattress & put it in my casket so that I can take it all
with me." The girl’s letter went on with the story. "He died, & his wife kept
her promise. She went in & got all that money the day he died & went to the bank
& deposited it, and wrote out a check and put it in his casket."
HUMOR - TITHING JOKE: Two
men were marooned on an Island. One man paced back and forth worried and scared
while the other man sat back and was sunning himself. The first man said to the
second man, "aren’t you afraid we are about to die." "No," said the second man,
"I make $100,000 a week and tithe faithfully to my church every week. My Pastor
will find me."
WAS THE CHURCH
SERVICE WORTH A DOLLAR?: I like
the old story about the 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 and 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.”
CORRIE TEN BOOM: I have
held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have
placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
HUMOR - THE TOP
HOG: I heard about a farmer who
called the office of the minister asking to see “The Head Hog at the trough.”
The receptionist said, “Sir, if you’re talking about our beloved Minster, you
may call him Reverend or Pastor, 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 I heard the little porker just come in!”
HUMOR - MONEY IN YOUR POCKET:
The pastor stood before the congregation and said "I have bad news, I have good
news, and I have more bad news." The congregation got quiet. "The bad news is:
the church needs a new roof!" the pastor said. The congregation groaned. "The
good news is: we have enough money for the new roof." A sigh of relief was heard
rippling through the gathered group. "The bad new is: it’s still in your
SKATEBOARDER: Leadership journal recently had a cartoon of a
young skateboarder who greats the Pastor after the service with skateboard in
hand. "Church was cool! Especially when the dude next to me passed a plate a
plate of money!"
MISSIONARY JIM ELLIOT:
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
JUICE: When I was in Bible
College, a tractor trailer load of Tropicana Orange Juice was dropped off at the
cafeteria every week. I wondered how a low-cost Bible College could afford so
much expensive O.J. One morning in chapel, I found out how an older Italian man
in broken English, gave his testimony. He said he had come to the US from Italy
in the 20’s as a young teenager, with nothing but the clothes on his back. A
Christian couple befriended him and through their love he came to know Christ as
his Savior and Lord. One Sunday in church, he prayed: "Lord, if you give me an
idea for a business, I will be faithful to give a portion of everything I make
back to Your work." That very morning, the idea of "Fresh squeezed orange juice"
popped into his head - and the rest is history: Anthony Rossi founded the
"Tropicana Co" and has been faithful to give God - not 10% of his income, as
many faithful believers do, but 50% of his income, for the past 60 years! He
also gave truckloads of FREE O.J. to Christian colleges throughout the
CORRIE TEN BOOM: The
measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.
HUMOR: Andrew Carnegie
made millions in the steel industrial. He worked hard helping the poor and
underprivileged. Once a socialist came to see him in his office and soon was
railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view,
wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an
assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the figures on
world population. He did a little arithmetic on a pad and then said to his
secretary. "Give this gentleman l6 cents. That’s his share of my money.
THE MIRACLE OF THE GROCERIES:
The following is a true story. In 1984, Mike and his family
belonged to an East Coast church. One Sunday evening, the sermon was on
sacrificial offerings, and a special offering was taken at the end of the
sermon. The only money in Mike’s wallet was a $50 bill, which was supposed to
buy a week’s worth of groceries for his wife, their five children, and himself.
However, in a move of faith, Mike put the $50 bill in the offering. Then, after
the conclusion of the service, the family went out to the parking lot to go
home. Within minutes, they joyfully returned to the sanctuary, and asked the
pastor to come outside and see their miracle. Somewhat skeptical, the pastor
accompanied them outside to their 20-year-old station wagon. Peering through the
windows, he saw that the interior of the vehicle was completely filled with bags
of groceries. Happy for the family, he remarked that someone had given them a
huge blessing. “You don’t understand, pastor,” Mike said. “Before service, I
made sure that all the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. I have
the only key, so it must have been the Lord!” To which the pastor added, “Giving
truly is the only key to God’s provision!” (Mike had no family living in the
area, and no one from the congregation ever claimed responsibility.) Witnessed
by, Rev. Robert Costa, Detroit, Michigan. Editor’s note: this sounds exactly
like: Psalm 78:25 Men ate the bread of angels; He sent them all the food they
THE STORY OF THE LAMB:
Katie Fisher, 17, entered the Madison County Ohio Junior Livestock Sale hoping
the lamb she had for sale would get a good price. For months Katie had been
battling cancer. She had endured hospital stays and been through chemotherapy a
number of times. Before the lamb went on the block, the auctioneer told the
audience about Katie’s condition, hoping his introduction would push the
price-per-pound above the average of two dollars. It did-and then some. The lamb
sold for $11.50 per pound. Then the buyer gave it back, and suggested the
auctioneer sell it again. That started a chain reaction. Families bought it and
gave it back; businesses bought it and gave it back. Katie’s mother said, "The
first sale is the only one I remember. After that, I was crying too hard." They
ended up selling the lamb thirty-six times that day, raising more than $16,000
in the process. (This is from The Story File by Steve May)
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER GIVING STORY:
John D. Rockefeller is an example of the
benefits of giving. He achieved what our culture calls success. Rockefeller had
amassed more wealth than he could ever spend. By the time Rockefeller was
fifty-three his life was a wreck. Throughout his business career he said, “I
never placed my head upon the pillow at night without reminding myself that my
success might only be temporary.” He was the richest man in the world and yet he
was miserable in every sense of the word. He was sick physically, mentally, and
emotionally. There was no humor, balance, or joy in his life. Then a
transformation occurred. He determined to become a giver rather than an
accumulator. He began to give his millions away. He founded the Rockefeller
Foundation, dedicated to fighting disease and ignorance around the world. He
lived to be ninety-eight years old and was a happy man in those years because of
his new and revitalized definition of success.
MOTHER TERESA STORY:
Mother Teresa visited Australia. A new recruit
to the monastery in Australia was assigned to be her guide and “gofer” during
her stay. The young man was so thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so
close to this woman. He dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what
they would talk about. But during her visit, he became frustrated. Although he
was constantly near her, he never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother
Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet. Finally, her tour was
over, and she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the friar had his
opportunity to speak to Mother Teresa. He said to her, “If I pay my own fare to
New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn
from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him. “You have enough money to pay airfare to
New Guinea?” she asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to
the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”
The problem was the young man wanted to experience a feeling when he needed to
simply learn by doing.
DANNY THOMAS “I GOT
CARRIED AWAY”: The late Danny
Thomas lost his life savings of $600 at a time when he was out of work. He and
his wife, Rosie, had a baby on the way, and they needed money. Danny worked at
part-time jobs so Rosie could buy groceries. He also borrowed money from
friends. It was a tough time in his life. A week before the baby was born,
Danny had the grand total of seven dollars and eighty-five cents to his name.
What would he do? "My despair led me to my first exposure to the powers of
faith," Danny would later recall. On Sunday morning Danny went to church. When
the offering plate was passed he put in his "usual one dollar." But something
unexpected happened that day. A special missions offering was taken. The priest
explained where the mission offering would go, and Danny felt he had to give
something. "I got carried away," Danny said, "and ended up giving my seven
dollars." He had given away all his money that Sunday. What in the world had he
done? He walked up to the altar rail, got on his knees and prayed aloud. "Look,
I’ve given my last seven bucks," he prayed. "I need it back tenfold because I’ve
got a kid on the way, and I have to pay the hospital bill." He went home with a
mere eighty-five cents in his pocket--all the money he had in the world. "You
won’t believe this," Danny Thomas later wrote, "but the next morning the phone
rang in the rooming house hall." It was a job offer. He was offered a part in a
commercial. The job wasn’t much but the pay was good--seventy-five dollars. "I
literally dropped the telephone receiver," Danny remembered. "First I whooped
with joy; then an eerie feeling came over me." He remembered what he had prayed
at church the day before. "The seventy-five dollar fee," he said, "unheard of
for me at that time was almost exactly ten times the amount of money I had
donated to the church."
GIVING YOUR LIFE
FOR OTHERS - A STORY FROM THE COLUMBINE SHOOTINGS:
Many of you have probably never heard of Daniel
Rohrbough--but he is a modern day hero. Daniel Rohrbough attended Columbine High
School and was there on that horrible day when two students went on a rampage of
violence and terror. Daniel Rohrbough stopped his escape from the building to
hold a door open so that other students could escape and he was killed holding
the door. Daniel died while helping others have a new chance at life. (Adapted
from an Article in People Magazine)
here to send this material to others
This list was compiled by
Brian Kluth (www.kluth.org)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Kluth is a national and international speaker and writer
on Biblical generosity and financial matters.
He is also a church pastor and the founder of MAXIMUM Generosity, a public ministry dedicated to advancing Biblical generosity through inspirational preaching, leadership training seminars, writing, resources and the media. Brian’s written materials have been distributed to more than 350,000 Christian leaders in more than 100 countries .For additional materials or to contact Brian, email:
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