GREAT QUOTES AND THOUGHTS REGARDING STEWARDSHIP, TITHING, AND GIVING
“The main hindrance to world evangelization has not been for the want of devoted missionaries, nor is it the lack for trained nationals, which was a serious problem for many years. The hour has come when we have an eager army of gospel soldiers ready to launch out in faith and preach the apostolic gospel. And they are doing it! Nor is there any lack of people responding to the message. Any missionary will tell you that almost every place an evangelistic effort is attempted, hundreds and in many cases even thousands will respond. Where then is the lack? It is in the lack of necessary financial assistance that often is not available at the moment the Spirit of God moves in a community.”
– Gordon Lindsay, from “The Voice of Healing,” November, 1961. Also quoted in “God’s 20th Century Barnabas,” page 235.
“I have held many things in my hand, and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands that I still possess.”
– Martin Luther
The story is told of a very wealthy man who had never been known for his generosity to the church. The church was involved in a big financial program and they resolved to pay him a visit. When the committee met with the man one afternoon, they said that in view of his considerable resources they were sure that he would like to make a substantial contribution to this program.
“I see,” he said, “so you have it all figured out have you? In the course of your investigation did you discover that I have a widowed mother who has no other means of support but me?” No, they responded, they did not know that. “Did you know that I have a sister who was left by a drunken husband with five children and no means to provide for them?” No, they said, we did not know that either. “Well, sir, did you know also that I have a brother who is crippled due to an automobile accident and can never work another day to support his wife and family?” Embarrassingly, they responded, no sir, we did not know that either. “Well,” he thundered triumphantly, “I’ve never given any of them a cent so why should I give anything to you?”
One father was complaining to another that his son cost him a great deal of money-for books, clothes, lunch, allowance, and tuition.
“It’s strange that you feel that,” the other father replied. “My son doesn’t cost me a cent. I haven’t spent a dime on him on over two years, but I sure wish I could.”
“Why doesn’t he cost you anything?” asked the first father.
The second father replied, “A little over two years ago he died.”
A church that is alive needs the generous, sacrificial support of those who love it. Only a dead church demands no sacrifice.
Have you ever heard anyone say: “My church is always asking for money. I wish I could belong to a church that never needed any money.”
Surely they don’t mean that. Any church that is alive needs money. Only dead churches do not call on their members for support. If anyone should accuse your church of always needing and calling for money, regard it as a compliment. Invite this person to rejoice with you that you both belong to something that is living and productive for Jesus Christ rather than a dead, stagnant organization from which glory of Christ has departed.
“I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity.”
– David Livingstone
A minister once told me of a very interesting thing that he did in his congregation one Sunday morning. He said that when the elders had taken up the offering one Sunday and brought the plates down to the alter, he took the plates and held them up in the air and he gave a prayer: “Lord, regardless of what we say about you with our lips, this is really what we say about you, this is really what we feel about you. This is really what you mean to us. Amen.” Your money follows your heart. If your commitment to Christ has not yet reached your wallet then it has not yet reached your heart.
“I’ll do what you want me to do, dear Lord, I yearn for your kingdom to thrive; I’ll give you my nickels and dimes, dear Lord, But please don’t ask me to tithe.”
“There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there.”
– Colonel Sanders
(Personal note from TC I remember reading where Colonel Sanders gave a $2,000,000 check to the Assemblies of God missions program before he died)
Years ago, Chinese farmers decided they would eat the good big potatoes and just use the small ones for seed. A new understanding of the laws of life came to them when, through the years during which they kept up the practice, nature reduced all their potatoes to the size of marbles! Those farmers learned through bitter experience that they could not keep the best things of life for themselves and use the leftovers for seed. The laws of life decreed that the harvest would reflect the planting.
“Planting small potatoes” is still common practice. Too many folks take all the big things of life for themselves and only plant the leftovers. They expect that by some crazy twist of the laws of nature their selfishness will reward them with blessings.
William Carey, the consecrated cobbler-turned-missionary, gave $499,000 to missions during his years as a servant of the Lord in India. How did he do it? Carey went to the mission field with a salary of $250 a year. While in India he was hired by the government to teach in a University at $7,500 a year. Carey continued to live on $250, giving the rest to the work of the Lord.
As a youth John Wesley began working for $150 a year. He gave $10 to the Lord. His salary was doubled the second year, but Wesley continued to live on $140, giving $160 to Christian work. During his third year, Wesley received $600. He kept $140 while $460 were given to the Lord.
Robert Atheron, who was raised in luxury, gave $5,000,000 to the work of the Lord. He did not do it without sacrificial living. A letter received from a missionary in China read, “Were I in England again, I would gladly live in one room, make the floor my bed, a box my chair, another my table, rather than that the heathen should perish for lack of knowledge of Christ.” Atherton followed these suggestions almost to the letter for the rest of his life.
“Get all you can without hurting your soul, your body, or your neighbor. Save all you can, cutting off every needless expense. Give all you can. Be glad to give, and ready to distribute, laying up for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that you may attain eternal life.”
– John Wesley
“If we do less under grace than they did under the law, it is a disgrace.”
Eric Hulstrand writes in Leadership magazine: “While I was preaching one Sunday, an elderly woman, Mary, fainted and struck her head on the end of the pew. Immediately, an EMT in the congregation called an ambulance. As they strapped her to a stretcher and got ready to head out the door, Mary regained consciousness. She motioned for her daughter to come near. Everyone thought she was summoning her strength to convey what could be her final words.
The daughter leaned over until her ear was at her mother’s mouth.
’My offering is in my purse,’ she whispered.”
“A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.”
– Martin Luther
“In the earliest Biblical records, namely, as found in the Book of Genesis, we noted… the tithe as something usual and natural as in the record of Abraham tithing, and still another direct reference to it in connection with the vow of Jacob to give the tenth of his increase to the Lord. Abraham brought “tithes of all” seven hundred years before the tithe became part of the legal system. Jacob made his vows to tithe five hundred years before the law. Should these Patriarchs living in the daybreak of God’s revelation give more than Christians who enjoy the full glory of that revelation?”
George A. E. Salstrand, “The Tithe The Minimum Standard for Christian Giving.” Baker Book House, page 51.
“If you know how a man deals with his money, how he gets it, spends it, keeps it, shares it, you know one of the most important things about him.”
– Henry Taylor
“Money-giving is a good criterion of a person’s mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people.”
– Dr. Karl Menninger
“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”
– Hada Bejar
“The worship that is empty handed is, according to the Scriptures, simply not worship at all. The bringing of an offering to God is pictured in the Scripture as a high and inestimable part of worship.”
– Ralph S. Cushman
“A discussion of tithe-giving is important because with too many people giving is only a matter of impulse. As long as God’s people give by impulse rather than principle the cause of Jesus Christ will continue to suffer and languish. Until the people of God are taught as to what the Scriptures say about proportionate giving, they will continue to give inadequately for the needs of God’s kingdom, the greatest enterprise on earth. Speaking of giving by impulse, Rev. Lowry put it well when he said, ‘Do you think God Almighty can be satisfied with this haphazard, go-easy, hit-or-miss, give-when-you-feel-like-it, lawless, loveless, method of supporting the cause which is dearest to the heart of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Too many are imbued with the satanic… teaching that we owe everything to God in general, and nothing in specific.”
George A. E. Salstrand, “The Tithe The Minimum Standard for Christian Giving.” Baker Book House, page 14.
EIGHT REASONS NOT TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE PAYMENT
A Parable by David Sumner
1. The only time I ever hear from the bank is when they want money. They never pay attention to my other needs.
2. I’m upset at the bank president. He said some things I don’t agree with.
3. That house payment is a tenth of my income. That’s a whole lot more than I can really afford.
4. I’ll give them what I can every month. But I don’t want to make any long-range promises.
5. We went on vacation last month. The bank will have to wait while we catch up on other bills.
6. I’ll support the bank with my prayers. That ought to do more good than my measly little payment.
7. The bank spends too much money on itself. When it starts giving more away, then I’ll start making house payments again.
8. The bank has a lot of rich customers. It can get along fine without my little payment.
“We deem it a sacred responsibility and genuine opportunity to be faithful stewards of all God has entrusted to us: our time, our talents, and our financial resources. We view all of life as a sacred trust to be used wisely.”
– Moravian Covenant for Christian Living
From “The Path of Wealth,” by T. S. Linscott; published in 1888.
(From pages 61-62) If Christian people would live up to the Bible demand, and pay God one-tenth of their income, there would be no need for such methods of raising money – there would be enough and to spare; and I believe the Millenium would soon be upon us, for the conversion of the world is, in my opinion, now reduced to a question of money. We have the men and women whose hearts God has touched, and whose souls are aflame with missionary zeal; we have a Gospel that meets the requirements of all sorts and conditions of men; full provision has been made for the salvation of the world, ‘For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? And how can they be sent without money? And how can they get the money except it be given them in God’s appointed way, by tithes of the people who have heard the joyful sound?’
(From pages 109-111) A good deal of our preaching, our thinking, and even our devotions, either vaporize or spiritualize God’s promises. Our natural unbelief tends to put off the fulfillment of them until we get to heaven or sometime in the future. Unbelief hates literal and present tense promises. But these promises are literal and material; they are for here and now; they are to be enjoyed on earth; they challenge us to a contract or bargain with God. As stated before, he promises money for money; you pay me a tenth, says God, and I will give you earthly and material blessings. I will give your fingers skill as mechanics; I will incline employers toward you; you shall get the highest wages; strikes shall not affect you; I am with you, and will see that you are provided for.
I will make you prosperous as businessmen; I will incline you where you can make good bargains; I will send the people around to you to buy; while the man next door, who neglects my cause may become bankrupt, this curse shall not touch you. I will look out for your bills when they are coming due; I will see that your bank account is sufficiently large; in a word, I am your partner and will look out for the interests of your business.
And to you thinkers, who earn your living by your brains, I will make your thoughts clear; I will give you the holy impulse to originate “thoughts which breathe, and words which burn;” your productions shall stir men’s hearts; your works shall be in demand; I will make people buy the productions of your heart and brain; only pay me your tenth, and you shall be cared for.
Seed time and harvest shall never fail you farmers; I will bless your crop; I will multiply your stock; the blight and the mildew shall be kept from your farms; remember, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will do to you as I did to them, only remember me as they did.
I will give health to all of you; death shall not take away your little ones; they shall live to a ripe old age; I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. These are the blessings promised by God in the Bible. Who among this company will this day pledge his tenth to God?