Copyright 2006 Rod Rogers
Good illustrations are vital for maximum impact in preaching on stewardship. The following quotes should prove helpful to you as you preach your church into faithful giving.
“I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.” – John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (1839-1937), American industrialist and philanthropist
“I’ve learned that when I pay my tithe first there is always enough left to pay my bills, but when I pay my bills first there is never enough left to pay my tithe.” – Anonymous
Money Can’t Buy Happiness
“I was happier when I was doing a mechanic’s job.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947), American industrialist
“I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries.” – Jules Renard (1864-1910), French writer
Money Can Be Dangerous
“Watch lest prosperity destroy generosity.” – Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87), American abolitionist and clergyman
“To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.” – G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English journalist, poet and novelist
Benefits of Giving
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.” – Billy Graham (1918- ), American evangelist
“I was once young and now I am old, but not once have I been witness to God’s failure to supply my need when first I had given for the furtherance of His work. He has never failed in His promise, so I cannot fail in my service to Him.” – William Carey 1761-1834), Baptist missionary to India
“A lot of people are willing to give God the credit, but not too many are willing to give Him the cash.” – Anonymous
Eternal Rewards for Giving
“You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” -anonymous
The Unbaptized Arm
There is a story told about Ivan the Great who ruled Russia as Czar in the 15th century. He was a warrior, a fighter, and a conqueror of kingdoms. The Soviet Union as we knew it a few years ago was basically put into place by Ivan the Great. Ivan was so busy doing battle that some of his comrades became concerned because he hadn’t taken time to get married and have a family. They came to him and said You’ve got to get married because you’ve got to have an heir to the throne. But Ivan said I want to do battle and to conquer more territory, you go find a wife for me. So they did. Ivan’s men found a wife for him from the daughter of the king of Greece , a beautiful girl. They said to Ivan, We found a wife for you, but there’s one problem. What’s that? he asked.
If you’re going to marry her, you have to be Greek Orthodox, they said.
Ivan the Great said, Well, if you think she’d make a good wife for me, that’s no problem, I could be Greek Orthodox. The king of Greece was thrilled with this because it meant that Ivan wasn’t going to invade his territory. So the Greeks sent tutors to Russia to tutor Ivan and 500 of his elite soldiers, everyone a great warrior. The soldiers required tutoring because Ivan said, If I’m going to be Greek Orthodox, they’re going to be Greek Orthodox.
They tutored all these men in the Greek Orthodox faith and finally Ivan and the soldiers went down to Greece for the wedding. But before the marriage they had to be baptized into the Greek Orthodox church. It was an incredible sight as thousands of people came to watch Ivan the Great and his 500 soldiers all wade into the water at one time to be baptized by immersion into their new church. 500 soldiers with full armor and 500 Greek Orthodox priests were standing in the blue water of the Mediterranean Sea for the baptism, when all of a sudden the king of Greece said, We’ve got a problem. The problem was that in the Greek Orthodox church you could not be a warrior and a member of the church at the same time. So they held a hastily-called diplomatic meeting in the water to ask, “How are we going to work this out?” They came up with a simple answer. Just before the priests immersed the soldiers, each man took out his sword, held it high above the water, and allowed the priest to baptize everything but his sword arm.
This came to be known as the unbaptized arm.
There are many Christians today who have unbaptized checkbooks. They have dedicated every part of their life to God except their money. As someone has said, “The last thing to be converted is our pocketbook.”