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The Wild Ride

Giving Faith Risk

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Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2017-10-27

Scripture: Matthew 6:30

Author: James Miller
5

ILLUSTRATION

What kind of lunatic came up with roller coasters?

“Hey Bob, come here.  I’ve got an idea.”

“Yeah, Roy, what is it?”

“It’s a vehicle.”

“Like a car?”

“Not quite.”

“How’s it different?”

"It throws you up in the air, and then it throws you down to the ground, then it spins you around in circles, and it makes you feel like you’re going to fall out, and just before you throw up, you get out and find out you haven’t gone anywhere.”

“Sounds like a bad idea, Roy.”

Roller coasters really aren’t that dangerous.  They make you feel all kinds of crazy things, but they’re built so that you’re safe the whole time.

APPLICATION

It's the same way with giving a percentage of your income to God's work.  Giving money away makes you feel all kinds of crazy things, but it’s built by God, so you’re safe the whole time ... even safer than a roller coaster!

We are hesitant to let go of our money because we're afraid we'll end up empty-handed.  But the truth is, giving is one of the most fun things you can do with your money, and you need not fear it.  God knows your needs.

"If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith? (Matthew 6:30). 

Churches Offer A Money Back Guarantee

Giving God's Promises Testing God

Source: “Should churches offer a money-back guarantee on tithes?” By Greg Garrison, June 28, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-10-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Greg Garrison, with AL.COM, writes:

Many churches are picking up on a trend of getting people to donate to the church by offering a money-back guarantee if God does not bless them, according to Christianity Today.

NewSpring Church in South Carolina is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have offered 90-day tithing challenges, the magazine reported.

. . . "Participants sign up with a commitment to give 10 percent of their income or more, and if 'God doesn't hold true to his promises of blessings' after three months, they can request their money back—no questions asked. It's the church's version of 'satisfaction guaranteed,'" CT said.

The idea is backed up by a Bible verse in the Old Testament Book of Malachi: 

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." (Malachi 3:11, NIV).

"God literally says, 'Test me out, see if I'm God,'" NewSpring Pastor Perry Noble said in a sermon. "You and I cannot out-give him."

APPLICATION

Try to imagine the “Oh, ye of little faith” looks received by those with the nerve to ask for their money back! After all, aren't they impugning God’s reputation, suggesting He hasn't fulfilled his part of the bargain? But that's where the problem lies, theologically speaking. These churches are appealing to a conditional promise made to the adherents of Judaism, under the Old Covenant . 

The Book of Hebrews tells us that The New Testament, or New Covenant, is a better agreement than The Old Covenant, being based on better promises.  The New Covenant is based on unconditional promises, on heavenly promises, as opposed to conditional, earthly ones. The New Covenant is not only better, it also happens to be the one currently in effect in this, the Church Age. 

This means that conditional promise like this one found in Malachi, have been replaced by the New Covenant. The New Covenant does not demand a tithe (the concept never appears in the Epistles where The New Covenant is explained) nor does it threaten a curse on those who fail to offer one, not does it promise blessings based on the giving of said tithe.  Those who push this conditional promise cherry pick from the Old Covenant, ignoring many other laws and regulations laid out under the contract between God and the nation of Israel. 

Under the New Covenant the blessing is found in the giving itself, as Jesus promised when He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). That's because at the heart of The New Covenant is a New Command; "Love one another. As I have loved you" (John 13:34). The love of Jesus doesn't worry about whether there will be earthly gains that come for its efforts.  Agape love, being selflessly motivated, doesn’t ask for a money back guarantee. It just loves. 

"But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

Making Change

Giving Judging Pride

Contributed By: Allen Povenmire | Date Posted: 2016-06-21

Scripture: Mark 12:43

Author: Allen Povenmire
4

ILLUSTRATION

Helping take up an offering on the last night of VBS, I finished with the back row and headed up the middle aisle of the church, offering plate in hand. As I neared the front of the sanctuary, I heard a woman’s voice behind me. I turned and saw a small, frail looking woman pursuing me up the aisle, with money in her hand. Still nothing that unusual, I’m thinking. Somehow, we just missed her. 

I didn’t recognize the woman; she wasn’t a regular in our church. She was middle-aged, maybe in her 50's, and wasn’t particularly well dressed. Since we were standing at the front of the sanctuary, with nothing else going on, no doubt the majority of the audience witnessed what occurred next.  

The woman approached me with her bill in hand and I held out the plate to accommodate her. I couldn’t help but notice her place a twenty dollar bill on top of the pile of bills already in the plate. I started to turn toward the altar, and she quietly, but firmly said, "Please wait." I looked at her as she proceeded to rifle through the bills in the plate, looking for change for the twenty she’d placed in the plate. 

It was sort of a surreal moment, someone making change in the offering plate. I heard a few muffled whispers throughout the sanctuary. I awkwardly waited as she finished her transaction and turned quickly to return to her seat. I put the plate in its appointed place and walked away, still somewhat confounded by what I’d witnessed.

APPLICATION

After the moment had passed further, this lasting thought came to my mind: the woman didn’t have to give anything at all. She had the appearance of one who didn’t have much to give, but she gave anyway. She could have stayed seated, saving herself the pointed attention of coming up the aisle. Maybe that twenty dollars represented a great amount to her and her giving a portion of it was really a big deal. It might have been a bigger sacrifice than any of us who initially scoffed at her actions realized. 

In the Gospel of Mark we read:

"Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:41-44, NKJV)

Every time I read that passage, I think of that woman walking up the aisle with her offering. Her humility left a lasting impression on me. Honestly, I’m afraid I would have been too prideful to carry out her act. 

Pass The Plate

Giving Generosity Witness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-23

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:7

Author: Illustration Exchange
12

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Giving Quotes

Giving Quotes Giving Generosity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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One Billion Dollars Make Ted Turner No Poorer

Wealth Giving Sacrifice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-02-08

Scripture: Luke 21:1 ; 2 Samuel 24:24

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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Your Generosity Makes You Indispensible

Generosity Giving Humor

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-26

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:7 ; Acts 11:29

Author: Authorship attributed variously to David Jeremiah
13

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The Ways of Power and Influence

Giving Power Obligation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-25

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:15

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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The Widow's Gift Multiplied

Giving Fruitfulness Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:7

Author: Raymond McHenry / Illustration Exchange
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Give and Receive with Both Hands Open

Giving God's Provision Submission

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-31

Author: Illustration Exchange
11

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