Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg
W. L. Douglas, the shoe manufacturer, is nationally known. From his early struggling years comes this story. He had been unemployed so long that he was down to his last dollar. Nevertheless, he put half of it–fifty cents–in the collection basket of his church. Next morning he heard of a job in a neighbouring town. The railroad fare to that town was one dollar. To all appearances it would have been wiser if he had kept that 50 cents. However, with the half dollar remaining he bought a ticket and rode half way to the desired place. He stepped from the train and began to walk to the town.
Before he had gone one block he heard of a factory right in that town where they were employing men. Within 30 minutes he had a job at a salary five dollars more a week than he would have received had he gone on to the other town.
A good analysis of our finances is not how much of my money do I give to God, but how much of God’s money do I keep for myself.
The Christian who tithes will be surprised:
- At the amount of money he has for the Lord’s work.
- At the deepening of his spiritual life in paying the tithe.
- At the ease in meeting his own obligations with the nine-tenths.
- At the ease in going from one-tenth to a larger percentage.
- At the preparation this gives to be a faithful and wise steward over the nine-tenths remaining.
- At himself for not adopting the plan sooner!
A. A. Hyde, a millionaire manufacturer, said he began tithing when he was one hundred thousand dollars in debt! Many men have said they considered it dishonest to give God a tenth of their incomes while they were in debt. Mr. Hyde said he agreed with the thought until one day it flashed upon him that God was his first creditor. Then he began paying God first, and all the other creditors were eventually paid in full.
If a man owes you money, it would be wise business policy on your part to encourage him to pay his debt to God first!
Once when Mr. LaGuardia, the famous ex-mayor of New York, was presiding at a police court, they brought a trembling old man before him charged with stealing a loaf of bread. He said his family was starving. “Well, I’ve got to punish you,” said Mr. LaGuardia. “The law makes no exception, and I can do nothing but sentence you to a fine of ten dollars.”
Then he added, after reaching into his pocket, “and here’s the ten dollars to pay your fine. And now I remit the fine.” Then, tossing the ten-dollar bill into his famous outsize hat, he said, “Furthermore, I’m going to fine everybody in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a man has to steal bread in order to eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines, and give them to this defendant.”
The hat was passed, and an incredulous old man, with a light of Heaven in his eyes, left the courtroom with 47 dollars and fifty cents.
A man had a dream in which God said to him, “I have decided how much your income will be each week. I will observe how much you give to Me each week and then I will provide for you an income of exactly ten times that amount.”
Give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving.
In the fourth century, Augustine, in a harvest sermon, said: “Our forefathers abounded in plenty because they gave God the tithe and to Caesar tribute. But now, because our devotion has receded, the imposition of taxes has advanced. We are unwilling to share with God, giving Him the tenth, and now, behold…a tax gatherer takes from us that which God receives not.”
Money MEASURES men. It measures their capacity and their consecration. In some instances money MASTERS men. They become its slaves. In other instances, money MULTIPLIES men. Through the ministry of the money given by such men, missionaries have carried the Gospel to every continent. The Gospel is preached in thousands of pulpits, and tomorrow’s leaders are taught and trained.
I was preaching one night when at the close of a service a well-dressed man approached me and said, “Dr. Smith, I owe you everything I have in life.” I looked at him in amazement. Then he told me this story.
“I was down and out,” he began. “I had lost my job. My wife and two daughters had left me. I was dressed in rags. One day I happened to stroll into the People’s Church during one of your Missionary Conventions. You were speaking, and you were making some of the most astounding statements I had ever heard in my life. You were saying, ‘You cannot beat God giving. Give and it shall be given unto you. Square with God and God will square with you.’ I sat up and listened.
“Just to test your sincerity,” he continued, “I filled in one of your cards, promising to give God a certain percentage of all He might give me. That, of course, was easy because I had nothing. To my amazement, within a few hours, I got a job. When I received my first pay, I sent in the amount I had promised. Before long I got a raise. Then I contributed more. Soon I had a new suit of clothes. In due time I got a better job. Presently my wife and daughters came back to me. I continued giving.–Before long, all my debts were paid. Now,” he exclaimed, “I own my own home here in Minneapolis and I have money in the bank. All that I owe to you. I found that you were right. I discovered that God was as good as His Word.”
There are two ways in which a Christian may view his money.–“How much of my money shall I use for God?” Or, “How much of God’s money shall I use for myself?”
A well-to-do lady who had become a Christian late in life was one time walking along the city street accompanied by her granddaughter. Presently a beggar accosted them. The old lady listened to his tale and then, putting her hand in her purse, took out a half-dollar and placed it in his palm. At the next corner a woman of the Salvation Army was waiting and the old lady dropped a dollar in her kettle.
As she did so her granddaughter looked at her curiously and then said: “Grandma, I guess you have lost a good deal since you have become a Christian, haven’t you?” “Yes,” said the old lady, “I have. I have lost a hasty temper, a habit of criticising others, a tendency to spend all my spare time in social frivolities and pleasures that mean nothing. I have also lost a spirit of avarice and selfishness. Yes, indeed, I have lost a good deal.”
If you don’t give away something God wants you to give, you don’t own it–it owns you.
The tithe is not meant to be a ceiling at which we stop giving, but a floor from which we start.
Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International