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How Have I Robbed God? (6 of 7)
The 7 Questions of the Backslider Series - Malachi
INTRO: There is one subject in preaching that some people really take offense to, and it isn't the subject of "sin" ... or of Jesus' 2nd coming ... or "Hell" ... it is money!
More people have worshipped money than any other idol or god, and perhaps this is why it is strikes a nerve when this is the subject of a sermon. Plus, there is no other thing in life that touches every area of our life more than money except God Himself. It can be used for good or evil, it is a necessity for life. Perhaps this is why Jesus spoke about stewardship or money issues in 17 out of the 36 parables He gave ... nearly half the total!
It is one thing when the world has a bad attitude about money being given to God, you would kind of expect this, but many times it isn't the unsaved that get in a huff when the subject of giving is brought up ... it is people who know about God!
ILLUS: A favorite story is of a man of substance approached to contribute to a major financial campaign. The urgent need and compelling case were stated, and the call was made for his support. The man responded: "I understand why you think I can give fifty thousand dollars. I am a man with my own business and, it is true, I have all the signs of affluence. But there are some things you don't know. Did you know that my mother is in an expensive nursing home?" Well, no, we didn't know. "Did you know also that my brother died, and left a family of five and had almost no insurance?" No, we didn't. "Did you know my son is deeply religious, has gone into social work, and makes less than the national poverty level to meet the needs of his family?" No, we hadn't realized. "Well, then, if I don't give any of them a penny, why do you think I'll give it to you?" -- Donald E. Messer -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 239-2 ...
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