by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Getting Your Money's Worth (3 of 5)
Series: Giving To God
Jeff Strite
Matthew 23:16-23

OPEN: Gordon Wood of Ellison Bay, Wisconsin told of the time he tried something different in his church's worship service.

"Instead of preaching at the end, I did it first, with music, the offering, and Scripture reading afterward. As I stood behind the pulpit, I could see people getting ready for the offering, until they realized I was starting my message.

Caitlyn, a first grader in the congregation, was perplexed by this change of routine, and whispered frantically to her mom, 'Doesn't he know we haven't paid him to talk yet?'"

APPLY: This morning, we're going to talk about WHY we give. To that little girl, the morning offering was taken up to pay the preacher to talk.

I. Many people give their money on Sundays - with much the same reasoning.

They give their money to take care of the church building. To keep the electricity on, heat the church building in winter, cool it in summer. They give their offerings because they want to make sure the congregation has enough to pay their preacher and their youth minister's salary. They give because they want to make money available for the missionaries their church supports…

And, there's not a thing wrong with that.

ILLUS: An old country preacher was earnestly exhorting his congregation to give more liberally. He was interrupted by a deacon who said, "Parson, you told us salvation is free -- as free as the air we breathe and the water in the river. If that's true, why are you always asking us for money?"

The elderly preacher solemnly replied, "Brother Jones, you're right. Salvation is free -- as free as the water you drink. But if you want that water in the kitchen, somebody has to pay for the pump!"

That was the concept behind the requirement in the Law that commanded a Tithe from the people. Numbers 18:20-21 tells us:

"The LORD said to Aaron, 'You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will yo ...

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