“I remember once hearing a pastor tell a story which he assured us was simple, literal truth. It is the story of a farmer who one day went with great joy in his heart to report to his wife and family that their best cow had given birth to twin calves, one red and one white.”
“And he said, ‘You know I have suddenly had a feeling that we must dedicate one of the calves to the Lord. We will bring them up together, and when the time comes we will sell one and give the proceeds to the Lord’s work.’”
“The farmer’s wife asked him which he was going to dedicate to the Lord. ‘There is no need to bother about that now,’ he replied, ‘we will treat them both in the same way, and when the time comes we will do as I say.’ And off he went.”
“In a few months the man entered his kitchen looking very miserable and unhappy. When his wife asked him what was troubling him, he answered, ‘I have bad news to give you. The Lord’s calf is dead.’
‘But’, she said, ‘you had not decided which was to be the Lord’s calf.’ ‘Oh yes,’ he said; ‘I had always decided it was to be the white one, and it is the white one that has died. The Lord’s calf is dead.’”
“We may laugh at that story, but God forbid that we should be laughing at ourselves. It is always the Lord’s calf that dies. When money becomes difficult, the first thing we economize on is our contribution to God’s work. It is always the first thing to go” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones).
- “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce” (Proverbs 3:9).
- “If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us,… they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).
How shall we give?
- Quietly (Matthew 6:2-4)
- Wholeheartedly (II Corinthians 8:7).
- Generously (II Corinthians 9:6)
- Cheerfully (II Corinthians 9:7)
- Willingly (II Corinthians 9:7)
- Sacrificially (II Corinthians 9:8)
- Faithfully (I Corinthians 4:2)
- Habitually (I Corinthians 16:2)
- As a first thought, not an after thought (Proverbs 3:9-10; Matthew 6:33)
- To the glory of God and the advancement of His work! (I Peter 4:10-11).