| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


Donation and Giving



A little girl was given two dollars by her father. He told her that she could do anything she wanted with one and that the other was to be given to God on Sunday at church. The girl nodded in agreement and asked if she could go to the candy store. With visions of all that she could buy with her dollar, she happily skipped toward the store, holding tightly to the two dollars in her hand. As she was skipping along, she tripped and fell and the wind blew one of the dollars into a storm drain at the curb. Picking herself up, the little girl looked at the dollar still in her hand and then at the storm drain and said, “Well, Lord, there goes your dollar.”

Sadly, many of us Christians have the same attitude toward giving . First me, then God. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Years ago, The Sunday School Times carried the account of a Christian school for the children of “untouchables” in India prior to World War I. Each year the children received Christmas presents from children in England. The girls got a doll, and the boys a toy. On one occasion the doctor from a nearby mission hospital was asked to distribute the gifts. In the course of his visit, he told the youngsters about a village where the boys and girls had never even heard of Jesus. He suggested that maybe they would like to give them some of their old toys as presents. They liked the idea and readily agreed. A week later, the doctor returned to collect the gifts. The sight was unforgettable. One by one the children filed by and handed the doctor a doll or toy. To his great surprise, they all gave the new presents they had just received several days earlier. When he asked why, a girl spoke up, “Think what God did by giving us his only Son. Could we give him less than our best?” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Givers can be divided into three types: the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. Some givers are like a piece of flint—to get anything out of it you must hammer it, and even then you only get ships and sparks. Others are like a sponge—to get anything out of a sponge you must squeeze it and squeeze it hard, because the more you squeeze a sponge, the more you get. But others are like a honeycomb—which just over flows with its own sweetness. That is how God gives to us, and it is how we should give in turn. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Dwight L. Moody understood the place of money in the kingdom of God, and he wasn’t timid about expressing it, either. He had gone to a certain Mr. Farwell time and time again and was finally back for another ten-thousand-dollar contribution.

Mr. Farwell said, “Mr. Moody, must you always be coming to me for money?” Moody replied, “Mr. Farwell, you grew up on a farm, just as I did. Did you ever take a pail to a dry cow?” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Humorous Giving

A pastor was talking to his farmer friend, and he asked the farmer, “If you had one hundred horses. Would you give me fifty?” The farmer said, “Certainly.”

The pastor asked, “If you had one hundred cows, would you give me fifty?” The farmer said, “Yes.”
Then the pastor asked, “If you had two pigs, would you give me one?” The farmer said, “Now cut that out, pastor; you know I have two pigs!” ── Michael P. Green
Illustrations for Biblical Preaching


Humorous Giving

A family sat down at the dinner table following church one Sunday.

“The sermon was boring today,” said the teenage son.

“Yeah, could you believe how the pastor stumbled over the reading of the Scripture?” his sister chimed in.

“I’ve got to admit it was an uninspiring day,” said Mother. “The choir was terrible.”

Finally, father, showing his leadership, said, “Hush, you guys. Quit complaining. What did you expect for a quarter?” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Humorous Giving

A rich man once asked his friend, “Why am I criticized for being miserly? Everyone knows I will leave everything to charity when I die.”

“Well,” said the friend, “Let me tell you about the pig who was lamenting to the cow one day about how unpopular he was, ‘People are always talking about your gentleness and your kind eyes,’ said that pig. ‘Sure, you give milk and cream, but I give more. I given bacon, ham, bristles. They even pickle my feet! Still, nobody likes me. Why is this?’ The cow thought a minute and replied, ‘Well, maybe it’s because I give while I’m still living.’” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Humorous Giving

For Cure of Cirrhosis of the Giver: The disease cirrhosis of the giver was discovered in A.D. 34 by the husband-wife team of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1~11). It is an acute condition that renders the patient’s hands immobile when he is called on to move them in the direction of his wallet or her purse, and from thence to the offering plate. This strange malady is clinically unobservable in such surroundings as the golf club, supermarket, clothing store, or restaurant. Some try to use a fake remedy, pointing out to the patients that income tax deductions can be claimed for giving. The best therapy, and that which leads to a sure and lasting cure, is to get the individual’s heart right with God. This affliction is actually a symptom of a more basic need of the soul.

Prescribed Medication: Frequent doses of Romans 12:1 and Luke 9:23, accompanied by a dash of 2 Corinthians 9:7. This dosage will become quite pleasant if swallowed with a heaping tablespoon of Philippians 4:19! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Humorous Giving

A wealthy Texan was in the habit of giving his dad unique gifts on Father’s Day. One year it was lessons on hang-gliding. The year before that it was the entire record collection of Slim Whitman’s hits. But this past year he felt he had outdone himself. He purchased a rare kind of talking bird that could speak five languages and sing “The Yellow Rose of Texas” while standing on one foot. The talented bird cost ten thousand dollars, but he felt it was worth every penny. This would be a Father’s day gift his dad would never forget.

A week after Father’s Day he called his father. “Dad how did you like the bird?” His father responded, “It was delicious!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Missions Giving

Many years ago a certain woman was preparing a box to be sent to some missionaries in India. A child gave her a penny, which she used to purchase a tract for the box. Eventually this tract reached a Burmese chief and was used to lead him to a saving knowledge of Christ. The chief told the story of his conversion to his friends, many of whom believed. Eventually a church was established there and over 1500 natives were converted to Christianity.

The lesson is plain: no gift for God is too small for him to use. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Motivation for Giving

A missionary returned to his home city, where he announced a collection for foreign missions. A good friend said to him, “Very well, Andrew, seeing it is you, I’ll give five hundred dollars.”

“No,” said the missionary, “I cannot take the money since you give it, seeing it is me.” His friend saw the point and said, “You are right, Andrew. Here is thousand dollars seeing it is for the Lord Jesus.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Motivation for Giving

A long time ago a very godly and generous businessman in London was asked for a donation for a charitable project. Very little was expected because the businessman had recently sustained a heavy loss from the wreck of some of his ships. To the amazement of the leaders of the charity, he gave about ten times as much as he was expected to give to the project.

When asked how he was able to give so much in light of his business difficulties the businessman replied, “It is quite true, I have sustained heavy loss by these vessels being wrecked, but that is the very reason why I give you so much; for I must make better use than ever of my stewardship lest it should be entirely taken from me.”— George Muller


Motivation for Giving

John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote, “A man there was, and they called him mad; the more he gave, the more he had.”

Of course Bunyan was writing of the Christian. To the world, such a principle of giving is nonsense. Only to the Christian, who understands that true worth is also spiritual, does this make sense. Hence, in giving to God, the Christian looks for spiritual returns. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Motivation for Giving

But our tokens of compliment and love are for the most part barbarous. Rings and other jewels are not gift, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd his lamb; the farmer his corn; the miner a gem; the sailor, coral and shells; the painter his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson


Motivation for Giving

Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, was once invited by a wealthy man to come to preach in a certain country church, to help the membership raise funds to pay off a debt. The man told Spurgeon he was free to use his country house, his town house, or his seaside home. Spurgeon wrote back and said, “Sell one of the places and pay the debt yourself.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Proportional Giving

A well-known philanthropist was asked, “How is it that you give away so much, and yet have so much left?”

“I suppose it’s like this,” he replied. “I shovel out, and god shovels in, and he has a bigger shovel than I do!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Proportional Giving

A man came to his pastor for counseling. He felt convicted that he had not been faithful in giving God a portion of the generous thousand-dollar weekly salary he was making. The man explained, “I had no problem thanking God and giving him a liberal offering when I was making just two hundred and fifty dollars a week. Please pray for me.”

The pastor then prayed, much to the man’s dismay, “Father, please bring this man back to a two-hundred and fifty-dollar salary so that he can get back into your will.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Regular Giving

I have a regular time for washing my face, combing my hair, dressing, and brushing my teeth.

I do not have a regular time for washing my car. It shows.

Giving is like that. If it is not done regularly, it doesn’t get done. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Selfishness in Giving

During a sermon, the country preacher said to his congregation, “Now let the church walk.” Deacon Jones said, “Amen, let it walk.”

“Let the church run,” said the preacher. “Let it run,” echoed Deacon Jones.

“Let it fly,” said the preacher. “Amen, brother, let the church fly,” said Deacon Jones.

“Now it’s going to take money to let it fly, brother,” said the preacher. “Let it walk,” said Deacon Jones. “Let it walk.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Selfishness in Giving

The pastor of a large and wealthy church in Texas broke out in laughter in the middle of singing a hymn during the Sunday-morning service. After the service was over, has wife asked what could have caused him to do such a thing. “Well,” he said, “I couldn’t help it. We were singing ‘Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee,’ and I noticed the words of the third verse: ‘Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.” It suddenly struck me, with all the millionaires sitting in the congregation, what if God would answer that prayer right then? Some of them would be very upset and angry with him. I’ve been encouraging them to give their silver and gold for a long time, but they’ve not been willing. But now they’re singing, ‘Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.’” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Selfishness in Giving

Martin Marty, in his Context newsletter, quoted Yale professor-preacher Halford Luccock: “You remember that among the Franks, whole armies were sometimes given baptism at one stroke, and many warriors went into the water with their right hands held high, so that they did not get wet. Then they could say, ‘This hand has never been baptized,’ and they could swing their battle axes just as freely as ever. The modern counterpart of that partial baptism is seen in many people who have been baptized, all except their pocketbooks. They held these high out of the water.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Proportional Giving

Give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Humorous Giving

        Do your givin’

        While you’re livin’

        Then you’re knowin’

        Where it’s goin’.

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



If thou art rich, then show the greatness of thy fortune; or what is better, the greatness of thy soul...support the distressed, and patronize the neglected.  Be great; but let it be in considering riches as they are, as talents committed to an earthen vessel.  Thou art but the receiver.

Laurence Stern.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all people you can, as long as ever you can.

John Wesley

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

Nelson Henderson.


In a recent survey by the Asso. of Life Underwriters of Washington, D.C., it was shown that for every dollar reaching the needy, the sick, the underprivileged child, and the aged adult, the cost of channeling it through the church is just eight cents, while the cost of channeling it through voluntary charitable organizations or the federal government is 27 cents and $3, respectively. 

Rev. Thoman R. Petty, quoted in His, May, 1976.