One Thing You Lack


When Jesus heard this, he said to him, You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

~Luke 18:22, NIV


You can pray all day. You can read your bible through and through but if you are robbing God, you will be miserable and dry.

~Billy Graham {Wisdom For Each Day, p.111}

A young man came to Billy Graham one night after a meeting and said, “Billy, I pray, I read my bible and I go to church every Sunday but I have no victory in my life. What should I do?” Dr. Graham paused for a moment and then he asks, “Do you tithe? Do you give of your means to support God’s kingdom?” “No, I don’t,” said the young man, “but I don’t make very much money.” Dr. Graham’s response is classic…“How much you make is not the point, no one can experience victory when they are robbing God.” I love the story and I believe it.

Years ago I was helping James Vanderford in a Revival meeting at a church in the Southeastern corner of Morgan County. I got there before Sunday school and got a seat on the front row. This small church had an assembly before SS. Many small churches did this back in the day. A young man got up and made a moving speech, then he lead in prayer and sent everyone to their class. Bro. Van leaned over and said, “That is a very gifted young man; he has only one problem and you will never guess what it is.” I paused for a moment and then said, “He doesn’t tithe.” Bro. Van was shocked, “How did you know?” I confessed, I didn’t know for sure but I’ve seen over zealous church members who talk a good game but have never conquered their greed. Trust me, it is a common problem in the Baptist Church.

I have a couple of stories: My grandmother on my Daddy’s side thought preachers ought never mention money in the pulpit…she called it begging. I was attending her 100th birthday party when I encountered an old hard headed Baptist deacon who believed exactly as my grandmother. He boastfully confronted me and began telling me about his recent experience with a retired Baptist preacher. He did a bus trip with this preacher and they became friends. Here is what the old deacon told me. “My preacher friend told me, ‘There are too many things in the Bible for a preacher to preach without getting on money. A preacher should never mention money'”. Then he looked at me and said, “What do you think about that?” I said, “I think your preacher friend is robbing God. When a preacher doesn’t preach on tithing; it is generally because he doesn’t tithe himself.” The old deacon walked away unhappy with my answer.

The second story is just a story: it did not happen to me. I heard some preacher tell it years ago. A man made a Jacob type vow, he said LORD if you will help me find a job I will give you ten percent of all I make. The LORD helped him find a job making $100 a week {a long time ago}. The man prospered and climbed the corporate ladder; within a few years, he was making $1,000 per week but that little greedy man that lives in all of us was screaming. He asked the preacher for a meeting and this is what he told the preacher. “Preacher, when I made a hundred dollars a week, a tithe didn’t seem like that much but giving one hundred dollars a week is a lot of money and I am struggling with it. Would you pray for me?” “Sure,” said the pastor, “Let us pray…Dear LORD, you have heard John’s confession. He could tithe ten dollars without a problem but now he is having a problem giving one hundred a week. Would you please take away his new job where he makes a thousand a week and give him his old job back where he makes one hundred…” John interrupted the preacher, “Never mind preacher, I have decided one hundred dollars a week is not that much.”


Got to cook breakfast for the grands, have a great day!

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