Object Lessons

Stolen Fruit

Objects: A knife, ten apples, a picture of a home, and a picture of a church. (If apples should not be in season, substitute some other fruit or vegetable. Put the house on one end of a table, the church on the other end, and pile the apples in the center.)

How many apples does one have to steal to be a thief?

"If he stole even a piece of one apple, he would be a thief."

Correct.

Did you know that God wants one tenth, or a tithe, of all we possess? The Lord intends that these amounts shall be given out through the church—for the purpose of taking the gospel to people in foreign fields, or at home to those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, or for meeting the needs of His children who are in want. There are ten apples in the center of the table. We will separate these apples. One of them is the Lord's for He has said: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house" (Mal. 3:10).

Some people forget the little word "all" in this verse. They give to God only a part of their tithe. Perhaps one will say, "I can't go to church unless I have a new pair of shoes. I will buy them out of the tithe because they will make it possible for me to go to God's house to worship Him." There goes part of God's tenth! (Cut a slice from the apple.)

Someone else says, "I must buy a class pin to wear to show that I am a member of the "Busy Bees" Sunday school class. That would be a good way to spend my tithe."   (Cut a second slice from the apple.)

Or perhaps there is to be a banquet at the church. Since the money that comes in for' that is, to be used for the new building, why not buy the ticket with the tithe money?  (Cut another slice from the apple.)

It begins to look as if the core is all the Lord will get. We will place what is left of this apple behind the church. It will represent our gift to that which is really the Lord's work. Let us be very sure that we are not stealing from God by giving even to good causes from the tithe.

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