“In 1945 General Douglas MacArthur asked for ten thousand missionaries to carry the Gospel to the Orient. What an opportunity. Yet we refused to accept the challenge. Why? Simply because money was our idol and we refused to tithe our income. After all, it was going to cost as high as $2,000 per year to support a missionary. We did not send the missionaries. In 1950 there was war in Korea. We did send militarists! Instead of paying $2,000 per year, it cost us $5,000 per year – through our tax structure – to support every boy in khaki. With anxiety ‘riding herd’ on us, we had the unmitigated gall to fall down on our tender knees and cry unto the Lord to spare our boys who were fighting over there, when the very warfare itself was a result of our own God-dishonoring thievery whereby we refused to pay the tithe and give offerings for the work of the Lord.” (John E. Haggai, How to Win Over Worry: A Practical Formula for Victorious Living)

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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There is an ancient story about a man who hid his gold by burying it at the foot of a tree. Every week he used to dig it up and admire it. A thief noticed this routine and dug up the gold and ran off with it. The next day the man went out to discover his gold was missing. His mournful cry was so loud that he neighbors came to comfort him.

One of his friends asked if he ever used the gold. “No,” said the man, “I only came out to look at it.” The friend replied, “Why don’t you just keep coming out and look at the hole. That will do you as much good as just looking at the gold.”

Do we make the best use of our resources, or is it just as if we did not have it at all?

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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“Only those who love the Church,” Wallace M. Alston, Jr. of Princeton, NJ’s Nassau Presbyterian Church observed, “and believe in that for which it stands can be expected to support it with their stewardship. If Christians do not direct a good portion of their stewardship to the life and work of the church, no one else will – not the disinterested person, not the community charity fund, and certainly not the state. The Church depends for it support solely on those who love it.”

-From Robert Kopp, “The Heart of the Matter” – Preaching May/June 1999

 

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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One pastor had a rather crude layman who liked to go out visiting people. But he was rather crude, so the pastor gave him a list of delinquent church members and some church stationery and told him to write letters to all those who haven’t been coming.

Several weeks later the church secretary received a letter from a lawyer with a check inside for $1000. And enclosed was this note:

“To whom it may concern. I received your letter and I want to remind you that there is only one “T” in dirty and no “C” in skunk.”

-Sermons Illustrated May/June 1989

 

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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It
actually happened in a Sunday School class of boys long ago. The
teacher asked each lad to quote a Bible verse as the offering was
taken. One said, “The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” Another said,
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor.” A third boy blurted out,
“A fool and his money are soon parted.” The world says you are a fool
to give. God says you are a fool not to give!

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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According
to the People’s Almanac, there was a shower of several thousand rubles
that fell in the Gorki region of Russia in 1940.  No one has ever been able
to completely explain the phenomena.  One possible explanation is that a landslide
uncovered the treasure and a tornado picked it up and dropped it on the town. 
When it comes to the work of the Lord, pennies don’t literally fall from the
sky.  They do come from heaven, however, as God inspires people to support the
work of the church.

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Ninety
percent of all the flowers in the world have an unpleasant odor or no odor at
all.  Yet, we remember the flowers because of the ten percent that are
pleasantly fragrant!  Ten percent that is given is remembered long after
we have forgotten how we spent the ninety percent.  The ten percent rises
as an odor of a sweet savor to God.

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Everything
Midas touched turned to gold. He thought it was a blessing. He found it to be
a curse. His food turned to gold. His child turned to gold. When we give, we
see the reverse of the Midas touch. God turns our gold into truth and comfort;
into a voice proclaiming the good news; into a hand helping the sick; into a
force striking free the chains of sin; into life everlasting. We bring our money
so that He may transform it into something truly valuable.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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For
years preachers have used the Dead Sea as an illustration of the importance
of giving back. The have made the point that the Dead Sea receives but has no
outlet to give to and that is what makes it dead. Now it no longer even receives.
We have a new illustration. It seems the Dead Sea really is dying. It is drying
up. According to USA Today, only a major engineering effort will save
the sea from completely drying up. The salt filled lake does not even look like
the lake in our Bible maps. Both Israel and Jordan have been taking water from
the Jordan River to irrigate desert land. This has robbed the lake of its source
of replacement water. So now we have a new illustration. If we do not give of
our resources to the kingdom of God and our local churches they could dry up
and die. Giving and living go together.

_______________
J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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For years preachers
have used the Dead Sea as an illustration of the importance of giving back.
The have made the point that the Dead Sea receives but has no outlet to give
to and that is what makes it dead. Now it no longer even receives. We have a
new illustration. It seems the Dead Sea really is dying. It is drying up. According
to USA Today, only a major engineering effort will save the sea from completely
drying up. The salt filled lake does not even look like the lake in our Bible
maps. Both Israel and Jordan have been taking water from the Jordan River to
irrigate desert land. This has robbed the lake of its source of replacement
water. So now we have a new illustration. If we do not give of our resources
to the kingdom of God and our local churches they could dry up and die. Giving
and living go together.

______________________

Michael Shannon,
Preaching January/February 2004

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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According to legend
everything King Midas touched turned to gold. He thought it was a blessing.
He found it to be a curse. His food turned to gold. His child turned to gold.
When we give, we see the reverse of the Midas touch. God turns our gold into
truth and comfort; into a voice proclaiming the good news; into a hand helping
the sick; into a force striking free the chains of sin; into life everlasting.
We bring our money so that He may transform it into something truly valuable.

______________________

Michael Shannon,
Preaching September/October 2003

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Honest Abe

At the age of twenty-four, Abraham Lincoln served as the postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, for which he was paid an annual salary of $55.70.

Even then, twenty-four years before he entered the White House, the rail splitter was showing the character that earned him the title of “Honest Abe.”

The New Salem post office was closed in 1836, but it was several years before an agent arrived from Washington to settle accounts with ex-postmaster Lincoln, who was a struggling lawyer not doing very well.

The agent informed him that $17 was due the government. Lincoln crossed the room, opened an old trunk and took out a yellow cotton rag, bound with a string. Untying it, he spread out the cloth and there was the $17. He had been holding it untouched for all these years.

“I never use any man’s money but my own,” he said.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Sigmund Freud’s favorite story was about the sailor shipwrecked on one of the South Sea islands. He was seized by the natives, hoisted to their shoulders, carried to the village, and set on a rude throne. Little by little, he learned that it was their custom once each year to make some man a king, king for a year. He liked it until he began to wonder what happened to all the former kings. Soon he discovered that every year when his kingship was ended, the king was banished to an island, where he starved to death. The sailor did not like that, but he was smart and he was king, king for a year.

So he put his carpenters to work making boats, his farmers to work transplanting fruit trees to the island, farmers growing crops, masons building houses. So when his kingship was over, he was banished, not to a barren island, but to an island of abundance.
(James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited, Wheaton: Tyndale, 1988, p. 339.)

Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…” Use your time here to send ahead the real treasures that will be yours for all eternity.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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It is estimated that if the widow’s mite had been deposited at the “First National Bank, Jerusalem” to draw four percent interest semi-annually, the fund today would total $4,800,000,000,000,000,000,000. If a bank on earth could multiply the widow’s mite to such an astronomical figure, think what treasures this dedicated woman will have in heaven where “moth and rust doth not corrupt.”

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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One pastor had a rather crude layman who liked to go out visiting people. Since he was rather crude the pastor gave him a list of delinquent church members and some church stationary and told him to write letters to all those who haven’t been coming.

Several weeks later the church secretary received a letter from a lawyer with a check inside to $1000. Enclosed was this note:

“To Whom It May Concern. I received your letter and I want to remind you that there is only 1 “T” in dirty and no “C” in skunk.


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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“Only those who love the Church,” Wallace M. Alston, Jr. of
Princeton, NJ’s Nassau Presbyterian Church observed, “and believe in that
for which it stands, can be expected to support it with their stewardship. If
Christians do not direct a good portion of their stewardship to the life and
work of the Church, no one else will — not the disinterested person, not the
community charity fund, and certainly not the state. The Church depends for its
support solely on those who love it.”

_____________________________
Illustration from: Robert R. Kopp, “The Heart of the Matter,” Center Presbyterian
Church, McMurray, Pennsylvania

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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