7TH NOVEMBER 2021
Giving That Pleases God
In Old Testament times it was an obligation and a duty, for Jews to bring their tithes and offerings to God.
For us, who belong to the New Testament, giving tithe and offerings in the Church is more of a privilege and a delight than a duty.
In the Gospel (Mark 12:38-44) we meet a Woman who came to the Temple to fulfill her obligation of giving tithe and offerings to God.
This woman was;
- A widow
- her name is not given
- she had only 2 small coins left with her;
- She held nothing back while making her offering
- she gave 100% of her money and not just 10%
What valuable lessons are we learning from this episode?
1. THE LORD SEES WHAT WE GIVE TO HIM AND WHAT WE KEEP FOR OURSELVES.
• “..and he sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the multitude putting money into the offering box”
• Jesus watched whether people were giving their offerings; casually or carefully, grudgingly or cheerfully.
• He still does just that even today.
• When you are giving your tithe or sadaka; may you always know that you are under the loving gaze of the One who sits opposite the offering box.
2. THE LORD SEES AND VALUES THE LARGE GIFTS GIVEN BY THE RICH PEOPLE.
• “Many rich men dropped in a lot of money”
• How marvelous it is, to be able to give a large gift to the Lord.
• What a blessing it is when those who are entrusted with wealth are good stewards!
• The big missionary schools, hospitals and Churches that we see today in our country, were built through the offerings of the wealthy who gave generously. The wealthy continues, even today, to support the work of God through their offerings.
• There should be sufficient money for God’s work if all of us could give generously.
3. HE SEES AND COUNTS AS PRECIOUS THE SMALL OFFERINGS GIVEN BY THOSE WHO ARE POOR.
• “the poor widow came and dropped in two very small copper coins worth only a fraction of a penny…..this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others…because…she gave all she had to live-on””
• The actual monetary value of the widow’s gift was very small indeed, yet she received praise from the Lord himself.
• No gift – for the Lord – is too small to count!
• There is no excuse for not giving.
• Your income is not too small for you to claim that God (or the Church) does not need your money.
• Let’s learn to give God his due and even give exceedingly.
4. THE LORD MEASURES OUR OFFERINGS NOT BY THE ACTUAL QUANTITY GIVEN BUT BY THE
QUALITY OF THE GIVING.
• The Lord commended the Widow for the quality of her giving and said that she gave more to God than anyone else that Day.
• “I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all other…She gave all she had to live-on.”
• If we honour God with our wealth by giving our offering generously and regularly, be sure that, all our needs will be met according to Gods promise; “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.” Phil 4:19
5. THE SECRET OF GIVING THAT PLEASES GOD IS RECOGNISING THAT ALL WE HAVE BELONGS TO THE LORD.
• This widow gave her all; “She, out of her poverty, put in everything –- all she had to live on.”
• As a Christian I need to recognise that, so far as possessions and money are concerned, all of it belongs to the Lord.
• My house, my children, my money, my car –- these are not mine, but His. I am a trustee, a steward.
• When you make your offering, you are giving to God, not to a priest or just the Church; you are giving back what you have received from Him.
• When you make your offerings always trust God for further provision.
Real giving must come from the heart. An offering that is given with a grudge or for display loses most of its value. But an offering given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is precious.