Be Faithful In Giving #4, Sermon 03/03/2019

THE STEPS TO THE ABUNDANT LIFE, #4

Deut. 8:11-20; Luke 21:1-4

Jesus and his disciples were at the temple one day. Our Lord was always looking for opportunities to teach his disciples the essence of our faith. On this particular day, Jesus and his disciples were watching people come to the offering box in the temple to place their gifts in the collection chests. The worshipers who came with their gifts were from all different walks and stations of life. Some were educated, and some were not. Some were rich and some were poor. But they all came. An important part of coming to the temple was to pass by the treasury and drop your money into the offering boxes. As people brought their offerings, you could tell by the sound of the coins hitting the bottom how large or how small each particular gift was.

Jesus and his disciples were positioned there and watching the people parade by and make their gifts. Then, Jesus noticed her. He saw this poor widow approaching the treasury. He saw her drop in her two small coins-two pennies and he was touched and impressed by what she had done. He leaned over and said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them” (Luke 21:3).

Jesus went on to explain that the rich people had given their gifts based on how much money they had left over once they had bought all of the food and entertainment and clothing and housing they needed and wanted; they gave out of the “leftovers.” But this poor widow was more generous because she put God first and gave all she had.

The widow loved God and loved the temple, and because of that love, she wanted to do her part. Jesus saw her spirit of love that day, and He was touched and moved and impressed.

Have you heard about the couple who called the Butterball turkey company hotline and said, “We have had a Butterball turkey in our freezer for twenty-three years. Is it safe to eat it?” The company representative said, “Has your freezer been on all the time?” “Oh, yes”, the couple replied. “Well, then,” said the representative, “it would be safe to eat it, but it probably wouldn’t taste too good.” “That’s what we thought,” the couple said, “So we’ll just give it to the church.”

That’s what you call “leftover giving.” And that kind of giving would not impress Jesus. The generous widow, however, gave her first, her best, her all, to God. Her faith in God was so strong that she dared to give it all to God and then to trust God to be with her and help her. That kind of giving, that kind of generosity, that kind of faith, hope and love touched the heart of Jesus and made this poor widow one of the heroes of the Bible.

Many Christians don’t understand why they should be concerned about giving to God. They work hard day after day to earn a living. Shouldn’t their money be theirs to do with as they please? What right does God have to our money? After all, who provides our income? These questions no doubt plague many Christians. But the Scripture says, “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deut. 8:11-14m 17-18).

SEVERAL TRUTHS ARE EVIDENT IN THIS PASSAGE: First, God has a wonderful way of enriching our lives. Second, we easily forget what God has done for us. Third, we belong to God. We have been brought out of bondage – not out of Egypt, but out of the bondage of sin. Fourth, God gives us the ability to produce wealth.

God provides our income. God is the source of life. We owe everything to Him and the sooner we realize it, the better.

Everything that we have while we are here comes as a gift from God. We are not giving anything that is our own. It all comes from the Lord. When we give gladly, willingly or cheerfully, we demonstrate an unselfish attitude of appreciation for what God has done for us. God loves a cheerful giver.

Let us be faithful in giving! Let us set our hearts on what is right and do it. God will continue to bless us as we contribute for the ministry of His church.

The Scripture says, “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

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