Bible Reading: Mark 12:28-44
We live in a world that is consumed with money. And sadly, not only is it consumed with money…it is consumed by money. For many people…they don’t own their money, but their money owns them.
Many Christians have no concept of what it means to give a tithe of their income to the Lord (by the way…that means 10%)…much less what it means to give an offering (that means more than 10%). And as a result, they miss out on huge blessings from God.
- They miss out on the blessing of joyful obedience that comes from giving.
- They miss out on the blessing of trusting God for His resources that comes from giving.
- They miss out on seeing God use the resources that they have being used for His Kingdom’s purposes that comes from giving.
- They miss out on learning Biblical principles of finances that comes from giving.
- They miss out on investing into the lives of others that comes from giving.
But…they still have their money. I guess that’s good. No, not really. I would rather have the blessings of God, any day.
Your kids are learning how they are going to manage the money that they make for the entire rest of their lives…right now. They learn it from television, and credit card companies, and other people…and oh, yeah, from you. They watch how you manage your money and that becomes the basis for the way that they will manage their money. What are you teaching them? What is your attitude towards giving to God? They are watching you. Your kids need your help…because one day they are going to be on their own. Start teaching them, now.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
One time I spent about a month in South Korea. On the way home, we spent several days in Hong Kong. The first morning there I went to a restaurant for breakfast. I had a pretty typical American breakfast…eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, and coffee. It was pretty good and I expected it to cost about the same amount that I would pay in the U.S., maybe around $15.00. But boy was I in for a surprise. When the waitress brought me the bill it was for 104.96 Hong Kong Dollars. The food was good…but not that good! Later, I was talking with a American who had been a missionary in Vietnam. He had a similar experience…but even worse. Not long after he got there he ordered a meal that he thought would be around $15.00 and when he got the bill the cost was 255,543.75 Vietnamese Dong. What! Well, to tell you the truth…both of us were only surprised for a moment. Then we remembered that there is an exchange rate for money from one country to another. For instance, right now (2018), if I went to the bank in Hong Kong and gave the teller 1 US dollar, he would give me 7 Hong Kong Dollars back. And, if I traveled to Vietnam and gave the bank teller 1 US dollar, he would give me 17,036.25 Vietnamese Dong back. So, while it may seem like your paying more because the number is bigger…you are actually paying the same thing. And while it would look like I’m rich if I was in Indonesia because I have 576,586.12 Rupiah…I would actually only have $50.00 in US Dollars. Bummer. And I was going to buy you a great present with all of that money. Here is the exchange rate in a few other countries…
1.00 US Dollar =
- 59 Japanese Yen
- 96 Hungarian Forints
- 49 Chilean Pesos
- 2,351.99 Colombian Pesos
- 11,531.72 Indonesian Rupiahs.
Jesus and His disciples were at the Temple in Jerusalem. They were watching as people brought their offerings to the treasury (it was like a bank). Evidently, you could see how much money the people were putting in because Mark tells us that a lot of the rich people were putting in large amounts of money. Then, Jesus spotted a poor widow. She had almost no money at all. Mark tells us that she put in two small copper coins. Those coins were like our pennies. They are worth almost nothing. But Jesus said, “she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Imagine if all you had to live on was two pennies. That’s pretty poor. And yet, this woman, who didn’t even have a husband to help support her…put everything that she had into the offering for God. Jesus then made an interesting comment. He said that the widow had put in more than anyone else…even the rich people. Obviously, He didn’t mean that she put in more money. But, when you compared what she had to what the rich people had…and you compared how much she gave compared to how much the rich people gave…she gave lots, lots more than they did. The rich people put in a lot of money…but they still had a lot more money. But the widow put in everything that she had…and then, she had no money left. She gave what she gave…in order to thank God for all that He had done for her. Imagine, a poor widow who only had two small coins (no bank account, no credit card)…and yet, she was thankful for all that God had done for her.
Jesus was teaching His disciples that while the amount of offering that we give to God is important…our attitude when we give to God is more important. Let me explain.
- Some people give to God and their attitude is, “Wow, I’ll bet God is impressed with what I gave.” Sorry, not so. We don’t give to impress God…we give to thank God. When we give our offering it is a way to tell God how thankful we are for all that He has done for us. Wrong attitude.
- Some people give what they have left over. Again, they don’t give to thank God…but they give what they don’t need. They’ll never miss it. Wrong attitude.
- Some people give because they think that they are supposed to give. They don’t really want to…but that’s what they were taught to do. No thanksgiving there. Wrong attitude.
- Some people give because they want other people to see them give and to be impressed. Yeah, that’s really a wrong attitude.
Why do we give our offering to God? Because God has given so much to us and when we give we are telling Him, “Thank you.”
So, how much should you give? That’s easy. How thankful are you? Stop and think about what God has given you…
- He protects you and keeps you safe.
- He provides for your daily needs.
- He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for your sins.
- He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you every single day of your life.
- He has prepared an eternal place for you to live in Heaven.
- He gives you love, and grace, and mercy, and forgiveness, and joy, and peace…well, the list just goes on and on and on.
Now, how thankful are you? You show God how thankful you are for all that He has given to you by how you give to Him…your attitude. May sound strange…but I recommend that you give like the poor widow. She gave with the right attitude. Someone has called it the “attitude of gratitude.” Works for me.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,