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Summary: What real giving is in the Bible

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MARK 12:41-44 "COMMITMENT TO REAL GIVING"

A) This is a touching story with a powerful message that is often ignored! * It is a story:

* That shows how God’s heart reaches out to those in need .......

* He reaches out in tenderness, and compassion, and love!

* It’s a story that shows how much devotion and commitment and boldness mean to Him!

* It’s a story that shows how deeply God is moved by those who give all they are and have to Him!

* Compare this story to the one in Mark 10:17-22, the rich young ruler .......

* This is a story that shows what real giving is!

B) In v.41 of our text, Jesus observed some people giving!

* Following all the plotting and argument in the Court of the Gentiles, (Mark 11:27-12:40),

* Jesus walked into the Court of the Women, over by the treasury.

* The treasury was an area in which there were 13 trumpet shaped collection boxes where the

worshippers dropped their offerings.

* He sat down, apparently all alone, to get some relief and rest from the tension of the past hours.

C) While resting, He "beheld how the people cast money into the treasury."

* The word "beheld" means He was deliberately observing, discerning the motives of the people

as they made their offerings! * He saw many walk by and drop in sizable offerings!

* Some were apparently quite large contributions!

* He could see the handfuls of coins and hear them clang against the sides as they slid down the

funnel shaped trumpets. * But none attracted His admiration!

* Finally, a poor widow came along and threw in two mites, which were the smallest of coins,

coins of little value! * Christ took what He saw and taught what true giving really is!

(1) REAL GIVING IS SACRIFICIAL GIVING - V.42! * "And there came a certain poor widow."

* The word "poor," means pauper! * She was not just poor, she was destitute, in deep poverty!

* No doubt, her poor dress and plain appearance showed her desperate plight!

* The coins were all she had, yet she gave them despite her own desperate need!

A) Now, note the point: What she gave was a sacrifice!

* What the others gave was not a sacrifice! * It did not cost them nor hurt them!

* They still had plenty left, for they gave only what they could spare!

* But not the widow ... Her gift cost her ... It hurt to give, for she gave what she could not spare!

* She gave what Christ called a sacrificial gift! * She sacrificed!

* She went without a meal, or gave up something else so that she could give!

B) There is a great difference between giving what one can spare and giving sacrificially!

* I’m talking about actually giving up something in order to give!

* Sacrificial giving is giving when it hurts, when a person has nothing left, nothing to spare!

* The difference needs to be stressed ... for God expects sacrificial giving!

* If the world and its desperate needs are ever to be reached for Christ, then every believer must

give sacrificially!

(2) REAL GIVING IS MEASURED BY HOW MUCH A PERSON HAS LEFT, NOT BY HOW

MUCH A PERSON GIVES - V.43! * "This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they ......."

* Jesus called His disciples to Him and used the great sacrifice that the widow made to teach us

a much needed lesson! * Note several facts:

A) They all gave an offering to God!

* Both the people, (v.41) who had, and the poor widow who did not have!

* The ones who had plenty gave more money, much more than the widow!

* Their contributions were generous ... Their incomes were dazzling, so their offerings were large!

* But in God’s eyes, the widow gave more! Why?

* Because God measures what was kept, not what was given!

B) The widow had less remaining, the others still had much!

* The widow had given more of what she had, the others had given less of what they had!

* The widow had sacrificed more, the others had sacrificed less!

* In proportion to what she had, the widow gave a larger percent!

* The others gave a much smaller percent!

* After they had given, they still had 85% or 90% or 95% to spend on themselves!

C) This is the lesson Jesus was teaching ... a critical lesson!

* God counts what we have left, not what we give!

* He counts the amount of sacrifice, not the amount of money!

* The gift that matters is the gift that costs the giver to give!

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