Summary: “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” Mark 12:43-44
Theme: Honouring God with our treasure
Giving is an attitude that is contrary to our fleshly nature. The flesh is a way of thinking that is contrary to the Word of God and it has been said that the last part of us to be converted is our pocket. We profess our trust in Christ yet are not willing to be generous although one of the hallmarks of the Christian faith is generosity. I am reminded of a story about a congregation that had gathered in an old Church to raise funds to build a new one. This Church had one rich member who had a prominent seat at the front. During the fundraising programme he got up and made the highest contribution of one hundred Ghana Cedi. As he sat down a piece of the roof came off and fell on his head. He immediately got up again and made another contribution of one hundred Ghana Cedi. For a minute there was silence in the whole Church. Then a whisper was heard from the back, ‘hit him again Lord.’ This story is an illustration of how we relate to giving when we forget the cross. The cross, the symbol of our faith, speaks of the generosity of God. It was where God gave man all that He had, His only Son. Our only response to God’s generosity is to follow His example by honouring God with our treasure.
Giving to God is the result of trust. You can only trust a person you know and when we put our trust in Christ we are also putting our trust in His revelations about God and about us. God created us in His image and likeness to fulfil His divine Will and we can be sure He is capable of taking care of us as we do His will. God met our greatest need for forgiveness by giving us a Saviour to make it possible for us to fulfill His divine Will. When Christ paid the penalty for sin on our behalf He not only restored the glory and image of God in us but also our authority and dominion on earth. We can trust trust God since He is capable and willing to meet our need. How can we refuse to trust the One who created us, knows us, and is capable and willing to meet our needs? His willingness to go to the cross in our place is evidence of His willingness to meet our needs as we fulfill His divine Will and purpose.
Trust can only result from a relationship. The woman of Zarephath trusted the Lord and this can only be a result of a relationship. If there had been no relationship the Lord would not have said “See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” Evidently the widow trusted the Lord and therefore believed the prophet. Although she had a need herself she first gave to the prophet and this activated the miracle supply of God. When we truly trust God to meet our needs we would have no reason not to give Him all that we have. Can we truthfully say that we have put our trust in God? Do we trust Him enough to entrust all that we have into His care?
One evidence of our trust in God is our sacrificial giving. What makes giving sacrificial is when God is given the best. God gave us His best when He gave us Christ. We daily experience His love and faithfulness as the Scriptures declare “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end” (Lam. 3:22). Christ shed His blood to pay the penalty for sin for our forgiveness. God gave His best for us and we can have no reason not to give Him our best. Christ bore the full judgement for sin in His body for us and the least we can do is to trust Him with our lives. No one can love you more than Christ and no One has gone to such great lengths to meet your needs as Christ has, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Perfected and forever speaks of a sacrifice that comprehends every need of the entire human race, and its effects extend throughout time and into eternity. The blood of Christ has not only paid the penalty for sin but has also imputed to us the righteousness of Christ. God’s righteousness gives us access to His presence as His beloved children. What more could we hope for? How can we know all this and not sacrificially give to God?
We can never forget the love and faithfulness of God? How can we ever forget the One who not only created us but also delivered us from slavery to sin, Satan and death? King David never forgot the love and faithfulness of God. This constant reminder made him attribute all his successes to God. He relied on God’s strength while protecting his father’s sheep to kill a lion and a bear. He relied on God when he faced Goliath by declaring “You come to me with sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied”. David knew who was fighting for him because of his covenant relationship with God and no giant could frighten him. Is it any wonder that David was very generous in giving to God? We have a far greater covenant relationship with God than David had through the perfect and eternal sacrifice of Christ. Jesus Christ died for us to fulfill God’s promises in our lives. He gave His life for us. What are you prepared to give Him at today’s harvest?