Summary: You can’t outgive God
I Dare You
1. Prayer mtg. Preacher invited people to give testimony to their
faith. Man tells story. Man lost job. Wife divorced. Living on street.
Desperate, went into church, prayed. Put last $ into offering.
2. Man finished, congregation deeply moved, sat in silence. Woman
in back row stood up & said do it again right now. I DARE YOU.
3. No sacrifice to give of your excess money. Sacrifice is when you
take what little you have & give it away. Ted Turner gave billion $
to U.N.. He said it didn’t cost him anything cause it was excess
money he had earned over 1st 9 months of the year.
4. Gospel story. Jesus sitting off to side watching what everyone put
in. Suppose we started doing offering in new way. Plates on table &
you all came down to put in. As you did, I stood and watched &
evaluated you offering in terms of your income. I wouldn’t do that.
5. You probably wouldn’t like it. Invasion of privacy. Might even get
offended. You shouldn’t. That’s exactly what Jesus did. He not only
saw who was giving, but what they were giving.
6. Doesn’t it intrigue you to note where Jesus sits when He comes
into the Temple? READ Vs. 41 Interesting. Some may not mind.
Heard of some churches who publish in bulletin amount people gave
week before. Do it here? Read about minister who, as offering was
taken, walked up & down aisle watching what people put in. He
returned to pulpit and said-Some of you are upset with me for what
I just did. But I want you to know, as surely as I know what you
gave, God knows. (wonder how long he lasted at that church?)
7. Jesus is sitting at Temple treasury. At Temple treasury there
were 13 brass treasure chests, into which people put their
contributions. Called trumpets cause they were shaped like
trumpets. On each chest was inscription telling what offerings were
for. No currency then. Money dropped in made racket. Some people
made show of what they gave.
8. Scripture says he saw rich people put in large sums of money.
Didn’t say a word, just observed. Then widow. “poor widow” In
order to understand significance of her gift, need to remember
widow unique position in Jewish society. No rights of inheritance,
could not own property, could not have income producing job. No
means of support. Could go back to her own family or her husbands
9. Probably wearing dirty, torn clothing. Sits by street for handouts.
Yet she comes & put BOTH coins into the chest. Scripture points
out she had 2 coins. Important. Tithing. could have given 1 coin
50%. and keep 1. she gives everything she has.
10. When she did Jesus could not keep quiet any longer. Got excited.
Turned to disciples & said “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put
in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of
them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her
poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” The
widow’s giving impressed Jesus.
11. Gave all she had to live on. Should she have done that? God
doesn’t need it. Course I don’t need the gifts Cody gives to me. I
work. I can buy myself anything he might get me. But he still gives
me gifts. Why? They say “I Love You, Dad.” I don’t need them. God
doesn’t need the money. Expression of our relationship to God.
12. Basic of story is not tithing/who gives what. FAITH is what it’s
all about. Widow had no money for food. TRUSTED God to provide
for her needs. FAITH & TRUST.
13. Do we have that faith & trust? Do we give tithe? All we have? or
somewhere in between? Some people don’t even have enough faith
& trust to even tithe. Afraid they won’t have enough to live on.
14. Priest asked parishioner to be finance chrmn. Mgr. of grain
elevator agreed on 2 conditions. No report/no questions for a yr.
End of yr. made report. Pd. off church debt of 200k. Redecorated
church, sent money to missions. 5,000 in bank. How? People bring
grain to elevator. withheld 10%/gave to church. Never missed it.
15. Probably not a good model, but truth of not missing tithe is
unavoidable. Faithfully tithe-never regret it. Genuine miracle of
faith that we end up with more AFTER we tithe than BEFORE. I
don’t claim to understand it, but it’s true. You can’t outgive God.
16. “In God We Trust” our national motto. Found most prominently
on our currency. Ironic? No. What better place to remind us that
our security can never be found on a coin or piece of paper.