Sermons

Summary: A sermon on the attitudes with which we give.

Mark 12.41-44 “Money Talks”

Problem Then

Giving with pretense and show.

Court of the Women where the temple treasury was situated/women & men came to present their gifts.

Chests called "trumpets" / shaped like trumpets. Metal coins were PITCHED into/make a loud noise. The more money ..the louder the sound. Each chest bore what the money inside was to be used for.

Many wealthy people who gave large amounts (lit., “many coins” gold, silver, copper, bronze)Ooh! Ahh!

Maybe the disciples, too, were impressed. Wow! Look at that! Mt.6.1,f. Jesus

Still, did a lot of good. Could have kept it..

The whole system played on pride, but giving these people the benefit of the doubt, there is another problem:

Just giving out of surplus.

Ted Turner gave a billion dollars to the United Nations. But by his own admission, it didn’t cost him anything.. excess money he had earned over first 9mo of the year.

Leftovers, perhaps. Gave out of their "over and above."

“I guess I could give $x without missing it.” Problem.

Nothing wrong with it; just that it doesn’t go far enough.

Wondering how she could possibly give bec. of own needs.

Money: (Know what it says?) “Bye-bye”.

Maybe thinking that others can certainly take care..

That’s what the widow could have concluded: "The coins were the smallest in use; they were called a lepton which literally means "a thin one." 1/64

A Rabbinic rule: an offering of <2 lepta not acceptable.

There was a public fund for charity, into which contributions were brought, .. poor-box..

Widow: generally defenseless legal and financial position. [one who crouches, cowers]..

In the scene immediately preceding, Jesus condemns scribes for.. consuming the homes of widows (12:40), refers to practice of appointing some supposedly well-reputed and pious man to oversee the affairs ..only to have the individual use the estate for his own gain.

This destitute widow (“poor” is too weak a translation) .. She has given her whole livelihood (lit., her life).

Problem Now

Thank goodness everything’s changed now! Or has it?

Honestly we are not often this woman.

The subject of money is a touchy one to some people. But it shouldn’t be. We should be eager to know/obey.

Must take our giving seriously. God certainly does.

Not what but HOW do you give? Do you tithe? If Jesus observed your. .today, what would His opinion be?

That is important because when it is not right, our giving is a spiritual problem, not just financial.

O.S. Hawkins said, "The principal hindrance to the advancement of the Kingdom of God is greed. It is the chief obstacle to heaven-sent revival. It seems that when the back of greed is broken, the human spirit soars into regions of unselfishness. I believe it is safe to say there can be no continuous revival without ’hilarious’ giving. And I fear no contradiction: wherever there is ’hilarious’ giving, there will soon be revival!"

How much do you want personal renewal?!

So, lets look at how she responded…

Resolution Then

She wasn’t intimidated.

Do you suppose there was "ooohing" and "aaahing" when she made her contribution? I believe so. From Jesus. He was excited about her giving. He was excited about what she gave and also about how she gave - with a heart toward God.

She wasn’t limited by her lack of surplus.

It reflected a commitment, not just a donation.

She trusted God to meet her needs.

Bad news: the average American just $83.42 in bank.

Good news: The average American is $41/2triln richer

Compared with the big givers around her, the widow’s gift looked like nothing. Yet Jesus used the opportunity to tell His disciples the real value of a gift isn’t measured by the size, but by the love and sacrifice behind it.

Her only protection from complete destitution is the little money she possesses, and to give all of it is to consign herself to disaster; yet she does just that w/o fanfare or desire for glory, but out of faith.

In giving to God sacrificially she completely entrusted herself to Him to provide her needs. Do you?

One evening at a prayer meeting the preacher invited people to give testimony to their faith. A man in the front row stood up and told this story. "Many years ago I fell on very hard times. I lost my job. My wife divorced me. I was out on the street with nowhere to live. Desperate, I walked into a church and sat down and prayed. Then I took the very last dollar I had and put it in the offering. Penniless, I walked outside, only to run into an old friend of mine, who took pity on me and offered me a job with his company. I accepted it, became successful, and now I am a millionaire. All of this because of that night long ago when I put all the money I had in the offering at church."

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