Summary: Giving all we have to God through Jesus Christ. We should give everything because it all belongs to God. And we should give gladly.
I read an alarming statistic. Annually, Americans spend more on dog food than on church contributions. We may want to review some priorities.
I also read, “It’s not how much of my money will I give to God, but how much of God’s money will I keep for myself.”
The foundation of our faith is in giving. If we strive to be just like Christ, we must put the needs of others before our own wants and desires. When Jesus walked this earth He always put others first. It didn’t matter who they were, the weak, the strong, the poor, the non-religious, the heavy-burdened, Jesus was willing to give all He had to help. He always made time to listen and to pray with people. Think of all the people He touched in His short ministry on earth. He spent most of His time with the downcast. He healed multitudes and never used medicine. Whether He was with only one person or thousands, every encounter was a teaching moment. All of these people were hungry to seek the truth. They wanted to learn more about God and more about Jesus. Many were highly intelligent thinkers, but they wanted to know all they could about Jesus. He spent very little time with the Pharisees and Sadducees, the pious religious rulers of the day. Why do you think He didn’t spend more time with them? Because they knew it all already! They knew the law and they knew how to use it. They didn’t need Jesus and a band of fishermen to teach them anything. How could they? But deep down inside they knew there was something very different about Him, but their religion wouldn’t allow them to get close, with the exception of a small handful. Jesus was willing to give all He had to help, and I must ask, do we do the same?
The following words of Jesus are found in what is known as His ‘Sermon on the Mount.’ As I have mentioned before, we went to the site of this famous sermon when we were in Israel. The location is spectacular. From there you overlook the beautiful Sea of Galilee. You can look in the distance and see Magdalena and Nazareth to the south and you can find Capernaum to the north, the center of Jesus’ ministry around the Sea of Galilee. It is a beautiful hillside. But Jesus didn’t actually preach from the top of the hill, the mount if you will. He preached from the bottom, at sea level, preaching to the thousands sitting up on the hillside. There were no microphones or sound equipment in those days, but the wind carried His voice up so all could hear His message. So this sermon should actually be called ‘The Sermon on the Plain to the People on the Mount.’
This sermon is a masterpiece. He is teaching the exact opposite of what the Pharisees taught. He is preaching against the religious legalistic laws, and giving the people words of faith, hope and salvation. I am reading from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 1-4: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in Heaven.