Summary: This expanded outline examines why we give/tithe. It is part of series on questions people have asked in the church. Specifically, it attempts to answer the question, "I don’t understand why people who have less money than I, continue to give to the chu
WHY DO THEY GIVE?
Several weeks ago I gave you some index cards and asked you to fill them out if you had questions or had been asked any questions about church, the Bible, things we believe or about Christianity in general. We got a number of responses. The first week I asked, we got a couple of cards. Tom collected two weeks worth of cards and gave them to me after the service last Sunday. What I didn’t know at the time was that the message I preached last Sunday specifically addressed one of the questions Tom later gave me after the service.
Don’t you love it when the Lord works that way? Don’t you love it when you serve, you teach, or call, or minister or whatever and then the Lord later confirms that He was guiding you all the time? I love it when that happens.
Over the next several weeks we will attempt to address more of your questions in Sunday School and also in the worship service. This morning I would like to address a question we received about giving to the church, or about giving in general. “Why would a person with little means, why would a person without a great deal of money, why would a person without much stuff, give to God?
In response to that question I would like you to turn with me to Mark chapter 12 and verse 38. Mark chapter 12 & verse 38.
- Read Mark 12:38-44
It is funny how some people respond or react when you begin to talk about money. Some people believe that all churches want from them is their money and that every church or every preacher is after their money. That is one reason I preach about money so seldom and why I usually say what I do before the offering is taken each week. We are not after your money. If the Lord wants this church to be here, if He wants this ministry to expand, then He will provide. Jesus said, “I will build My church,” and I believe Him.” The Bible says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and if He wants to provide for this ministry, then He can do so by whatever means He chooses.
But I would have you notice this, in the passage we just read, we find Jesus watching what goes into the treasury. He noticed who gave and what each person gave. He also noticed the heart, the attitude, and the spirit with which each person gave, and He still does today.
Now, picture the scene that day with me please. Jesus and His disciples are at the temple. They watch as the people come and go. They watch as the people mill around, as some come in and worship and as some come in and give. There in front of Jesus are 13 brass colored horns. Each of the horns, or funnels is marked with a label saying what that specific gift is for. Four of the 13 are labeled, “Freewill Offering.”
As Jesus watches, a wealthy merchant comes in. He is on his way to the office. He is on his way to work. He is prosperous and his business is doing well. On his way to work he stops by long enough to say a few prayers and to drop an offering in the box. He will never miss what he gave. It will cost him no inconvenience. He won’t miss a meal. He won’t miss a soft drink. He gave a substantial sum, but he will never miss what he gave.
Another man comes in. He is a farmer. He has just sold a portion of his crops. His farms did well this year and he thinks, “Perhaps if I give to the church, perhaps if I give some to God, He will continue to bless me. It’s like an investment to him.”
One by one, others come by. Ordinary folk, doing what they usually do, with no idea that they’re being watched or noticed.
Finally, a lady comes in. She is a widow. She doesn’t have much in the world. Her children are gone. Her husband has passed and she is all alone. As Jesus stands looking on, she takes the last coins that she has, and puts them in the treasury. Her gift is so important, this lesson is so important that Jesus takes this moment to gather his disciples around Him to point out what this lady has just done. He thought it was so important that He had both Mark and Luke record it in their gospels so we wouldn’t miss it.
And by the way, that is often how it happens. According to the latest IRS figures, workers who make $10,000 - $15,000 per year give 3 times more in charitable giving than those who make $50,000 - $100,000 per year. (Quoted in a message Gracious Giving, by Dr. Tim Maynard.)