Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Show me the money!

Yesterday we talked about Jesus at the Temple after He entered Jerusalem. Between that time, and the time of the last Supper, He preached on various topics, so we're going to look at some of those over the next few days. Today we're going to look at the parable of the widow's offering. It deals with one of the hottest topics in the Christian community today, money. OK, let's open up this can of worms and see what the Bible says about giving.

Luke 21: 1-4 says, As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting up their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," He said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."

It's not what you give folks, it's how you give it. One of the biggest mistakes that Pastor's make today is taking money from any source they can. We preach and teach on how to tithe, but not why. What we need to be preaching on is WHY people should give, and HOW they should give. Now this statement will draw fire from some Pastors, and finanace committees, but what do these verses tell us?

These verses tell us that giving is an act of worship, and just like any other worship, it's done because we love God, not because we have to. One of the greatest verses on giving can be found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctanlty, or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Most people look at the first part of this verse and fail to read the next parts. Yes, we will be blessed more when we give more, but ONLY if we do it out of our love for the Lord. We could give a million dollars out of compulsion and never be blessed. At the same time, we could give our last ten dollars out of love, and be blessed in ways we could never imagine. The key component to remember is that "God loves a cheerful giver." He'd rather have our love and devotion than our money out of obligation, that's not love. Now don't think that this means you shouldn't pass on the offering plate next Sunday....:)

When I sat down to write this today, it didn't dawn on me that there was a strong connection between yesterday's message and today's. But when you really look at the Bible, you'll find that money has always been a source of controversy and dispute. So how do we handle money as Christians? With love. We handle it for what it is, a gift from God to be shared, not worshipped. Love the Lord first, and the rest will follow. I pray today that the Lord blesses you with the wealth of wisdom, peace, health, and finances that comes from a God-first relationship.

Thanking God for the wealth I have in you,
Pastor Mike


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