GivingBro. David Chancellor
4/27/2008 6:00 PM
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Sometimes people seek out the highest honor, but Jesus was bringing their attention to the fact that our walk with God was what was important. This woman sacrificed for what she loved. She gave everything she had for what she believed in. God looks at things differently than people do. To God, how much you give is measured by the cost. A lot of people give God the leftovers of what they have. God wants more than the leftovers. God wants a sacrifice of what you have, what you are and what you can do. God wants us to give from a heart of love for what we are doing. Everyone has something to give to God. It will come as a sacrifice. God wants us to give of ourselves, not just a gift of our abundance.
1 Kings 17:8-16
And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse; and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
God had commanded her to do this. It took faith on her part to do this thing. As she took care of Elijah, she took care of herself. Feeding Elijah first was a test of her willingness to give. When God speaks to our hearts, we want to respond. If we do what God asks us to do, he’ll take care of us. Are we willing to put ourselves out for God? The widow got a blessing even after Elijah left. She was provided for until the rain came. It took a commitment on her part to him. God asks for all you have because he wants you committed to him, to allow him to work his plan as he sees best. The biggest battle you’ll fight is to turn everything over to him. You need to be at the place where you can make sacrifices for God. We want to give where God commands. We want to live where God can use us to help others.
And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough fort he service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from brining, For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Moses gave a list of what was needed and asked for a freewill offering. The people gave more than what was needed. When people give by love, this is what it produces. The people had a vision of what they were trying to accomplish. When people see what God wants, they’ll give of themselves to make it prosper when they love God. The people went to work and did what needed to be done. There are things we can do to lift up Jesus. If people have the love of God in them and are following the leading of the Spirit, their heart will be in the work and it won’t go begging. They loved the thought of having God in their midst and brought in abundance.
2 Corinthians 8:1-8
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
Paul was encouraging these to contribute for the benefit of the saints. Those in Macedonia sacrificed and gave to the saints in Jerusalem. Paul was encouraging the Corinthians to do the same thing. When we give of ourselves to the point of sacrifice, that is when we prove the sincerity of our love. When people have to give up some things for self to help others, that is when love shines through. Interrupt your busy schedule to make time for others. The sincerity of your love will show through. Put yourself into helping others. Paul wasn’t commanding them to give, but he was encouraging them to get a blessing. When we sacrifice to give, it will always be at an inopportune time. There will always be something pulling on you to do something else. Self-denial doesn’t come at an easy time.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then Jesus said unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
As Jesus prepared for the cross, the disciples didn’t see it the right way and wanted to stop what was happening. The cross was Jesus’ sacrifice to prove his love to us. "Then Jesus said unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." We need to give all to God. All of us have things to give to God. The sacrifice causes us to deny ourselves, but we don’t end up being losers. We end up proving our love for God and our fellowman.