Mark 12:41-44 “respect to God”
Mark 12:41-44 “And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
1/64 of a day’s wages $15.00 X 12 = $2.80
If you could picture Jesus and the disciples sitting near the offering funnel at the temple, It’s a large metal funnel which lead to a box for the offerings. People are bringing in their offering and putting it in. All the offerings are coins, so this is a noisy place. Some have said that the rich would often use the smallest coin to make it a show of their offering al they put it in. But we do know it was obvious that some people put in large sums of money, perhapse they even have servants carrying their offering. With great show they put it in rattling the coins on the metal funnel. No one is paying much attention to the poor widow who tries to avoid the show as she puts in two small coins, they don’t even make a sound. Jesus uses this event to teach something about giving. Her two small coins are worth about $2.
The point of Jesus’ teaching is clear, some gave out of their abundance, while she gave all she had to live on. The rich’s offering made a great show but the widows offering was a sacrifice. Jesus says the widow’s sacrifice meant more to God than all the money the rich gave. This principle was taught by David in 2 Sam 24:18-25, where David remarks “I will not offer unto God that which cost me nothing”
Gen 4:3-6 “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?”
This is the very first offering we see in the Bible and it tells us that some offerings are acceptable to God while others are not. So, what makes our giving acceptable to God.
There are five principles about giving to God in the Bible.
Obedience, respect, sacrifice, priority, intentional.
While Abraham was the first to tithe as an offering to God, the ordinance is given in Deut 14:22-29. A Tithe of all they earn for the year belongs to God and is to be given to the temple. God considers one tenth of your income His. An offering or gift to God starts above that 10%. In Malachi 3:6-10 God says that by not giving the tithe the people are robing God. Imagine a person whipping out their gun and stealing your money, and then they ask you for a favor. God said the people were robbing God and then expecting Him to help them.
Jesus affirms tithing in Matt 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
So, tithing is an obedience issue. In our giving are we obeying God
Which brings us to the second principle of giving, priority.
In the story of Cain and Able, Able brought the first born of the flock, in Deut 14 the tithe comes first. You make your offering before you take something out of it. In 1 cor 16:2 Paul encourages the Corinthian believers to set aside their offering first. When we give our tithe, we give it making God first in priority. Malachi says bring in the full tithe and see that God will bless the rest.
So do we make our giving a priority or what’s left over.
The next principle is respect or honor.
Does what we give to God show respect to God? We tip a waiter or waitress 10 – 20% as a show of respect for their service to us. In fact, this practice got it’s start in the Bible. In Malachi 1:6-14 God says; “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts.
They dishonored God by bringing the leftovers that nobody wanted. By giving our best we show respect and honor to God. In our offering we are telling God what we think of Him. Put what you give in perspective by comparing it to your other expenses. It’s sad to say that many will show more respect to their waiter or waitress than they will to God.
So does our offering show respect and honor to God?
The next principle of giving is that it should be intentional
In 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
So, have you sat down and intentionally determined your giving or is it an after thought on Sunday when you open your wallet and see what’s in there?
The last principle is sacrifice
David said, “I will not offer unto God that which cost me nothing” The widow gave all she had to live on. Does our giving really cost us, can we feel it, what do we have to sacrifice to make our offering to God?
So, is our giving truly a sacrifice?
We do not all give the same amount, but we should make equal sacrifice to God. Will our offering be pleasing to God? If you follow these principles of giving it will.