Mark 12; Giving From The Heart

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Mark 12:41 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. 

 12:42    And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 

 12:43    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: 

 12:44    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. 

With cell phones and Facebook, news travels all over the world fast these days. I can sink a 3 foot putt (Really! I can!) on a golf course in a remote area in Georgia, and seconds later have a picture of my feat published all around the globe. Even though a lot of my pictures and posts on Facebook are rather insignificant I can share them in moments all around the world. Yet as miraculous as that may seem, 2,000 years ago a lonely widow in the Mid East quietly sneaked up to a offering box and dropped a couple pennies in the box. No one in that crowd had a camera or cell phone, but somehow that simple little story has been broadcasted and published all over the world for the last 2,000 years!

What makes her story so remarkable? To Jesus it was the fact that she was giving all she had from the heart in the same way the Father was giving all He had from the heart when He gave His only Son to die for us, and the same way the Son was giving all He had from the heart when He gave up His life. We may not all be able to give equal amounts of money, but we can all give an equal sacrifice by giving all, just like this widow. However, not only did this widow’s small offering inspire us to give from the heart, but many around the world, for the last 2,000 years, have been inspired by this widow to give what little they can too. Well all of those small sacrifices around the globe for the last 2,000 years adds up to a lot of money! And let’s remember too, that while a poor widow can give from the heart, so can a rich person. Jesus was not condoning the widow for being poor. He was condoning her for giving from the heart. Rich people are just as capable of giving from the heart as poor people. Sometimes we forget that. With our without Facebook and cell phones, when we give from the heart, all heaven notices!

The Acts of The Apostles-A Liberal Church

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 32

This Chapter is based on 1 Corinthians 9.

God’s chosen messengers, who are engaged in aggressive labor, should never be compelled to go a warfare at their own charges, unaided by the sympathetic and hearty support of their brethren. It is the part of church members to deal liberally with those who lay aside their secular employment that they may give themselves to the ministry….But when, through the selfishness of men, their rightful support is withheld, their hands are weakened, and often their usefulness is seriously crippled.  {AA 340.1} 

  The displeasure of God is kindled against those who claim to be His followers, yet allow consecrated workers to suffer for the necessities of life while engaged in active ministry. These selfish ones will be called to render an account, not only for the misuse of their Lord’s money, but for the depression and heartache which their course has brought upon His faithful servants. Those who are called to the work of the ministry, and at the call of duty give up all to engage in God’s service, should receive for their self-sacrificing efforts wages sufficient to support themselves and their families.  {AA 340.2} 
     In the various departments of secular labor, mental and physical, faithful workmen can earn good wages. Is not the work of disseminating truth, and leading souls to Christ, of more importance than any ordinary business? And are not those who faithfully engage in this work justly entitled to ample remuneration? By our estimate of the relative value of labor for moral and for physical good, we show our appreciation of the heavenly in contrast with the earthly.  {AA 341.1} 
     That there may be funds in the treasury for the support of the ministry, and to meet the calls for assistance in missionary enterprises, it is necessary that the people of God give cheerfully and liberally. A solemn responsibility rests upon ministers to keep before the churches the needs of the cause of God and to educate them to be liberal. When this is neglected, and the churches fail to give for the necessities of others, not only does the work of the Lord suffer, but the blessing that should come to believers is withheld.  {AA 341.2}

The above quotes from Acts of The Apostles, reminds me of a devotional I wrote back in 2006:

And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, [is it] not evil? and if ye offer
the lame and sick, [is it] not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will
he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 
Malachi 1:8

This morning I was reading Malachi for my morning devotional and this
verse caught my eye. The lord is asking why His people are giving him the
“scraps” from their flocks when He asked for the very best. And shouldn’t
He have the best? After all He gave His only begotten son, He gave the
very best He had. Still His people were keeping the best for themselves
and giving the least they could to God.

What caught my eye was that this is not just a money issue. It is also a
time issue. Just as God asked for the best of the flock for a sacrifice
and today asks for our firstfruits for offerings and not just what’s left
over after we pay our bills and buy of all our luxuries, so He also wants
the best of our time and our day. Do we give God the firstfruits of the
day, the morning moments? Do we make consecrating ourselves to Him our
very first work? Do we give Him the primetime of our day or is primetime
for TV? At the end of the day have we given God the best part of our time
and day, or just whatever “scraps” of time we have left?

Doesn’t “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,”
deserve the best of all we have, including our time?

In Malachi when the people did not give their best of the flock, the
offerings were lame and defective. When we give God less than the best our
offerings are just as "lame".

Your Christian servant,

William
Look for more devotionals and studies at In Light of The cross.