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.
42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in
two mites, which make a farthing.
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:
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
Two mites, two drops (yet all her house and land),
Falls from a steady heart, though trembling hand;
The other's wanton wealth foams high, and brave,
The other cast away, she only gave.
-The Widow's Mite
THE SETTING OF THE WOMAN'S GIFT ‑ She gave out of poverty. Surrounded by those who gave and having given still had much, this lady came and placed her two small coins. The gifts of the rich are not noted or remembered here. This lady had a grand heart for she gave from poverty. How prone we often are to make false assumptions such as:
My little bit will make no difference. Giving is an act of worship to God therefore the significance is not so much in the amount of the gift. The gift is only a reflection of our hearts. It shows how much we are willing to trust God for. It demonstrates our understanding of the fact that all that we have belongs to God. It shows how closely we hold or clutch our material possessions. the Bible tells us that it shows us what our real treasure is.
If I get rich I can do great things for God with my wealth. Even the poor can do as much. Can we get it through our heads that God needs our hearts first. He can do anything with people whose hearts belong to Him,, be they rich or poor. Money is merely a temporal thing and holds no value with God.
What other misconceptions can you name with regard to giving?
THE SCOPE OF HER GIFT ‑ She gave everything. Really this is the new testament picture of giving. It is an act of worship and the old testament idea of a tithe is merely a shadow of what we know today. Many poo-poo the idea of tithing as Old Testament Law. Jesus calls people to rise to a higher level of living then the Law could ever produce. The Law was capable at best of producing a change in our behavior, an outside in approach. We live in a day however when we find that the Law has been written on our hearts and only an intrinsic approach to spiritual living makes any difference. All else is dead. People whose hearts have been filled with grace make far greater givers than any who give out of the legalistic perspective. The conclusion is then that any present day Christian who loves the lord ought to look to his starting place where the OT Law ended, ... at the tithe. The tithe is only what is reasonable.
THE SUBSTANCE OF HER GIFT ‑ She gave two small coins. Worth but a fraction of a penny. God does not need our money. He needs our hearts and he wants our love. There are many people in our church who may never make the top 10 list who, in God's eyes, give much more than any other. There were many that day who gave more than this lady. She is honored for her smaller gift and her larger heart.
THE SELFLESSNESS OF HER GIFT ‑ She gave her security all that
she had to live on. Giving 10% makes absolutely no sense from an economic standpoint. People who do not give would see it as foolishness. What would you have said to the old lady as she offered you the two small coins, knowing that she gave away her last bit of earthly wealth. Would you have encouraged her to put the coins in her purse again or would you have received them? God will never fail those who put their trust in Him.
It is estimated that if the widow's mite had been deposited at the "First National Bank, Jerusalem" to draw four percent interest semi‑annually, the fund today would total $4,800,000,000,000,000,000,000. If a bank on earth could multiply the widow's mite to such an astronomical figure, think what treasures this dedicated woman will have in heaven where "moth and rust doth not corrupt."
J. L. Kraft, head of the Kraft Cheese Corporation, who had given approximately 25 percent of his enormous income to Christian causes for many years, said, " The only investments I ever made which have paid constantly increasing dividends, is the money I have given to the Lord. Pastors will do their greatest service in leading their men to understand the truth of God concerning the stewardship of time and money." John D. Rockefeller explained a great principle when he said: "I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 a week." There are notable exceptions. Says Fritz Kreisler, the world's distinguished violinist: "I never look upon the money I earn as my own. It is public money. It is only a fund entrusted to my care for proper disbursement. I am constantly endeavoring to reduce my needs to the minimum...In all these years of my so‑called success in music, we have not built a home for ourselves. Between it and us stand all the homeless in the world." From the beginning of his business career, John Wanamaker, merchant prince of Philadelphia, is said to have dedicated one tenth of his increase to the Lord. Likewise, William Colgate, the great soap and perfume manufacturer, rose to fame and wealth while consistantly paying a tithe of his earnings into the gospel treasury. This he recognized as the minimum requirement designated by divine wisdom; and year by year as God prospered his efforts and multiplied his wealth, Mr. Colgate gladly gave far more than a tenth. Today a great Christian university stands as a monument to his fidelity and generosity.
There are three kinds of givers ‑ the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. To get anything out of a flint you must hammer it. And then you get only chips and sparks. To get water out of a sponge you must squeeze it, and the more you use pressure, the more you will get. But the honeycomb just overflows with its own sweetness. Which kind of giver are you?
"The Lord loves a cheerful giver but He'll even accept it from a grouch!"
Once again it is the end of the year and every Christian organization badgers its constituents for funds to balance the year's budget. It is hard not to resent such pleas. But President Pearson of Miami Christian College offers us a sobering reminder to be patient:
"The trouble is, you are always asking for money. You are probably right. But let me tell you a personal story. I had a little boy; my firstborn. He was a delight to our hearts, but he was always costing me something. He needed clothing, shoes, food, and had special needs that I gladly provided, for he was my son. Then one day he died. It was an experience that I hope you will never have. He does not cost me a dollar now. Every need is an unfailing sign of life and growth. Body, mind and soul have their needs and they must be met continually. A ministry that is constantly in need of funds is alive and growing and going somewhere. A dead ministry has no need, and will not bother you."
Plenty of people are willing to give God credit, yet few are willing to give Him cash. (Quotable Quotations)
"Happiness is not based on money and the greatest proof of that is our family!" ‑‑Christina Onassis
For the Christian, the source of goals and objectives in financial planning is the Bible. In his tape series "Mastery of Materialism," John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, said that "sixteen out of thirty‑eight of Christ's parables deal with money; more is said in the New Testament about money than Heaven and hell combined; five times more is said about money than prayer; and where there are five hundred‑plus verses on both prayer and faith, there are over two thousand verses dealing with money and possessions." Obviously, the Bible has much to say about money management.
TITLE: Can't Take it With You
A rich man learned that he would die in a few days. He called his three friends: a doctor, preacher, and lawyer to his bedside. He said, "The preacher has told me that you can't take it with you, but I believe I have worked out a way so that I can. Doc tells me that I won't live long, so I have prepared three sealed envelopes, each containing $10,000. When I die, I want each of you to walk by the casket and drop in your envelope with the $10,000." A short time later, they attended his funeral and then met together. The preacher said, "I've got a confession to make. We've been needing to repair the organ in the church for a long time, and I took $2,000 out of Bill's envelope and used it on the organ." The doctor said, "This makes it easier for me, because I took $5,000 out and used it for my new clinic and only dropped in $5,000." The lawyer said, "Well, my conscience is clear. I did just what Bill said. I kept my envelope, picked up both of yours and dropped in a check for the whole amount of $30,000." Many people have tried to take it with them, but all in vain. ‑‑ Robert Cargill
A 38 year old scrub woman would go to the movies and sigh. "If I only had her looks." She would listen to a singer and moan, "If I only had her voice. Then one day someone gave her a copy of the book The Magic of Believing. She stopped comparing herself with actresses and singers. She stopped crying about what she didn't have and started concentrating on what she did have. She took inventory of herself and remembered back in high school she was considered one of the "funniest" girls around. She began to turn her liabilities into assets. A few years ago now Phyllis Diller made her first million. She wasn't good looking and she had a scratchy voice but she could make people laugh.
Years ago, a young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying a tiny baby in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination and when the blizzard had subsided the searchers found her body beneath a mound of snow. But they discovered that before her death, she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby.....when they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had mounded her body over his and given her life for her child, proving the depths of her mother's love. Years later that child, David Lloyd George, grown to manhood, became Prime Minister of Great Britain, and without a doubt, one of England's greatest statesmen.
Empty or Full
I gave them to Him
All the things I had valued so.
Until I stood there empty handed.
Every glittering toy did go.
And I walked earth's lonely highways
In my rags and poverty;
Til I heard His voice entreating,
"Lift your empty hands to me."
Empty hands I lifted to Him
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches
Till my hands could hold no more.
And at last I comprehended,
With my mind so slow and dull,
That God could not pour his riches
Into hands already full.
She was someone who was used to being cared for by society – to a degree.
Special Christmas offering – most expensive gift to God this Christmas