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I love Mondays - Generosity

We have been talking about prayer
Alone Time!
A Succesful Biblical Life is connected to a successful Biblical Life
Meditation & Praise
Today we want to deal with generosity.
For the first time as a Pastor and I think ever…
I am going to preach about money!
Generosity: the quality of being kind and generous.
Mark 11 and 12 has so much movement in it .
Jesus is confronted by:
Chief priest / Elders / Scribes / Pharisees / Sadducees / Herodians
They were trying to challenge his authority
They were trying to find ways to trip him up!
Asking Him about paying taxes to Caesar
Asking Him about the resurrection
They wanted to know which commandment is the greatest?
Mark 12:38–40 ESV
And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Remember this all happened in one day in Jerusalem in the temple!
Mark 12:41 ESV
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
The court of the women (Hebrew: עזרת הנשים Ezrat HaNashim or עזרת נשים‎ Ezrat Nashim) was the outer forecourt of the Temples in Jerusalem into which women were permitted to enter…
William Barclay
In the Court of the Women there were thirteen collecting boxes called ‘The Trumpets’, because they were so shaped.
Each of them was for a special purpose, for instance to buy corn or wine or oil for the sacrifices.
The vessels used for sacrificial worship were required by the Torah to be made of gold or silver.
In addition, there were stocks of priceless curtains and priestly garments, and virtual warehouses of flour, oil, grain, wine, incense, and other valuable products.
Unlike the other tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi possessed no land.
In place of land, the Levites were responsible for superintending the temple, which accrued great quantities of wealth in the form of dues, taxes, and donations of valuable objects and money (2 Kgs 12:4)
Many people threw in quite considerable contributions.
Just for the record…
The church has expenses…
We are a non-profit organization with business expenses.
Vision Talk: Our prayer is to have full time employees with benefits.
Retirement / Health insurance / 401B / Dental
I want to retire.... Not die in the pulpit because I couldn’t retire....
Luke said it like this
Luke 21:1 ESV
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box,
#1 “Watched the people putting money into the offering box” - “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts”
Watched and saw
Jesus sees where are money is going.
He knows how much money we have and where it is...
The Bible said Jesus positioned himself opposite of the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box!
“Many rich people put in large sums”
In Bible times the method of giving was for people to come and offer their gifts publicly, and often they did it with a great deal of demonstration.
There was much applause when the gifts were large, and less when the gifts were smaller.
Rich people....
Jesus’ first problem with wealth is that it tends to displace God in the lives of wealthy people.
Luke 12:34 ESV
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Our treasure is connected to our heart…
Luke 18:21–25 ESV
And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus went on to say that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Quite often the Rabbis talked of an elephant trying to get through the eye of a needle as a picture of something fantastically impossible.
The whole tendency of possessions is to shackle our thoughts to this world.
Our stake in it becomes so big that we never want to leave it, and never think of anything else.
It is not a sin to have much wealth—but it is a danger to the soul and a great responsibility.
Imagine being wealthy but shackled
Being wealthy but not well!
Mark 12:42 ESV
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.
“ A poor Widow”
Rich people.... VS. A poor widow
A poor widow means that a few things have transpired
The Sadducees and other religious leaders controlled the judicial system, which barred women. When a woman’s husband died, therefore, she couldn’t do anything to protect her family’s property from being seized “legally.” How wicked. Jesus condemned these religious scam artists in no uncertain terms (Mark 12:38-40).
Mark 12:40 ESV
who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
#2 neighbors neglected their obligation to help poor widows.
She was a widow! abandoned by the religious systems
Neglected by her neighbors
Mark 12:43 ESV
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.
Mark 12:44 ESV
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.”
Real giving must be sacrificial.
The amount of the gift never matters so much as its cost to the giver; not the size of the gift, but the sacrifice.
Real generosity gives until it hurts.
For many of us it is a real question if ever our giving to God’s work is any sacrifice at all.
Few people will do without their pleasures to give a little more to the work of God.
It’s interesting to note!
That it was three days before the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus…
Luke 2:46 ESV
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
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