Sermon on February 16 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 12:38-44
You are what you keep! Money both exposes us to danger and reveals what is really in our hearts.
In a culture where money speaks:
1. JESUS SEES WHAT WE LOVE! (v38-40)
- Money can change the way you think about you
The scribes are an example of the power of money over our lives.
“…give me neither poverty nor riches. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God?” (Prov. 30:8-9)
- Money can finance your allegiance to the kingdom of self
This week I’ll either look to King Money for my hope and peace or serve King Jesus with my decisions.
‘You know, Paul, we’re doing ok and we weren’t expecting this money. Why don’t we give it ($100 unexpected gift) to a family that is less fortunate?’ (Luella Tripp)
2. JESUS KNOWS WHAT WE GIVE!
- Some give a lot because they have a lot (v41-42)
The rich gave out of habit and excess – not out of sacrifice.
‘..on Cain and his offering, God did not look with favor’ (Genesis 4:3a)
When you give, do you do so cheerfully or grudgingly and does it cost you?
- Some give all though they have little (v43)
All the widow has is two small coins – 1/64th of a denarius, a day’s wage for a laborer.
Jesus pays no heed to the impressive but spots the true devotion behind our giving.
‘Abel also brought…fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock…and the Lord looked with favor on him and his offering’ (Gen 4:4)
Before you give, think – is God worthy of your worst, or your best? Your least, or your most?
3. JESUS WANTS WHAT HE GAVE! (v44)
How can 2 cents be worth more than 2000 euros? 2000 out of 20 000 is a factor of a tenth. 2 out of 2 is one.
This widow gives out of her life (bios is a Greek word for ‘life’). She does not know if there will be another two cents tomorrow, but is wholly assured that the Lord will provide.
Our model for giving, greater than the widow, has to be Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 8:9)
Remember! You are no more and no less than what you are keeping back.
Are you still an unbeliever in Jesus? How can you give in a way that delights Him, until you give Him your life?
Are you in His family? Are you giving until it ‘hurts’, not to get more blessing from God, but to bless His kingdom and others?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Why does the Bible have a lot to say about money and our attitude towards it?
- Why is Jesus impressed with the widow who gives a smaller amount than even one rich person? Read Genesis 4 and the account of Cain and Abel. What is the gift that each chose to give that led to God’s response, or something deeper?
- How can knowing God’s purposes for money help us to avoid loving it? Does sacrificial giving or even faithful-ness obligate God to bless us? Why or why not?
- How might a person who actually gives 10% every month fail to please God? How has this widow’s giving chal-lenged your idea of giving to the work of the kingdom and others?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Carlos Paes