Sacrificial Giving

 

Mark 12:41-44
“Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which makes a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, ” Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

I want to propose to you a question. Are we giving of our whole livelihood unto even our poverty? In other words, are we making a sacrifice anywhere in our lives to advance the Kingdom of God?

Now, we can look at this verse and we can say, ” well, it’s definitely talking about money”, and you would be correct that money was part of the sacrifice here in this text. But, lets concentrate on the last three words of the text so we can see what the text is really about. …..” her whole livelihood.”

This poor widow came to the treasury that day and brought with her all she had. When she reached the treasury, she, without hesitation cast all she had, all of her livelihood into the treasury . Why? Why would she do this? Her actions show us that in doing this, she trusted in the Lord’s providence. She trusted that the Lord would care for her and would not let her go without. She BELIEVED Psalm 23:1 ” The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” She BELIEVED Psalm 37:25 ” I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” She had faith in her God to care of her as His word promises that He would. She sacrificed because she trusted the Lord.

There are many area’s of life that we can sacrificially give, money is but only one area. Time in caring for others, witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, feeding the poor, taking care of the widow, building for the homeless, etc….the list can go on forever and ever as there is much to be done to advance the Kingdom of God. Giving at church is important, and a lot of the time that may be a large sacrifice and take a lot of trust on our part towards God. So how do we learn to sacrifice more?

In prayer and meditation on the will of God, I had to ask myself and talk to the Lord much about what He wants me to do and how to do it. Sometimes it’s hard to follow the will of God and trust in Him because that means that we’re not in control. And as humans, our flesh does NOT want to surrender. So how did the widow do what she did? How did she make such a sacrifice? And how do we learn to do the same?

First, she gave of herself to the Lord. 2 Corinthians 8:5 say’s ” And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.” Also, she gave with a willing mind. 2 Corinthians 8:12 say’s ” For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” Finally, she gave as she had “purposed in her heart” and gave “cheerfully; not grudgingly or of necessity”. 2 Corinthians 9:7 ” So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

What caused the widow to make such a sacrifice? Her love for the Lord. Her attitude for self denial stemmed from her want to please her Father. She was a selfless person and in so being, did not take into account as to whether or not she could afford the gift she gave…she just gave, because she loved. Because she loved, selflessly, she gave all…sacrificially.
Too many times the term ‘widow’s mite’ is attributed to a trifling contribution. To give a ‘widow’s mite’, one must give all of his livelihood.

What sacrifice in giving are we making today? Are we so self consumed and absorbed in the web of the world’s systems that we have forgotten about our neighbors? the needy? the sick? or even our own families? Have we become careless with our blessings and become wasteful to the point of sin and neglect?

Few are willing to practice self denial, few are willing to reach out and look out rather than in. Few are willing to give, much less sacrifice.

Search your heart, pray that the Lord search you as well ….and practice…someone may be counting on you. May the Lord bless you and strengthen you in your giving and sacrifice.

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