Giving Graciously (Matthew 22; Mark 12)

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)

It’s interesting that Jesus taught more on money that he did on any other topic – including the combined topics of Heaven and Hell!  Why did he talk about it so much?  I think the reason lies in the power that money holds over us.

Money is deceptive in that it gives us a false sense of confidence.  Those who have a lot of money often believe that they are more powerful, more worthy of status, and more self-reliant than others.  Money has a way of making us believe that we don’t actually need God because we can provide for our needs with the work of our hands.

Money can be an idol in that we can be tempted to worship it as the source of our satisfaction in life.  We can fall into the temptation of believing that money holds the power to make us happy or to bring us stress, pain, and sorrow.  If only we had a little more, we think, we wouldn’t have to worry so much.

Jesus talked about money because of its innate ability to supplant our trust in the Lord.  The widow’s mite that Jesus spoke of revealed something about the poor woman’s heart: it was controlled by a trust in God.  She had come to the conclusion that God was her ultimate provider of everything – food, clothing, joy, purpose, etc.  Therefore she could give out of her financial poverty, trusting that God would provide for her.  Her gift was far more valuable than the gifts of the rich people because she exhibited a level of trust in God that they had only experienced in relation to money.

When it comes to finances, be careful that you don’t allow money to give you a false sense of security in life.  God wants our security to be placed in Him.  Only when that happens are we enabled to give back to Him graciously and generously.  A few months back I shared a sermon with our church on Giving Graciously.  You may want to check it out.

Lord, money can be so deceptive as it creeps into our hearts and causes us to believe that it is the source of our provisions, joy, and satisfaction.  Rather than believing the deceptions, help us to put money in its place; instead of trusting in it, help us to trust in You.  Thank You for providing for our needs to graciously and generously.  Help us to declare our trust in You through our finances.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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