Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mark 12:41-44 comments: out of your abundance or out of your poverty?

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 living.

Rather than telling you to give your entire paycheck to Christ’s work and destroy your testimony before your creditors and your family I believe this is a lesson of proportions. A person can give much but it is a small thing in consideration of what they have and another person may give what seems like little and it is all they have.

I am reminded of recent news stories that suggested that statistically poor people give far larger proportions of their incomes to charity than rich people although the rich give substantially more in terms of overall dollars.

When you think of gifts of not only money but time and energy you can see people who devote a huge amount of time to serving the Lord. A person working two jobs who manages to take time to witness, hand out tracts, or even street preach has certainly given more of his or her time than a retiree who devotes the same amount of time in actual minutes and seconds although both get blessed.

Here, as I said, is a lesson in proportions. This should keep us from judging each other’s contributions. This widow’s small amount of money represented a much larger gift than all of the abundance the wealthy were putting in. We should be careful when we presume to make judgments on another person’s work for Christ. This scene also makes one realize how much effort a pastor who runs a business, is head of a family and has a home to take care of, and still maintains the responsibilities of a pastor makes. He provides an example for all of us.

Another thought this scene brings to mind is the example of one person’s total trust in and dependence on God for their survival. Very few of us are willing to surrender all to Christ even though that is the rule set. God will bless abundantly those who trust in Him completely. It may not be in the world’s way but it will certainly draw them closer to Him and the grace He freely bestows on His children. Once again, you can’t outgive God.

To the Jews under the Law He said;

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

To the Christians under the doctrines of Grace this bears repeating from Paul;

2 Corinthians 9:6 ¶ But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

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