Monday, January 14, 2019

Giving from the Heart - Martin Wiles

“I tell you the truth,”“this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. Luke 21:3 NLT
“If that’s the best you can do, you need to find another church.”
Jerry heard the words as the church treasurer handed him his annual tithing report—but he couldn’t believe them. Jerry had been injured and was out of work, but his disability hadn’t started yet. He gave what he could—including working in the church. He simply couldn’t afford to give what the treasurer thought he should.
When the treasurer slid him the report and made his cutting remark, Jerry took him at his word. But Jerry didn’t find another church—at least not immediately. The comment disillusioned him so much with church and Christians that he didn’t attend church anywhere for quite some time. I’m glad to report that Jerry is now back in church and doing well. He and his wife are regular attendees and hard workers.
Obviously, the church treasurer hadn’t read Jesus’ story of the poor widow. As Jesus watched people drop their money in the temple treasury, one poor widow deposited two small coins that represented everything she had to live on. Jesus’ conclusion? She gave more than those who gave more.
Some of those whom Jesus watched gave legalistically—by the letter of the law. But for Jesus to say what He did means some gave with improper motives. Others could see the money and the expressions of the givers while Jesus could see their hearts.
God is more concerned with why we give than how much. I can give a legalistic amount and God not recognize it—or give me credit for it—because I gave with improper motives. I didn’t give cheerfully, or I gave because I wanted recognition—like many of the religious leaders.
My gift expresses gratitude for what God has done for me through Christ. I can never repay Him, but my monetary gifts help the church do its work of serving others and spreading the gospel. Judging others by the amount they give isn’t my place. My responsibility is to look at what I contribute. Do I give it gladly, do I give it expecting nothing in return, and do I give a reasonable portion of what I earn? If so, God is pleased with my gift—whether anyone else is. And He’ll never tell me to go somewhere else if that’s the best I can do.
Whatever you give, give it from the heart.

Prayer: Father, we offer our gifts to You with cheerful attitudes, open hands, and willing hearts.  

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