Thinking about money – Hope 103.2

Thinking about money

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsSunday 17 Nov 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes

Transcript:

Money is important. That may sound overly obvious to all of you. After all,in our society money is considered to be the ultimate measure of success. It is almost,if not actually,worshipped in our culture. People count their personal worth by how much of it they have. People look up to those who have lots of it regardless of what that person is like.  Money causes loads of trouble in marriages,and many couples break up over the issue. Money is important to us.

Someone once said that,”Money talks – It says bye-bye.” I’m sure there is some truth to that statement. Probably all of us feel that we have heard those words as we have spent our hard earned money.  But did you know that money talks in other ways as well? It speaks about our relationship to God,and what we value. What does it say about you?

In Mark’s gospel chapter 12 we read one day that Jesus sat near the Temple treasury,and “watched the people as they dropped in their money. Many rich men dropped in a lot of money. Then a poor widow came along and dropped in 2 little copper coins,worth about a cent. He (Jesus) called his disciples together and said to them ‘I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others. For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she,poor as she is,put in all she had – she gave all she had to live on'” (Mark 12: 41-44).

Why was Jesus standing around watching what people were doing with their money? Because He is interested in what we give. Jesus was interested in what the people were giving and He is interested in what we give because money talks. What does money say about you? If Jesus watched you give,what would His opinion of you be?

Because of Jesus’ action of observing the multitude as they gave,it should be obvious that God cares about our giving. What we see Jesus doing that day,God does all the time and in all things. He sees our giving and our living as well. The point of Jesus making a deliberate effort to observe the giving habits of these people is that God is interested in our giving.

Now,the subject of money is a touchy one for some people. But it should not be.  Our use of money impacts our life in many areas. Anyone who is serious about following the Lord must take his giving seriously. God certainly does. How do you give? For example,do you tithe? If Jesus were to observe your giving today,what would His opinion be? Jesus watched those who gave to the Temple treasury because God cares about our giving. He cares about our giving because He cares about our spiritual welfare. Giving is being like God. Giving displays our love for Jesus. If we do not give God’s way,our spirits dry up. Our fellowship with God is broken,and we take ourselves away from the place where God can bless us. On the other hand,if we are faithful in our giving,God has promised that He will “open the windows of heaven” and bless us with a blessing until there is no more room to receive it.

Did you notice that Jesus not only observed their giving,He observed how much they gave. God not only cares about our giving,but also cares about how much we give.

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Notice what is happening here.  Jesus is sitting at the Temple treasury,observing those who are giving. At the Temple treasury were thirteen brass treasure chests,into which people put their contributions. These treasure chests were called “trumpets” because they were shaped like trumpets.  The money people dropped in (they did not deal in currency in those days) could make quite a racket. Because of this method of giving,some who wanted to make a show of their giving could easily do so. And while Jesus rebuked such an ostentatious show,He never rebuked the giving of large gifts.

Our Scripture says that He saw many rich people come along and put in very large sums of money. As they did this,He didn’t say a word. He simply observed. Then there came along a widow. Our text says she was a “poor” widow. She had with her two coins. Depending on the version of Scripture you are reading from,she had two “mites,” or two “copper coins.” Actually,they were called lepta. Lepta means “thin one.” They were some of the least valuable coins of the day. It is difficult to translate their value in modern terms because all things are not equal. Our text says they were worth about a cent. To her,they were valuable. These two coins represented approximately a day’s wage for her. Furthermore,Jesus reveals that these two coins were all the money she had. They were all she had to live on. Yet,this widow came and dropped both the coins into the Temple treasury. She gave all she had. She could have kept one of the coins. I believe it’s significant that our Scripture reveals that she had two. Certainly a contribution of fifty percent of all you have would be a worthy gift indeed. But she gave,not fifty percent,but one hundred percent. She gave all. And when she did,Jesus could not keep quiet any longer. He had not said anything when the rich gave great sums of money. He had merely observed. But when this widow gave all she had,Jesus became animated. He turned to His disciples and He said,”Truly I say to you,this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury. They gave a tiny part of their surplus,but she,poor as she is,has given everything she has”.(New Living Translation- v44)  The widow’s giving impressed Jesus. It impressed Jesus because of how much she gave. God cares about how much we give.

What she gave was all she had. What she gave cost her. What she gave was a sacrifice. And Jesus commended her for it. He must have been excited about her act of generosity.

How generous are you?