Mark 12:42-44 “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 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: 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.”
This area of giving is a stumbling block for many people.
The local, Bible-believing, New Testament church operates solely on the giving of its people. Whether it is to sustain those working in her outreach ministries to maintain the property, it takes money to stay operational.
Many know of the tithe, or tenth, commanded by God to be given to the church.
Genesis 14:19-20 “And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
Melchizedek, the king of Salem, came to Abram and blessed him after he had won a great victory in the battle to save Lot and his family. Then, Abram offered a tenth of it to the priest, Melchizedek, of the spoil that taken.
In the Book of Malachi, God makes it very clear.
Malachi 3:10-11 “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. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Tithes and offerings should be given weekly.
1 Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.“
Some may say it is only an Old Testament teaching. But that is not the case.
2 Corinthians 8:12-15 “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.“
In God’s economy, it should not be that one prospers while others starve. God made provision that all are sustained. Not that each would be precise as the other. But, none would lack.
All men need to work. It is in that work we prosper. In that prosperity, we give back to the One who gives us the ability, keeps us and sustains us in work, and allows us to show our gratitude through our giving of freewill offerings.
Preachers may ask to “give until it hurts.” To raise funds for the needs of the church, we may get zealous beyond biblical commands. The sacrifices we make to give should be first, from a willing mind.
It should then be given first out of duty (tithe), then out of love (offering).
Jesus’ revealing the widow’s giving shows us that her heart was to give her all from her heart. In comparison, it would be like you and I giving our whole paycheck, taking nothing.
Though hers seemed small in comparison, the principle Jesus taught was vital.
Equal sacrifice, not equal giving.
Money is just a tool. If we allow it, it can become our god.
How we give and what we give can be very revealing. We must make sure this area of our lives is in line with biblical teaching. Once settled in our hearts, we can be at peace, knowing we have done our part.