Luke 21 widow mites – how to give

May 1 2024

Book: Luke

Luke 21 widow mites - how to give

Bible Passage: Luke 21

Who in our church is our best giver.
I’ll give you a hint.
Their initials are SE
When you hear the word “giving” what do you think of?
(allow time for some responses)
A lot of people do tend to think about money when they hear the word giving.
A lot of people also think about money when they think about churches.
Have you ever heard someone say (or perhaps you have said) “churches just want your
money”?
Joke: Two men were marooned on an island. One man paced back and forth worried and
scared while the other man sat back and was sunning himself. The first man said to the second
man, “aren’t you afraid that we will die here?” “No” said the second man, “I make $100,000 a
week and tithe faithfully to my church every week. My pastor will find me.”
There’s a lot more to giving than just money.
Let’s consider the lives of Mary and Joseph for a moment. They were chosen by God to be the
parents of the Savior of the world. How did they react?
Mary replied saying “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever He wants.”
Joseph was still willing to take Mary as his wife, despite the fact that the baby she was carrying
was not his.
They could have been selfish and said “this is my life, and I’ll do what I want.”
They trusted God and were obedient to Him.
Here is how I would like us to define “giving on purpose”:
“Using God given abilities to manage God given resources, to accomplish God’s purpose.”
God has given us all different resources, and although they vary from person to person, they all
fall into one of 3 categories:
1. time
2. talent
3. treasure
Let’s take a moment to look at these three areas:
1. Time – Do some people have more time than others? No, we all get
24 hours (or 1,440 minutes) in a day.
7 days (or 168 hours) in a week.
365 days, or 52 weeks (or 8,736 hours in a year)
The only different is in how we choose to manage our time.
2. Talent – Do some people have more talents than others?
I think the amount and type of talents vary from one person to another, but we all have talents.
Some of us use them while others ignore them.
3. Treasure – Do some people have more treasure than others?
It does vary from person to person, but again…a lot has to do with how well we manage it.
We all give our time, talents, and treasure to something, but do we give them on purpose?
How do we give on purpose?
II Corinthians 9:6-8
1. We must give sacrificially (v. 6)
Consider the ham and egg breakfast – the chicken contributes, but the pig gives sacrificially.
Luke 21:1-4 – widows mite
2. We must give without expectations (not reluctantly)
“I’ll give, but I better get something in return”
3. We must give gladly (v. 7)
This all sounds good, so what keeps us from doing it?
Most likely we’re afraid of one of three things:
1. We’re afraid of giving up the control.
Sometimes we’re a lot more like children than we realize.
Have you ever noticed how children think when it comes to toys?
If it’s mine, it stays mine, if it looks like mine, it’s probably mine, if I played with it, it’s mine, if I
played with it and set it down and walked away, it’s still mine.
Even as adults, we often don’t overcome our childish ways.
Joke: the roof of the church hall of a little Swiss church, at the turn of the 20th century, was
falling down. So the members of the church held regular prayer meetings in the hall after the
service to pray for funds to repair the roof. There was an old man, known to be very tight with
his money, who used to attend and sit near the back of the hall. He could sneak out just before
the collection plate came around at the end of the prayer meeting. One Sunday, he got held up
talking to someone in the hallway before the service and could only find a seat at the front of
the church. During the prayer meeting, a piece of the roof fell and hit him on the head. Feeling
spoken to by the Lord, he stood up and said “Lord, I’ll give 1,000”. A voice at the back of the
church was heard to say, “Hit him again Lord!”
2. We’re afraid we won’t be rewarded for our giving.
3. We’re afraid that our giving won’t make a difference.
We justify not giving, because we don’t think what we can give, will matter.
We think if our giving won’t make much of a difference, we’ll just leave it to somebody else.
Who in our church is our best giver. I’ll give you a hint. Their initials are SE
Our Best Giver
Someone Else
Illustration: A church that had an ongoing problem with people not giving of their time, talents
and treasure, printed the following notice in their weekly bulletin. “We are all saddened to learn
of the death of one of our church’s most valuable members…Someone Else. Their passing has
created a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Someone Else has been with us for many years,
and for every one of those years, did far more than a normal person’s share of the work.
Whenever leadership was mentioned, this wonderful person was looked to for inspiration as
well as results. “Someone Else can work with that group.” Whenever there was a job to do, a
class to teach, or a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone’s list…Someone Else. “Let
Someone Else do it” was a common refrain heard throughout the church. It was common
knowledge that Someone Else was among the largest givers in the church. Whenever there
was a financial need, everyone just assumed that Someone Else would make up the difference.
Someone Else was a wonderful person, sometimes appearing superhuman, but a person can
only do so much. If the truth were known, everyone expected too much of Someone Else. Now
Someone Else is gone, and we wonder what we’re going to do. Someone Else left a wonderful
example to follow, but who will follow it? Who will do all of the things that Someone Else did?
Remember, we can’t depend on Someone Else!
How do we overcome these fears?
1. Realize that it all belongs to God
We are not owners, but simply stewards.
Everything you have came from God, and you get this awesome privilege of borrowing it.
Use your stuff wisely.
It’s easier to give, when you recognize who it all belongs to.
2. Resist selfishness
Mother Teresa said “if you only give what you can do without, then you really haven’t given
anything.”
3. Rely on Christ
God promises to meet our needs, not our greeds.
When you loose your grip on money, God begins to miraculously provide.
When we begin giving on purpose, God begins to bless like never before.

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