What Are You Putting In?
Message No. 0574 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
Growing up in the village, my parents showed me the way to the church, and one of the clear signs of offering time on Sunday mornings was the harsh sound of coins being dropped in the offering plate by church members. Those who put paper currency money in the offering plates were very few, often consisting of people who came home from the cities. In spite of the apparent poverty in the village, my dad still carved out ten percent of his farm produce as tithe, which he gladly brought to the church.
Living in the city, the opposite was the case. Paper currency was more common as people marched to the pulpit, money in envelopes, to be prayed for, for honoring God with their tithes and offerings. We were probably happy that we could do ten times what the villagers were doing, not considering that income disparities could be hundreds of times.
In Luke chapter 21 verses 1 – 4, Jesus was watching as people dropped offering money in the basket. He saw the rich, with their jars full, putting money in, and he watched the poor putting in amounts that were clearly considered insignificant. One particular giver caught His attention: a widow who dropped a mite in the basket. It was the smallest denomination of the currency and would have sounded exactly as the coins sounded on Sunday mornings in the village. Then, Jesus shocked the onlookers by telling them that the mite of the widow was worth more than the jars of money put in by the rich. In verses 3 and 4, Jesus put it this way:
“Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
In today’s church, we debate in our minds how we would survive if we gave 10 percent of our income to God. We try to interpret 10 percent in different ways: is it 10 percent after deductions of government taxes or after deducting taxes and employee loans, or something else? We close our minds to the true definition because it suites us to. Have we even sat down to consider how much we are paying to the government in taxes? Aside from our income tax, we pay anything from 10 to 21 percent in so-called value added tax for almost everything we buy. Cumulative, The government could take, directly or indirectly, from our income, anything between 30 percent and 60 percent, in taxes, and we survive that, but we are scared if we could survive 10 percent for the church.
In most societies, when we go to eat in the restaurants, we not only pay for the food we eat, and the tax, but we also tip the waiters. This practice is instituted in many societies, and in some, it is given out of courtesy. I remember ordering food from my hotel room in a particular country and when the delivery guy delivered the food and I paid, I asked him to keep the change, only for him to speak in frustration saying that the tip was too small. I had to give him more money (LOL). We are glad to give 10, 15 or 18 percent in tips to waiters for one or two hours of satisfactory or excellent service, but we are reluctant to give only 10 percent back to the God who gave us the 100 percent that we spend from.
Are we back to the time when the sound of the coins in the offering plates in the village is worth more to God than the offerings we give in the cities? Think of it; if we Christians would all give 10 percent of our incomes to God, the church would be so rich that it wouldn’t need to raise additional funds to accomplish its goals. Let’s put legality aside, don’t we appreciate God enough to give Him 10 percent of our incomes when we give our governments 40, 50 or 60 percent?
I know that the subject of money is very unpopular today in the church, but it is nonetheless vital to the propagation of the gospel. In Luke 12:48, the Bible says to whom much is given, much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask for more. God blesses His children so we might be financial pillars in the church. If we all commit to giving our tithes today, we would witness a big boost to the abilities of the church to touch people’s lives and bring souls into God’s Kingdom. So, how much are you putting in that basket?
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!