WHEN GIVING IS NOT ENOUGH
MARK 12: 41-44:
What if we are told that what we are giving is not enough?
Maybe you already gave your best, you have given everything, but are we giving enough?
How we could truly measure our giving?
Because the gauge of the world of how much you give is on the amount, it’s the quantity, it is on the range.
The world recognizes that you are a giver because you are known, you are exposed, and you are popular.
But God defies the norm of this world in giving but let him teaches us that it is not in the amount of what we give but rather how much value we put on what we give.
THE WIDOW STORY
In the reading of Mark 12, Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and he began observing the people putting money into the treasury, and many rich people were putting the large sum.
A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which could amount to a cent.
But it was interesting that the poor woman found favor when Jesus highlighted to his disciples that among all the people who put in money on the treasury, it was the poor woman who gave the more.
GOD’S EYE ON THE GIVER
Our giving cannot be hidden from the eyes of God. He is observant.
Every penny, every offering, every giving that we are doing is known to the Lord.
That is why, whatever we give in charity with a smile, cheerfully and coming from the heart will not be put in vain.
He knows how much we give and the more, He knows how we value every act of giving we are doing.
QUANTITY OVER QUALITY
There are two important characters in the story. The rich who have given the large sum and the poor woman who had given only two copper coins.
On the first thought, we can say that it was the rich man who gives more. Because in comparison to the amount, the rich put in more.
But let us understand that God doesn’t look into the summation but on the percentage. How much percentage are you giving? Because if we will dig down into it, maybe you are only giving a portion, an excess from the whole bunch of what you have.
But the percentage of what the poor woman gave was 100 percent of what she owned, out of her poverty, put in all she owned.
God look at what you have and what you give to determine the level of your giving.
A ten dirhams from a poor man is a sacrifice but this ten dirham is an insult from a rich man.
That is the reason Jesus was impressed on the giving of the poor woman because she gave without reservation.
She had given everything, with trust and dependence that her God is the God who is more than enough.
Because in giving, the measure is not on the quantity but rather on the quality.
In Genesis, we know that God regards the offering of Abel rather than of Cain. Because Abel offering was the best and God pleases on his act of worship to the Lord.
GOD SETS THE BAR
The woman illustrates of what God has done.
God has given everything without reservation, without regret and hesitations.
He has given us His only Son because of His great mercy and love for the mankind.
God set the bar. Jesus has given us an example of what a true measure of giving is.
God’s giving was a sacrifice. Jesus became the sacrificial lamb for many.
He loves the world so much that He gave his only begotten son.
Giving all what you only got and so dear to you is painful. It’s hard to let it go.
Giving is a sacrifice. In every sacrifice in the olden days entails shedding of the blood on the altar.
If you are giving without any feeling of pain, then think about it.
That is why you feel pain every time you give because what you are offering means a lot to you. It’s enough to augment your other needs, but you need to give it anyway because it is a sacrifice.
And sacrifice is not only about money. Maybe you are a mother waking up so early to prepare food for your children are an act of sacrifice. It’s giving your time.
Maybe you’re a priest, a minister, a religious, a public servant. You are truly giving your time, talents and even your treasures to help is a pure giving without expectations of any material returns, or people appreciation.
But when you give, you don’t give to people. Your giving is being seen and counted by God. He will be the one giving you the reward.
GIVING TO GOD AS AN ACT WORSHIP
Many of us thought that to worship is just to sing and exalt God during a worship service.
But worship means to honor God and acknowledge His worth, His value to us.
If we know whom we value, if we understand that honor belongs to God, then it should not be difficult for us to give what is due to God.
Giving should be a joy that we are giving out from what we received from Him.
But it is sad to say that instead of joy, it becomes a burden for many.
Understanding what tithes and offering means should give us light to understand that it is not for God’s benefit but for our benefit.
WHAT IS TITHES
Tithes are the tenth of our gross income. Tithe means tenth.
In the old bible testaments, they don’t deal with money as a form of commerce. They deal with their products like wheat and their livestock, their oxen, a bushel of corns and etc…
On that period, when they give, they set aside one ox for every ten oxen, a bushel of corns for every ten bushels of corns. A portion of every product they had.
What they set aside is considered as holy unto the Lord. It does not mean it is clean alone but it is consecrated and become exclusive for God’s use.
God has exclusivity on every offering that belongs to Him and He takes it seriously.
In fact, when we use the tithes, the scripture says that we have to return it with interest. It is one-fifth of it or 20 percent. Does this mean God is so concerned with the money? No, but He wants to re-emphasize that it is”mine” and this is not “ours”. Lev 27:31
In addition, He emphasized that not giving tithes is robbing Him and curses is upon those who do rob him.
Lev 27:30-33 the Lord says that all the tithe of the land of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree is the Lord; its holy unto the Lord. for every tenth of the herd or flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. He is not to be concerned whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it, then both it and the substitute shall become holy. It shall not be redeemed.
Do not think that we are helping God out. If you don’t have money and I give you one hundred; then I said to you give me the ten does not mean that you act like a rich and you enrich me since, at the start, the hundred is mine.
The same principle applies, God owns everything and God is asking us to give him back the tenth of what we received from Him. But rather, we act like we own it.
We become loyal paying our tax but not with giving back our tithes.
Tithes teach us the discipline and faith to be a true disciple. This gives us the ability to have accountability on every penny and every blessing we received.
TEN NOT LESS
Ten is symbolic of the whole.
Ten is the minimum but not limited to.
Our numerical system is based on ten. The highest number we can count is up to ten. When you count from 1 to 10, then 11 to 20 means you starting again to count another set of 1 to 10. Then twenty-one means you start again from one and so on…
If you can count one to ten, then you can count even up million. Because millions is a group of tens.
The tithes are symbolic of the whole. The ten represents the ninety, and the ninety is in the 10. God consecrates the ten and He blesses the ninety.
It is in this principle that Jesus represents all. When He died on the cross, he died for all and when He resurrected, we all have life because of Him.
Jesus act of sacrifice represents the whole body of the Church.
When we give the tenth of our gross, we declare that everything we received from Him is His; because the ten represents the ninety. But God is good that because of the ten He got as covered and there are promises on that.
The tithes become our covenant with God. God does not only blesses the tithes but even the ninety.
FROM GROSS OR NET
Many ask from where they will refer there giving, from the gross or from the net.
We understand that when we received our income, what remains is the available amount after deductions. There are deductions for taxes, mortgages, loans and so on.
But frankly, when we applied for a loan or tax exemptions; we declare our gross income. It is only when we give tithes that we suffer from memory loss.
In Leviticus 27:30, God says that all the tithes of the land, of the seed of the land or the fruits of the trees, is the Lord; it’s holy unto the Lord.
It should be set aside; it is His and is exclusive for God’s use.
In Malachi 3:10 it says that we should bring the whole tithes into the storehouse so that there may be food in God’s house.
INTO THE GOD HOUSE
We have to bring the whole tithes into God’s house.
IT’S OBEDIENCE AND NOT THE MONEY
What blesses God is not the money but the obedience we have in God.
God is not broke and doesn’t need anybody’s money. He owns everything.
What He gets from our giving is the obedience.
Because our obedience becomes an expression of worship.
Our giving becomes a sacrifice of worship because of our obedience.
Obedience to God proves our love for Him, demonstrates our faithfulness to Him, glorifies Him in the world, and opens avenues of blessing for).
In 1 Samuel 5:22 “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices / as much as in obeying the Lord? / To obey is better than sacrifice.” Why is obedience better than sacrifice?
THE PROMISE BEHIND GIVING
When we think that we took advantage by not giving what is due to Him, we are wrong.
In fact, it is us who steal the blessings that suppose we have to receive.
We deplete the grace that is about to release to us for our benefit because God has nothing to lose. It is us who have so much to lose.
It is the only verse I know that God is challenging us to challenge Him. In Malachi 3:10, He says that we challenge Him now on this.
He said to test Him, to provoke Him, put Him on the corner on this giving of tithes. And pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
He will open the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
We cannot outdo God in giving. But He is challenging us in this if He will not remove the barriers on your financial blessings, on the favors that are long-time stored for us.
Our obedience has a promise. It’s the key to open the floodgates that were dammed out and closes the flows of blessings in our life.
A BLESSING OVERFLOW
God will pour out a blessing overflow.
He did not say He will pour out many blessings but said “ a blessing”.
There is one thing that God will give you.
It could be one favor, one person, one talent, one gift, one job, one business, one opportunity that when it’s given this will be the source of your overflowing blessings.
Do not be stingy.
Never be so tight be your tithes because it is not God who losses.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—1 Cor 2:9
Do not rob yourself with the blessing because if we only knew that “one” thing God could able to give, we will be overwhelmed. We will be amazed because truly it is. No doubt that our God is an amazing God.
Believe me, it is for our good.
May your happiness be full,