Tithing, Tithes, and Offerings. The age-old question: How much should we give? Who does our money belong to? Who do we belong to? Study the “Widow’s Offering” an example of generous giving. It’s not about how much you give monetarily; it’s about the motivations in your heart.
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How much to give?
As “growing together... building faith” gets under way, many will be asking, “Just what is my part?”
Actually, this is a question that only you can decide. No effort will be made in this campaign to tell any person what he/she should or should not give. That decision is between is between you and God.
Some ways to determine our commitment:
· Large enough to represent a real sacrifice.
· It must grow out of prayer.
· It must be part of your very life.
Our commitment should show our willingness to do without something we had planned to have. – NUMC
Dr. Blair Monie often tells the congregation that:
“The church’s need IS NOT as great as your need to give.”
The word “Tithe” comes from the Greek word “Tenth.” The Bible often mentions giving a tenth or as we now call a tithe. Giving a Tenth is where you should try to start! This 10% is not a tip. Sorry, you can’t buy your way into heaven either.
Often we give God our leftovers of time and money and not our first fruits (tithe).
MAKE ALL YOU CAN
SAVE ALL YOU CAN
GIVE ALL YOU CAN
So far my attempts to give a full tithe have most often failed.
Our desire is not that others might be relieved
while you are hard pressed,
but that there might be equality.
At the present time your plenty
will supply what they need,
so that in turn their plenty
will supply what you need.
Then there will be equality,
as it is written:“
He who gathered much did not have too much,
and he who gathered little did not have too little.”
2 Corinthians 8:13-15 NIV
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make grace abound in you
so that in all things at all times,
having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work.
As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 NIV
The Widow’s Offering
Mark 12:41-44 NIV
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins ]worth only a fraction of a penny.
43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Let’s look at the background of the widow in Bible times:
· A widow was a woman without a husband due to the husband’s death or by divorce.
· Widows were dependant on the charity from the Temple and from Temple worshipers (where they would “beg” for money.) The Temple was a good place to beg for hopefully worshipers were in a “giving spirit” after worship. Some (but definitely NOT all) worshipers wanted recognition for their giving out of PRIDE!
The Pharisees in the Temple were the ones, which “devour” the widows and their homes:
38As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, 39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers.
Such men will be punished most severely."
Mark 12:38-40 and then continues to the Widow’s Offering.
45While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
Something to Think About?
The Pharisees in the Temple were the ones, which “devour” the widows and their homes. The widow gave all she had to the Temple – to the corrupt Temple leaders! She gave her “offering” to the very people who had cast her out of her very home; the very people who had made her destitute!!! Why would she give her “last penny” to the very to help support these corrupt, illegitimate officials in the Temple???
Many of the Pharisees were corrupt and were illegitimate (they had been appointed by the Roman governor) BUT their unfaithfulness did NOT affect the Widow’s devotion and integrity! The Widow continued to have Hope and Faith in God. The Widow gave the “very best,” the Widow gave ALL that she had to the LORD!
In the Gospel of Mark this comparison of the Pharisees and the Widow’s Mite sites the HUGE difference in the Widow’s humble devotion and her humble Mite (penny) and the pretentious Pharisees giving. The Pharisees could put in large pretentious offering from the ill-gotten gains from selling the Widow’s home.
The money that the Pharisees were putting into the offering came from destitute, poor, homeless women!
Widows and the Poor would lose their homes (Unfortunately much like today’s times 2009-2010 Recession) due to owing high taxes, back taxes, exorbitant high interest, defaulting on loans for food, etc., which was against the Law of Moses. Property could not be sold and the Levites the priestly class could not own property, But the Pharisees would repossess homes and property by circumventing the Laws; disobeying the Laws – DISOBEYING GOD!!!
The Widow had Devotion to God that would not lose Hope, Devotion that would NOT be discouraged or dissuaded. The Widow was sincere in her Heart; the Pharisees were not!
“Such men will be punished most severely."
On My Soapbox
I got the expression “On My Soapbox” from our dear friend, Olyn.
Olyn would often use this expression when he had “something to say” his commentary.
From 2009 – 2010 greedy, illegitimate, corrupt “BANKERS” devoured exorbitant unsustainable mortgages for millions of hard working families who sincerely wanted to purchase a home.
Many of these good people lost their homes; their homes were devoured by the Bankers. The Bankers “devoured” these people’s homes while the corrupt Bankers gave themselves exorbitant MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BONUSES!!!!!!
And our tax dollars (our offerings) the tax dollars from the evicted homeowners actually pays for the Banker’s MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BONUSES!!!!!!
In NO way am I trying to be political, picking sides between Democrats and Republicans. This is NOT an endorsement for either party. This is NOT to be divisive… But this is a good time for all of us as a Nation to come together!
A one-dollar bill met a 20-dollar bill and said, “Hey, where have you been? I haven’t seen you around here much.”
The twenty answered, “I’ve been out at the casinos, went on a cruise and did the rounds on the ship, back to the United States for a while, went to a couple of baseball games, to the mall, that kind of stuff. How about you?
The dollar bill answered, “You know, the same old stuff, church, church, church.”