SMCC Stewardship Series:. GIVING. IN THE GRACE ZONE. Core Passage. Mark 12:41-44
IN THE GRACE ZONE
13 treasuries in the court of women in Herod’s temple.
All Israel came to deposit taxes, tithes, and offerings.
Each treasury was said to correspond to alphabetical name.
These boxes had a cone-like funnel, not unlike old RCA record players.
Large deposits in these boxes no doubt attracted a lot of attention.
Dr. Jeremiah indicated that copious givers were known as “zingers.”
Little doubt that many showboats would convert their offerings to the lowest denominator for maximum theatrical impact.
Jesus observed many rich people at the temple that day, and one poor woman.
The word to describe this woman equates to “pauper.” She was equivalent to a beggar.
God knows our circumstances, our struggles, and the resources at our disposal.
Many people today attempt to hide behind our circumstances.
What kind of circumstantial excuses do we make or frequently hear today?
The widow, out of love, gave all she had despite her circumstances.
Jesus tells us specifically what the widow put into the treasury.
The mite, as we know it, was a Greek lepton. This mite equated to 1/128th of a day’s pay (denarius) and was the smallest denomination of currency.
CA Minimum Wage = $8.00/hr
Standard Workday = 8 Hours
$8 x 8 = $64
1 Mite = 1/128th Day’s Wage = $.50
2 Mites = A Buck
The poor widow put in everything she had, surely realizing the gravity of that action.
Whether two mites or twenty million dollars, these resources are given to us by God and should be viewed as such across the full spectrum.
A young man came to his pastor, telling of how he’s struggling to continue to tithe now that his income tripled.
The pastor prayed with the man: “Lord, please reduce this man’s income back to the level where he could be faithful to you. Amen.”
Jesus makes the startling statement that the widow had put in more than what was given by the rich, turning worldly math on its head.
They gave out of their abundance.
She gave out of her life.
Jesus encouraged the evaluation of her offering based not on what she gave, but what she had.
If we are not willing to give back from that which God has entrusted us, what do you suppose will happen?
God’s law of gravity has application for us in this discussion.
The greater the mass, the greater the pull it has on us, eventually sucking us in and making us indistinguishable from it.
Acts 4:32 – 5:10
Giving is not just putting something in the offering plate. It is an act of worship to God.
Everything we have is from the hand of God.
We cannot freely accept God’s open-handed gifts if our fists are clenched on what we already have.