I guess the world has always needed money; even well before money was invented. Possessions have always been a measure of wealth.
Some people have a lot of money, some have very little, and most people have just enough to get by. But it is what we do with the money we have that is most important.
Some people think nothing of going to a concert and pay $50 or even more per ticket; or buy fashionable clothes or other luxury goods without batting an eyelid. We live in a materialistic world more so than at any time in history. Statistics show that people change their cell-phones on average every nine months or so; and throw away clothing after about ten washings, or feel entitled to holidays abroad every year, or luxury goods or whatever else temptations throw our way.
But when it comes to making a donation in church, they hesitate.
How much should we give in the church collection on Sunday? $1? $5? $10 or more?
Do you realise that if a small church has only 300 regulars and every one donating $1 all they will get is $300 a week? Hardly enough for the up-keep of the church and other expenses.
Some people believe you should donate 10% of income; but that is relative. If you earn $1500 a week then $150 could be a lot of money out of your budget.
There's the adage that we should give what we can afford. But what is that really? Remember what Jesus said about the poor widow?
"Jesus 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. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
But is that really feasible? It is hardly wise to give "all you had to live on" - but Jesus makes His point.
We should give what we can afford from the heart. Not just give grudgingly because we have to, or because it is expected of us. We need to consider what we require for ourselves and our families and then give what we can afford beyond that.
And two more things to consider:
* It is not just money that we can give. We have all been given talents by God. Whether it is intelligence and skills to be a scientist or doctor or whatever, or talents in music, the arts, sports and so on; we all have skills that we can share and give to others. None of us would have got to where we are today without the talents bestowed on us by God. And it is our responsibility towards others to help them where we can. "Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do." Matthew 7:21.
* We cannot buy our way into Heaven. Many believe that by being very generous, altruistic even, they are gaining many stars and good points on their passports into Heaven. God cannot be bought. Not with money, with lit candles and flowers, repetitive prayers and sacrifices or by anything else. What He asks of us is that we believe in Him; and His Son Jesus. We have all been given enough faith to believe in Him. Whether we use that faith or not is up to us.
This bit is important: we do not believe in God because we want to enter Heaven. Our invitation to Heaven is guaranteed and has been bought by Jesus. We believe in God and we trust Him because He has asked us to. And according to our belief we respond positively to His R.S.V.P.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." (John 14:1).
(OTHER VERSIONS: "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." "Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me.")
Amen, my friend, Amen! Well said.ReplyDelete
Thank you and God bless.Delete
Without God and His Son in my life I would have nothing. He has supplied all that I need and more. I love God and His Son and all of creation. God bless you with all God has for us in Jesus.ReplyDelete
I agree Brenda; God above all in our lives.Delete
...money is a necessary and dangerous thing.ReplyDelete
Yes, it always has been so, Tom.Delete
Having the Lord in our lives is beyond worth, Victor. When we have Jesus, we have all the wealth in the world.ReplyDelete
Amen Martha. So true.Delete
God bless you and yours.
I'm so glad to be at a point in my life where possessions and trying to 'one-up' the other guy means little. Presently on a fixed income, we give to the church what we can afford -- together with the gift of time and service.ReplyDelete
That's the right attitude, Mevely. We give of our time, and our kindness, as best as we can afford. Often a smile is worth a fortune to someone in isolation.Delete
God bless you always; and thank you for your friendship.
Well said and so true, Victor!ReplyDelete
Many thanx my friend.Delete
God bless, Bill.
Yes, our wealth and happiness ought to be our Faith!
When asked in Indonesia why we were always so happy and teaching as if was our first time. My reply was: It is because of our Religion and our Love for Each Other.
According to our faith is our eternity.Delete
God bless, Mariette
We tithe at our church and God has always supplied our needs, not wants, but needs. :)ReplyDelete
Yes, some churches here also practice tithing.Delete
God bless, Happyone
We give because it is a joyful thing to give.ReplyDelete
Amen Mimi. God bless.Delete
I do give what I can and I kept my last cell phone for over five years! People trade their cell phones every nine months? Wow, that seems like a waste.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is a waste; but here in the UK people go for new models all the time. My cell-phone is so old the instructions are in Latin.Delete
God bless, Manny.