The Offering and Beyond

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 13-15; Mark 12:28-44


41 Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. 42 One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. 44  All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44, Common English Bible).

The problem isn’t just students. I wish it was. Once graduation happens it is, “I have all those student loans to pay back (not knocking the student loans. I am still paying on mine). Then it becomes (even before the student loans pay off), I need a new car. That is followed up by, “Well, I am married now. Two mouths twice as much and I still have my student loans and car payment, plus I now have the significant other’s car payment and a mortgage. Soon, a child or two or three or four compound the problem, got to pay for their college now. After that, “I have to get ready for retirement.

Over and over and over, we find excuses to not give back the share God calls us to give. It is said, we don’t start giving offerings and gifts until AFTER we have given our tithe. Until we have given a tenth of our income to the work of God, to the Church, we are simply working up to our obligations.

I love the Church. I love doing what I do. I love most of the work, except the administrative tasks. I get them done but that doesn’t mean I have to like them. There is one I dislike more than all the rest, trying to figure out how the church can live and work and minister on the money placed in our offering plates. I have worried about not paying our denominational support. I have stood in front of a congregation and said, “If something pretty miraculous happens in the offering today, we will not meet payroll this week. The Church needs the offerings to make the work of ministry happen in the world around us.

In the lesson above, the widow trusted that God would take care of her. She gave, not a tenth, but all she had so the work of ministry could continue. She did all she could so God’s work could continue.

There is an old story that there was a man who was a faithful member of a congregation. His parents not only taught him to tithe, they taught him to take the money he gave as first fruits given to the glory of God. In other words, Give to God they taught, and everything else would fall into place.

One day the man came into the preacher’s office and said, “Pastor, I have always been a tither.”

“I didn’t know, but thank you for making me aware of that.”

“Well, I have been, but I just got a pay raise at work. I am thankful and all but I am looking at what I give and giving a tenth off the new salary, that’s a lot of money.”

The pastor agreed. It was a lot of money. But then, he steps in, “Can you come join me in the sanctuary?”

The man agreed but was asking why.

When they reached the chancel the preacher said, “Let’s kneel at the communion rail and pray.”

“What are we praying for.” The man asks.

“Well I think since you can’t afford to tithe off of your new salary, but could off the old one then it seems to me, you need to make less money then you could afford to tithe once again.

The man was dumbfounded. He simply said, “I will see you Sunday, Pastor.”

We are called to give ten percent. We are called to tithe. Work toward giving a tithe.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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