Today our pastor preached the fourth sermon in our month long Choose stewardship campaign. The four topics were Invite, Belong, Serve and Give. This morning’s sermon was on giving, looking at the story of the widow’s coin in Luke 21.
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)
You decide, are these two giving out of their wealth or poverty?
It was an excellent sermon, encouraging us to give generously and delight in God’s blessing in our life as we serve Him with our time, energy and finances. I was struck by the picture of Jesus visiting the temple and observing people as they placed their gifts in the offering.
“What would it be like to have Jesus watching you as the offering plate passed by?” I whispered to Tim, my eyes wide at the thought.
“Um,” Tim’s expression was a bit puzzled, “Kathy, He is watching you.”
Ouch. Somehow the image of Jesus sitting next to me and looking at me while I take and pass on the offering basket was very convicting. Thinking of Him searching my heart and counting all the treasures I’m storing up here on earth, brought a flush to my cheeks.
Maybe we’ll find all those missing socks when we get to heaven.
This afternoon we watched a portion of one of our favorite family movies, FlyWheel. Flywheel, produced by the church that filmed Facing the Giants, has a low-budget but an incredible message. I encourage everyone to go out and find a copy of this movie! It is slow in places and the acting “raw” but the transformation of the main character, as he decides to trust God with his whole life, is remarkably powerful.
Early in the movie the family attends church together. When it’s time for the offering, the father takes out his envelope, makes sure it is EMPTY, and then very carefully places it into the basket. His wife sees him and shakes her head with disgust.
If someone were watching…
Jesus sees what I do with my time and my money. The scriptures are full of promises regarding rewards the Lord will give those who are faithful, loving, and generous. Do I trust His Word? Do I believe the treasures I can store up in heaven are worth more than the temporal things of this world?
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:26-27)
It was a day full of conviction and challenge. What would it look like, I wondered, if I gave sacrificially, loved with my whole life, and said “Yes!” to the Lord? Am I willing to be stretched? Do I believe He is watching?
Project 365- Day 273