Faithlife Sermons

2019-06-26 Mark 12.41-44

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Mark 12:41–44 CSB
41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had—all she had to live on.”

I. What does God really expect from you?

Mark 12:41–44 CSB
41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had—all she had to live on.”

A. Our view of commitment, and God’s view of commitment are vastly different.

Mark 12:41–42 CSB
41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little.
Illus: We are given a picture of two distinct people. Honestly can’t you imagine it in our church today.
The first is the BIG giver. This is the person who you can count on to keep the budget going. This is the person who you make sure and invite because well, he has money.
I cannot tell you how many times people in numerous churches have looked at me and said, “Wes, make sure and greet them, they are big tithers.”
The second is the more impoverished person. This is the person that you will tolerate, but may not go out of your way because they are just not as upper as your crust.
I can tell you that I have seen a difference in the way a person gets treated in our church based on whether they live in a mansion, or a trailer home.
Jesus points out that the rich man is giving out of His surplus, while the widow gave all that she had.
Follow me. Most of us give to God our left overs. We give God the left overs of our money, of our time, of our lives.
We do this feeling pretty good about ourselves, because at least we gave something, or our left overs are pretty substantial.
Jesus highlighted that a whole hearted comitment
Jesus wants more than a substantial commitment, he wants a costly sacrificial commitment. The widows gift mattered because it was costly.
1 Chronicles 21:18–24 CSB
18 So the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go and set up an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 David went up at Gad’s command spoken in the name of the Lord. 20 Ornan was threshing wheat when he turned and saw the angel. His four sons, who were with him, hid. 21 David came to Ornan, and when Ornan looked and saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me this threshing-floor plot so that I may build an altar to the Lord on it. Give it to me for the full price, so the plague on the people may be stopped.” 23 Ornan said to David, “Take it! My lord the king may do whatever he wants. See, I give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering—I give it all.” 24 King David answered Ornan, “No, I insist on paying the full price, for I will not take for the Lord what belongs to you or offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

B. God expects everything.

Mark 12:41–42 CSB
41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little.
Illus: it is noted that she gave 2 coins. why is that important. One commentary state that two shows that she could have held some back.
Jesus highlighted that a whole hearted commitment the widow made.
Let’s be truthful. Our commitment to God and to his church does not resemble to a relationship of dependence and sacrifice.
If there is one word I would use to describe our current commitment it is the word convenient.
We will give what is convenient to God.
We will follow the commands that are convenient to our lives.
We will serve in the bride of Christ, the church, when it is convenient.
We will love our neighbor when it is convenient, or we will love the neighbors who are convenient to our lives.
God does not ask for a convenient commitment, he demands a sacrificial commitment.
Deuteronomy 6:4–5 CSB
4 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

II. What does God really value?

Mark 12:43 CSB
43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

A. Money serves as a powerful indicator of who we really are.

Mark 12:43 CSB
43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
Illus: Our story today is about money, but it about much more than money too.
Money is a medium. It is neutral… but what we do with our money shows what we value with our heart.
For example, money does not cause drunkeness but we can spend our money to get drunk.
Money does not produce Godliness, but it does show whether we value God or not.
Let’s look at it on the light side… if you spend half your paycheck on taco bell, what does that say about your money?
When you give to the church, the difference between giving from your surplus to giving sacrificially shows who you are deep down.
1 Timothy 6:6–11 CSB
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.

B. Why does God who can create the world out of noting expect us to give?

Mark 12:43 CSB
43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
Illus:Simple fact… God, if he chose to, could fund every church supernaturally. He is the God of the cattle on a thousand hills.
Why then does he call his people to give. Why not handle it on his own.
Giving is an act of faith. God uses giving to grow you.
The call to give is part to provide for the church and part to mold you.
This is a major point of the passage…Jesus was not disparaging the rich from giving much. He was exposing that they were not giving enough to make it an act of faith which would lead them to depend on God.
The widow on the other hand had a heart so in tune with God that she trusted God. Her giving was an overflow of her faith.
God calls you to give for your good. He calls you to give to learn to depend on Him.
1 Kings 17:8–16 CSB
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Get up, go to Zarephath that belongs to Sidon and stay there. Look, I have commanded a woman who is a widow to provide for you there.” 10 So Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow gathering wood. Elijah called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup and let me drink.” 11 As she went to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I don’t have anything baked—only a handful of flour in the jar and a bit of oil in the jug. Just now, I am gathering a couple of sticks in order to go prepare it for myself and my son so we can eat it and die.” 13 Then Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid; go and do as you have said. But first make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterward, you may make some for yourself and your son, 14 for this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the surface of the land.’ ” 15 So she proceeded to do according to the word of Elijah. Then the woman, Elijah, and her household ate for many days. 16 The flour jar did not become empty, and the oil jug did not run dry, according to the word of the Lord he had spoken through Elijah.

III. What can we learn about faith?

Mark 12:44 CSB
44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had—all she had to live on.”

A. Faith requires radical steps of dependence on God.

Illus: What describes your giving: Faith or convenience? What describes your life: faith or convenience.
God calls every person to sacrificial faith. We live in a convenient faith… but convenient faith is not real faith.
The most difficult step of faith is stepping out of convenience and into sacrifice. It is in sacrifice that faith becomes real.
Philippians 4:10–14 CSB
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. 11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. 12 I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 Still, you did well by partnering with me in my hardship.
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