She Put In Everything She Had

This article is part 4 of 4 in the series Giving

   It was just a small country church. The elderly minister had always prayed for just two things: WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING. God had blessed him with this, as with Solomon of old.
   One of the members who attended his small church was very rich. He had climbed his way ‘up the corporate ladder’ and was now CEO. He attended church every week. One Sunday afternoon, they had a ‘dinner on the ground’, and the old minister sat with him. He said to him, “I know giving is a private matter, but I have just wondered why your contribution has not increased over the years?” The rich member replied, “Well, when I was beginning, we were giving about 15% of our income. It was hard, but we enjoyed giving it. But now that I have ‘made it big’, it’s just not reasonable to give that amount.”
   They finished their meal, and were ready for dessert, and the minister asked him if they could have a brief prayer… They bowed, and he began… “Dear God, I praise your Name for the way you have followed this man’s career with favor. You have showered him and his family with blessings which, at the beginning could not be imagined. Please Lord, return him to the beginning days, when he was just a low entry workman. Reduce his salary to the level then, where he can give liberally as he once did. After all Lord, you have never been interested in the amount which one gives, just the proportion and the attitude of the heart where the gift comes from. Bless him that he can once again become generous as he once was. Amen”
   Paul said, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
   GIVING IS A GRACE, NOT A LAW. Yet principles and laws apply, like the one mentioned above. While tithing is an Old Testament law, and Christians are free from this. Christians grow BEST UNDER GRACE, than under law. Giving is individual, and private. Be careful in judging the motives and hearts of others. Don’t threaten, or guilt Christians into giving. It won’t (and shouldn’t) work. Just encourage brethren to GROW IN GRACE, and let them enjoy the whole process.
   Jesus said,  “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). “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).

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