THE PIOUS CHEAT AND THE POOR GIVES ALL

Mark – God is On Our Side!
 
Mark 12 moneyThis is still a phenomenon today. Most of benevolent giving comes from those who have much less in life than those who have much to give and give little…not even a tenth of what is God’s in the first place. People who give much have hearts who are aligned with God’s heart. They give from a place of love and gratitude for all He has done, is doing and will do in loving, protecting, providing and guiding them in daily living. They KNOW God. They love God with all that is in them.
 
The pious, on the other hand, give noisily so others will notice how good they are. Their reward stops there and lasts for a nano second. Those who give in secret, incognito, humbly will be forever rewarded by the One they love most. Yes, these verses tell us who Jesus admires and notices. We can learn much here if WE notice and recognize what pleases the heart of God. It is not how much but what is in the heart that trusts God to give all.
 
As we stop to for another “holy pause”, I don’t think this is just about the monetary offering we bring, is it?
 
Mark 12, NLT
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
35 Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said,
 
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’
 
37 Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.
 
Mark 12 not the show38 Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”
 
Mark 12 gave all she hadThe Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
 
43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
 
Going deeper still….
 
Now it was our Lord’s turn to ask the questions, and He focused on the most important question of all: Who is the Messiah? This is a far more important question than the ones His enemies had asked Him, for if we are wrong about Jesus Christ, we are wrong about salvation. This means we end up condemning our own souls (John 3:16–21; 8:24; 1 John 2:18–23).
 
Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 and asked them to explain how David’s son could also be David’s Lord. The Jews believed that the Messiah would be David’s son (John 7:41–42), but the only way David’s son could also be David’s Lord would be if Messiah were God come in human flesh. The answer, of course, is our Lord’s miraculous conception and virgin birth (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38). Mm….this got the crowd’s attention!
 
This section closes with two warnings from the Lord: a warning against the pride of the scribes (Mark 12:38–40) and against the pride of the rich (Mark 12:41–44). If a person is “important” only because of the uniform he wears, the title he bears, or the office he holds, then his “importance” is artificial. It is character that makes a person valuable, and nobody can give you character: you must develop it yourself as you walk with God.
 
Mark 12 giving.jpgThere were thirteen trumpet-shaped chests around the walls of the court of the women, and here the people dropped in their offerings. The rich made a big production out of their giving (see Matt. 6:1–4), but Jesus rejected them and their gifts. It is not the portion but the proportion that is important: the rich gave out of their abundance, but the poor widow gave all that she had. For the rich, their gifts were a small contribution, but for the widow, her gift was true consecration of her whole life.
 
HOLY PAUSE…
Pride of living and pride of giving are sins we must avoid at all cost. How tragic that the leaders depended on a religious system that shortly would pass off the scene. How wonderful that the common people gladly listened to Jesus and obeyed His Word. In which group are we?
 
Mark 12 widowRomans 12 (Paul’s letter to the church) reminds us to give all as Jesus taught his disciples and followers.
 
“And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
 
Mark 12 Offer my life to youOur behavior comes from what is in our hearts. Our behavior reflects then what believe. Are giving our all to please God or for the notice of those around us? Does our behavior reflect what we say we believe?
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
We repent of “showing off” at times instead of giving up all we have for your glory. Purify our hearts. Cleanse every dark corner and fill us completely with Your Holy Spirit. Continue to transform us to be all that is pleasing to you.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
And I’m singing to You, Lord…with a heart the loves you deeply…(By Dan Moen)
 
Mark 12 allLord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life
 
Things in the past
Things in the past
Things yet unseen
Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true
All of my hopes
And all of my planes
My heart and my hands are lifted to You
 
Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through
Use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You
As a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life…

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Embrace, Encouragement, Faith, Following Jesus, Forgiveness, Grace, harvest, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, insight, investments, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, relationship with God, repent, Revelation of Jesus, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, temptations, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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