March 7, 2018

Luke 21:1–6 (NLT) — 1 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” 5 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

I think sometimes we forget that the Lord is watching us as we go through our day. Some people live their lives to impress others > the rich in the above story. And some people live only to impress, and by that I mean to satisfy the Lord. Talking about giving makes a lot of people uncomfortable particularly giving to the Church. They are very eager to change the subject just like the disciples did here in this 21st chapter of Luke.

I believe that the giving example of the widow is crucial to one making it through tough times and even the end times. I think Jesus pointed out the widow to the disciples because he knew where the conversation was going. Jesus seems to look at what we have left after we give rather than what we gave. With what the widow gave she was saying that she had come to the point in her life where she was going to live by faith walking in obedience to the Lord. When you hold nothing back from the Lord you have nothing to lose if things go south.

My guess is that she had prayed and heard the Lord say that he wanted her to give all that she had; and so she obeyed. There was no holding back when she knew what the Lord wanted her to do. It didn’t matter to her what was going on around her she just continued to live for her Lord; and Jesus noticed and Jesus commended her and I believe Jesus took care of her although we aren’t told that in the story.

Now how does giving, the giving of the widow get us through end times? Well when we give and don’t hold back we are showing that living for the Lord is our top priority and that we are trusting him with the outcome of our lives. No matter what is going on around us we just continue day by day to live for him by giving. We give him our worship and praise and we don’t hold back. We give him thanks and we don’t hold back. We give others the love of God that the Holy Spirit has given us and we don’t hold back. We give this love regardless of whether it is appreciated or not. We are not looking for a certain response we are only looking to give.

We give out kindness and we don’t hold back. We give out patient endurance and we don’t hold back. We give out joy and we don’t hold back. We give out forgiveness and we don’t hold back. We have no problem giving tithes and offerings because like the widow we realize that the money isn’t ours, its the Lord’s and He is a giver!

We give sound advice and we don’t hold back. We give life giving words  and we don’t hold back. We give a helping hand, we share one another’s burdens, we give prayers on behalf of others and we don’t hold back. I think you all get the idea. Jesus looks at what we have left.

It doesn’t really matter if the times we are in are end times or not we just keep giving. Martin Luther said that if he knew the world was going to end tomorrow he would still plant an apple tree today. If the world ends tomorrow we are going to still keep giving today.

It is like the old Greyhound Bus slogan, “Get on the bus and leave the driving to us.” So we get on the ‘giving bus’ and leave the driving(the outcome) to Jesus.

I seemed to have rambled on today. I hope what I said made sense. Perhaps these next verses will clear up any fog.

Proverbs 11:25 (NLT) — 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 28:27 (NLT) — 27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

Job 29:13–18 (NLT) — 13 I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy. 14 Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban. 15 I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help. 17 I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and plucked their victims from their teeth. 18 “I thought, ‘Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life.

Isaiah 58:7–11 (NLT) — 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Be Inspired Hilltop!