Series: More Than Hips, Lips and Fingertips!
Week of March 10 -16, 2021
Aim: After studying this lesson, students will KNOW and RECOGNIZE the kind of giving unto the KINGDOM OF GOD that the JESUS CHRIST can and will notice. They will REALIZE the amount given counts far less than the heart attitude of the giver!
Once upon a time a pig and a chicken were walking down a village road. They came upon a church sign which was advertising a church bazaar and breakfast which would be held in a few days . At the bottom of the sign was the breakfast menu. It read “Ham and Eggs will be served from 6:30-8: 30 a.m.” The chicken got excited and said “lets help the church and participate in the breakfast. I’ll donate eggs and you can donate the ham!” The pig shook his head “NO!” When the chicken asked, “why not?” the pig replied your donation will be a contribution, but my donation will be a sacrifice!”
Many of us are like the chicken. . .we donate to the church while others make a sacrifice! A sacrifice is –
a) The offering of something that is precious
b) That has value and is important to you!
c) These are sacrifices. . .
John 3:16 (NIV) – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Genesis 22:1-2 (NIV) – 1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
d) Jesus is calling for us to make a sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 (NIV) – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Jesus wants more than hips, lips and fingertips! He wants a sacrifice. He wants our. . .
Last week our lesson was about a young maiden who, those insignificant to others around her, spoke a word about her God that brought healing to Naaman. This week let’s look at a woman who is willing to give her all to support the work of the church.
Point to Ponder: We pray “Thou kingdom come” but what are we doing for the Kingdom to come?
Luke 21:1-4 (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.”
Of all the nameless women in female biography, this most sacrificial widow is one whose name and background we would dearly love to know about. As we read the gospels her devotion always touches our hearts, and we are grateful that Jesus noticed the sacrifice and has preserved her story in the safekeeping of His praise and His Word!
The first people Jesus saw in the temple was not the widow, but the rich. There are but few instances of specific “rich” people in the gospels that Jesus met. First was the very sorrowful rich young ruler who claimed he kept previous commandments since youth but could not keep Jesus’ three present commandments in contrast to: “sell” all he had, “give” to the poor, and “follow” the Lord (Luke 18:21-23). Another was the converted chief tax collector Zacchaeus (Luke 19:2), who gave half of his goods to the poor and pledged to compensate fourfold those he defrauded (Luke 19:8). The third was a disciple, Joseph of Arimathaea, who asked Pilate for the body of Jesus (Matt 27:57-58). None of them got a bad name, a bad rap or a cold shoulder by Jesus. Jesus even loved the unrepentant rich, young ruler (Mark 10:21).
- Giving is obligatory for. . .
- the rich and the poor
- man and woman
- holy or hypocritical people
- Jesus had never accused the rich of giving to . . .
- flatter themselves
- flaunt their money or
- further their own causes
- He accused them of a life of greed, not for the lack of giving.
- Jesus was not against people who were rich, who became rich or who pursue riches
- If there’s any blame in the rich the blame goes to the lack of concern for the poor.
Luke 12:15 (NLT) – Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
Luke 16:14 (NLT) – The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him.
- He was against them for being
- Ungenerous to God
Deuteronomy 8:17 (NIV) – You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
- God himself is rich, abundant in giving, freely give us all things
Romans 8:32 (NLT) – Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
- The Lord is rich in mercy
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV) – 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
- He is abundant in goodness and truth, and abundant in grace.
Exodus 34:6 (NCV) – The Lord passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the Lord. The Lord is a God who shows mercy, who is kind, who doesn’t become angry quickly, who has great love and faithfulness 2 Corinthians 4:15 (NCV) – All these things are for you. And so the grace of God that is being given to more and more people will bring increasing thanks to God for his glory.
- The Occasion
- Giving Time
- Along the walls of the court there were receptacles into which the people dropped their gifts.
- Many who were rich cast in much and probably took no pains to conceal what they gave.
- The Scribes who devoured widows’ houses, getting all they could, doubtless paraded their giving
- The scribes were rich, but selfish – the widow, poor, but sacrificial
Mark 10:23-24 (AMP) – 23 Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who are wealthy [and cling to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed and bewildered by His words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is [for those who place their hope and confidence in riches] to enter the kingdom of God! James 2:5 (AMP) – Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters: has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and [as believers to be] heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? Deuteronomy 8:17 (NLT) – He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’
- You can’t beat God giving!
Malachi 3:10 (NIV) – Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
- The Omniscience
- As an Israelite the widow would have a knowledge of Hagar of old and of how she called Jehovah by the distinguished and comforting name – “Thou God seest me.”
- He knew all about her and the amount of her sacrificial gift. He knew she had given her ALL!
- She surrendered her all that day not thinking about anyone seeing how much, or rather how “little”, she gave but Jesus saw it!
Point to Ponder: What if the church did away with envelops and an offering tray is put on a “table” not an offering “bag.” PLUS, the Pastor stood and watched how much you put in the tray! How would you feel? Now remove the Pastor and let Jesus take his (her) place. . .how would you feel then? Point to Ponder: Have you ever considered that He (Jesus) is watching you give your offering? How does that make you feel? Would You do better in giving or would you stop coming to church?
- Her Offering
Three important lessons we can learn about “sacrificial” giving from this widow:
- SACRIFICE MUST COST US SOMETHING VALUABLE
- The widow gave out of her poverty. A sacrifice isn’t a sacrifice unless it costs you something. If it doesn’t hurt it is not a sacrifice!
- All the people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she gave out of her poverty and put in all she had to live on.
- She was not only poor. She was a widow. Yet she put in all she had to live on so that she could bless someone else.
Point to Ponder: Has following Jesus cost you anything?
- SACRIFICE CONSIDERS OTHERS BEFORE OURSELVES
- Why did the widow give the two coins ? Because she must have thought that there were some others who needed her coins more than she did!
- She considers the need of others before her own.
- SACRIFICE IS A CHOICE WE HAVE TO MAKE
1) What you become tomorrow depends on what you choose today!
1 Corinthians 16:2 (NIV) – On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) – 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.
2) Over against the show of easy service, Jesus placed the piety of self-denial.
3) The widow’s two mites represented her two hands that had earned the mites, and which would earn more for another sacred fraction for the God she worshipped.
4) Paul commended the churches of Macedonia because their deep poverty had abounded unto the riches of their liberality
2 Corinthians 8:1-2 (NIV) – 1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
5) It is not what we give but how we give that counts with Him who gave Himself for a lost world
6) The widow gave all she had at the time, and surrendered it gladly!
7) May we ever remember that our giving must be inspired by what we owe Him who redeemed us at such a cost!
Progress in the Journey. . .
Point to Ponder: Can you sing the following song and mean it?
All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now
All to Jesus I surrender
Make me Savior wholly thine
May Thy Holy Spirit fill me
May I know Thy power divine
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Ask God to help you become aware of those things that are preventing you from surrendering your all to him then work on it with all your might.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Be Christ’s example as a giver to those in need – either by giving directly or by directing them where to go to achieve their goal.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: The ultimate giver is Christ; share with others how this has affected you and can affect them.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Prayerfully consider what you can give and then do it with consistency and persistency.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as a daily offering because embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him regardless of how you feel about your worth.
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: God of Another Chance
SERIES: More than Hips, Lips and Fingertips
NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: John 8:1-11; Luke 7:37-39; James 3:17; Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22; Romans 6:23; Deuteronomy 31:9; Matthew 5:17; Psalm 40:8; John 5:45-46; John 1:17; Deuteronomy 13:9, 17:7; Matthew 7:1-2