Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
We read something of our Lord Jesus Christ’s teaching about “giving” in Luke 21:1-4 and Mark 12:41-44.
“Giving” is passing over ownership of something that is yours to somebody else, expecting nothing from them or anyone else in return for doing it.
We all use shops most days of the week. We spend our money in them, buying food or other things we need.
When we put money into our church offering it is different from shopping because we are not going to take away anything in exchange.
This general principle is from 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. The church there was going to help believers far away. They heard about their special need and they gave.
From the gospel readings above:
Think about these five Christian ways to give:
Give in the sight of Jesus. In the Jerusalem temple, Court of the Women, our Lord watched people dropping money into “13 trumpet-shaped containers in the walls”. He always sees everything, even today.
Give worshipfully. Regular offerings were made as religious people came to pray. Two trumpets were for temple taxes. The other 11 were for voluntary gifts, some for a particular purpose, others not. Giving is a gift of God. 2 Corinthians 8:7. Believers are to be extremely good at it.
Give sacrificially. Compared to people who donated large amounts but who left plenty for themselves, this widow chose not to keep anything herself and give every last penny to God’s work. She only had an extremely small amount of cash, but she held nothing back. What an example.
Give, even if it is only a little. From God’s standpoint this widow had given Him the most – more than anyone else. She was disadvantaged by being poor and by being a widow. “She had almost no legal, religious, political or social status”. But, her next to nothing was everything!
Give, in total trust and commitment to God. Until she worked again this widow may not eat. She relied on ‘Father in heaven’. Her money, like her life, was on the cross.
Drawn from MacArthur Study Bible ESV (Crossway: Illinois) 2010, p. 1453, 1518.
Africa Bible Commentary (Word Alive: Nairobi) 2006, p. 1193, 1245. Authors – Joe Kapolyo, Zambia; Paul John Isaak, Namibia.