Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Poor Give More

Mark 12:43-44

43 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.

Growing up I can always remember fondly, how poor folks always took care of each other. Whether it was swapping vegetables from their gardens, or sharing fish they had caught in the river, or wild game they got from the hunt in the woods, we took care of each other. What little we did have, we shared with one another.

I’ve experienced this same kind of resurgence recently in our community of faith with the people in my congregation. Sunday when I asked all of the unemployed to come to the altar, half the congregation came down. We gave away gas cards, paid light bills, groceries, and signed people up for job interviews after church. One of the most moving experiences as pastor was when I had more people who needed groceries than we had grocery cards for. The members responded by giving more money right there on the spot to help people get food to eat. The members responded by giving more money to help out. With half the people in the church not working they still gave more!

God sees our hearts when we give. There is not a time that goes by when Jesus doesn’t notice what we put in. In this text a poor widow woman puts in her last two coins in the offering and Jesus said, “She put in more than anybody else because she put in all she had.” Now mind you there were wealthy people putting in larger amounts than this poor widow but she gave more. Her sacrifice was greater. Many of us give but we don’t sacrifice. When we give it ought to come from our hearts and be sacrificial. God doesn’t want equal giving but equal sacrifice. This woman was poor but she gave more. Are you giving God your best or just enough to look good?

In the movie, The Grapes of Wrath, there is a poor family that is surviving the great depression. I love the movie because it shows poor people persevering and overcoming one of our nation’s hardest financial crisis. The mother in the movie says to her son, “I’m Learning one thing good..If you’re in trouble or hurt or in need-go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help—the only ones.”

The poor give more because:

1. They have a better sense of where their help comes from. If his eye is on the sparrow surely he watches over me.

2. They know what it feels like to need help. Matthew 5:7 You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘careful,’ you find yourselves cared for.

3. They know there is a greater reward coming. Blessed are the Poor for yours is the kingdom of God. Luke 6:20

4. The more you have the harder it is to let it go. It’s hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. Mark 10:25

5. They know God’s going to give it back. Luke 6:38

Dear God,

Help me to trust you like that poor widow. All that I have, I give it back to you, knowing that you will provide for me and my neighbor, because poor people help poor people. Thank you Jesus for becoming poor so that I could live abundantly. You blessed me to be a blessing and today I give myself away so that you can use me.

In Jesus Name,


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