#71 God's ATM
Text: Mark 12:41-44; Matthew 6:1-4
Summary: The story of the widow's mite teaches us to give to God humbly, not to be seen by others.
Prop: two pennies
Look what I'm holding in my hand. [two pennies] Is this a lot of money? No. You cannot buy much with only two pennies. Today I want to tell you about giving to the church. Do you ever give money to the church?
When it is time to take an offering in church the ushers come down the aisle with a plate that we place our money in. That money is used to help tell others about Jesus. In Jesus' day they did not take up a collection in a worship service the way we do today. The temple in Jerusalem had a treasury building nearby. Think of it as a bank where money is stored. When someone gave money to the temple they would walk up to the treasury and toss the money into a large collection bin or basket. Think of it as God's ATM (automated teller machine).
Sometimes a very rich person would want to show off. If he was about to put a large amount of money in the treasury he might have someone blow a trumpet to attract attention to him. Today this would be like someone donating a large amount and putting his or her picture in the local paper.
[Read Matthew 6:2,3] Jesus said when we give money to the church to do it quietly and humbly. We do not need to attract attention because God knows how much we give. God knows everything. God knows whether the amount we give is given cheerfully and whether it is as much as we should give.
[Read Mark 12:41-44] Jesus told his disciples that even though the poor widow only gave two mites (about five cents in USA currency ), she had sacrificed more that those who put in a lot of money. Those two mites were all she had. She had given everything to God.
Whenever we do something for God let's put our whole heart into it and do the very best we can. When we give money let's give because we love God and want others to hear the good news about Jesus.
©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
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