“They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on” Mark 12:44.
But along the way came a Canada wide financial crash with bloated interest rates that threatened the loss of this building. In the midst of this my father came to be senior pastor. He was known for strong, loving pragmatic leadership and he called for thoughtful giving from everyone.
“They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on” Jesus’ words in Mark 12:44.
The church building we meet in every Sunday – and throughout the week, was a wonderful statement of vision that our earlier leaders had. When Chilliwack was about 40,000 people, we built to seat 1000 – one of every 40 people in town. Awesome! But along the way came a Canada wide financial crash with bloated interest rates that threatened the loss of this building. In the midst of this my father came to be senior pastor. He was known for strong, loving pragmatic leadership and he called for thoughtful giving from everyone. As the congregation pulled together with proportionate giving, the results showed in the above chart written in my dad’s handwriting. Let’s never take this facility for granted!
In the bible passage quoted above, Jesus was commenting on the temple offering made by the poorest of the poor – a widow. He said that proportionately she had given the most of anyone that day. How important this is for the life of the local church! When everyone gives proportionately – 10% whether they are rich or poor – it tells everyone that they have a part to play in the well being of the church. One of the problems that James spoke to in the early church was that of fawning on the rich and overlooking the poor in services, and in this way saying that money is what’s important rather than the heart for God.
Not only is proportionate giving good for the church, but it is also good for me and you. Jesus said that you can’t serve both God and money – one of the two will win us over. When we give thoughtfully to the Lord’s work, we are saying that God – not money – is our provider. A powerful statement in a materialistic culture.
My brother was chatting with the family about giving to the Lord. The boys were young then and he asked the seven-year-old: “What do mom and dad get when we put an offering in the plate?” His son said: “You get change back.” As he thought about it, my brother realized how true this is. As we learn to give to God, we change, and we give God a chance to provide for us!
This widow was taking Jesus’ prayer literally – ‘give us this day our daily bread.’ She was saying “Lord, I’m yours – I’m trusting you to supply!” Can He who supplied the Israelites with manna for 40 years; who filled the oil jars for the widow of Zarephath; who brought water from the rock - also provide for you? Yes He can – give Him a chance!
Pastor Leon Throness
This coming Monday, December 4, we release the latest Encounter podcast with your two new elders – Jon Freeman and Micah Galmut. Hear their spiritual story, what has led them to leadership in our church and what their dreams and prayers are for our church. Just go to the CAC website, click ‘resources’ and then ‘podcasts.’
If you would like me or one of my Encounter team to lead your care group in an Encounter session, just send me an email at email@example.com.