Jesus & {Your?} His Money: Part 6 - Money: Give it Away!

September 29, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement

This is the sixth in a series of reflections on Jesus’ teaching about money and wealth in the Gospels. Randy Alcorn, writing in The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving, says, “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic – more than his teachings on heaven and hell combined” (p. 9). How does Jesus want us to think about money? How does the Gospel affect our attitude toward the use of money? Join me on this multi-week exploration of what Jesus teaches about money.

So far, in our reflections about money, we have considered primarily Jesus’ attitude or perspective about money. 1. Money has the power to become a consuming treasure of the heart; 2. As such it is poisonous to one’s relationship with God; 3. Therefore, when one comes to find God as the greater treasure, one’s attitude toward money changes; 4. In the end, money becomes a tool to magnify the worth of God.

How does Jesus commend money as a tool to magnify the worth of God? By giving it away!

One of the prominent commands of Jesus regarding our money and wealth is the command to give it away. He commanded the rich young ruler to give his wealth away (Matt. 19:21). In another context, Jesus gives the same command to all his disciples: “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy” (Lk. 12:33).

Not only does Jesus command that we give away wealth, but he also commends those who do. Zacchaeus was commended for committing to give away his wealth (Lk. 19:8-9). But it wasn’t only those who were wealthy that Jesus commends. Consider this story of a poor widow:

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41-44)

What is Jesus drawing attention to here? How does giving magnify God?

1. It’s not about the abundance of your gift but the sacrifice of your gift. Jesus commends the widow for giving out of her poverty all she had to live on. When we give and it “hurts” we’re saying that something is more valuable that our money. This widow lived out this principle. Giving to God was more important to her than having money to buy a meal. How about you? Are you comfortable in your giving? Or does your giving demonstrate that you value God above everything else?

2. Giving away your money is a declaration of dependence on God. The opposite is also true: clinging to your money is a declaration of dependence on money. By drawing attention to the widow’s sacrifice, Jesus implicitly is drawing attention to the One in whom she trusts (interesting that American money has “In God We Trust” marked on it). If the widow doesn’t have money to take care of her, who or what will take care of her? You probably would say you trust God, not money. How does your use of money demonstrate your trust in God? Do you give in such a way as to say you trust God more than money?

Jesus is silent about how much we ought to give. The amount is not the issue. Jesus commands his followers to give away money because he wants us to find greater joy in trusting God. May you and I find greater delight and hope in the all-sufficient God and, as a result, become more generous with the money God has entrusted to us.



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