Subtitled “Relationships Are Matters of the Heart” this re-recorded message from November 5 Erma Tabernacle worship addresses the issue of loving relationships. Drawing upon Deuteronomy chapter 6 in the Old Testament and John chapter 13 in the New Testaments (references are in the video), we continue the Stepping In Faith series on generous living. There […]
Week 4 / Day 1 – Monday
“There Is Always a Way”
A poor widow comes and puts in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, [Jesus] says to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12: 42 – 44, NLT)
We are in the final week of these devotional thoughts adapted from the booklet by Bishop Robert Schnase, Practicing Extravagant Generosity. I hope these “nuggets” of wisdom have been as helpful to you as they have (are) to me.
Latin, Greek, and Hebrew do not play well in the modern-day English-speaking cultures. Even the church culture has lost some of its ancient vocabulary, sad to say. But we still hear the word “tithe” now and then. It simply means a tenth, and in a biblical context it involves returning to God 10% of what we have been given. Another term in the Bible is “first-fruits,” meaning that tithe/tenth/10% is to be given off-the-top not when the paycheck is gone. If the tithe is offered first, then there is still 90% on which to live and enjoy.
Like most good things in life, giving a tithe needs to become a practice, a habit, a way of life. For most people, offering 10% to God is not easy. It will take time to learn how to grow into it. There will need to be some adapting and changing – hopefully leading to an entirely new way of approaching life.
Bishop Schnase makes this (rhetorical) request: Name one person you admire and respect because of all they keep for themselves. But then he adds to name someone you consider generous and spiritually mature who constantly complains about giving or who always seeks to give the least amount required. The depth of one’s spirit will lead that person to give eagerly, expectantly, and extravagantly.
Through all the challenges and struggles we have in life, compare this to this extravagant generosity that goes against our prevailing culture. Where we find a desire to give – God will make a way. Giving helps us become all God wants us to be – and become.
Jehovah Jireh (God Provides),