GIVING CONTEST Sunday 3 April
Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.” (Mark 12:41).
READ: Mark 12:41-44
Besides believing God and obeying His Word, another thing you may be require to do is to give your all. The widow who gave her two mites is an example here. Unfortunately, her giving has been grossly misinterpreted even by preachers to mean ‘giving your least’, when, in context, it means ‘giving your all, even in the time of your greatest need’. One of the most important things to do during your time of favour is to give sacrificially as it will give you access to unlimited blessings. One lesson from today’s passage is that just as the Lord sat to monitor what and how people gave at the end, He gave a verdict on the best giver, so also does God scrutinize every giver and act of giving in churches today. Do you know that at the end of every offering, Heaven picks candidate for the first prize, second prize, third prize, etc.? In today’s passage, a poor widow won and you can be sure that after the Lord’s commendation, poverty would forever be banished from her.
Have you ever won a price for bounteous cheerful giving? You may say, ‘Yes’, because you once made the largest donation in a particular fun raising drive, or because you paid the biggest tithe on a particular Sunday. But your assessment may not line up with God’s. So, the poorest widow who gave the least offering emerged the winner on that day? The criteria Heaven will use to determine the winner includes: whether you are giving out of your abundance or out of your need. In other words, after giving, what do you have left? Other criteria are: Do you have something to fall back on? Is your giving sacrificial or out of convenience? What is your motive? Is your objective to be seen and applauded by men or to glorify God? Is it done in faith or without faith? Is your giving with or without understanding? What is your post giving attitude: does it reflect expectations from God or not? Do you grumble, murmur and complain to one or two people about what you gave, or you worship and thank God for the opportunity to give? What is your general attitude to giving vis-à-vis God’s expectations? As you make amends and give well from today, you can be a winner of the giving contest in your local assembly and even beyond its walls!
Those who give the fattest offering are not necessarily Heaven’s star prize winners.
Bible in One year: Isa. 22-24