2. Sacrificial giving is hard! In Luke 21:1-4, you can read the story of the widow who gave an amazing gift. This happened shortly before Jesus’ death. Jesus was at the temple watching people put their gifts into the temple treasury. As he watched, a poor widow walked up to the collection box and gave two small copper coins as her offering. Although this was a small gift, so small that most people would just sneer at it, Jesus commended her gift because she “put in all she had to live on.” Think about why the woman sacrificed so much as you listen to today’s program.
“Give and it will be given to you”
In this episode, Liz figures out that he needs to give everything away in order to receive the biggest prize of all. Which of the following do you think God would appreciate more?
1) Jordan Millionaire gives $500 million to create a new hospital named The Jordan Millionaire Cancer Hospital.
2) Hunter Smith helps a classmate understand the math assignment.
What do you think? If the question were ""Which gift is the flashiest?"" or ""Which gift is more well-known?"" then the answer might be easier. But when we ask which God would God appreciate more, it’s much harder to answer.
God can do anything. Any good thing we can do, God can do a thousand times better. Maybe that's why he cares more about why we do things, both good and bad. In order to answer the question, we would need to know why Jordan and Hunter did what they did. If Jordan gave the money for his own glory and fame, God wouldn’t be impressed. If Hunter helped just because the classmate asked, God would be delighted.
It's not the gift, it's why the gift was given that's important. God doesn't enjoy watching you show off with your giving. When you do that, your reward is other people's attention, not God's. God does enjoy watching (and helping) you help other people just because they need help and you can help them. Sometimes it's easy for you to help others, and sometimes it's difficult; sometimes it's even scary to help. No matter what, though, as a Christian you’re called to help for the right reasons.
God gave us the most powerful example of sacrificial giving when he gave his one and only Son because he loved YOU. Think about it! It can take your breath away as you realize the depth of God’s love.
Want to dig deeper about God giving sacrificially? Read John 3:16, Ephesians 3:17-19, and Psalm 103:11.
Are you in the habit of giving a portion of your money to God? Talk this over with your parents and make a special place (like a box or a piggy bank) to keep your offering until you can give it to your church or another organization that can make a difference for Jesus’ sake. One thing you could do is to talk to your family about supporting a child through Compassion International (www.compassion.com), or providing a poor family in another country with a goat or school supplies (www.worldrenew.net). There are so many opportunities to give to others in Jesus’ name. Find one that you can do with your family.