The Manner of Giving – Sacrificially

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As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. – Luke 21:1-4
Sacrifice. Does the word conjure up an image of a lamb or a goat being slain and offered on an Old Testament altar? Or do you see Jesus on the cross — the ultimate sacrifice of all time? Do you think of the time you gave up that fishing trip to take your wife on a special shopping day? Or do you remember the time you passed up lunch with a friend to accompany 30 first years on an all-day field trip?
Sacrifice hits us where we live. Whether it be time, service, assets, or money, it requires us to give up something we hold dear. Why is sacrifice difficult? We are prone to an attitude of entitlement. Our society encourages individualism and success, often at the expense of others. The first step in becoming a truly sacrificial giver is to recognise that all we have comes from God and belongs to Him. Without Him, we would have nothing. A second step to being able to give as this widow did, is overcoming our fear of not being able to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. Giving beyond our means, however, is not to be confused with living beyond our means. As seen in this example and in the example of the widow who provided for Elijah and never ran out of flour and oil, when we give all we have back to God, He will provide for us beyond our wildest imagination.
Let’s take God at His word. We’ve seen how He blesses those who give from a heart that recognizes the great sacrifice God made for us and that we can trust Him enough to provide all we need. Can we love and trust Him that much?

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