Bringing the bacon to church – A Word from Dr. Mike

I absolutely love the story of a farmer who called the church office one day, wanting to speak to the pastor. So, he asked the professional assistant, “May I please speak to the Head Hog at the trough.” 

The professional assistant replied, “Sir, if you are talking about our beloved pastor, you may call him reverend, pastor, or brother, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to refer to him as “the Head Hog at the trough.” 

“Well, all right,” the farmer said, “I just sold a few sows and was going to donate $10,000 to the church, so I was hoping to catch him.” 

The professional assistant replied, “Oh, sir, wait just a minute. I think the big pig just walked in!” 

This humorous story transitions us to a very important issue for JESUS CHRIST during his earthly ministry. Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the U. S. Senate, made this statement: 

“JESUS CHRIST said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a man’s real nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index to a person’s true character. All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a person’s character and how that person handles money.” 

JESUS addresses the issue of money and giving in Mark 12: 41-44. 

Money matters to JESUS. Look at verse 41: 

“As JESUS sat near the treasury temple, he watched the people as they dropped in their money….” 

This verse teaches us JESUS knows the amount we give. JESUS was in the area of the Temple known as “the Court of the Women.” In this room, 13 chests were placed at intervals around the walls. Each chest was designated for a specific purpose. 

The colonnade under which these chests were positioned was called the Treasury. JESUS sat down here, and He watched as people cast in their donation. 

He knew how much they were giving. He also knows how much we are giving. 

Randy Alcorn, in his book The Treasure Principle, said: 

“15% of everything JESUS said relates to the topic of money and possessions – more than His teachings on heaven and hell combined. Why did JESUS put such an emphasis on money and possessions? Because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money. We may try to divorce our faith and our finances, but GOD sees them as inseparable.” 

Look at verse 43: 

“Then he called His disciples together and said to them, ‘I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others.’” 

JESUS makes a judgment here about people and giving. He tells us what GOD thinks. What is the lesson to be learned? We should not be concerned what people think. When it comes to giving, all that matters is what JESUS thinks. We are solely accountable to Him. He knows both how much we give, and He also knows the spiritual condition of our hearts as we give. 

Second, money matters to rich people. Look at verse 41b: “…Many rich men dropped in a lot of money.” Giving to these rich people was just an after-thought. No faith was required. No sacrifice was demonstrated. 

Now, don’t misunderstand the text. JESUS never condemns the possession of wealth. Billy Graham once said, “There is nothing wrong with possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possesses men.” These contributions cast in by the rich people, although large, were easy gifts. They wouldn’t miss the money. Their gift required 0 faith. And it served as a salve to their guilty conscience for possessing so much money. 

Third, money matters to a poor widow. Look at verses 42 and 44b: “Then a poor widow came along and dropped in two little copper coins, worth about an eighth of a cent…. But she, as poor as she is, put in all that she had – she gave all she had to live on.” 

What did this gift show us about this poor widow? 

Her giving showed her faith. The poor widow now had nothing to live on. But she had GOD! And GOD is enough! This text is not telling you and me to throw all of our finances in the offering box. Rather, the lesson is simple: Your giving should demonstrate your faith. 

Her giving showed her true heart. JESUS said in Matthew 6:21m, “For your heart will always be where your riches are.” This poor widow showed the condition of her spiritual heart. She had learned that when the heart is right, everything else in life would fall into its proper place. The person who has the right heart will be generous and joyful in giving to the LORD’s work. 

Her giving showed her motives. Motivation moves us to action. This widow’s love for GOD and faith in GOD moves her to give this incredible offering. 

Her giving showed her sacrifice. “She gave all she had to live on.” Love for GOD and obedience to His Word leads to sacrifice. From a financial perspective, this widow gave what she could not give. And JESUS noticed!! 

Chuck Swindoll once said, “We are no more like GOD than when we give: ‘For GOD so loves the world that He gave…’ Our giving should mirror our hearts – filled with love, devotion, faith, passion, sacrifice, and worship for JESUS.” 

Pastor Mike

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