What Jesus sees... three texts to consider.
1. Rev. 3:14-22. Jesus sees things differently than the people of Laodicea.
Three major flaws in their lives:
1. Worldly focus
2. Excusing failure
3. Minimal, insufficient effort
They think they’re fine, Jesus thinks otherwise.
2. Mark 12:38-44. The widows mite. People taking advantage of the weak, praying to be seen as holy by others. Knowing God is aware of what we contribute every week, does He consider it adequate? The poor widow put in more than everyone else because she gave all that she had, while everyone else put in out of their surplus. He’s not saying what they gave was unacceptable but that she gave out of her poverty. And this is more than what percentage we give, this was more about this woman’s faith in God, that He would take care of her.
God didn’t seem to be concerned about the finances of the temple. He can access whatever resources He needs to accomplish His purposes. He is concerned however about the state of the donor’s hearts. He is not concerned with externals. He is concerned with attitudes like faith and sacrifice.
Psalm 143:10: teach me to do your will, you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. He ends the Psalm saying “I am your servant.”
What is your identity? Is it this? I am a giver. That’s how I perceive myself. I am not a taker, I am a giver.
Responsibility: 2 Cor. 8:12- for if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
Motive: Psalm 115:12. What shall I render to the Lord for all of His benefits
Inventory: Psalm 103:2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget. One of His benefits.
The focus is not money this morning. Yes, there is an application there, see Mark 12. But there are four things you can give that make a huge difference in the execution of God’s plan. Four things everyone can do, regardless of economic status:
1. Set an example of commitment. Your level of commitment to serving the Lord can be a huge influence on others. It is a powerful impact on the Lord’s people. When you are on the fringe, rarely attend, aren’t involved, that is a discouragement to others. We’re not speaking of the current environment, we’re talking over your lifetime. You can’t stir one another up to love and good deeds unless you are together physically. It is up to you and you alone to make yourself connected.
2. Pray fervently for one another. The Lord’s people are engaged in prayer. Something any of us can do that doesn’t require any special talent, just the desire to do so.
3. Direct my heart toward purity. Again, this has nothing to do with talent. Anyone, everyone, can do this. Yes we have an enemy who will try to trip you up so it will take constant effort and vigilance.
4. Tend to the discouraged. It’s never been needed more than now and there are so many ways to communicate in today’s world. Get outside of yourself.
Four things you can do like the widows mite. Four things that will get you out of lukewarmness. Get busy with those and you will not be lukewarm.
Text #3: Jude 17-25.
Let us advance His great cause in whatever ways we can, realizing how truly blessed and privileged we are to be included in His great and glorious purposes.