Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. . . . I am not saying you must do it, even though the other churches are eager to do it. This is one way to prove your love is real.
2 Corinthians 8:2, 8 (New Living Translation)
I guess one of the big things that seperates us from the first century Church and there's alot, I know but one thing that's obviuous is that these guys were not afraid to talk about money. Maybe I get nervous because what we see on TV and the manipulation that goes with it. Or there's a story of the crooked pastor who did a runner with the funds.
Theres a great story of Jesus watching a widow drop her last two coins in the temple offering. We could argue that she could have done better things with her big sacrifice: that the temple money wasn’t being used wisely, that the ruling Sanhedrin were not really pressing into God, that the people dropping their noticeably big offerings were hypocrites. But Jesus seems unconcerned about all that. He saw her offering as a major sacrifice...to God. I never saw this before but thanks to my rabbi Dave Workman who pointed out that the great God of the universe is impressed . And I assume it takes a lot to impress God. I’m pretty sure He’s seen everything. I guess it takes personal sacrifice.
"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.
1 Chron 29:14 - 18

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