The Offering and Beyond

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 13-15; Mark 12:28-44

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41 Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. 42 One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. 44  All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44, Common English Bible).

The problem isn’t just students. I wish it was. Once graduation happens it is, “I have all those student loans to pay back (not knocking the student loans. I am still paying on mine). Then it becomes (even before the student loans pay off), I need a new car. That is followed up by, “Well, I am married now. Two mouths twice as much and I still have my student loans and car payment, plus I now have the significant other’s car payment and a mortgage. Soon, a child or two or three or four compound the problem, got to pay for their college now. After that, “I have to get ready for retirement.

Over and over and over, we find excuses to not give back the share God calls us to give. It is said, we don’t start giving offerings and gifts until AFTER we have given our tithe. Until we have given a tenth of our income to the work of God, to the Church, we are simply working up to our obligations.

I love the Church. I love doing what I do. I love most of the work, except the administrative tasks. I get them done but that doesn’t mean I have to like them. There is one I dislike more than all the rest, trying to figure out how the church can live and work and minister on the money placed in our offering plates. I have worried about not paying our denominational support. I have stood in front of a congregation and said, “If something pretty miraculous happens in the offering today, we will not meet payroll this week. The Church needs the offerings to make the work of ministry happen in the world around us.

In the lesson above, the widow trusted that God would take care of her. She gave, not a tenth, but all she had so the work of ministry could continue. She did all she could so God’s work could continue.

There is an old story that there was a man who was a faithful member of a congregation. His parents not only taught him to tithe, they taught him to take the money he gave as first fruits given to the glory of God. In other words, Give to God they taught, and everything else would fall into place.

One day the man came into the preacher’s office and said, “Pastor, I have always been a tither.”

“I didn’t know, but thank you for making me aware of that.”

“Well, I have been, but I just got a pay raise at work. I am thankful and all but I am looking at what I give and giving a tenth off the new salary, that’s a lot of money.”

The pastor agreed. It was a lot of money. But then, he steps in, “Can you come join me in the sanctuary?”

The man agreed but was asking why.

When they reached the chancel the preacher said, “Let’s kneel at the communion rail and pray.”

“What are we praying for.” The man asks.

“Well I think since you can’t afford to tithe off of your new salary, but could off the old one then it seems to me, you need to make less money then you could afford to tithe once again.

The man was dumbfounded. He simply said, “I will see you Sunday, Pastor.”

We are called to give ten percent. We are called to tithe. Work toward giving a tithe.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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