Acts 19 NIV“11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”
A simple reminder that we should never underestimate what little we do out of true unselfish love.
Mark 12 NLT
“41Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
43Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Now on a side note, on verse 44, I would like to point out what the KJV and other versions like the YLT translate that was lost in other translations.
“44for all, out of their abundance, put in, but she, out of her want, all that she had put in — all her living.” YLT/KJV
“But she, out of her want,” Out of her want, not out of sacrifice, not out of compulsion, or reluctancy, not out of tradition or what was lawful, not out of vanity, not out of fear that she was stealing from God, not out of any promise of good fortune, but simply out of her want.
And also, the bible says she gave “two mites” which is the smallest of all Roman coins so we can say our equivalent was maybe two pennies.
So ask yourself, would it be harder to give two pennies or two hundred dollars to someone?
For me, because I worry what people think, it would be more difficult for me to give two pennies because my logical mind says this is foolish. Really, two pennies?
Now two-hundred dollars or more however is more logical, whether a “tithe” or an “offering”, this amount is more logical because more can be done with this amount. But that is where we are deceived.
And to help us not get into the numbers game, God simply was looking at the hearts of those who gave and not the amount. Because there are some who do give lavashly out of want and love and to them I say amen.
This is why everything that is done in word or deed must be done in the name of Jesus Christ because His name is a reminder to us of this kind of “giving” via a heart of thanksgiving and love.
Remember, “For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only Son”. Out of love, not out of compulsion, reluctancy, or doubt, but out of love. God did not have to, but wanted to. There is no logical explanation for love, like there is no logical explanation for God and forgiveness.
What is given freely should always be freely given. Now this world has a way to sell us something that God has given us freely and to make us feel the sacrifices of life and what we have in this world is solely about what we earn and work for, however this “feeling” of having to “work for it” was a part of our curse in Eden.
“It is only hard work if you lost your love and joy for it!”
Genesis 3:17 NIV
“To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
From what we eat, to things we “buy” or what is given will carry a “curse” unless we have the faith to address it spiritually.
Any “exchange” even with the air we breath, should always be received in love with a thankful heart.
Because of our fall in Eden, God had placed a curse on all things, physical and spiritual. And this curse is only broken if we can have the faith on what Calvary accomplished. And Calvary addressed ALL spiritual and physical debts, with only one debt unpaid and that was the debt to love one another.
Colossians 2:13-15 NIV
“13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Other translations of Verse 14:
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
“He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.”
Galatians 3:13 NLT
“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Now back to Acts 19, in the case of Paul where these items simply touched by him left a spiritual “fingerprint” so to speak, was powerful enough that demons recognized that these items now represented something different and no longer was in a sacrificial “CURSED” state, but instead, a reminder of God’s love and grace.
So if we look at things touched by sacrificial hearts and things done for selfish reasons, then these same demons, this legion of evil also leave there spiritual fingerprint in our lives and piggyback, disease, illness, and misfortune.
Now I am not an anti-tither or giver. But I do believe in everyone examining there heart before they give because so many give with an expectation and when our expectation of giving are not met, then guess what this produces?
And true love gives without any expectations or an exchange, it is what defines grace.
Our only expectations in life should be the promises from God and not of men.
And personally, the promises of Calvary far exceeded the promises of the “flood gates” via tithing in Malachi 3:10.
Many Pastors will say, “Those who do not tithe is stealing from God.” Well, you cannot steal what God has given to you freely by grace. But let us just all simply understand what Calvary was suppose to produce, and that was a change in our heart before a change in our circumstances.
The Pharisees and Saduccees were very obedient in the Old Testament, even more so than us, however it was Not about simply obedience, but obedience in love.
It was not enough to provide for my wife and kids physically, but also spiritually.
“Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added unto you.”
And if you remain pessimistic on what the Tithe was suppose to produce, you need to read Matthew 17:24:27 and The Rev. Billy Graham’s position on the Tithe.
Jude 1 GWT
“22Show mercy to those who have doubts. 23Save others by snatching them from the fire [of hell]. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives.24God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. 25Before time began, now, and for eternity glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
And on those scriptures I close and also say, amen.