If you preach through books of the Old or New Testament, eventually you will preach about money and giving to God. For instance, in the Old Testament, there are approximately 1400 occurrences of the word, “offering,” in about 800 verses.
While preaching on Luke 21:1-4, the narrative of Jesus commenting on the poor widow who put “two small copper coins” in the offering box (v. 2), I learned two things that should make their way in any stewardship sermon.
First, take a moment to remind everyone why Christians give money to God. In the narrative, both “the rich” and “a poor widow” gave their offering to the Lord. Luke doesn’t tell us why. But, it is important when preaching about giving to tell everyone that giving an offering is a way of acknowledging God’s authority. It’s a way of showing that God is greater and I am infinitely lesser.
When faced with this perspective, it is virtually impossible for any professing Christian to refuse to give and still claim to worship God.
Second, when we got to the place in the narrative where Jesus said, “she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on,” I asked, “What must she have believed about God in order to give everything, even what she needed to live on?!” Again, the Scripture doesn’t say. What’s left unsaid is crucial for the faith-family. She was trusting completely in God to take care of her.
The poor widow’s example is an excellent opportunity for us all to evaluate how our giving habits reflect our faith in God to provide. Over the years I’ve heard many parishioners say, “I can’t afford to give more to God.” My reply has been, “You can’t afford not to.”
Before Sunday, if your sermon contains some aspect of giving to God, remind everyone why Christians give and show them how their giving reflects their faith.
Preach well for God’s glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21).