This is an exposition of Luke 21:1-4. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, November 5, 2017.
The star of the circus astonished the crowd with his feats of strength. He concluded his act by squeezing an orange dry. Then he would challenge the audience to produce anyone who could extract even one drop of juice from the squeezed fruit. Night after night local strongmen where humiliated before the hometown crowd.
One night a little old man with wire frame glasses stepped up to accept the challenge. The crowd roared with laughter at the thought of this little old man attempting the impossible. The old man grasped the orange in his right hand and began to squeeze. His concentration was great. Every eye was on him. Electricity filled the air. After a few seconds, a tiny drip formed on the edge of the orange and then dropped to the floor. The crowd exploded! Astonished at the strength of the old man, the circus performer asked him how he had managed to develop such strength. “There’s nothing to it,” said the old man. “I just happen to be the treasurer of the local Baptist church!”
I know, it is one of those touchy subjects that the preacher has no business getting into. Why is it that when E.F. Hutton talks about money people listen and the preacher talks about money and folks get mad? It may surprise you if you haven’t considered it or studied it – but God has a lot to say about money and our giving. The fact is the Scripture is consistent in talking about our “stewardship.” Everything we have, we have because of His grace. We are His servants – it belongs to Him, we merely manage it. If that indeed is true, then He can take whatever He wants, whenever He wants. It also means that every spending decision is a spiritual decision. With that in mind we are going to learn some timeless lessons about giving as we explore Luke 21:1-4.
Text: Luke 21:1-4
Luke is nearing the end of his account of Jesus’ life and ministry.
We are in the final days.
Jesus has made his dramatic entrance into the city.
He has cleansed the Temple.
He has been teaching in the Temple – its last, greatest glory.
We’ve witnessed several attempts to trap him.
Traps set by the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and the Herodians.
Jesus has handled them with wisdom, grace and strength.
His critics have been silenced – for the time being.
It is against the backdrop of these intense encounters that our Lord takes a break.
He situates himself across from the treasury and watches as the people come by and drop in their gifts.
I want you to picture this as a miniature drama that plays out before you.
The drama consists of two acts and then I want to add an epilogue.
- Act 1: “An everyday act.” (Luke 21:1)
- Act 2: “A surprising response.” (Luke 21:3-4)
- An Epilogue: some timeless lessons on giving.
What are we to make of this?
What are we to take away from this account?
I think there are at least 3 timeless principles we can take from this passage.
- When it comes to giving to God, motivation makes or breaks the gift.
- When it comes to giving to God, the value of the gift is nothing while the cost of the gift is everything.
- When it comes to giving to God, little becomes much in His hand.
It all comes down to this…
Thesis: Giving that honors God is motivated by love, sacrificial in nature and trusts God with the return.