-How Much Are We Holding Back?
God’s perspective is different from man’s perspective. Consider this: The worth of our gift to God is measured not by how much we give, but by how much we hold back from what He gives us! Consider these verses: “Jesus 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. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus 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. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on’” (Mk. 12:41-44 nlt). Jesus sat by the collection box and watched everyone depositing their offerings. Some offerings were so big they attracted people’s attention. Some were medium size. Some were so paltry that they drew a reproachful look from some people. Men evaluated the gifts by what was given, but Jesus’ appraisal was different. He appraised the worth of the gift by what was held back.
Our gifts to God will also be measured by what we keep back out of what He has given us. Paul asked these questions: “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
We need to sincerely examine ourselves and evaluate how much of heaven’s resources the Lord has permitted us to handle. How much of it are we giving back to Him? Have our gifts – talents, time, strength, influence, money, etc. – become the means to care for our own personal needs while we give the leftovers to God, the owner of all our resources? We refer to them as our “personal needs” but the Scripture calls them our “selfish ways” – to please ourselves at the expense of our Maker, the giver of the gift we are spending as we will and where we like! In Luke 9:23-24 Jesus said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.”
Are we not all guilty of selfish ambition? Are we worthy of being called His disciples? Whose disciples are we, really? Whose will is our priority – ours or God’s? Why are we giving God the leftovers of our time, talent, money and skill?
When will we give God the best part of our lives? Remember what Mark 12:41-44 tells us: The worth of our gift to God is determined by what we are holding back. God gave us His best (Jn. 3:16), therefore He deserves the best!
Paul wrote: “They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord … just as God wanted them to do” (2 Cor. 8:5). Have we given our lives to Him? If not, now is the best time to start.
How much of His resources in your custody are you holding back? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to change your giving ways immediately.
By Sola Jegede
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org
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