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Page 278

 

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came in a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

All they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

- Mark 12:41-44

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto I Jerusalem.

And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

- I Corinthians 16:1-4

 

  • Stewardship - The office of a steward; one who is entrusted with the management of property, finances or affairs of another; a servant who manages some of his master's business
  • 7. Offerings - True worship also includes one's giving to God - contributing with a cheerful spirit from a thankful heart. The collection of offerings for God was part of biblical worship from the beginning (think of Cain and Abel's offerings in Genesis 4). God commanded Moses to "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering" (Exodus 25:2). The Levites and priests, as well as the temple repair and maintenance, were supported by collections from the people. Free will offerings were viewed as a part of divine worship during Christ's time, as can be witnessed from Jesus' observation of the donations of the rich and the poor widow's two mites (Mark 12:41-44). Paul instructed the New Testament church to collect the donations which were contributed on the first day of the week when they gathered together to worship (I Corinthians 16:1-4). The deacon's office was established to care for the collection and distribution of the church members' contributions (Acts 6:1-7). The Heidelberg Catechism states in Question and Answer 103: "What doth God require in the fourth commandment? First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained; and that I, especially on the Sabbath... contribute to the relief of the poor, as becomes a Christian..."

    The act of giving to the Lord is an act of worship. In it we should confess to God:

    • Our stewardship - God possesses all things; He loans us our health and possessions for a time. Weare to use these blessings as wise servants, as stewards, for we will be held accountable for that which we have done with them.

    • Our thankfulness in return for His gracious benefits to us.

    • Our trust that He will graciously provide for all our needs.

    Our giving to the church collections should reflect love toward, and faith in, God; it should be an expression of loving thankfulness to, and trusting faith in, the Lord. As the collection is taken and the accompanying psalm is sung, we are called to meditate upon this aspect of true worship.

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