Release Our Stuff

Community tags

This challenge has 0 tags that match your profile.


Related Content

1 0
Costs Something
Jesus defines more, not by the sum, but by the sacrifice. The sacrifice is what demonstrates love and commitment. You've probably heard the saying: Sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love more. God owns everything, and he multiplies your sacrifice in ways that are supernatural and beyond our understanding. James 5:1-3 warns those who have a mindset of storing up money and treasures while here on earth: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.” Scripture turns what culture says upside down and says that while you need to save, you need to take care of your family, and you need to be good stewards of what God has entrusted you, don't let your unused resources testify against you on the day of judgment. God entrusted you to impact this world for the Gospel and to prepare the world for the return of Jesus with some of his resources.  Another way to think about this is that sacrifice is giving up something now for what you will gain later. And that's why Jesus says it's beautiful. Jesus knows that what the widow does through the generosity she expresses is building up for herself treasures in Heaven that she will enjoy later.  That's why Jesus celebrates her offering, because he knows the rate of return and what she does now will be rewarded in eternity. This simple woman with a simple act of obedience is held up by Jesus as an example of what generosity looks like for the disciples and the rest of the crowd. Out of gratitude for his grace in your life, you are called to be faithful with what he's entrusted to you. When we all do that together as believers, it is incredible how God blesses it and the impact that we're able to have. Be faithful, be grateful, and be an intentional giver. Reflection/Discussion Question: Will the money and resources that God has entrusted to you testify for or against you on judgment day?
1 0
Defining "More"
If someone were to give you a hundred-dollar bill and ask you to give it away to someone in need, would that money be hard to give? It likely wouldn’t be difficult to give, because it wasn't your money. It was never yours to begin with. You were handed it and told what to do with it, which made things incredibly simple. You didn't have to feel any pressure or anxiety because you were told exactly what to do with it by the owner. This is the approach that Scripture has to money and to finances. It's not yours; it's all God's. It all belongs to him. You brought nothing into this world, and you can take nothing out of it.  God entrusts you with a certain amount of what he has while you're here on earth, and he tells you what to do with it. You don't have to feel a lot of anxiety or pressure around those things because he's told us to do, and we trust that the one who owns everything is going to take care of things. In Luke 21, Jesus watches this widow make her offering, and he says that this woman has put in more than all the others. In these verses, we see that Jesus defines more, not by the portion, but by the proportion. We typically define more by the portion or by the number, and Jesus is more about the proportion. If you own everything, then it doesn't matter if it's a dollar or a million dollars, right? It's the proportion that makes it generous.  Jesus explains the others gave out of their extra, but the widow gave out of her need. The other people gave in such a way that they wouldn't even notice and it wouldn't change anything about their week, their month, or their life. Jesus commends the widow because she gave out of their need in a way that would certainly impact her life.  Reflection/Discussion Question: Why do you think it is difficult to see all money and possessions as God's, instead of our own?
2 0
Money is a Test
Money tells the story of what you care most about in your life; where your treasure is there your heart will be also. If you want to find out what someone has affection towards, you look at their bank account or their credit card statement. Our money tells the story of what we put our trust in.  So, in Luke 21, Jesus compares the people who are rich and give their offerings to this poor widow who gives her offering. Jesus is not condemning or criticizing rich people who bring their gifts. Instead, the emphasis is on commending the poor woman who gives what she has. In verse 3 we read about Jesus’s response to this widow, “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” She didn't put in more mathematically. She put in two copper coins. These coins were the smallest denomination of coin possible at the time and would have been equivalent in our economy of about a dollar. The other thing we know about her is that she is a widow. In Scripture, the term widow meant a once-married woman who has no means of support. This is a woman who has no security and no source of support. She only has two dollars she doesn't just put one of them in – that seems like that would be commendable enough. She gave all that she had, and Jesus commends her for it. He celebrates how she is using what has been entrusted to her and says this woman has given more than all the others.  Reflection/Discussion Question: What would your bank account or credit card statement show others about your affection?
1 1
Chief Competitor
Back in the times of Jesus, when people brought their offerings and dropped them into the bronze receptacles, their offering would create noise. People would give in such a way to draw attention and recognition to themselves. Their giving wasn't so much selfless as it was selfish. They would think: Can I give in a way that buys me some affection or buys me attention, respect, and recognition? They would give to cause a lot of noise and bring a lot of attention to themselves. But Jesus points out this one woman, and here's what we discover in this simple story: The noise that Heaven hears isn't necessarily very loud down here. The noise of generosity that gets the attention of Heaven may not be what we notice here on Earth.  At the very beginning of Luke 21, we read that Jesus is watching this woman give her offering. The translation of this word doesn't mean he glanced, he happened to notice, or just caught his attention. Instead, it means that Jesus was observing or paying attention. Jesus is watching as people come as they give their offerings outside the temple. Maybe that surprises you and you wonder why would Jesus even care. Yet, if you do a quick survey of the Gospels and you pay attention to what Jesus teaches, you recognize pretty quickly that Jesus seemed to care a lot about money. He talked about money more than prayer. He talked about it more than Heaven.  Why? Because money is consistently portrayed in Scripture as God's greatest competition. Money, possessions, and material goods promise to do for us what God alone can do for us. Money promises satisfaction, significance, identity, and peace. So, everything that God claims that he will do for us, money is saying that it can fulfill those promises. But it's a false God. It's an idol.  Discussion/Reflection Question: Which of money's false promises have you fallen victim to in the past?