Saturday, April 10, 2010

She gave both...

From John Piper's sermon at the Passion Conference in 2006:

"It's almost impossible for us to appreciate the story of the widow's might. Remember, all the rich were being generous out of their wealth as they put in their money in the temple offering and a widow who had two coins came along and she put both in, and Jesus was watching. He says to his disciples, "she put in more than anybody else put in."

You don't have to be a great person, a wealthy person, a smart person to make a tremendous impact for Jesus. She put in everything. Now almost everybody would say "that's just stupid! How's she gonna pay her rent?!"


Prudence is common in local churches. Prudent: careful, don't take to many risks - like putting in everything you have.

Here is an illustration of this story from Haiti that is a modern day version, told from the stand point of Stanford Kelly:
The church was having a thanksgiving day festival and each Christian was invited to bring a love offering. One envelop from a Haitian man named Edmond held $13 cash: the amount was 3 months wages for a working man there. Kelly was as surprised as someone would be counting the Sunday offering in the United States and seeing $6,000 in an envelop.

He looked around for Edmond but couldn't see him. Later, Kelly met him in the village and questioned him. He pressed him for an explanation and found that Edmond had sold his horse in order to give the $13 gift to God for the sake of the Gospel.... but why hadn't he come to the festival?

He hesitated and didn't want to answer. Finally Edmond said,

"Because I had no shirt to wear..."

He gave everything.

The aim of God in creating the universe, in creating all of us, was to display the greatness of the glory of His grace - supremely through the suffering of His Son. And the Son said, "anyone who would be my disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.."(Matthew 16:24) And Paul said, " I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and I complete what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His body, that is the church..." (Colossians 1:24)

So on behalf of Jesus, I simply beseech you to come and to join him on this Calvary road for the sake of the nations. There are so many nations and so many campuses and so many of your friends that need you to take risks to display Christ to them...."

"How Our Suffering Glorifies the Greatness of the Grace of God" message by John Piper @ Passion Conference 2006

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