Bible Passage: Mark 14:1-9
Is my devotion to Christ costing me anything? Austin and Jonathan talk about why giving can be a true act of worship. #Recharge
- Sermon: Authentic Worship
- Series: Salvation Dawns
- Discussion Guide: The Most Important Job of the Church
Discussion Question: What’s your favorite passage in the Bible about giving?
4 Ways Giving Money Can Be Worship
To understand the depth and sincerity of what occurs in today’s passage I need to first tell you some stories that led up to it.
A couple of weeks ago I asked our Associate Pastor of Worship and Media to fill in for me and Jonathan to talk about what it means to WORSHIP God. Sam Simmons joined Dan in the conversation. Sam plays in our band and does a bunch of behind-the-scenes prep work that has our band humming on all cylinders when they show up on Sunday.
Anyway, they led a great discussion on what it means to actually worship God. This past Sunday we found ourselves in a passage that once again raised the subject, but did so in a way that you might not expect. It’s actually the second time in the last couple of chapters that worship became a prominent subject matter in the passage.
This past week we saw Mary of Bethany breaking a bottle of expensive fragrance open and pouring it all on Jesus. The bottle was worth an entire year’s income for an average worker!
A couple of weeks ago we met another woman. We don’t know her name, but at the end of chapter 12, she gave two mites as an offering to the Lord at the Temple. Those two mites, worth only about 15 minutes of work by the average laborer were barely a grain of sand in the massive offering at the Temple. But her offering was observed and honored by Jesus because it was all she had! She literally gave everything.
In our story this weekend Jesus did the same with Mary. We literally know her story because Jesus declared it to be told alongside his story.
Now here’s the part that gets overlooked sometimes. With the widow lady and her two mites, it’s not just a story about giving, but also a story about worship! On the other side, the story of Mary is not just a story of worship but also giving!
The point I’m making is that worship and giving are synonymous in the Bible, that is, giving is meant to be seen by us as one of the ways we worship Christ!
I often find myself criticizing the prosperity gospel lies that have been popularized and normalized to such a level that most people don’t realize they are totally sinful lies. I believe the success of these lies about giving are because in our sinful flesh we want them to be true. We want giving to be a way that we get health, wealth, and influence.
But biblically giving is not a method for power. It’s WORSHIP – plain and simple!
So that’s what we want to talk about tonight. Biblical Giving that is truly WORSHIP. Not religious compliance and not materialistic idolatry but passionate, joyful, and intimate worship of our Lord and Savior! What giving is supposed to be: worship.
Worship is being consumed with Jesus.
Where your money is there your heart will be also! When we are consumed with Jesus are money is prioritized towards what He’s consumed with!
Worship Responding to Who God for Who He is And What He’s Done
8 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! 11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered, 13 O offspring of Israel his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! 14 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 15 Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, 16the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, 17 which he confirmed as a statute to Jacob, as an everlasting covenant to Israel, 18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.” 19 When you were few in number, and of little account, and sojourners in it, 20 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, 21 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, 22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” 23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. 24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. 28 Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; 30 tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. 31Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” 32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! 33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. 34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 35 Say also: “Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise. 36Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! “Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD. (1 Chronicles 16: 8-36)
If you are consumed with God you will invest your money (give) to what matters to God!
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 8:19-21)
Worship is praising God for the sacrifice of His Son that created the Church!
Giving to your local church is making a sacrifice into the very family that Christ sacrificed Himself to create.
The Work of Christ
9Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. (Hebrews 13:9-12)
The Praise that Should be Offered
13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:13-15)
The Giving that Should Be Offered In Response To His Giving To Us
16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:13-17)
Corinth was being challenged to give money not only to further the Gospel in Corinth but also to help the starving and persecuted believers in Jerusalem.
1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints– 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you–see that you excel in this act of grace also. 8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-15)
Worship is surrendering ourselves to God’s will.
Giving to your local church invests in His will to bring His Gospel to the nations.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
It’s His will to get the Gospel to you where you live and the rest of the world!
10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. (Mark 13:10)
The Money raised in the church of Jerusalem was key to getting the Gospel to the million-plus people who lived in Jerusalem!
33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:33-37)
Worship expresses our confidence in God.
Giving tangibly says we are more confident in God than we are in money.
Who He Is
1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. (Psalm 95:1-7)
The Kingdom He has Blessed us to be a part of
28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)
Worship is therefore living a life of giving because we are confident God will provide for us!
15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 19And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:15-19)
5Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
“We must ask ourselves, Is my devotion to Christ costing me anything? Is there any ever any deprivation to it? Any inconvenience? “She did what she could.” How about us?”1
“The fragrance which is so honoring to him and refreshing to others does not come from giving half our heart or half our wallet or half our talents or half our ambition. What a bouquet—“She did what she could.” God wants us to give everything with all that we are!”2
Worship is sacrifice, giving is sacrifice, therefore if we are giving from a heart that is blown away by WHO GOD is and WHAT God has done then we are WORSHIPING GOD!