“4 Ways to Give That Don't Involve Money”Categories: Christian Living, Encouragement, Evangelism, Joshuah Ellis
Yesterday, I preached about the widow and the very small offering she gave at the temple (Mark 12:41-44). As I went through the lesson highlighting various parts of the text and making the relevant applications, I kept coming back to one thought. “This isn’t just about money.” I tried to communicate that during the sermon, but I wonder if that is a whole other lesson in and of itself. So here you go. A few ways we can give, that has nothing to do with money.
1. Time. I know this one is obvious, but do we think of donating our time in a context other than charity? Think about the time it takes to read your Bible, say a prayer, or try to encourage a fellow Christian. This can be viewed in the same sacrificial manner as the widow’s offering. Think about the time you are willing to sacrifice back to the Lord today and see if you can come up with some way to increase it.
2. Attention. Believe me when I say that I understand this is not always as easy as it sounds. I have kids and I have had to wrangle them all through a worship service. My wife certainly has more experience in this area than I do, but I still know what it is like. Still, God deserves our attention. Inside of the church building and out. Do you think of your attention as yet another way to sacrifice and give back to the Lord?
3. Data. Ok. I know how this sounds, but hear me out. We use our phones for everything. In fact, I just downloaded an app, on my phone, to tell me how much time I’m spending on my phone. Ironic, isn’t it? However, if we are using our phones for communication, social media, and everything else, why not think of a way to use our phones to glorify God. Listen to your daily Bible reading on your phone. Use social media to invite someone to worship. Send a text to a sick member of the church. Find a way to sacrifice with the tools God has given us.
4. Prayer. Again, I know it seems obvious, and the reason I bring this up is tied to a personal connection. There have been times when I told someone I would pray for them and then, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Maybe I forgot. Maybe I got distracted. It’s no excuse, but it happens. Why not get a bit more intentional about the prayers to which you have committed yourself? Keep a list of those for whom you have offered to pray and start making good on those promises to carry their petition to the presence of the Father.
Some of this might seem overly simple, and maybe it is. The importance is less on which of these (if any) you choose and more about heeding the example that Jesus brought to our attention that last Tuesday of His ministry. To have the heart of the widow mentioned, to me, is the point above all others in this account. If we could make it a priority to have that heart, then what we choose to give isn’t important as long as we are giving and doing so with the proper attitude.