The world does not know God.No matter how clever, how religious – it becomes our world does not know God. The world can always pick holes in the people who purport to follow Christ, who do not keep it secret that they claim to know God, for the world can always find something to sneer at because no Christian believer is perfect. But one thing the world does know – is money. When the world sees genuine giving it is always embarrassed when it cannot find an ulterior motive. The world tries to be cynical because it wants to sneer.
For years Billy Graham was attacked by reporters in England saying he was only in it for the money until his organisation proved that Billy took not one penny of the money collected at the crusades. So then they had to attack something else. In fact, when Sir Robin Day tried to interview Billy Graham on the B.B.C. about his salary, Billy said ‘You tell them yours, and I’ll tell you mine’. The subject quickly changed. When a church gives to the world, and asks nothing back, the world is dumfounded. A generous, unstinted giving really does hit the pagan world where it hurts. It must be impressed because money talks.
For four and a half years I was pastor of a brand new church community. We were small. We had no church buildings of our own. We hired a day school hall and classroom for each Sunday. Each year our harvest festival consisted of a small display of harvest fruits and grain and flowers, but the main giving was money to help both an overseas need and a small cause at home. Well one year the smaller cause was a gift to the local hospital radio in the shape of a great pile of good Christian music on C.D.s and tapes. The hospital D.J. asked me to go into his little studio and present the gift. I did, and in the interview he discovered that the main gift had gone to the third world. “Why how much did you collect?”. I told him. “What?” he said “How much?”. He nearly fell off his seat. He had the idea that Christians only gave their small change to God, and it was the large amount given that staggered him.
Here’s a report about the early church in Acts Chapter 2:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. Acts 2:44-47a
Lord, of all giving, give the world a reason to admire you by the giving of your joyful and generous people.
Now read Mark 14: 1-11.