Expressing our Love for Christ

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Soviet Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the author of Tortured for Christ, suffered terribly for the Lord. Yet he said that even while in prison, he saw fellow Soviet believers practice generous giving. “When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soap every day, we decided we would faithfully ‘tithe’ even that. Every tenth week we took the slice of bread and gave it to the weaker brethren as our ‘tithe’ to the Master.”

I tend to think that God did not demand that these prisoners tithe their bread and soap. Yet they felt compelled to, in order to express their love for God. After understanding the awesome sacrifice Christ had made in expressing His love for them on the cross, they wanted a way to express their love for Christ. They wanted to give all of themselves to Christ since He had given all of Himself for them.

It is the same case with the woman in Mark 14:3-9, who broke open a bottle of ointment costing a year’s wages, so she could anoint the feet of Jesus. She was simply giving all she had because Jesus was giving all He had for her. Like the Soviet prisoners she needed a way to express her love.

God did not give us the tithe and offering system because he needed our money, but because He knew we too would need a way to express our love. God nor the church needs our money. Both were getting along just fine before we came along and both will do just fine after we are gone.

I have a plaque with a picture of the cross and written on it are the words,

“ I asked Jesus how much do you love me?”

“This much” He said, ’Then He spread out His arms and died.”

God will finish the work with or without our money. Yet He has given us the tithe and offering system so that when He asks us, “How much do you love me?” We will have a way to answer.

You may study this week’s lesson here.

4: Offerings for Jesus-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath school class, January 28, 2023.

Main Theme: We worship God by using all our time and resources for God.

Read in Class: Deuteronomy 16:7. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What criterion does God give as a basis for the amount of our offerings?

Apply: What do your offerings and your attitude about giving them say about your relationship with God?

Share: Your friend says he only returns tithes but cannot give offerings because tithe is all he can afford to do. Anything else is just asking too much. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 96:8-9. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How do we apply these principles to our own worship experience?

Apply:  What is your experience with returning tithes and offerings as a part of worship? How does it impact your relationship with God?

Share: Your friend says, “God never said anything about offerings being required, but only as an expression of thanksgiving based on our increase. God doesn’t need my money. He can finish the work without all the expensive programs the church makes up to increase their income and finances.” How would you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Mark 12:41-44 and Acts 10:1-4. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What is the message of these stories, and how can we apply it to our own worship experience?

Apply: What action was noted in heaven by the Roman that prompted a visit from heaven? Share your thoughts.

Share: Your friend asks in what ways did the poor woman give more than they all? What do you tell your friend? Think about all the people who have given what little they can throughout the years, because of this woman’s story. Could all of that add up to more than the rich gave that day?

Read in Class: Mark 14:1-9. What is the main theme of this passage?

Study: Who were the main characters at Simon’s feast? What was the value of Mary’s gift? Why did she anoint Jesus at this time?

Apply: Why is sacrificial giving as important for the givers as for the recipients? 

Share: Are there any specific needs in the church that your Sabbath school class could raise money to contribute towards?