We have so much money...not just in the possessions we own but in all that we have put away - savings, college funds, houses, etc. We tithe every month but it's out of our abundance. It's never a sacrifice. Like the servant who buried the money (Luke 19:11-27), we are burying what we've been given by God. I fear we will have a very low rate of return in God's Kingdom.
We do this because we've been raised to believe that it's the right thing, the wise thing, the responsible thing as we provide for our families, ourselves. But what if that's all a lie?
Hoarding all this money keeps it from those who could truly benefit from it...who could live physically and spiritually. How many more people could hear the Gospel, how many more children could be helped by groups like Compassion International, Gospel for Asia or Remember? How many more churches could be built or orphans helped? I'm reminded of Schindler's List as he cries asking himself how many more Jews he could have saved if he had given away more. Will that be my question when I meet my Lord in Heaven...how many more people could have been saved if I had given more of what He had given to me?
And if we didn't have all this saved away, how would our faith grow as we have to rely on God for our future the way people have to do all over the world, the way the early Americans had to rely on God for their daily bread?
I fear that many of the churches in the West are the rich rulers who gave out of their abundance while the churches in Asia, Africa and South America are more like the widow who gave one mite, all she had, to further God's Kingdom.
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
To all those who would follow Him, Jesus gave the same basic message. "Those who save their lives will lost them - and those who lose their lives for His sake will find them. The first shall be last and the last, first." Matthew 16:25
"I'm convinced the main reason why we are not impacting our generation for Christ is our refusal to be honest about Christianity. We have offered the world a Gospel without sacrifice and suffering. We've done everything we can to apologize for Christ's demands and to explain them away. We've told people that Jesus didn't really mean what He said - that they can have Christ without His cross." K. P. Yohannan