He gave a small fortune. She gave a few pennies.
From wealthy Theophilus to the poor widow, all of us fall somewhere on the spectrum and can learn from what these two have in common: a heart for Jesus. With the Generous Campaign well underway, I thought it would be worthwhile to draw on their example in order to remind us of the how
and the why
Are you a Theophilus?
At the very beginning of the Luke series, we met Theophilus, whose name means "love of God." The Gospel of Luke (and the book of Acts) is dedicated to Theophilus, who most likely funded Luke’s effort to chronicle the life of Jesus and the early church.
As Pastor Mark has pointed out, this represents hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and travel, research and writing. With the help of Theophilus’ contribution, Luke wrote the majority of the New Testament.
In our day, we hope to continue sharing the truth of Jesus with the world. Like Theophilus, are you willing to sacrifice a chunk of your fortune for the benefit of thousands of people waiting to hear about Jesus?
The Widow’s Offering
Though we can all sacrifice as Theophilus did, not everyone can give in substantial amounts. But Luke’s Gospel speaks to the poor as well.
"Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on" (Luke 21:1–4).
Like the widow, are you willing to joyfully trust Jesus with your life, and, out of love for him, sacrifice more than just your abundance?
Means Don’t Matter
The ministry of Mars Hill Church requires money, but we ultimately rely on Jesus to sustain us, not individual donors. The Generous Campaign—and church giving in general—is about the heart not the budget.
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," Jesus said (Luke 12:34). We must all ask ourselves regularly where our heart is. Is your heart for you, or is it for Jesus—and does your giving align with your answer?
If you don’t know Jesus, take advantage of Theophilus’ gift. Study the Bible and learn about our good God. If you do know Jesus, we invite you to give cheerfully, sacrificially, and generously so that we can show everyone how good he is.