That poor widow

sowing

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:38-43

How many of us have heard the story of the widow’s mite as an example of sacrificial giving?  Jesus made the observation that she gave more than all the rich people.  He did not commend her for that.  He just stated a fact after warning about the Teachers of the Law, who liked to devour widows houses!  (Mark 12:38-43)

When he did talk about commending people, he used the example of the unjust steward! (Luke 16) Really?  How does that work?  I asked the Lord for his wisdom on that, because it appeared he was being contradictory.

I was at work, so he gave me an example from my business.  Say I order a really expensive computer part, but the customer doesn’t follow through on the order and I can’t return it.  I’m going to be in trouble with Bert, my husband and business partner, because I didn’t get a 50% deposit and it has to go in stock.  I decide to sell it at cost.  I tell the next customer that I’ll give them a 30% discount on it.  I’ve lost my profit on the item but Bert is happy because he’s got the money back, and the customer is happy.  That’s what the unjust steward did after getting into trouble with his master.

Jesus said the master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” (Luke 16:8)
He certainly wouldn’t have been commended if he’d used the master’s money to curry favour for himself.

We’re told to use unrighteous mammon (worldly wealth) to gain friends for ourselves, so that when it is gone, we will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.  But we’re not to serve mammon.

How can the use of unrighteous mammon welcome you into eternal dwellings?  Well, if it’s used to build on God’s foundation, the builder will receive a reward, when the day brings our work to light.  1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

When Jesus warned you can’t serve two masters; God and mammon, he said to lay up treasures in heaven; Matthew 6:19

plater_02The Bible warns about being exploited by false teachers who will make merchandise out of us.  They are ferocious wolves, not sparing the flock.  You’ll know them by their fruit.  They will look like sheep, nice guys who identify with the common people – but they’ll love money, just like the Pharisees of old.  Listen to what they’re preaching, and have a look at their lifestyles.

The historian Josephus (himself a Pharisee) claimed that Pharisees received the full-support and goodwill of the common people, apparently in contrast to the more elite Sadducees, who were the upper class.  (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees.)  The Pharisees loved money. (Luke 16:14).

With feigned words they’ll make merchandise of you.  They talk about the law of sowing and reaping.  Money doesn’t grow on trees and I haven’t seen a harvest after people “sowing” it.  If you sow money into their ministries you’re sowing your talent into the ground, where it’s not going to yield any fruit.  Well, it will yield fruit for them in the form of cash.  There is a proverb that says “From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.”  Proverbs 18:21

They trot out Malachi 3:8, knowing that it’ll work.  After all, no one wants to rob God!  They should be reading the previous chapter Malachi 2:1-9.  The one that starts “And now, you priests, this warning is for you.”

Here’s what the New Testament has to say about sowing and reaping;
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Galations 6:7-8.Malachi 3-8

So if a person sowed for financial abundance, they’re sowing to please their flesh.

Another verse about sowing is in the parable of the talents, (Matthew 25:14-29) where the master came and settled accounts with his servants. The one who’d only had one talent had buried it in the ground.  He sowed it, so to speak. Through fear!  Because he thought the master was harsh.  What was he afraid of?  Robbing God?  But Jesus pointed out that this master does not obey the law of sowing and reaping!  “He reaps where he has not sown and gathers where he has scattered no seed. (Matthew 25:24-26, said twice)

Did you know Baal is the god of prosperity?  I believe the devil is trying to get believers to sow into the natural (the flesh) so they’ll build on a foundation that is not Christ, thus affecting their treasures in heaven (spiritual inheritance).  And it will frustrate God’s purposes by diverting funds away from the Kingdom of God.  And THAT is robbing God.

Now who do you think encouraged the poor widow to give?  The Teachers of the Law!  Oh by the way, true religion is taking care of widows and orphans.  James 1:27.  What’s wrong with this picture!

Now I’m not against giving.  I’m for being wise, being a good steward of my money, and having the freedom to give joyfully.  I love investing in the kingdom of God.  Did you know you can even loan God money?
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.  Proverbs 9:17

But I’m not going to allow religious leaders to take away my freedom, or my riches in heaven.  We are not under law when it comes to our giving.  Anyone who references the Old Testament law to compel giving is a Teacher of the Law.  Watch out for them.  And don’t “sow” into their “ministries”.

God bless.  I’d love to hear your comments.  Next chapter, I’m going to tell of my own experiences with the tithing and sowing doctrine.

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9 thoughts on “That poor widow

    • Hi Richard, I want to thank you – for the vision you saw. It inspired me to seek the Lord and he gave me two days of instruction. I carried a notepad and Bible with me, and wrote down everything he told me. It was funny when Bert came into the workshop, because I was really excited at finally being able to understand the parable of the unjust steward. He thought I’d actually gone and ordered an expensive part. His face was a picture of surprise. “Oh no!” was his expression. “You what???” he asked. I said “No, it’s an example! I’ve had a big download from the Lord!”
      I’ve written about how the prosperity gospel affected us personally which I’ll post tomorrow after church. Going to bed now. God bless, Jo.

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  1. To think last week I planned blogging about prophecies but instead got into something on sowing and our discussion Jo. Perhaps the Lord was wanting to provoke us on the matter? This is such an excellent piece and consideration of scripture and I’d like to comment generally.:

    Tithing is almost as taboo as eschatology in the UK – most churches would regard both as ‘American theology’! In the Baptist church I attended before we married and I moved away, any financial matters were reserved for business meetings but I recall the pastor having given a thoroughly scriptural exposition on why we should consider tithing – no demand was placed upon us. New Frontiers Church didn’t want to teach on tithing but pointed to NT expectation of believers’ generosity whenever required. I think Anglicanism may still treat it as ‘pass the plate’ and may regard a financial approach to being a private matter – so quaintly English. Evangelical, Pentecostal and independent churches are more likely to include sensible instruction on tithing and sowing. Also, the matter is more likely to crop up when watching North American churches online.

    It’s been our policy to sow into only those churches/ministries that exhibit Godly direction of their funds AND can show their field is well nurtured and fruit blossoms, so that what seed is sown gets spiritually multiplied. We’ve ceased our offerings where that hasn’t happened.

    So I understand your reservations. The Lord’s pointing me to specific verses of Mark 10 in answering my reservations to what I heard on ‘lending’ was purely personal to show that what I’d lost would be – and is being – repaid without any thought or continual prayer on my part. But now He’s encouraging me to become specific, as in other prayers. Also the open vision I reported reminded me of a dream about money a few months ago, which links into what that itinerant taught relating to Abraham’s tithing.

    Only yesterday, when chatting over coffee, the Lord seemed to be connecting all these ‘perceptions’ for me concerning the reviving of a ministry we’ve long known but not been involved with.

    So I thank you immensely for such a spiritually stimulating discussion on a mundane but important matter.

    Now the lawn has dried after a very heavy dew I can get on with mowing – and we have a hot sunny day at long, long last 🙂

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    • Hi Richard, It’s really interesting hearing how things are done in the UK. Pentecostal churches down here do not have sensible instruction on tithing and sowing. They’ve had way too much influence prosperity teaching in the US unfortunately. I agree it’s not an interesting subject like prophecy 🙂 But stewardship is important given the financial climate we’re all facing. Unbelievers watch us closely. This is the kind of thing NZ’ers see on TV down here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11453730
      “Bishop” Brian Tamaki got all his ideas from the US, through “Bishop” Eddie Long. We got it too at the last church we were at, but our prosperity pastor was more subtle about his greed than Tamaki. It brings the rest of the churches into disrepute sadly. God bless ,Jo

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  2. Good Word! !!. The church is made up of living stones, i.e., people and not bricks and mortar. We sow into people no BMW’S and penthouse suites for the pastor. Church is not a destination but instead it is a lifestyle lived by those whose hearts and lives are committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and to one another.

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  3. Pingback: Revisiting ‘Sowing into the Kingdom’ re. ‘loaning’ to the Lord | Richard's Watch

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