Somebody Prayed

“A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:42-44

This verse sounds to be the making of a great stewardship message. Some of you may be grabbing hold of your purse and holding the snap shut. Well, it is a stewardship message, as when the Pastor is away the Church mouse will play. Let me assure you that you can ease off on your clutch upon your purse, as the Lord requires from you more than what your worldly wealth is worth.

It is an interesting observation that Jesus had presented to His disciples about this poor widow. The others had contributed out of their surplus as so many do and some gave to impress the others in the Temple. So many take that which has been given to them and use it for what they want and need and if there is any left then they will give it to God. Yet God gave His best, He gave Himself, He gave His only begotten Son and sacrificed Him to pay our sin debt that we may through Him have life everlasting. Yet so many of us give God the left overs. In the ever knowing eyes of our Lord this poor widow, who had lost her husband, came with no mention of children or a friend, gave all that she had. She came with two mites, about a cent in today’s economy. This was all that she had, and from the meagerness of the day she gave without provision for the morrow. I ask you, is that not the kind of faith that pleases our Lord? Is that not the faith that increases the reward that is stored for us in Heaven? The poor widow gave all she had to live on to build the spiritual household of the Kingdom of the Lord.

We know that when all has been said and done that the record of our lives will be justified before the Lord. We have read how the books will be opened and we will answer according to the record contained within. (Revelation 20:12) There will be no adjustment or compromise as God’s Word is true. We will be accountable for our time, for out talent, and for our treasure. We are each given a talent, some are given multiple talents and we develop them. We use our talent for the enjoyment of doing what we love to do, we also profit ourselves in this world with our talent, but we should first use our talent for the glory of the Lord. (Colossians 3:23) We have to earn our wealth and we receive it according to our ability to manage it. I have learned through my own foolishness that rather we have much wealth or little, we will have that which we love and desire. That is a true as the Scripture tell us where our heart is there our treasure will be also. (Matthew 6:21) The answer I had to answer several years ago is where is my heart? Have I given my heart to the Lord? Or, is my heart still seeking the pleasure of a passing world?

All our time is a gift from God. Every breath we take in is a gift of God given to us in the Garden when God in His love formed us from the dust and breathed life into us from His breath. Every day that we live is ordained by God and our chief end it to glorify His name for that Gift. The poor widow gave “all that she had to live on” without fear of the morrow because she trusted God to provide for her need. In Matthew 6:33 we read of this key to living through our wilderness journey in this world. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The question I ask you and myself this morning is what portion of our God given time do we return to Him for the business of His Kingdom?

God has privileged me today to be here in this sanctuary among people that I love the most. My family is here. I love them because I have invested my life in them. The blood of my father flows through my children. My church family is here, I love them because I have had many hours of Christian fellowship with them. The Atoning blood of our Savior washed their sin stained lives and now God sees them as they will be and not as they are. And there are people here that I would like to meet for the first time are here. I can honestly say that most of the folks here I like and that all of the folks here I love and I love those whom I have not met because God loves them so they must be okay. But I have traveled down a road in this world that would not make me worthy to be a part of this group who are in the sanctuary this morning. This is because my only purpose in life was to please myself and the Lord gave me over to that and I quickly reached a second before a very dead end. In spite of me, God loves me and this day I have been given God’s love and I love Him more each time I talk with Him.

When I look back I clearly see His purpose through all the mess that I had made and brought me back into fellowship with Him. That is God’s purpose for all of mankind, to restore the fellowship of man that was lost at the fall in the Garden. The purpose of man is to glorify God. This has been His purpose, to redeem us from the reign of death because of the sin in our lives. Today when I look to what I can offer God, I consider the talent that I have. A commodity that I truly have to search for. I look at the wealth I have accumulated, I shake the penny jar each day. But I truly think the best offering, the one we have the most of is our time. Here is a mathematical question for those of you who have let go of your purse a bit, how much time do you think you should give to the work of God’s Kingdom?

Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:17) There are many things that each of us can do to tend the lost sheep in this world that are wandering around looking for something to believe in; they are looking for a Good Shepherd. The possibilities are only limited by our willingness. But if the purpose of God is to restore man’s fellowship with Him then the foundation of all the possibilities we have through God are found through prayer. Prayer is fellowship with God, prayer is the best gift we can give to God, prayer is the best gift we can give to our self, and prayer is the best gift we can give to someone else. Prayer is something that we can freely give and will cost us nothing but what God has given us, time. Each of us are here today because someone went to their knees and prayed for us. Maybe a parent, a friend or a stranger, but somebody prayed you into a right relationship with God. They tended to God’s sheep through prayer.

By the Grace of God we are the Children of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12) Our Father in Heaven is Love. By the love that He has given us we are to love our neighbors and to pray for our enemies. Pray for our enemies? Why? Some of the people we love are enemies of God. They are our friends with this world, they love the ways of the world, yet they are our friends. But because they have rejected the Word of God, they have desired the ways of the world, they are enemies of God (James 4:4) Maybe they are not our friends, maybe they are very unlikable to us, but God loves them. God loved all of us even when we were still sinners and by His love that is in us we should too. By the love that God has given to us we should be concerned for the spiritual welfare of everyone. The last command of our Lord before He went home to be with His Father was, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Does that mean we are all to go to the remotest points of the world? No but we should be willing. Does that mean we should all be preachers and teachers of God’s Word, yes, we should all be willing to share our testimony of what Christ has meant in our lives. It all begins with talking it over with the Lord. We fellowship with Him that we can share that fellowship with others.

See how the world has fallen away, see how depraved the heart of man has become. Yes there has always been evil in this world but can you see how we have come full bloom to the days of Noah? It is not about us only, we have children, some of us have their children’s children, and do we want to leave them to their own way which leads to destruction? (Proverbs 14:12) Our loved ones, our family, our friends and our enemies who we know are in great spiritual need and have built there life on sinking sand. We know what the Day of the Lord will mean to them. We know that their only hope is to be standing on the Rock of God’s Word. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2) There is much we can do, there is much we should do, but first we must offer our earnest prayer for the salvation of their soul. Our burden is to go and preach the good news of God’s coming Kingdom and this labor of love begins in prayer. (Matthew 10:7)

So what is the power of two mites, one cent? Why was that such a great gift in the eyes of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ? One is the poor widow had her priorities right, God first. The other is “Multiplicity,” the power of duplication. In Luke 6 we read how Jesus spent the whole night in prayer to His Father to know which twelve He would chose to be His Apostles. The following day he chose the twelve. Jesus spent His time over the next three years training them and then before He went home to His Father is told them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. They spent ten days in prayer before the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came. They went forth and turned the world upside down. Form these Apostles that Jesus chose brought forth the good fruit of the Christian faith. This is the power of the mite, the power of prayer. We give that which we have and God will cause the increase. “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:7) Can we not kneel upon our knees that others can stand upon the Rock of Salvation? We are in the business of working the fields that the harvest will be complete for God’s Kingdom. We are to go and testify of our Savior that others may know His love. The Lord is faithful and will each day equip us to accomplish His will. (Matthew 6:11) The question is not that God’s will be done, but are we in His will?

Considering the Grace that God has shown towards us throughout our life, considering the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us, any and all service we give unto Him, any and all cost we bear is less than what He has already paid and far less than what we will receive. It is nothing more than returning to Him the gift that He has so freely given to us, time.

What is the power of the mite? On that day when all gather at the throne of the King to lay down the crowns we have collected to honor Him, pity to the one who has none to give. Where were we? Did we not plant, neither did we water, and were we not there for the harvest? We have received no better offering than the gift of love that each of us were prayed for to receive the gospel, we should do so for all others, a gift of all that we have. Then as we gather at the throne we can lay down our mite in the power of might that God gave His increase to our offering.

I close with these words from the man who is the greatest teacher who has ever walked this earth. The man who is indirectly responsible for each of us being here this morning, the Apostle Paul. He knew the power of the mite. He worked tirelessly during his short ministry to gather each and every one who the Lord drew into his path. There was no task too small and none too great. He simply believed and ran the race in complete faith that His Lord and Savior would lead him all the way home. God’s will and purpose was his path to victory through his Master Jesus Christ. “To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:16) These are the crowns that Paul laid at the feet of Jesus, the mite of his life, the offering of all that he had to live on in faith that God would cause the increase.

The observation is that some here have grabbed ahold the cross of salvation and wrapped both arms around it. With locked fingers they cannot be shaken. They will sacrifice all but not move one inch of distance from the Rock upon which they stand. Then there are some who only wrap one arm around the cross of their salvation and leave the other hand free. As they travel down the dusty King’s highway to their home in the glory of God they wave to everyone they meet. Come on, come on, I have found the way. They reach out to everyone who will listen and tell them the old, old gospel story of Jesus and His love. They are as the Apostle Phillip who quietly led others to Jesus that they too may have a restored fellowship with the Almighty God the Creator our heavenly Father. Can we not start with the least of sacrifice, which is the best gift that we can give to God, to someone else and to ourselves, prayer?

Let us all go forth from this sanctuary of the Lord to build a spiritual house upon the Rock of God’s Word through our earnest prayers for that someone we know who needs to the truth of God’s Word, Jesus Christ. Each one of us are here today because of that freely given sacrifice, that for us somebody prayed.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, July 27, 2014

Durant Bible College

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