Those are two very different ways of thinking about faith. That occurred to me as I was reading in Luke 21. You are probably familiar with this story:
Imagine going to church one Sunday and there is Jesus standing next to the offering plate. How would that impact your giving pattern?
While this isn't my main point this morning, it is obvious that Jesus pays attention to what we give.
More to the point, Jesus knows why we give.
He watched as a wealthy member paraded past the offering plate and with great ceremony he pulled out his wad, peeled off some large bills and dropped them into the plate. I can imagine that after depositing that final bill he shoots a glance over to Jesus and nods.
Then the next guy in line has to step up and dig a little deeper. So it went all morning. One after another they step up trying to impress Jesus with their generosity, each trying to outdo the other. So it goes all morning.
Jesus isn't impressed.
As He turns to leave, Jesus catches movement out of the corner of His eye. Turning back he sees an elderly little lady slip out of the crowd, quickly deposit a couple of coins and try to fade back into the crowd. But Jesus won't allow that. He calls His disciples, "Whoa! Did you see that? That is impressive! All these other people have been trying to impress us by giving out of their abundance, but this dear lady emptied her bank account!"
Jesus was impressed - and blessed.
As I read that story for the bazillionth time, that is how it challenged me. What is my faith walk all about? Am I trying to impress Jesus or do I live to bless Him?
Sometimes I don't like the answer. Sometimes I serve Him with my leftovers instead of my all.
How about you?
I promise that today I will live to bless Jesus and not try to impress Him. Want to join me?