Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Giving or Getting


And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!" (John 2:14-16 NKJV)


Doing business in the Temple

Apparently, the Lord cleansed the temple of money changers and the sellers of sacrificial animals on two occasions.  The first cleansing did not stop the businessmen from setting up shop again, after all there was a profit to be made.  Money changers changed foreign money into Jewish money so the Jews could pay the temple tax.  Those who sold animals were supposedly doing those who came from a distance a service.  In both cases, they were providing their services at exorbitant prices.  The Lord wanted the temple to be a place where Jehovah could be worshiped, not a place where the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.


The Widow

These businessmen were in stark contrast to the widow who gave her whole living to the Lord when she put two mites into the collection box. In Luke 21:2-4 we read, “He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’"


She was not “getting,” she was truly “giving.”



Paul made sure that he was not merchandising or peddling the Gospel. He says,” For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:17 NKJV).”  I like the NLT translation of this verse, “You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.”


Those in the Bible who peddled the Gospel included Balaam (see Jude 1:11) and Simon the Sorcerer (see Acts 8:20) and of course Judas (see Matthew 27:5). Who wants to end up like them?


God’s Free Gift

The Gospel is free.  Let’s make sure we keep it free.  Too many people think that they can do something to get to heaven.  Tithing and giving are often the things that they think will reserve a place in heaven for them. Often that giving is late in life from money made unethically earlier in life.  But as I understand it, the only thing that counts when the chips are down is whether we have “believed in” the Lord Jesus Christ who has been offered to us as a free gift.


For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NKJV)



Money is often the measure of success in our society. However, money is to be gotten ethically and it is not to be obtained by merchandising the Gospel or the things of the Lord.  When we give, we are to do it sacrificially, cheerfully, regularly and proportionally. The Lord did not use the Gospel to get rich.  He didn’t buy homes and houses and have a big bank account.  He didn’t “sell” His ability to heal, or cast out demons, or His ability to raise the dead.  And at the end of his earthly ministry, He gave all, He gave Himself.  What an example to those of us who claim to be followers of Christ.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of March 7, 2020

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