When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”(Luke 21:1-4)
With these words, Jesus teaches us that the living God is not concerned about the dollar amount that goes into the offering box. He is not intrinsically more pleased or glorified by a larger gift than a smaller one. This should be no surprise, we read in Psalm 50:10 that the “cattle on a thousand hills” belong to Him. God has been, is now, and will never be in need, and the collective wealth of the human species adds nothing to His power or majesty. What, then, is the “worth” of an offering to the Lord (whether of animal or money or time or skill or a life)?
Jesus points us toward the answer when He says that the poor widow put in more than anyone else.
The offerings of God’s people are measured not by quantity or quality, but by the heart of faith that pours them out. This woman put in more than anyone else because–in relation to them–she was putting in 100% of her estate. But I don’t think the percentage element is Jesus’ point here–at least not His main point. I do not believe that the take away from this encounter is “always give away all of your money.” For some that might be what is required, but I think Christ’s commendation of this woman springs from something else implied in the words, “all she had to live on.” By giving all that she had to live on, she was placing herself wholly and without reserve into the hands of God. That is difficult for most of us to do but that is what He desires most. Love so complete that we have utter trust in Him and yield to His will in all things.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds and you give without measure. All that I have comes from you. May I give freely and generously in gratitude for all that you have given to me. Take my life and all that I possess – my gifts, talents, time and resources – and use them as you see fit for your glory.”
What we have to offer may look very small and not worth much, but if we put all we have at the Lord’s disposal, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then God can do with it and with us what is beyond our reckoning. Do you give out of love and gratitude for what God has already given to you?