Perhaps the real test of our commitment is not so much whether we are willing to make sacrifices for our Lord, but whether we are able to make those sacrifices with joy.
It reminds me of a story in Luke 12:41-44 - Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
I read this story and wonder, “Why would she do it?” Why would she give all she had? She didn’t have much. Surely God would understand that. I’m sure she had needs and bills to pay. Why would she give the last of her money to God?
Some might be tempted to think she had been manipulated, or that she gave out of a sense of guilt or obligation. But Jesus would have never commended her for giving out of those motives.
I believe she gave because of joy. She wanted to be a part of the work of God, and it gave her joy to contribute. She was making a difference.
The story is not included in scripture because it’s a nice little narrative. Each of these stories make a point. A personal point.
I believe Jesus pointed out the woman’s sacrificial giving, not only to point out the hypocrisy of the wealthy, but to illustrate the joy we gain in giving whatever we have to God.
The Bible certainly talks about our financial giving. There are plenty of Bible verses on tithing and generously contributing to the work of God, so everyone can have a chance to hear the good news.
But our financial giving is not all that we have to give. What else do you possess that you could give to God?
- Could you give him some time?
- Could you give him your talents, your abilities, your skills, your gifts, and your passions?
You might hear a little voice telling you that what you have to contribute to the kingdom of God isn’t much. You might think it’s not worth it to give, because others can give more.
Remember, Jesus didn’t tell this story to commend those who gave a lot. He told the story to point out the genuine faith of a widow who gave very little, but did so out of the right motives.
God will take whatever you will give him. He specializes in doing great things with a small amount of resources.
Today’s Challenge: Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps already you have heard his voice calling you to give what you have to God. Be ready to obey. Reject the idea that what you have to offer doesn’t matter. It matters to God. And when you give, get ready to experience His joy.
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