The Widow's Offering: Mark 12:41-44
41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.
Have you ever squelched a nudge to give by justifying why you should use it for yourself instead? I sure have. But this is not what I am here to write about since I pray the Holy Spirit will faithfully convict us in this area to help our financially struggling churches.
What I want to talk about instead is the love of Christ and the heart of us as a giver.
Day in and day out we go about our day, making and serving meals, teaching our children manners, math, and memory work, breaking up fights, paying bills, trying to bring a side income in to help, be available physically and emotionally for our husband, help with ministry, give to the church, be with the Lord, and the list goes on and on. It all can seem so mundane and uninteresting and if we let it, unfulfilling.
We give so much of our lives that sometimes we want to scream out, "Does anyone even notice me?! Someone that loves me...just tell me I am doing an okay job at least!"
In the passage above we can pull out some points to help us re-align our hearts with His heart.
Notice that Jesus is sitting and watching people. It doesn't say He is in the midst of them, it says "he sat down and watched" the people putting money in. He was seeing just what people were doing in the area of giving. There were some who gave a lot, some made a show, some didn't, some ordinary...but he knew their hearts.
Then, He saw the lonely, poor widow who gave everything she had.
He not only saw her but he KNEW she would be there at that time with her coins. He saw her - all of her - and cared. He was there knowing she would be. He exalted her extravagant gift to His disciples.
HE exalted HER. The God of the universe, the Alpha and Omega...He gave her grace because of her heart of humility.
Her donation became the most famous in all of history because it is written in the Book of Life.
Something else to notice here is (that we know of) He didn't get up in front of the crowd this time to point her out to everyone. It doesn't say He swooped in to rescue her from her circumstances right then and there. She wasn't hoarding every last penny for herself because of her desperation or desires. She gave it all - even when it hurt her - and with the right heart.
What are some resources we have that become depleted? Money, time, physical energy, passion, food, clothing, gas...What are you giving and where? Are you saving it for yourself? Are your priorities aligned with the heart of the Lord?
We aren't called to give until we are comfortable then stop. We are called to give until it hurts [our flesh]. But take heart, because your Savior is watching YOU in your faithfulness. Keep giving for HIM because He sees you and cares. Don't look for the approval of man but the approval of God and take heart because He will exalt you in your humility.
1 Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.