I like that Jesus was a people-watcher. That’s something I like to do, too. So I’ve always been drawn to the story of the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41-44). Just four short verses, but with only 5 more days left on this Earth, this is one of the last teachings Jesus wanted to make sure His disciples heard. I think that makes it important for us to meditate on today.
Giving v. Generosity
If you remember, midweek, Jesus sat down in the temple and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. He saw many wealthy people throwing in large amounts of money….but He didn’t applaud their giving. Nope. Jesus pointed out the poor widow who put in just two small copper coins. Her offering was worth a fraction of a penny, but He called His disciples over to take note of her generosity.
I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on. – Mark 12:43-44
Two Things To Remember
There are two things that speak to my heart whenever I read this passage:
- Jesus notices “the least of these.” – This woman probably tried to remain unnoticed; possibly she was even embarrassed to only be able to give her two little coins when so many others were literally throwing their money around.
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.” – Matthew 25:40
He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.” – Matthew 25:45
2) Jesus doesn’t care how much we give, He cares how sacrificially we give. – Jesus knew God doesn’t look at the offering plate; He looks at our hearts. And Jesus could see this poor woman’s heart was bigger than all the rest.
Jesus doesn't care how much we give, He cares how sacrificially we give. (2 Corinthians 8:3) - Kimberly Sutor Click To Tweet
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. – 2 Corinthians 8:3-4
A Prayer for a Generous Heart
Father God….Forgive me for living in fear of scarcity when my life is overflowing with abundance! I have a roof over my head. If I miss a meal, it’s usually because of my own busyness, not a lack of funds. I have access to clean drinking water wherever I go. I have clothes and shoes I never wear. I drive to work in my own car, and am paid a fair – if not generous – wage. I can see a doctor whenever I need, and never have to worry about getting medicine. For millions across this world, these are unimaginable luxuries! Yet I feel generous when I tithe a tenth of my income or send a small check to a charity.
Forgive me! Help me to be more mindful of my abundance, and create in me a heart that pleads for the privilege of sharing to further Your kingdom work! Holy Spirit, fill me with a desire to give sacrificially….whether it’s through an offering plate, or a random act of kindness. Give me a Jesus heart that notices “the least of these” around me, and a spirit of compassion to act on the opportunities in my everyday to be more generous with my money, with my time, and with my love.
Father, You know my every need. Thank You for always providing for it, and more. I surrender my debt and my wealth to You. Help me to be a wise steward of Your blessings, and guide me in paying off my debts in a responsible manner. Channel Your abundance through me in a way that brings glory to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name….amen.