“I tell you the truth,” he [Jesus] said, “this poor widow
has put in more than all the others.”
Recently I visited an older couple and had a wonderful time talking about the first coming of Jesus. The husband was a gifted Bible teacher who used his skills for many years to make the truths of Jesus known to those interested. His wife was also skilled in ministering to others through the years of their work together. Many people were hosted in their home and made welcome for Bible studies and times of fellowship.
It was sad to witness, but the husband has been quite ill for many long, weary months. His heart is in the work that he and his wife did for so many years and now he is sorrowful because his illness has robbed him of his work. As we shared together I saw his face light up when I spoke of the Christmas story and the coming of Jesus in humility to our world.
For a couple of minutes I changed the focus of our discussion from the nativity scene in Luke’s Gospel to the story from which I took our verse for today. I reminded him of the poor widow who came to the temple in Jerusalem where Jesus happened to be that day. She wished to worship God by giving some money to the treasury.
In Palestine at the time of Jesus widows were notoriously poor. They often were the poorest of the poor. Into the temple came this poor lady carrying the last two pieces of money that she owned. Jesus commented, after seeing her tiny offering, “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” Luke 21:4 (NIV).
The point I was making to this man and his wife was that though they could not do the many things they did in former years to help others, God was impressed by the “small” things they were still able to do. They were faithful to God in a time of suffering, they struggled to get to church from time to time to join in God’s praise. They prayed for others in difficult circumstances. They gave offerings to God of their material means.
So I assured them that even at a time when they were not highly involved with the church and no longer were able to make large contributions to the work of the Lord, still the occasional offerings they could make such as being faithful to God, praying, and so on, were precious to God. In some ways they were now making larger contributions to the church than ever before.
If illness, financial problems, or other difficulties keep you from doing the “bigger” things others do with ease, do not be disheartened. Your “small” contributions are large in God’s eyes and He counts them as being as much as anyone gives to His work. If your giving is like that of the widow that day in the temple, God will bless it abundantly and will also make provision for you as you sacrifice for Him. God is no person’s debtor.
What does God want? First He wants your heart, He wants you more than anything else you can offer to Him. In Proverbs 23:26 God says, “My son, give me your heart.” (NIV). May you do just as God asks, and do it today. He will bless and keep you forever if you do.