As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. –Luke 21:1-4
As a child, each week on my way to Sunday School, my dad would hand me a dollar for the offering. Most of the time that dollar made it there. But, I remember one Sunday when the basket went around my fifth grade class and the thought of a donut popped in my head. Concealing the dollar in my pocket, I silently passed the basket on. Later, I bought a donut with the dollar, but I felt too bad for it to taste good.
Giving can be difficult. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the widow in today’s Scripture to give all she had. Sadly, I think if it had been me, I would have held on to at least some of the money. It is hard to part with money, especially when we feel it is hard earned. As I have gotten older, I have come to understand what I did not as a child, namely that all we have belongs to God. We are simply managers of His provisions while we live this life.
In ancient Israel, the people gave the first and the best of what they had as a sign of gratitude to God. Today, giving is still a way to thank the Lord for all He has given. The amount we give is not as important as the attitude with which we give. We are called to give with an attitude of joy, dedication and thankfulness. Whether we have much or little, God is the Giver of all good gifts. When we change our perspective to one of gratitude, it becomes easier to be a cheerful giver. Search your heart. How is the Lord calling you to give back to His work in an attitude of gratefulness?
1. What kind of giver are you?
2. Read Romans 12:6-8. How does an attitude of giving go beyond money? What other ways can you give and sacrifice to the Lord?
Acts 20:35; Romans 12:6-8; 2 Corinthians 8:2-5