“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and threw in two mites, which made a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all that she had, even her living” (Mark 12:41-44).
And there was a witness to this display of human behavior – the Son of God – the Heart Searcher. Jesus knew the motivation behind the contributions being made. Some were giving because they were expected to and so make a great show of it. They gave of the excess of what THEY had earned. It was THEIR money and THEY were doing Jehovah and the temple a favor by being so generous. “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).
Contrast this with the example of the poor widow. Her contribution was sacrificial in nature—“of her want she cast in all that she had, even her living” (Mark 12:44). I imagine she could have put those two mites to good use by perhaps providing more food for herself and her children. But she chose to give them to Jehovah because her heart was filled with gratitude. She put Him first in her life. He had allowed her to survive one more day.
Dear Christian, what is our attitude in contributing of our means? Do we realize that giving is as much an act of worship to Jehovah as praying or partaking of the Lord’s Supper? It is not just a custom the church practices to pay her bills. It is a command of the New Testament. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches in Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
On Sunday do we fumble around in our pockets at the last moment to find something to tip the Lord with? Or have we predetermined that our worship will be a sacrificial one; like the widow’s offering. “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly: and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
Brethren, I believe one of the sins that the Lord will lay at the feet of the church of the 21st Century is the stinginess of many of its members. We often fail to see the big picture. Our accumulated assets are just a gift on loan from God. In essence we are just stewards of His riches. He expects us to use those borrowed riches to His glory. Think of the glory that could come to Jesus Christ if His bride had more resources for evangelism, benevolence and edification! The thought staggers the mind!
Brethren, Jesus Christ is watching! What is He seeing in my heart and your heart as we contribute on Sunday? As Jesus told the church of Christ at Ephesus, “I know thy works, and thy labour….” (Revelation 2:2).
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