A little can become a lot with Jesus. There’s not a more powerful story that embodies this principle than the story of the widow’s offering in Mark 12 & Luke 21. It gives us a glimpse into the kind of generosity God requires of us.
Mark 12:41-44 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.”
In all reality, the widow’s gift didn’t amount to very much when compared to everyone else’s offering. Her two coins were small and nearly worthless. What captured Jesus’ attention was not what she gave but why she gave.
Jesus knew she gave ALL though she had little!
In this woman we find a marvelous example of a person who “loves the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). The whole point of this story is not to compare how much we give to the what the widow gave. Most of us will never be called to give everything away like she did. The point is of this story is that we need to have a heart for God and a heart of generosity. This is what we do!
We know that generosity starts in our minds not in our wallets. So, how do we align our thoughts with those of Jesus when it comes to our generosity?
Here’s a short list of how we can begin to change how we think about money and generosity…
1. All I am & all I have belong to God
We have to understand that we are not only dependent upon God bur we are also servants of God. Therefore, the things we possess are not really “ours”. All that we have is ultimately His. And because God owns it all, He has a right to whatever He wants, whenever He wants is.
2. I am a steward of all God supplies
God has entrusted us with His possessions. As a steward of His possessions, He allows us a lot of leeway in what we do with what He’s given. But we are still responsible to the Owner of it all. This means that both our giving decisions & our spending decisions are ultimately spiritual decisions.
3. Giving is a matter of faithfulness
Faithfulness is what pleases God. As the widow shows us, we don’t have to give a lot to be sacrificial. When we give out of love and sacrifice there will be spiritual power in the gift. Our generosity isn’t driven by how much we make or the size of our gift, but rather it’s driven by our faithfulness to God.
4. Generosity should demonstrate love, not law
Some people give 10% of their income rigidly and mechanically. Others give in token fashion with no real thought. Neither are pleasing to God. Instead our giving should be done in an attitude of prayer and out of a deep love for God. We should ask the Father what He would have us do and then obey Him out of gratitude for who God is and what God has done.
5. Our attitude in giving is just as important as the act of giving
God loves a cheerful giver and the time of offering in our church services should be filled with joy. Generosity should never be seen as a duty or a chore; it is a GET TO not a HAVE TO. It is important to remember that generosity is not a burden or obligation but a privilege and blessing. When we give, we have the incredible opportunity to partner with God in His work and be a blessing to others.
6. Biblical generosity always results in God’s blessing
Being obedience to the Word of God will always open up the way for His blessings. Jesus put it this way, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
Ultimately, God does NOT want your money…He wants you! God demands total commitment in all areas of our lives. But the truth is that we cannot give ourselves completely to Him apart from our money.
God has offered extravagant grace to us through Jesus Christ who gave the most sacrificial gift in the history of the world. He gave His very life for our sins so we could be saved, forgiven, and transformed! First and foremost we give God ourselves, then the rest of our lives follow suit.