I own a solid gold necklace. It is a beautiful piece of jewelry.
And it's heavy – literally!
The price of gold is currently around $1500 an ounce. So this necklace would definitely be, as they say, *worth its weight in gold!* It’s a treasure – and it would be quite a gift if I gave it away, wouldn't it?
Now what if I showed you two pennies – two tarnished, beat-up pennies? They've been sitting in a dish of spare change for who knows how long. They're not worth much. In fact, in today's economy, they're probably not even worth two cents!
Back in the day, they could buy something – a piece of candy or such. But now, the penny is so worthless, we don't even like having them rattling around in our pockets. Many stores have little trays where you can "take a penny, leave a penny." If you don't want your pennies with you, leave them.
So, giving away these two pennies wouldn’t be much of a gift, would it?
Today’s "Bible Pick ‘Ems" is a story about a woman who gave something away…
"While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus said, 'this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.'" (Luke 21: 1-4)
Jesus was in the area of the Temple called the Court of Women. In this area were seven boxes in which worshipers could deposit the Temple tax and six boxes for freewill offerings. It appears that Jesus continued watching the giving for some time, and He observed a number of wealthy persons making gifts.
This woman gave a freewill offering of two mites. At the time, a mite was the smallest of copper coins, normally equal to just 1/8 of a cent! Though it might seem that her offering was small, her gift was a sacrifice, for it was all that she had.
Today, I'm not going to talk about financial giving – I'd like to expand the story beyond the issue of money.
The question I would like to pose is this – What are you giving to God of YOURSELF?
The issue here is not that the woman had given more as to value and substance – but that she had cast in more in proportion to what she had.
Her gift was counted as more by Christ, and more highly valued and esteemed by Him, because Jesus – the One who sees the heart, and knows all things – knew that she had given FROM HER HEART.
Yes, my friends, the Lord desires no greater gift than the gift of yourself. He is to be loved with all your powers and capabilities. He doesn't want offerings – He wants you to KNOW Him and to LOVE Him.
Mark 12:29 sums up this greatest gift: "The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."
Jesus uses the poor widow's offering to teach an important lesson.
A gift is not to be evaluated by its size, but by a comparison of the gift with the total possessed by the giver.
In the secret, innermost part of your heart, have you laid your life on the altar? Have you presented everything you have to Him?
May God help us to be like this faithful woman as we give our hearts in His name.
"When in doubt, search God out!"