Luke 21:3-4 “Truly I tell you,” 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.” (NIV)
We don’t know her name, but she made an everlasting impression on Jesus and has become a symbol of human dignity and generosity across the centuries. The poor widow that Christ saw putting her two small coins into the Temple treasury gave cheerfully and faithfully, knowing within herself that she was grateful to God for His benevolence and support. It was a sacrificial gift because she gave everything she had. She didn’t expect any reward or recognition for what she did. She gave from her heart because she knew that God loved her, which is the best way to give anything that we have to Him.
Sometimes folks like to designate their giving to God so that their hard-earned resources can help support a ministry or mission which reflects their beliefs. There’s nothing wrong with that and many good programs and projects are financed this way. However, people can miss out on the delightful blessing that comes with just freely giving to God an offering without any ties or restrictions. When we joyfully do this, we trust that God’s Spirit will guide congregations to use the freewill offering wisely and effectively, faithfully and benevolently. This is why the poor widow gave what she could in order to support God’s work and do it thankfully, for she knew it would also help others like herself who received aid from the Temple.
As we reflect on Christ’s words and this beautiful event, may we also ponder on what and why we give to our churches. Perhaps God will encourage us to give with cheerful and generous hearts, too.
Point to ponder
What do I give to God from my resources? How does my offering help His work?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You see and know all things. You encourage us to give our time, talents, and treasures to aid and support Your continuing ministry throughout the world. Help us to discover the joy of giving freely, joyfully, and thankfully. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the church website at www.erinpresbyterian.org. You can also send John an email at Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s banner designs called “Blue Trinity.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Trinity.