1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
-Luke 21:1-4 (ESV)
I give to God regularly. I have adjusted my lifestyle to honor the Lord. There is much to be gained by doing so if you believe the Bible’s promises. Those regarding giving are as real as those regarding salvation! Prov 3.9-10 tells me that honoring God by bringing him the first fruits will “overflow my barns and fill my vats”. God has been so faithful to me that it is inconceivable that I would ever not honor Him. I have structured my finances to make it so.
Yet, here Jesus is telling us some powerful things. 1) That God watches what we give; 2) that faith is demonstrated not by how much goes in the basket but by how much is left; 3) that God would not tell this poor woman that she should share no part of the Kingdom work; 4) that God recognizes (and rewards) irresponsible financial giving.
The fact that God sees what we give is not always something that we live in. When we give are we aware that the same Jesus who watched the poor widow also watches us? She demonstrated great faith by giving sacrificially. Some would accuse her of being irresponsible in her giving. Some would tell her that she needn’t bother herself with the offering as her two pennies wouldn’t help much anyway. But in doing so they would cut her off from her reward! God promises to reward the diligent givers. Why would we think he wouldn’t.
As we look at Jesus’ sacrifice this week let us also recognize that the Kingdom demands that little people, people who are not independently wealthy, must have a part in giving to the Kingdoms advance. If we truly understood that we would likely be giving a little irresponsibly as an act of worship.