The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
We live in a world where the phrase “who asked you,” is all but too common. A world that says speak only if spoken to. And a world that says good enough, really isn’t good enough actually.
However, there is a God that cares for your two cents. There is a God that cares about what you have to say. A God that longs for you to speak to Him (and listen too). A God that created the universe and all that is in it, yet waited until His creation of man to say what He created was very good (Genesis 1:31).
God cares about everything you say. He cares about everything you do. And He cares about everything you have. Never believe the lie that God is too good to want what little you have, if you’re giving it with all you heart. While the world may not care for your two cents, God does.
Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
God cares. It’s just that simple. He is never too busy for you. He is never bored with you. He is never tired of you. He cares.
He keeps track of your tears and records each one in His book. He remembers. He cares enough to remember. The amount of hairs on your head are considered important enough for Him to know. He cares to know.
Isaiah 49:15 Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
If God cared this much for Jerusalem, how much does He care for you? In other words, can He forget His prized possession? YOU! Does He have to be reminded of His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)? Nope. Why? Because He cares.
God cares. He cares about you. He cares about me. He cares enough to remember. He cares enough to know the things that you don’t even care to know about. God loves you enough to care. So, why don’t we do the same?
Additional Scripture: Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Do good. That’s my motto this year. Simple and to the point. Do good. My motto comes from my scripture motto Galatians 6:9-10.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith (New Living Translation).
It’s very easy to get tired of doing good. It’s easy to compare yourself to others when you get tired of doing good too. It’s easy to say, well they aren’t doing good, and they certainly aren’t doing good to me, so why try? Because the Bible tells me so.
Scripture isn’t saying we’ve got to be best friends with everybody. It’s not saying everyone has to be in our inner circle to show that we’re being kind. It’s just saying, hey be good to people. Be good especially to those in the family of faith. And be good to those who aren’t because they need it most. They don’t have an eternal hope, don’t you think they need goodness even more?
Do good for people, and be good to people whenever you can. Goodness isn’t weakness, it’s holiness.
What makes being in a relationship hard? I think an underlying problem is having to share. I’ve been trying to figure out what makes it so hard to wrap my brain around marriage. The obvious is true, simply put, it’s a HUGE change. But when I sat and thought about it, God boiled it down to even simpler terms.
We have never truly learned how to share. And sharing has never seemed quite as fun as having it all for yourself. Sharing is scary. We have to trust someone with our stuff! We have to believe they will take care of it or that they’ll appreciate our sacrifice in offering it.
And since we never really learned to share, it’s hard to wrap our mind around sharing in marriage. Sharing money? Sharing my space? Sharing my feelings? Sharing is too vulnerable and we would rather voluntarily suffer than have to share.
But what about the other end of the spectrum? When we move from “I have to” to “I get to” it doesn’t seem so bad. And I can’t help but believe that we need to change our perspective about love, things, and money. Media paints a pretty ugly picture of marriage. It’s all about what you have to do. While that is a part of marriage it’s not all of marriage.
The movie “What Love Is,” explains this idea so great. A single friend is trying to convince his married buddy about how “whipped” he is in marriage. The married friend goes on to say it’s all about perspective. “You see it as I have to pick up my wife from the airport. I see it as I get to pick up my wife from the airport.”
I understand marriage will certainly not always be rainbows and roses. But I pray to understand it won’t be all hailstorms and thorns either. It’s the second biggest decision you can make (salvation being the first). It’s so big because it’s so good. And it will be a lot of work, but who wouldn’t want to work hard at something that’s worth it?
You know what I believe? I believe that God will have you do something for someone else, just so you can think about it on down the line.
Now, I don’t mean this in an arrogant or conceited way. But I do believe that there are times when we do something for other people with a genuine, loving motive. And I do believe that we have memories of those times so that we can think of them. And once we think of them, I believe we are supposed to reach out to them.
It’s amazing that God can work in so many different wonderful ways. With that knowledge, we have to be aware of the fact that we really don’t know all the ways He will use any situation. However, I do believe that God never overlooks the simple ways.
It’s simple to think of something you did, and be reminded of the person you did it for. And it’s simple to take that memory and use it as an opportunity to reach out to them. And maybe it’s not anything you did, but just a memory you shared with someone. Use it as an opportunity to say, do you remember when… And how are things by the way?
You will simply make someone’s day if you do that.
I was talking to Brandon the other day and after I got finished he said, “You know, it’s been my experience that when I completely let things go and put it all in God’s hands it just seems like that’s when things really start to come together for me.”
Afterwards, I just kind of sat there and was kind of like… OK… Where is the application in that for me? I mean I know all that already. Where’s the new information that I need? Where’s the new piece of the puzzle that I’m missing?
And then later, after we stopped talking about it, I thought about it. Of course he was right in saying that. But I took it even further than just simply what he said and reminded me of.
What he said made me think how often do we pray for God to move in a situation and pray that we’re going to leave it all alone and give it all to Him? And then turn around, and once we give it him, pick it right back up?
God doesn’t ask us to give our burdens to Him because He wants us to pick them back up afterwards. He asks us to give Him our burdens because He wants to keep them. And I just can’t help but think that when I’ve cast all my cares upon the Lord, somehow I’ve reeled them back in. And that was never what He meant.