September 3, 2017
Read: Mark 12:38–44
Bible in a Year: Psalms 140–142; 1 Corinthians 14:1–20
She, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.—Mark 12:44
I use writing to worship and serve God, even more so now that health issues often limit my mobility. So, when an acquaintance said he found no value in what I wrote, I became discouraged. I doubted the significance of my small offerings to God.
Through prayer, study of Scripture, and encouragement from my husband, family, and friends, the Lord affirmed that only He—not the opinions of other people—could determine our motives as a worshiper and the worth of our offerings to Him. I asked the Giver of all gifts to continue helping me develop skills and provide opportunities to share the resources He gives me.
Jesus contradicted our standards of merit regarding our giving (Mark 12:41–44). While the rich tossed large amounts of money into the temple treasury, a poor widow put in coins “worth only a few cents” (v. 42). The Lord declared her gift greater than the rest (v. 43), though her contribution seemed insignificant to those around her (v. 44).
Although the widow’s story focuses on financial offerings, every act of giving can be an expression of worship and loving obedience. Like the widow, we honor God with intentional, generous, and sacrificial gifts given from whatever He’s already given us. When we present God the best of our time, talents, or treasure with hearts motivated by love, we are lavishing Him with offerings of priceless worship. —Xochitl Dixon
Lord, thank You for never comparing us with others when we offer You the best of the gifts You’ve first given to us.
Sacrificial offerings motivated by our love for God will always be priceless expressions of worship.
INSIGHT: Do you ever feel like you have little or nothing to offer? It’s a lousy feeling, isn’t it? Maybe that’s one reason the gospel of Mark tells us about the day Jesus sat down by the collection box in the temple to watch people drop in their offerings. He noticed those who gave out of their wealth, and then he watched as a poor widow stopped by to drop in her two-cent offering. Why did she even bother? Even more important, what was she thinking? She put in everything she had. Jesus’s disciples must have been nearby, because He called their attention to this poor woman and made a point of the largeness of her gift.
Now maybe you’re wondering, What was Jesus thinking? He didn’t actually say we all should be like this woman who dropped everything she had in the collection box. What our Teacher did imply, though, is that God counts differently than we do. There was something about that woman’s heart that determined the value of what she had to offer to God. Mart DeHaan
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