Tuesday, December 4, 2007

All That We Have

Quote for November 30, 2007

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." Mark 12:41-44

Back in the days of my own poverty I remember well a pep talk that the wife of one of the church elders gave me. She shared with me something her and her husband had been told when they were first married and struggling with finances. They were told to give all they possibly could give even if it was only a penny as God is capable of taking it from there and bless whatever they had to offer.

Comforting words…. BUT……uh oh I had to bring up the subject of, “what will others think of me if they see me put only a penny in the offering?” “If they are sitting there judging you by the amount you put in the tray that’s their problem not yours. If a penny is all you have then be like the widow and give out of your poverty,” the wife explained to me.

In other words, I soon realized I needed to treat it like I did an incident at a local gas station once. Wrestling up whatever money I could to buy the gas needed to travel to work I finally came up with $2.60 in change. As I went to the gas station before even pulling up to the pumps I made up my mind that I was going to throw my head up high and say it proudly as if that was all the money I had in the world and I wasn’t ashamed of it.

The look on the gas station attendant’s face alone was worth my confidence. “Two dollars and sixty cents of regular unleaded please,” I boldly said. He grinned as he looked back at me and said, “Oh the last of the big spenders huh.” “Yes,’ I told him, ‘definitely one of the last big ones!” As he began to pump my gas a car pulled up opposite me and the man inside said, “Fill it with unleaded supreme.” “Cash or credit?” he was asked. “Credit,” he gallantly replied. Several years earlier I would have allowed that to deflate whatever confidence I managed to build up inside of myself. However, it didn’t and I proudly paid the attendant and with a chuckle in my voice I told him, “If that guy wants to fill my tank too he can!”

That’s the way we need to be as we give to our Lord, knowing we are giving our all, the best we can, holding back nothing in reserve for “something for us.” It’s not about topping our tank or the offering tray. It’s not about who gives the most, who gave the least. It has to do with what we are giving to God and what we are holding back for ourselves. It’s not about what others may think of what we have to offer. It’s about giving our all to the Lord. Whether it is has to do with money, our time, our heart, our love we need to be giving all we have. There’s no doubt about it God will take it from there. He will bless all we have to offer. The task becomes ours to make sure that what we have to offer is our best and not the leftovers we tend to throw out to others after we get what we want.

CLOSING THOUGHT: We all know what God has offered us. What He put in the offering tray as it was passed around was the life of His son, Jesus Christ and a key to the front door of a kingdom that will last forever. We can never top His giving and praise the Lord He doesn’t expect us to. What He wants is what we have, all that we can wrestle up in our poverty. Rich or poor it doesn’t matter when it comes to giving of ourselves, everyone has that to offer.

This week, Christelle is hosting "In 'Other' Words" at her site, Beloved Mama. Pop in and see what others have to share about today’s quote from the Bible.


Julie said...

I have looked through my change purse to buy gas too. It never occured to me to be embarassed. You see, I was in the habit of being stingy with gas purchases. I used to borrow my parent's car and one of the rules is that you had to pay for the gas you use. I cannot tell you how many times I only put a couple of dollars in. Looking back (and now that I have a teen), I am not sure what in the world kept my parents sane.

Anonymous said...

thank you for participating this week :0)

Amy said...

Great parallel! The picture you have painted definitely helps me to see things from another perspective. I love it.... this was written so beautifully!