I was reading this morning about the widow who basically put two-cents in the offering, while others gave much more than she did. Jesus makes the point that she actually gave a much greater offering, since she gave all she had, while the others gave what they did not need! Ouch! See Luke 21:1-4. This reminds me of a story about David in the Old Testament, where he poured water on the ground from a well he desired a drink from that some of his soldiers had risked their lives behind enemy lines to get for him. He was not being ungrateful or disrespectful of their efforts- after all, he hadn’t asked them to do this for him. Instead, he was making the point that he could not partake of something that he had not personally sacrificed for! See 2 Sam. 23 for the account.
Both of these examples remind us that giving, at it’s very core, is really about total commitment, sacrifice, and complete trust in God. Both the widow and David understood that God deserves not only our best, but our everything! The widow gave all she had; it was not the amount that mattered, but that it was all she had. David poured the water out as an offering to God; to drink it meant he was diminishing and actually disrespecting the fact that his men valued less their own lives than the opportunity to honor their king. The lesson for all of us should be clear. God valued our redemption and restoration so much that he “gave” his only Son!
Join me in focusing today on the question: “Am I giving God my best, my everything?” Are you all in, like the widow? Do you value the sacrifice over the satisfaction, like David? On a side note, I’ve always been somewhat amazed and disturbed by people’s willingness to give what they don’t need to the church or to others, than to give the best. One of our church plants held a garage sale in the community it was wanting to reach. Instead of selling things, they gave everything away. What is even more powerful is that the “garage sale” stuff wasn’t the clothes or furniture or other items that no one needed anymore and just wanted to get rid of it. Everything offered at the church garage sale for free was also brand new! Needless to say, many people in the community were added to the church because they not only gave; they gave the best and what had cost them personally!