“And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:” ~ Luke 21:3
The setting of this particular verse is within the Synagogue, or place of worship, while Jesus and some of his disciples sit and observe the donations being made to the treasury. As the Lord and the disciples watch the coming and going of the people they see many with great wealth come in and make what were no doubt very large donations. During this period of time it was only acceptable for those giving to the treasury to donate silver and gold coins and so not only could those observing watch the large donations being made they could hear them as well.
After several of the more well to do members of the community have come in and made their donations there comes one widow who did not have the same resources. While the rich dropped silver and gold coins into the treasury she came in with two mites, made of copper and not even worth a penny in our modern terms. Certainly among men her donation would be lost amidst all that was donated by the wealthy. However, in the eyes of the Lord it was not only noticed, but according to our verse for this week it was a greater gift than any other had given.
Why Teach on Money?
Most believers cringe and tense up when a pastor begins to teach about money. Whether from the stand, in a study setting, in writing or even in casual conversation Christians don’t want to hear about money and giving. References to income, charity, and donations might as well come out as directions to run, duck and hide. In their defense, most are already donating to their church in some fashion and believe those around them are as well. So why teach on this? Because reality tells us that giving, which the scripture clearly teaches, is not happening in churches today.
According to research done by Christian author and speaker Larry Burkett, “Thirty-seven percent of those attending evangelical churches don’t give anything at all to their local church in any way.” Furthermore, only 1% of Americans that make between $75,000 and $99,999 give close to 10% of their income while among those that make $20,000 or less the number is closer to 8%. What’s the big deal about these numbers? The concern should be that as wealth and disposable income has increased in America spending has increased over 200% while charitable giving has increased less than 50%. Americans in general are not giving to the church as they should.
So What is the Lesson?
The point I want to make in this writing is not that you should be tithing or that everyone should be regulated in what they give to the church. The Apostle Paul’s writings make it very clear that our donations should be purposed in the heart and should bring a sense of peace and joy. While giving should be planned and systematic that is not the teaching of our verse this week. Rather, the teaching is that while the wealthy gave of their surplus the widow gave of her substance. Our giving to the Lord and his church should not be what we have left over at the end of the week but rather should be the first thing set aside each week or month.
The overall lesson of this passage and I trust this writing is that it is not the size of the gift that matters but rather the willingness to give and give of self to make the donation. Let us remember that all we have is of the Lord and be thankful for the blessings he has bestowed upon us. Let us be faithful stewards to care for his bounty and use it according to his instructions.
May the Lord Bless you this week!
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