Monday, August 20, 2012

Giving from Poverty

Luke 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

The account of our Lord's observance of the offerings at the temple is not an indictment of the rich men tithing off their riches. As He said in another place of their tithes, "These things ought ye to have done..." We just need to realize that the tithe is just the beginning. It is the least we do. It is mandated.

But what the Lord is doing is commending the gracious giving of this poor widow woman who gave all she had. In our math, several dollars is greater than a few pennies. But in heaven's math, 100% is greater than 10%.

Really, it is not so much what you give, but what you have left that matters more.

My wife and I can relate, in a very small way. I never dreamed we would be able to generate the income we have. My wife has the spiritual gift of giving, I do not! But I understand the grace of giving and am on board with her lavish generosity of our resources. In the end, we have little to show because our treasures are not laid up here on earth. Don't misunderstand, we are comfortable and really, fabulously wealthy compared to most of the world. We are not part of the "1%" but I doubt we are far from being part of the 2 or 3%. (If you think about it, you might be part of the 2 or 3% also!)

I have to say, it is a joy to dig down deep, way beyond the tithe, even into savings, into money set aside for needs and wants and future plans, to be able to give to missions and relief of the poor.

I dare not compare our situation with that poor little widow gal that the Lord lauded for her sacrifice. But I do challenge the reader to go beyond tithing to grace giving, and even beyond that to giving out of your poverty.

Just as then, in the temple, the Lord still watches over the treasury to see who gives what and He still commends those who give what they don't really have to give.

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