“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, 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 12:43-44).

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Continued from Jesus Who?—Bread and Butter.

When I sit down to do my budget, where do I begin? Do my expenses drive how much I give back to God, or does how much I give back to God drive my expenses? Is Jesus satisfied with just ten percent, half of everything I bring home, or does He want it all? Jesus told the wealthy ruler in Luke 18 to sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, yet just one chapter later, Zacchaeus offered to give half of his possessions to the poor, as well as pay back four times the amount to anyone he had cheated, and Jesus responded that salvation had come to his house that day. I like these two accounts, in particular, because one was recorded right after the other, and they illustrate that God’s chief concern is with the heart of the giver. So back to my opening questions about my own budget. Well, let’s just say that it was an eye opening experience; my priorities have been in the wrong order.

Consider the widow’s offering. “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 few cents” (Mark 12:41-42). The Lord’s response reveals that God is more concerned with the heart of the matter. “Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, 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 12:43-44). Some might actually criticize the widow as not being prudent with her finances, giving everything away like that. But in reality, the widow’s gift expressed her conviction that not only did all she have belong to God, but she trusted Him as well. Jesus, after all, promised to provide for those who seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Jesus, in effect, made a covenant with His followers. I don’t personally know if the widow heard the Lord’s promise beforehand; perhaps, she already possessed a type of treasure that few others did up to that point.

The scripture considered in this post is full of any number of other revelations and wonderful truths worth exploring, but I have written what I believe the Holy Spirit has guided me to write.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). The old covenant required a percentage; therefore, everyone knew how much was required of them, and I am sure plenty of people, most in fact, were more than happy to simply go through the motions (a reoccurring theme). The new covenant, on the other hand, has no set percentage; it fulfills the old, by exposing what we treasure most. The value of our offering isn’t determined by the amount we give, but rather where our hearts lie evidenced by how we give. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Until next time!

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