Read Luke 20:45- 21:4
I once read of a pastor who was talking to his congregation about giving. He was the senior pastor to a large church and has authored several bestselling books. As he spoke, he told the people, “Giving 10% is a tithe, anything more than that is an offering.” He went on to say, not out of pride, that he and his wife make a habit of giving above and beyond the normal 10%. I stopped and thought about that; giving 10% of our income is a command from God, giving more than that is now considered an offering to God. What’s the difference?
In Luke 21, Jesus had just finished lecturing the disciples on the prideful leaders of the church. They would pray in front of great crowds so they would be noticed by many. They would give a great amount of money to the church. But Jesus knew their motivations. They were not giving because they wanted to help out. They were giving so they could be known in the community as the greatest contributors to the temple. As He was saying this, He and His disciples looked up to see a poor widow walk up to the treasury and drop in two small coins. Jesus told the disciples that her gift was valued more than the leaders, not because of the amount, but because of her heart behind it.
Jesus’ new definition of giving was not the amount that you give. It is the heart behind the gift that truly makes you generous. Think about it; the rich rulers’ donation to the church barely put a dent in their bank account. However, the widow would be feeling the effects of her giving that night for dinner. It was never about the number. It was always about the sacrifice.
God valued the widow’s act of giving because it was all she had. She trusted the Lord to do the miraculous with her money. Her act of faith in this sacrifice exuded trust in her Creator. A small act of generosity and the heart behind it can bring more praise to our Lord, then a large sum of our posessions. Your material possessions can be great tools for the Lord but the question is are we willing to sacrifice the great for the greater?