This past weekend, I was reminded of something the Lord once said to me as I was reading Mark 12. While reading this familiar passage, He spoke gently to my heart, “sometimes, the sacrifice speaks louder than the size of the gift.”
In Mark 12, Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-45
We are all familiar with this passage of scripture. I have heard it taught more ways than I can count. Just for a moment…let’s look at it with new eyes. Let’s just imagine this scenario for a moment.
Imagine you are at church, about to go up front and give your offering. Jesus, Himself, is sitting there, holding the offering plate. He is bold enough to watch each person’s offering. It won’t do any good to fold the check. He sees everything.
Knowing He is sitting there watching, many give their biggest offerings. However, their biggest offering doesn’t really cost them anything, it is not a sacrifice at all. He is not impressed one bit. Then one little lady comes and drops in some change…suddenly Jesus takes notice.
He notices when a sacrificial offering is given.
As a minister, I hear people all the time saying, “when I have this, and this come in, I want to give an offering to your ministry.” While I know they mean well, I know better. The truth is, if we don’t give out of our lack, we will not give out of our abundance. Giving is not a money issue, it is a heart issue. The truth is, if we have a giving heart, we will give a penny if that is all we have.
I know I have shared this story before, but it bears repeating.
Years ago, a partner began to send us change. It was taped to paper. Just a few coins. I prayed over those coins and blessed them each time, as I do all donations. After a while, the partner would send in a dollar bill. Year after year, the amount grew. This person is still a partner, they no longer send coins or dollars, but a check each month.
What happened? God saw their giving. He saw the sacrifice of her giving. He blessed the seed and brought the increase. God gives seed to one person…the sower. He knows if you don’t give when you have little to give, you won’t give when you have much.
Jesus said in Matthew 25:23; His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
What Jesus saw that day, when the lady dropped in her offering, was faithfulness.
For one person, a dollar may be their very best offering. Or even a quarter. If so, that sacrificial offering captures the attention and the heart of Jesus! For another, a sacrificial offering may be $25,000. Again, if it is a sacrificial offering, it will capture the attention and the heart of Jesus!
This past weekend, God led me to sow a large seed – one that took great faith. For me, it was a sacrifice, He knew that, and I can’t wait to see what He does with it. What I know is this. Jesus said, the sacrifice speaks louder than the size of the gift. Today, may our sacrifices speak loudly. May they catch the eye and the heart of Jesus! That is my prayer!