“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
Did you know that you can buy copies of the widow’s mite (2 copper coins) from numerous sources? I was given a framed copy at my retirement from 32 years in the Army. What does this comment of Jesus, whom He alone noticed, about the poor widow as she placed her apparent current substance in the collection box at the temple mean to us? Absolutely nothing would be known about her gift had not the Lord of all life commented on His perceptive observations. His comment made her known to everyone familiar with the Scriptures down through all of history after the first century. We do not know a thing of any of the “big” givers who gave “large” donations that were still a tiny percentage of their actual personal worth.
The poor widow does not even know, that is, until she entered heaven’s gates, that anyone knew of or noticed her tiny “insignificant” gift. Proportionately, it may have been the biggest gift ever given at the Jerusalem temple in the eyes of God, sight which counts infinitely. We do not know her name, but she stands predominantly in the courts of glory.
How are each of us known for our giving to God’s kingdom? And not even really “our” giving! It is how much we were willing to return what God had put in our care of all He had bestowed on us. There are actually numerous stories of those who chose to give 50% or more of their substance into “kingdom building.” And God, who knew of their giving, proportionately increased their income knowing where 50% of it was sure to go. These received the joy of giving away His treasures.
Many never know this joy, even though they could. They do not know that, though it appears to themselves there is a need of every penny to pay bills, taxes, and obligations or they would just not make it, that sacrificial giving will actually swell their income beyond what they ever thought possible; but, alas, such faith or knowledge never materializes in their minds or hearts. They totally lose out on the joy of such giving.
A lack of charitable thinking, a habit of living allegedly “watching” every penny, or wanting more and more for themselves, causes so many to not realize God asks for their first fruits, a mere 10%, before the first meal is purchased or bill paid. He actually gives 100% and asks for 1/10th in return; the first tenth. Primarily, this is to remind us it is all His. Ironically, He multiplies the other 90% to meet every need. In truth, He usually enlarges the 90% to prosper your life beyond what you need. This causes some to go beyond 10% in their giving to God’s kingdom work. The joy of giving captures their heart, and they are enthralled with what their giving accomplishes.
The application of the Scriptural phrase of “God loves a cheerful giver” comes to fruition as you think of your assets as God’s and give cheerfully. If the widow’s mite was a sacrificial gift that pleased God, what would your “mite” look like? Put your treasures in God’s bank; there are no better interest rates in the world. They just keep increasing and never lose!
“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise. Thou mine inheritance now and always. Thou and thou only first in my heart. High King of heaven, my treasure thou art. High King of heaven, my victory won. May I reach heaven’s joy, O bright heaven’s sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.”
(3rd and 4th verses, Irish, 8th-10th Century, “Be Thou My Vision”)
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