Poor but Rich

Mark 12:41-44
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

This widow didn’t have a lot compared to some others, but it was everything to her, and still she gave it all to God.  Others had given of their abundance, but she had no extra.  It’s a challenging thought to think whether we would be willing to give of our want or whether we are only willing to give to God out of our abundance.  And it’s not necessarily that we have to give all of our money away, but we should place it under God’s authority, always give Him His portion, and understand that what He gives us is all His anyway.

This woman may have been poor monetarily, but she was rich in other ways.  Surely she was rich in faith.  She must have trusted God day by day to supply every need.  She had no one or nothing else, so she depended on God with a bold faith.  She was rich in love.  Surely she loved God supremely, with all her heart, mind, and soul, and she couldn’t help giving Him all that she had.  She was rich in God.  He was truly enough for her.  She devoted all totally to Him, and surely He did not let her down.  God was the center of her world and at the center of her life.

This widow also demonstrates that there is no amount that is too little to give, either.  Maybe she was embarrassed that that was all she had.  Maybe she was ashamed to toss in just two mites compared to the riches others had to offer.  But let’s not refrain from giving thinking our little bit won’t matter or our offering won’t be accepted just because it is less than others have to give.  Jesus knows the heart and the circumstances behind our giving.  He sees more than the face value of what we do.

Jesus often deals in these sort of contrasts.  He wasn’t impressed by the abundance of the rich.  He didn’t praise them for their generosity.  But He pointed out a poor woman giving very little.  That is the kind of heart that Jesus is seeking—not the one who seems to have it all and impresses with his money and appearance.  Jesus seeks the humble heart that burns with love for Him, that is rich in faith, that surrenders all to Him and obeys no matter the cost.  A love that puts God first will be able to give all.  The widow gave until she had nothing else to give.  Are we willing to do the same?

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