and he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. many rich people put in large sums. and a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. and he called his disciples to him and said to them, “truly, i say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” [mk 12:41–44]
giving that honors God and glorifies God, giving that moves and stirs the heart of God is never about how much. rather there is something altogether more simple and beautiful about giving that captures God’s heart. read the passage again from mark 12. what do you see about this ladies gift that moved Jesus? what is it that stirred him to call his disciples together? she gave a penny.
most of the time, i give out of worship. i give in response to the overwhelming greatness of who God is and what he has done. but sometimes, i give (my money, my time, my love) because, well there are all sorts of reasons, but they are not acts of worship in response to the overwhelming greatness of holy, great God. i give only because i’m asked, because it makes me feel good, because i want others to see me give, because it doesn’t bother my comfort, and on and on. sometimes, i give as an act of worship to me or something else.
what stirred Jesus’ heart as he saw this lady give? what was it about the widow and her penny that moved the heart of our King Jesus who owns all things?
it wasn’t about the penny, it was about worship.
worship is giving all you are, holding nothing back to God. it is saying, i’m all yours. it is unabashed, unadulterated giving of one’s self to God. it happens in that moment when you give your heart fully to God. it could look like a bent knee in submission or raised hands with tears full of joy. it could look like praying over a friend who is leaving to go serve God in another land, or it could look like praying over your child and saying she is yours Lord. it could look like the silent prayer of a 7th grader heading into school saying i’m yours today Lord or the tiny gift of a widow when no one else is looking – except the Lord.
worship has many forms – but it has one common denominator – it is you, it is me giving ourselves to the Lord.
what captured the Lord’s heart – he saw worship. and your worship, moves the heart of God! amazing! today, right now, in this place – give yourself to the Lord. worship him!
“but the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” [john 4:23-24]
~ john ryan