From Consumer to Contributor - Part 3

OPENING PRAYER:

God, give me the will to be a contributor based on who you are and not on my own resources.  Help me release all I have to you and your unfinished mission. Amen.

 

READ:  Mark 12:42-44

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.

 

REFLECT:

Seriously, who puts everything they have in the offering plate?  Well, actually, Doug and Sally did exactly that.  Like my husband and I, they were one of five families who had returned to college after heeding the call to full time ministry.  We met them during the “meet and greet” at the church we attended the Sunday before classes started.

During the service, I felt God nudging me to invite them to lunch.  My husband thought it was a good idea, so when the service concluded, I leaned over the pew and asked if they would like to come home with us for lunch.  They said yes.

We had a great afternoon visiting and getting to know each other.  When it was time for them to leave, Doug said, “During our quiet time this morning, we felt so blessed by God’s presence, it left us wanting to express our gratitude by giving an offering this morning.  The only money we had was the money we needed to buy groceries for today.  We decided to trust God and went ahead and put what we had in the offering.  You guys were God’s answer to our prayer.” They had a check they could cash the next day but since banks aren’t open on Sunday, what they gave was all they had to buy food.

The fact that God used us to bless them was humbling.  But it wasn’t nearly as humbling as their all-in trust that God would provide.  It was one thing for Sally and Doug to give up their food for the day but they had two young sons who would also be impacted by their decision.  No one knows why the widow decided to put everything she had in the collection box that day.  Maybe she was motivated by gratitude or overwhelmed by the greatness of her God.  Whatever the reason, her life reflected the choice to be a giver and not just a taker. 

 

APPLY:

When you look at your life, is the generosity of your heavenly Father reflected in your giving?  Or is your Unfinished commitment based on how you view your resources?  Is a lack of trust holding you back?  Will you allow yourself to be challenged to step into a place where God can reveal his greatness?

If you missed the last message of the Restore series, watch online today.

 

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord, I want to be like the widow who trusted you with all she had.  Help me resist the temptation to constrain my giving out of fear there won’t be enough left for my needs.  Stretch me and grow me in the area of giving. Amen.

Terry Schneider