Tag Archives: offering

Judges 4-6; Luke 21

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21:1-4

I once heard a story about a young boy who thought he had nothing to put in the offering at a crusade. Though I can’t remember all of the details as it’s been years since I heard it, the gist of it is that a young boy was watching the offering baskets weave back and forth through the crowd, he was seeing all of the money given by the others, and he was getting sadder and sadder as they came closer to him. His pockets were empty; he had no money to give. He bowed his head in shame until he remembered he did have something that he could offer; and when the basket was handed to him, he laid it on the ground and stepped into it…”I give all of myself, Lord.”

I’ve never had a lot of money, as a matter of fact for most of my adult life I have lived below poverty level. It can be scary, literally some days not knowing where my next meal would come from, but the Lord has ALWAYS met my needs in some way – whether through the anticipated or {most of the time} through the completely mind-boggling unexpected.

In the beginning of my journey in faith, I felt guilty and full of shame because the small amount of money that I could afford to give for offerings never felt like enough. It felt meager and pitiful. As I continued, the Lord taught me truth through the story of the ‘widow’s mite’.

Giving isn’t about the dollar amount that is contributed. Sure, there are people in the world who are able to give thousands of dollars in one fell swoop, and that is amazing for the ministries and people who receive it; I can speak from personal experience that it means a lot when you’ve been given support in an area of need. However, the offering that God is hoping to receive is that of the best of what can be given with a heart of love, generosity, and willingness.

I may not be able to write a check for thousands, but I can give what I have – I can give my Bible to someone who, unbeknownst to me, had been praying for one the night before we met. I can serve someone in an area of need – cooking a meal, offering a ride, volunteering through a local ministry… I can give a hug, hold the door, help someone cross the street, and offer an ear to listen or a hand to hold.

As I listen…not to the voice of guilt that tries to make me feel inadequate because I don’t always have cash to give, but to the voice of Holy Spirit who shows me the ways that I can give my all to God. As I obey the promptings, some very easy and some that stretch my faith, I place myself in the proverbial offering basket.

Yesappa, Thank You for accepting the only offering I can give 100% of the time…myself. I pray that I am an incense pleasing to You. Show me how to give so that I can be a pipeline for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Judges, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament

Leviticus 7; Psalm 7-8; Proverbs 22; 1 Thessalonians 1

Thanksgiving in Spring…that’s what this time of year is for me. 

I reflect back to yesterday when my wife and I spent the day in Washington, DC enjoying the magnificence found in the height of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Millions of people converge on this spectacle every year…and if you’ve ever walked through the canopy of branches holding those small pale pink flowers with the occasional precipitation of tiny pedals raining down, you know why.  It’s hard not to be taken to a different place while meandering through this fairy tale like environment.  It’s hard not escape from the worldly pressures we live in every day.  It’s hard not to stop and be thankful for being alive.

Partway through our walk, we pulled off to the side of the path and spread out a blanket in a slightly secluded pocket away from the crowds.  We sat, talked, dreamed and took in all that was around us.  We watched as others were doing the same thing.  Parents with their children, business men on their lunch break and even a couple of seemingly rebellious teenagers stopping to pick just a single flower from one of the trees when they thought no one was looking.  I was so thankful for being alive.

As I laid there staring up at the floral canopy above me, I read through Leviticus 7.  I’ve read through this chapter before a few times over the years and I always categorized it in Old Testament ceremonial traditions that had no real relevance to me today.  It was in a time of rules and regulations that preceded the freedom that Christ gave.  This time reading through it was different though.  As I read through the specifics of how the offerings were to be made, it resonated with me how difficult it was to meet the details that were required to make these offerings acceptable.  The payment needed was not easy to fulfill.  The gap that needed to be bridged couldn’t be made by some artificial placeholder.  There was one way to fulfill it and anything outside of that method was deemed unacceptable. 

Here on this Easter Sunday, I’m faced with the same revelation of how Christ satisfied the stiff and narrow requirements placed before me.  I was cut off from my people…I was destined for an eternity of fire.  But…

            He came…

                        He sacrificed…

                                    He fulfilled.

And now…I am alive

                                    …because He is alive.

This is my Thanksgiving in Spring.

~chefdave

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament