October 21

Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood. Mark 12:43-44

Jesus sat and watched people giving in the Temple treasury. This is in itself a challenging revelation – that Jesus sits and observes what each one puts into the Kingdom of God! Jesus then said that the poor widow had given more than the rich people, because she had nothing left. This means that the true standard of giving is not what I give, but what I have left! One of the most searching subjects in Jesus’ teaching is His attitude to money. There is no pressure in the Bible to give as Jesus gave, but there is an exhortation to the kind of faith that moved Him to live as He did. It requires great faith to live like Jesus, owning nothing and trusting Father for every next supply. Amazingly, God never asks us to give more, since that in itself would be an acknowledgement that some Christians can live giving only a part of what they have. God assumes that we belong entirely to Him, and that as we grow in faith and love we will let go of our lives, casting them into the treasury of His love. God never has His eyes on our money, but on our hearts, knowing that it is the things that we own that possess us. The goal of His teaching is absolute surrender. God could point to any number of things that we own, and ask for them. He has that right, since He is our Lord as well as our Saviour. But God’s eyes are not on the things we own, but on us. Sooner or later we will have to realise, as that widow realised, that God wants me, not what I can do for Him or give to Him. There is no greater release from worry, worldliness and unbelief than to stand before the altar of God and give Him myself.