Monday, July 8, 2013

Liberal Giving

You know those days when you feel like you have NOTHING left to give to your children?

You're weary.
You're spent.
You're parenting "bank" is nearly empty.

And one more, "I need mom" moment will suck the last bar of energy out of you...and the words THE END begin flashing in your mind.

I've had a few of those days recently.
I woke up from a good nights sleep and minutes later found myself praying, "God I need You."

Last night I read the story in Scripture about the widow who gave ALL that she had to God. 

Luke 21:1-4
The Widow's Offering

"As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"

Here is a woman with very little, yet Jesus magnified her offering because she gave liberally.

With unhindered worship unto God, She was willing to part with ALL THAT SHE HAD.

Out of her poverty, she gave richly.

It is sometimes easy to forget that the eyes of Jesus are on us throughout the day, watching how we give to Him our TIME, our ENERGY, our SELVES. 

Do we give out of our wealth...when we are rich in time and energy?  When it is easy to give?

Or do we give out of our poverty...when we are poor in time and energy?  When it is a complete sacrifice to give; when we feel that giving one more iota of ourselves will be the straw that breaks the camels back?

Jesus not only commends the woman's willingness to give out of her poverty BUT places her gift far above the others. 

Why?  Because she loved God AND she understood that giving liberally to Him (even when she had very little to give) was the greatest demonstration of that love.

I was humbled after reading the widow's story. 

How willing am I on those empty and weary days to give God whatever I have left?

How willing am I to fulfill His greatest commandment and expectation of me as a parent by first loving Him with "all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind" AND by loving my children "as myself?" [Matthew 22:37-39]

So it is simple really:  We can demonstrate our love for God on those days where we feel energy-poor by giving Him whatever it is we have left.

And 2 Corinthians 8:12 says that this will be an acceptable gift:

"For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have."

And a consequence we can pray for is that our children will see our love for God motivate us toward uninhibited giving and will, in turn, find themselves willing to do the same.

Join me today in prayer:

You are watching how I give to You each day.  You accept and place higher value on those gifts that I give out of poverty, rather than out of wealth.  May my love for You motivate a liberal willingness to give whatever it is I have to You.  And may my children give generously to You as well.  I pray that they would be like the widow and give whatever it is they have to You freely and liberally.  I pray their hearts would be so full of love for You that they cannot help but demonstrate it through complete and generous giving of their time, energy, and selves...even if they are weary and have very little to give.   

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