Sitting across from the temple treasury, He [Jesus] watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. Summoning His disciples, He said to them, ” I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed —all she had to live on.”      Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)

There are many passages in the Bible that I read and nod my head in agreement. I see the point. I receive the lesson in my spirit, feeling the conviction. I even bring it into my heart and respond with emotion. But do I walk the lesson out in my life.

Scenario: I am walking into church on Sunday morning. A man comes up to me on the street. He is out looking for a job, a handout. His wife and child have nothing to eat today. They have no money. I’m not sure if I have money for groceries next week but I have $10 in my pocket. I don’t have any “extra” in my life right now but I have food for today. Do I “judge” this man as a “freeloader”? Is God telling me to give – in faith – and He will take care of judging the man and what he does or doesn’t do with the money?

Scenario: There are cutbacks at work. Where there used to be overtime, now I barely work 30 hours/week. There is still rent to pay. Gulf Power is increasing the cost of electricity. Food and gas costs are increasing. I have always given God the first slice of my income. I am afraid to give that money when the ledger in my mind seems so out of balance.

Scenario: A friend is starting a new Bible study on Monday nights. I like to watch football on Monday nights. I need the relaxation after a hard day at work. I don’t want to go back out and study! I have to be ready for all the demands at work. My family count on me to provide for them.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is about an abundant life that is filled with God’s promises. But too often I apply God’s promises of abundance to my financial status. Jesus spoke of treasures but He was about wealth that didn’t decay (Matthew 6:19-24). He said in this same passage that I cannot serve Him and Money. It is the importance that I put money, and those things related like career, ‘things’, and, yes, giving to Him whether in money or in using the gifts I have been given, into submission to the will of God’s Spirit within me. Submitting is a conscious choice.

Submitting to what God is asking of me takes His help. I am not strong enough, even pure enough to always chose His way. My flesh is weak and yet loud enough to try to deceive me, luring me away from God’s way and truth. The more I am immersed in God and His Word and chose to spend time with Him, I learn and assimilate Jesus’ example into my life. I learn His voice and follow.

Do I give to God out of my “surplus”? By that I mean do I make decisions to give or not give, serve or not serve, only after making sure that I have taken care of my needs first? Is that the way Jesus made decisions? Does He not indicate here in this passage of Mark that He approves of the woman giving all that she had to live on? Really??? How much am I willing to give to God? Really.

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