“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.’” (Luke 21:1–4, NIV84)
Jesus was in the temple on the last day of His life teaching and observing. On this particular day He was watching people bring their offerings to the temple. Imagine for a minute that He might have been watching for hours, people from all walks of life bringing their offerings to the Lord in His temple. Imagine for a minute that those around Him knew He was watching them while He was teaching, so they began to watch, too. They watched many people give large amounts, but Jesus didn’t say anything. As they viewed this from the outside, they wondered what Jesus was going to do or say. Finally, a poor widow put in a couple copper coins and Jesus spoke. Why now? Those copper coins were worthless. They weren’t going to get anything done for the kingdom. And in this experience Jesus teaches us the most important thing about stewardship. It is not about the external gift. It is about the heart that gives it! Although the crowd could only see things externally, Jesus could see the hearts of the givers. He said, “These all have given from their wealth, but she out of her poverty gave everything she had.” Jesus couldn’t care less about the size of the gift. He cares about the size of the heart that gives!
What is the condition of our hearts when we give to the Lord? For a minute, don’t look at the amount or the percentage. Look into your heart and ask yourself the more important questions: Why do I give? To whom am I giving? God looks past the envelope you place in the offering basket every Sunday morning. He looks at your heart. He does this not just on Sunday mornings during the offering but every moment of every day. God desires that we give Him all that we have and all that we are. Even what we keep to sustain our lives should be an offering to Him. It should be used in the spirit of a servant desiring to please his Master.
May it be said of us that we gave it all to the kingdom of God.