Poverty Giving

Journal Entry // February 27, 2022

For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:44 ESV

Faith and trust in the Lord our God can be so easily measured and quantified if we take the time to really examine our actions working through the motives and intentions of our hearts. Granted, I don’t really enjoy this process of examination that looks beyond the veneer of immediate actions and delves into the motives behind those actions. These seemingly minor actions that I perform day in and day out are the gauges on the dashboard of my soul. Warning lights to indicate there is a deep heart issue that needs to be addressed. All wrapped up in this question, “Who am I trusting?”

This is what Jesus is calling attention to as he watches the giving of the people at the temple. As we all prefer to think that our giving is a very personal and private moment between us and God, Jesus here shakes that notion and takes for granted that our giving is an act of worship and like every other act of worship it needs to be examined to ensure it is done properly. So my giving is private in one sense, but public in another. How I let the public side of this act influence my heart is a major contributing factor to properly worshipping God.

The central question being, “Am I giving out of the abundance of God’s blessing in my life or am I giving out of the poverty?” Or maybe another way to phrase this would be, “When I give to the Lord as an act of worship, does it require a sacrifice on my part?” How is my giving back to the Lord having an impact on my daily life? Is my giving simply to follow the rule of 10%? Is this the line of declaration that shows I have met the requirement? That is not really worship. That is obedience, which is good in and of itself but it’s not always worship. How do I deepen my faith and trust in the Lord? I give to the Lord out of my poverty.

This isn’t just about money. I can give sacrificially with my finances and give up many good things in this world that could be a blessing from the Lord through those finances. I could give it all away and be impoverished, yet my heart be proud and far away from worshipping God. No, I think this is more than just money. It’s my heart attitude about all of my life. Am I willing to live all of my life by sacrificially giving out of my poverty? Will I give of my time, talents, and treasure?

It is definitely important to give of our treasure to the work of God as we worship. This is extremely important as I demonstrate trust and faith. But equally important is my time and talent. I mustn’t stop at just giving money to satisfy some objective in my mind of meeting the requirements of the law. I must also give of my time and talent. These are precious commodities that we all have in finite numbers. How I use my time may be the single biggest indicator of my heart. Do I give out of my poverty in this area? Do I give more to the Lord than a couple hours on Sunday to attend a worship service?

I want to give out of my poverty in all of this: time, talent, and treasure. This is loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I don’t want to hoard my time and talent just like I don’t want to hoard my treasure. I want to give it all to Jesus. Like the woman in this passage, I want to give everything I have to Jesus. Physical resources, mental capability, financial resources… All of it. I want to worship Christ with every area and every moment of my life.

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