Thursday, October 18, 2007

All we have to live on

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Luke 20, 21; Psalm 138

Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)

1 As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Psalm 139 selected verses (NIV)

I will praise you O Lord, with all my heart;

I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and faithfulness.

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble you preserve my life.

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever.

Good morning!

Last night’s prayer meeting at Faith Church was powerful. It was a time of honest reflection; to confess our failures, work through the doubts and fears we carry, and to praise the One who gave His all to save us. I have to wonder if I’ve ever really given my all in return to the Lord I love.

What does it mean to love God with all my heart? If I’m giving Him my whole heart, the proof would be evidenced in faithful obedience to His Word. Am I willing to be obedient in all things, including the gifts I bring to worship? Does my daily offering reflect the depth of love I have for Jesus Christ? When Jesus looks beyond the gift and focuses on the motivation and desire of the giver, what does He see?

The widow understood the meaning of sacrifice. With a grateful heart, she gave all she had, out of her poverty. With no husband to care for her daily needs, this woman trusted God enough to place her entire life in His loving care. Am I willing to place my past, present and future in God’s holy hand?

I’ve been blessed in life with so many good things. I have a family that loves me and friends I can count on for encouragement and support. I have a roof over my head, food to eat each day, and a closet full of nice clothes to wear. When I give to God, does it cost me something in return, or is it just a small token of appreciation that has no real effect upon my life? These are the questions I raise this morning in holy conversation. Jesus sees my heart. He knows me by name. How I long to give Him my all. Am I really giving the Lord all I have to live on?

When a mother gives birth, she gives her all to bring forth new life. When a student spends hours of study time to become educated and equipped for service, she gives her all to the pursuit of greater knowledge. When an employee works consistently and faithfully, serving his employer with a passion, he puts forth his very best as a contributing member of the team. When we love the Lord with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength, we give Him everything we’ve got, to carry the Gospel message into the world.

The widow gave all she had to live on. What she received in return was greater than any material possession, any meal she might consume. She received the everlasting love of God, and for her, it was more than enough. Even in extreme poverty, the widow was richer than the wealthy ones, tossing a token love offering into the plate and walking away, totally unaffected by their ritual gift.

Help me Lord - teach me to give out of my poverty, because all I really need in life is you.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: guidance. We can have the widow’s heart, when we learn to give out of our poverty. What will you choose to relinquish to the Lord today?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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