"Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins-a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford-she gave her all." (Mark 12:41-44 MSG)
When I read these verses this morning I began thinking about all the times I sat down to write my tithe check. How rarely, unless I had a rough week at work, the money I gave didn't bother me that much. I would write the check out and think to myself "I'm such a good Christian." I've read these verses before but they didn't mean much until this morning. I guess that's how God’s revelation works within the Bible. We can read the same verse over and over again and it won't mean anything until we need it to mean something.
I began writing in my journal about this passage of scripture. I began writing about how I was sorry that my offerings had rarely caused me to sacrifice. Then I started thinking about all the other offerings my life was producing besides the basic financial offering.
How in Romans 12 Paul tells us to present ourselves, a living sacrifice unto God.
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him." (Romans 12:1 MSG)
So now I'm thinking, if my life should be a living offering to God, and the only offering that matters is the one that requires sacrifice then my life should be a sacrifice to God. I know that seems like a very simple concept. Most people were taught this in Sunday School. I'm talking more about that word “sacrifice” though. I think we can all relate to the idea of our lives being an offering to God. Today I woke up, showered, drank some coffee, and watched TV all day. That's my life being offered to God for today. I wonder if God accepts that as a good offering? I wonder what my life would look like if everyday of my life I made a sacrificial offering to God. Not simply an offering, but a true sacrifice. Anyone can bring an offering to God. Look at Cain and Abel. They key is that the offering actually costs us something. Our offerings must be a sacrifice given out of a pure and joyful heart. The offering was never meant to be easy.
There are some questions I will begin to consider as I co-exist with God:
1) Is my relationship with God causing my flesh to REALLY sacrifice anything?
2) Have I become too complacent with where I am that I forget my purpose as a Christian?
3) Is the offering I bring into the church a cheap alternative for what God has required?
I pray, brothers and sisters, that your love for Jesus would be ignited into a deeper passion, a deeper devotion, and a deeper sacrifice. That you would not sacrifice out of a servant to master relationship, rather you would sacrifice out of a loving friend to friend relationship.