It’s My Right!

Written by: Conny Varga

Recently I was reminded of the story of a missionary who spent decades reaching out to a cannibal/head-hunter tribe half-way around the globe. He shared a fascinating experience known as “The Pineapple Story”, in which he had to learn the hard lesson of giving his rights of ownership to God.

In the story, the missionary planted a pineapple garden, only to find that as soon as the pineapples were getting ripe, the natives would come at night and steal them; he didn’t get to taste a single one. Angry and frustrated, and selfishly wanting the pineapples for himself, he tried everything to get the natives to learn the lesson that stealing is wrong. And still the natives kept stealing the pineapples.

Then one day, the missionary stumbled upon the biblical concept that we must give everything we own to God. According to the Bible, if we give, we will have; if we keep for ourselves, we will lose. If we give our things to God, He will see that we have enough (e.g. Matt. 16:25). Suddenly it clicked in his mind – he had fought for that pineapple garden tooth and nail, to no avail, thinking he had the right to own and eat the pineapples. With that realization, he decided to give the garden to God, and if God wanted to bless him with pineapples, great; but if not, he would be content with that as well.

A little while later, the natives started noticing the change in his behaviour. They noticed that he wasn’t getting angry with them any more for stealing the pineapples, and they became curious. In their mind, the missionary had now become a Christian, because he was loving them instead of being angry with them, and “practicing what he preached”. When they heard that he had given the pineapples to God, they became afraid because they had noticed a change in their villages. Their hunting had become fruitless; their babies were getting sick; their wives were not getting pregnant; things were going badly in every way.  And so they stopped stealing the pineapples! But even better than that, they started believing in God and coming to faith in Christ! All because one man learned the lesson of giving up everything to God.

Another missionary, Jim Elliot, put it this way: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

What pineapples are growing in your garden? What do you think you have to hold on to and fight for? What gets you fired up? Is it your possessions or money, your job, your family and friends, your health, your reputation, your time and hobbies, your plans for the future? The Bible is clear that God wants us to let go of it all. He is the proper and rightful owner of everything, even our very lives. But somehow, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we can walk through life tight-fisted and entitled to what we have or want.

Let’s learn a lesson from this missionary and give our pineapples to God. Let us intentionally choose to open our hands and let go, so we can become channels of blessings to the people around us. God will honour that choice and bring glory to His Name by transforming us and impacting others through us in a positive Christ-honouring way.

A Princess Dress in a Grocery Store

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

I came across this quote the other day and found so much truth in it!

“No one is as confident in their life as a five-year-old wearing a princess dress in a grocery store.”

The author of this little nugget of truth is unknown, but they sure hit the nail on the head!  I am sure you have seen it too and know it to be true.  The Spider-Man costume at the dentist office; the Unicorn headgear at church; the oversized rain boots and ladies purse at the mall.  Little kids are just so uninhibited!  So free!  So sure of themselves!

It is truly refreshing and keeps life in perspective to see them live their lives to the fullest, free of the confines of the adult world and fully immersed in the realm of their imagination.  It gives us a glimpse of our former selves before we got all grown up and caught up in what others think of us.  Before we experienced the hurt and alienation of another’s harsh words.  Before judgement and hostility sideswiped our innocence.

We were not afraid to say “Hi” to anyone and many of us would have gladly taken the hand of a stranger who responded with a smile.  We sang at the top of our lungs, off key, with mixed up words in the middle of a public gathering without a care in the world.  We struck up the most interesting conversations with those who would listen, often to the embarrassment of our parents.  We would haul up our dresses to fix our tights at a Christmas pageant; in the front row!

Our confidence was simply fearless and unfettered, abounding and unending! 

But, somewhere along the way our confidence got knocked down, squashed, flattened.  We can all recount these painful moments with complete clarity.  Our perspectives changed.  We became more guarded, unsure and hesitant.  It changed how we approached people and situations.  We built emotional walls of protection and distanced ourselves from potential harm.  Our ability to step out lessened and our choice to step back won!

Inevitably, we grew up and got big!

But, Daughters, the key to building our confidence back up is actually to place our confidence in Jesus Christ alone!  Not in ourselves or people or situations.  When we do this, we can again be free to step out, uninhibited, and be who Christ created us to be, to the fullest, no matter where we are in life’s journey.  Despite what we have endured, and what is yet to come, we have the strength we need through our confidence in Jesus.  We can then sing and dance again, fearless and free!

I leave you with these three verses:

 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” 

Jeremiah 17:7

 “Such confidence we have through Christ for God.  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 

2 Corinthians 3:4-5

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” 

Philippians 4:13

Unity…What Does It Look Like?

Written by: Jody Mugford

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of unity among Christians. If you’ve listened to a handful of sermons, you’ve probably heard some teaching on how God wants us to be unified as a church, a body of believers representing Jesus. But what does that mean? What does it look like in our daily lives? This has got the wheels in my head turning…

Let’s look back to Genesis 11, to the story of the Tower of Babel. The people came together and decided they would build a tower that reaches the heavens, to make a name for themselves. God saw what they were doing and said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6). So He intervened by confusing their languages so they couldn’t understand each other, thus incapable of accomplishing what they had set out to do. Granted, the people’s intentions were not honourable, but even God acknowledged the power of their unity. He said Himself that they would be able to succeed in anything they decided to do, when they decided to do it together. How much more can WE, as believers, accomplish when we join in unity?

Throughout my life, I’ve heard many conversations about the need to be unified but we often don’t know what to do next. It’s unlikely we will all agree on every theological detail or that we will have the same opinions about various ministries. So how are we to be unified?

There is one thing that we can be undeniably unified about, across all churches and denominations, and that is the need to show Jesus to a lost world.

“I in them and You in Me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. John 17:23

When we are functioning in unity with one another, the world will see Jesus. When we are not living as a unified body, this presents a confusing Jesus. We may say with our words that Jesus loves and saves, heals and restores, but if all the world sees are Christians arguing with each other, intolerant of differences, and hopeless under the stresses of life, this behaviour will speak much louder. So what can we do? Take some time to read Romans 12. You will find much of the answer there!

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Romans 12:16

Living in harmony is a great concept. Harmony means to be in agreement with one another and to join different components together to create something even better, such as a musical chord. In a chord, the notes are different but when played in unison they make a beautiful sound. When we look at the common goal of showing God’s love to the world, we cannot forget Paul’s teaching on the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-8), and how we are not the same but all part of one body. We do not have the same functions but we work together, using the gifts we have been given, to the show the world who Jesus really is.

“So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13

We may feel the urge to exclude our responsibility from this verse because we are not pastors. We may not be pastors of a church but we are certainly evangelists and teachers for Christ. And as such, we should be looking for ways to encourage each other to use our gifts. Some are great musicians, so let’s be intentional to give them opportunities to use their musical talent to minister to others. Some are great conversationalists and can make anyone feel welcome and loved. Let’s give them opportunities to chat and connect with people! Some love to bake and it does their heart good to whip up something delicious for a person in need of care. Some love to fix things and take care of those that may have repairs they can’t afford. Some are great administrators and would flourish if left in charge of organizing an event for the community. Friends, let’s start to get creative. How do you and your brothers and sisters in Christ want to show Jesus to others? When you think of showing love to another, what are the ideas that come to your mind? They are probably different from someone else’s ideas because they stem from your own passions and how you would serve others best. Let’s start creating opportunities where we can all minister in the ways God has equipped us. Not everyone fits the same mould, and thank God we don’t!

The opportunities are endless and I’m getting excited just writing about it! So here’s my challenge, for you and for myself. Take some time today to think and pray about the gifts and abilities God has given you. Do not downplay yourself, friends. You have much to offer in the body of Christ and to those around you. Also, take some time to think about the gifts God has given those around you. There is probably quite a variety and you can rest assured that God has designed it that way intentionally to meet the needs of your community. Start asking the Holy Spirit to show you ways that you can use your abilities to minister to others and how you can encourage your brothers and sisters to do the same. Be prepared! God will likely give you amazing ideas you wouldn’t have thought of yourself. Lastly, when He speaks to you…obey. Have faith and step out. He’s with you, friend.

I believe that having eyes to see each other’s gifts and a servant’s heart to reach those in need will help immensely to unify our church. That unity will break down walls of hurt and isolation and it will allow us to show Jesus to the world, the true Jesus.

Love and blessings,

Jody

CHOOSING PEACE

Written by: Christianne Williams

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” John 14:25

I have probably read it a thousand times but never before did I notice, and really get the meaning, do not let. What struck me is that we have a choice to make.  It means that we can decide whether or not we want to be full of peace or to live in fear.

In a movie I watched with my children, they recounted an old proverb about two wolves warring inside of us.  In the proverb, one wolf is good and the other wolf is evil.  Which one wins?  The one you feed. It occurred to me, the same is true with peace and unrest, which one will win?  The one that you’re feeding.  Always.

The Bible tells us “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) We can choose the way we walk through life by choosing to think on the right things.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there are circumstances in life that can completely overwhelm and frighten us, I’ve been through a few.  But I can also say, that looking back, it was the thought processes I was going through that “fed the wolf”.

Q: How then do we feed the right wolf?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6­-7

A: By being in constant communication with the One who grants true peace!

We are to praise Him and thank Him knowing that He’s working on our behalf in a realm we can’t see with our eyes, but He can give us assurance in our hearts.  That’s the feeling of peace that surpasses all understanding.  I’ve known that in some pretty real times.  I remember one night just after my daughter’s first open heart surgery, when she was still very sick. A serious ‘code’ was called for the unit she was in, I was in our room trying to get some sleep, and when I heard that my heart was filled with fear.  I thought for sure that she was the reason for the call, as she had been the previous night, and that we were once again facing the loss of our five- day old baby girl.  I laid down on the bed, completely distraught, and prayed.  I told the Lord my deepest fears, emptied myself of the terror I was feeling, and He replaced it with a beautiful peace, one that I could not have manufactured on my own.  It was a divine exchange.

“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

His very desire is to give you peace in rest, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, if you make the choice to let Him work.

Picking Our Battles

Written by: Cindy Morrone

Fight or flight.

All throughout the Bible, there are examples of how God’s people reacted when a conflict arose.  Sometimes they entered into the battle and fought and sometimes they didn’t.

All around us are reasons to take up a cause.  Injustice, neglect, abuse, discrimination and the like. We see it all over our news and social media.

For me, it is the issues surrounding child welfare that I am most passionate about.  What are you passionate about?

And when a conflict arises I pick my battles.

Sometimes I fight. Like Joshua and his army conquering the enemy for the Promised Land, clinging to and armed with God’s instructions, “Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7

Sometimes I don’t.  Like King Jehoshaphat, I heed a similar direction, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ’Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” 2 Chronicles 20:15 “You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” 2 Chronicles 20:17

My engagement in the battle is not based on my passion; for that never seems to change for me.

Knowing which action to take is directed by God’s instructions to me in that specific situation.

Clearly discerning God’s direction is guided by Scripture, like those below and not acted on until I experience His Peace about the direction:

  • “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  Romans 12 17 & 18
  • “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20
  • “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 12:8

Victories can be lost when we choose to fight battles we are not supposed to and be silent when we should be shouting our battle cry.

When Things Seem Hopeless


Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters. I will be with you. When you go through rivers difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Last week the world was shocked and saddened by the suicides of two well -known celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.  By all appearances, they had it all; wealth, success, and popularity. But in the end did it matter? Something was lacking and now they are gone leaving their loved ones behind to grieve their loss to somehow find a way to go on and function without them.  I think especially of their young daughters, thirteen and eleven. How sad and tragic for them. I would imagine they feel abandoned, betrayed. Alone.  It’s a hurt I imagine they will carry for the rest of their lives.

We live in such a broken world. How sad is it that those who take their lives see that as the only option. The only way out…the only escape from their inner turmoil. How sad is that that people feel unseen, that no one cares, that everyone would be better off if they were gone.

Psalm 34: 17,18 The Lord hears his people when they cry out to him. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken hearted and he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Life can be dark at times. When things seem hopeless, there IS hope in Him. I think of the children that we minister to week in and week out. If you could see where they live and knew their family life, you would think things seem pretty hopeless. There’s the little boy who was rough housing with his classmates a few days ago when a button popped off his shirt. The tears streamed down his face. Crying….not because of losing a button or two, but for the beating he would receive when he got home. Then there is the six month old baby who lives with his mom and other relatives in a tiny wooden structure on a hill directly alongside the stairs going up to a school. I think of his mom, the sadness in her eyes. I pray for them both, that they come to know the love of their heavenly father who cares for them and whose lives matter to Him, even if by all accounts their situation seems pretty bleak.

Isaiah 49:15,16 Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has born? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

These kids, the ones we see week in and week out are not forgotten. God sees them. He loves them. He cares. He cares about their brokenness. The things they face each day. He cares if they are abused or sick or in pain. His thoughts for them outnumber the sands in the ocean. Their names are engraved on the palms of his hands. He is the God who sees. He is the one who made them, the one who formed their hearts and he knows everything about them.

Psalm 139: 17a How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them, they outnumber the grains of sand!

If I am to be completely honest, I have struggled with feelings of anxiety and discouragement, with feelings of not being good enough and at times not feeling heard. I’ve struggled with loneliness on and off since moving to Honduras.  And, I don’t know your situation. Perhaps you are feeling alone and at the end of your rope. Maybe you feel like giving up, throwing in the towel.  Please don’t. Please reach out to someone.  There are people who love you and who care. And God.  God is there. Even in our darkest moments, we are never alone. He is always there.  He is walking us through the storms and the valleys, through life’s highs and lows and never, ever giving up on us.

Matthew 28:8 And be sure of this…I am with you always, even until the end of the age.

525,600 Minutes

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

A tribute to my husband, Nathan Hill, the amazing Daddy of our four treasures.

During the long, agonizing years we spent trying to conquer fertility issues, I often wondered what my husband would be like as a Daddy. I daydreamed about being pregnant and how he would be during the labor and delivery processes. Most of all, I wondered what he would do— how he would react, when the doctor placed a brand new baby into his arms for the very first time— our baby.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. As I mentioned above we had difficulty conceiving. It turns out our patience was tested and over two million minutes passed between the moment my hubby and I decided to start a family— and the moment that we held our firstborn in our arms. That is a lot of time when you are passionately waiting for something to happen.

I remember the day our son Ben entered the world, so vividly. Watching the nurse hand my husband our first little one, this little man that was a piece of each of us, was maybe the very best moment of my whole life.

Most certainly worth the long wait.

About six million minutes have passed since we began this journey called parenthood, and I can say without reservation that my husband has proven to be one of the best dads that I know. Not only does he care immeasurably for our four children, he loves them fiercely, and he extends more patience than most people are capable of.

My husband, my kids Daddy, embraces every moment he has with our children and makes every effort to be intentional with his time with them. Time is fleeting and is often the very thing we take most for granted.

A few years ago my husband purposed we set aside every Tuesday (for date night) and every Friday (for family night). Aside from the fact that he prioritized these weekly events in our budget, the greatest gift my husband has ever given myself or his children is the gift of his time. We never wonder about the next time we will get to spend with him because he is consistent and devoted to each one of us.

While so many of us are wishing time away in anticipation for something great to arrive or an event to take place, or while others are griping away that time stands still, I hope that you’ll be inspired by my husbands intentionality and simply enjoy every single minute that you have with your children. With your loved ones.

Time is truly an invaluable gift.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. How will you spend your minutes?

Open Door

Written by: Conny Varga

What comes to mind when you think of a door? What about a closed door versus an open door?

I love the metaphor of an “opened door” in the Bible. We encounter this term several times in the New Testament, and it refers to God opening a “door” for people to go through and serve Him in some capacity or another. Paul states this in both letters to the Corinthians:

But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me” (1 Cor. 16:8-9)

I found that the Lord had opened a door for me”. (2 Cor 2:12)

In the book of Revelations, God tells the church in Philadelphia:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Rev 3:7-8)

God is inviting us to see the open doors in front of us and step through them in faith and obedience to Him. He is calling us to follow Him into whatever opportunities He gives us, to care for others, share the gospel, speak a kind word to someone, or help those in need.

So why is it that we often don’t step through the doors God places before us? Fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, fear of failure or difficulties, inconvenience, or just plain unwillingness are some very common factors we all deal with at some point or another.

On the other hand, people who willingly step forward in obedience to God, seize opportunities to benefit others, go out on a limb, and risk hardships, failure, or embarrassment, are the ones who have more fulfilled, rewarding lives. They have fewer regrets, and they are the ones who experience greater growth and see God’s power active in their lives and people’s lives around them.

Whether we cower behind a door, slam the door in God’s face, or step out and through a given door will impact our character, identity, and who we will become as a person. We can stay in our safe little bubble, our comfort zone, never attempting anything new or risky, and remain the same until death. Or we can find adventure, greater trust and dependence on God, and much growth as we impact this world for the better and the glory of God.

Is your life marked by safe, same-old, boring day-to-day routine? Or do you seize opportunities to make a difference, break out of the mold of the daily grind, make friends with strangers across the room, give a word of comfort or encouragement to someone, or share the love of God with others by meeting their needs or telling them about Jesus?

Do you see the world around you through the lens of your own small little life and your own small little problems? Or do you see massive problems and therefore massive opportunities to make a difference in this world, to change the plight of the oppressed, the lonely, and hungry, to free the trafficked slaves, to fight for the life of the unborn and orphan, to give respect and love to the outcast and forgotten, to bring light and hope to those in darkness?

God is placing open doors in front of all of us. Some look small and seemingly insignificant but will have long-lasting effects, and some are great big wide-open doors that will radically change our world and the world around us forever. No matter which door, whether great or small, God invites us to go through them, out into the world where He is at work, to bring His Kingdom to all who would receive it.

Let’s train our eyes to see the open doors, our ears to hear the invitation to step through them, and our hearts to trust and obey God as we follow Him wherever He chooses to lead us.

Love Languages

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Many of you have heard of the famous book titled, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.  There are various versions for couples, singles, men, women, teenagers and children.  All great books in their own right, all pointing to the sacrificial love we are to have towards others, just as Christ has for us.

In a nutshell, the author goes to great extents to point out that we give and receive love in five distinct ways as follows through:

  1. Words of Encouragement
  2. Quality Time
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Physical Affection
  5. Gifts

These expressions of love are like languages in which we communicate to one another.  Each of us has a dominant language, ranked 1 through 5, in which we feel most loved.  The goal is to learn how others feel appreciated and show them how much you care in their own love language.  A language they can understand best.  It takes effort to learn the love language of another and show them love in that manner.

For example, my husband and I are complete opposites.  His number one love language is Acts of Service, which is my number five.  My number one love language is Physical Affection, which ranks number five on his list.

Because we tend to love others through our own love language instead of theirs, I have spent most of our relationship reassuring him of my love with Physical Affection.  Most times he is fine with my barrage of cuddles, but there are times it quite frankly annoys him and does nothing to fill his “love tank.”  However, when I choose to surprise him by making his lunch for him the next work day, or I lay his clothes out for church, he feels more appreciated than a pat on the back.

Conversely, my husband is the most thoughtful man I know, constantly blessing me with his Acts of Service.  He has done so much for me from housework to bringing me lunch at work unannounced; caring for our children to painting and repainting our house at my whim; going for midnight drug store runs to cooking countless dinners.  However, with Acts of Service being number five on my list it is very easy for me to take all that for granted and complain that I am not getting my needed quota of hugs and snuggles.

We have both had to learn each other’s love language and sacrificially extend that language to one another in an effort to keep our “love tanks” full to overflowing.  And, daughters, it works!  We both feel more loved than when we first began.

This principle of Love Languages is true in all our interactions with others; in marriage, at home, with our kids, in the workplace, at church, with extended family and friends.  We can learn to love them the way they receive it best!

Jesus’ command to us in John 15:12 is this, “My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you.”  And this is how Jesus loved:

Through Words of Encouragement

“As the Father has love Me, so have I loved you.” John 15:9

Through Quality Time

“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place.” Mark 6:31

Through Acts of Service

“He poured some water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet.” John 13:5

Through Physical Affection

“Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man.” Luke 5:13

Through Gifts

“Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.” John 6:11

Let’s begin to love like Christ and love others in a way they will feel most loved, appreciated and accepted.

All She Had

Written by: Jody Mugford

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.  Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasure than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”  Mark 12:41-44

What a story!  This woman gave everything she had to God; the last two cents to her name.  When I read about her, my heart aches.  My mind’s eye imagines an elderly, frail lady obediently giving away her last means of supporting herself.  But this is a picture I’ve conjured up from years of seeing pictures in Sunday School or children’s bibles.  Really, we don’t know anything about this woman!  Why was she poor?  What happened to her husband?  Did she have children to support?  I find myself wanting to know her story!  How has she come to this place of complete trust and surrender to God?  What happens to her after she offers up her last bit of wealth?  The scriptures don’t tell us much however, we must trust that God is giving us what we need to learn from this extraordinary woman.

So, what do we know?  We know that Jesus sat and intentionally watched the crowd as they came with their offerings.  We know that the woman gave humbly without drawing attention to herself.  We know that Jesus took the time to teach His disciples a lesson based on her example.  We know that Jesus states that she has given more with her two cents than all of the others put together!

What can we learn?

  1. God notices. Jesus sat and watched the people.  He wasn’t doing this to simply pass the time.  He was interested in how people gave of something so valuable to them.  When this woman came and gave, it was in contrast to the prideful giving of many others.  Jesus noticed.
  2. It’s not just about the money. Money is near and dear to all of us and very revealing of our hearts.  Have you ever heard the expression “Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” (James W. Frick)?  God isn’t as concerned with the amount of money we bring as He is concerned with the sentiment of our hearts towards Him when we give.  God doesn’t need our money.  If the amount was more important than the attitude behind it, Jesus would have praised those that gave much.  But He didn’t because He knew their hearts were full of pride and desire for recognition.  He was moved by the trusting heart of this widow.
  3. Jesus wants us to take note. He brought His disciples over and took the opportunity to bring the value of this event to their attention.  As small as the offering may have appeared, it was big enough to touch the heart of Jesus and He used her as an example for all eternity in His Word.
  4. Jesus didn’t publicly praise her. We aren’t given any indication that this woman had any idea what was being said about her.  Jesus didn’t speak with her or revere her publicly.  We can trust, based on the promises in God’s Word, that she was eventually rewarded greatly, but for the time being, she received no accolades (Matthew 6:3-4, Luke 6:38).  Sometimes we feel that our sacrifices go unnoticed but we must remember that God sees and rewards in His perfect timing and way.  He is good and can be trusted to meet our needs.

The woman had two coins and gave them both away – all she had.  Logic would say to give away one coin and keep the other for your own needs.  This amazing servant put her desire to give generously, to please God with her offering above all else.  She didn’t do it for attention, although she certainly has received it over the last two thousand years.  She could never have predicted the impact her little offering would have on the future of the Gospel or the Kingdom.  She gave what she had to God out of love and trust.  He took care of the rest.

This doesn’t apply to money alone, friends.  Yes, we should be a sacrificial giver with our finances and want to give generously, trusting God to meet our physical needs.  But we are also to give all of ourselves – our lives, our hearts, our wills and plans.  We give these to God – our two coins, instead of holding one back for ourselves – and He blesses it!  He multiplies it!  He uses it to dramatically impact others in sharing the Good News of Jesus.  We don’t need to have much to offer, but we need to offer all we have.

Let’s learn to live in that place of sacrifice and giving of ourselves to God – our hopes and plans, our finances, our lives.  Each day is a new opportunity to say, “I’m here Lord.  All of me.  What can I do for you today?”.  Let’s position ourselves like this each day and watch Him do wonders.  He will surely take our few cents and use them mightily for His Kingdom!

Love and blessings,

Jody