Last night I was in a meeting, talking through a sermon series that I'm preparing for. In reference to one of the messages we began talking about the story of the woman who comes to the temple and gives the equivalent of 2 pennies. This story has paralyzed me most of my life because of the overwhelming lesson Jesus teaches us through it. God sees our heart and our motive and that is what He cares about, not our money.
First off, we have to realize that there are numerous collection boxes in the temple at this time. Do you think Jesus just coincidentally happened to be watching the box where this lady came? No way. He knew who would be coming to this box and what they would be bringing.
Jesus watches when we give. He sees our gift. He sees our heart. He knows our motive. But I think that often more than paying attention to what we've given, God is examining what we've held back. I have to painfully drink this in. Jesus was looking at what this woman placed in the box, but He was overjoyed knowing what this woman had left out. Nothing.
I want this new year to be about holding nothing back from God. Nothing.
I want to have the courage, the faith, the trust, the discipline, the selflessness, and a painful hunger that won't allow me to hold on to anything that is better off laid at the feet of my King.
So when you give, pay attention to what you're giving. But make sure and take a hard look at what's left.