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  • Writer's pictureMarco Inniss

Out of Gratitude to God

The Widow’s Offering Jesus sat down across from the place where people put their temple offerings. He watched the crowd putting their money into the offering boxes. Many rich people threw large amounts into them. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins. They were worth only a few pennies.

Jesus asked his disciples to come to him. He said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. That poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. They all gave a lot because they are rich. But she gave even though she is poor. She put in everything she had. That was all she had to live on.”Mark 12:41–44

Ultimately, life decisions are investment decisions. Whether the subject is time, talent or treasure, we’re continuously making decisions about what we’ll invest in. In this simple account, “rich people” made large investments designed to impress others. The poor widow, in contrast, donated a small amount of money. Given her circumstances, it was actually a gigantic investment: It was all the money she had. She wasn’t trying to impress anybody — not people, not God. She simply placed a priority on investing in God’s work. She was willing to give all in an act of worship and sacrifice from a pure motive of love for her God.

This is especially striking since she was a victim of difficult circumstances. Widows in that day and culture often faced privation. She could have resented her circumstances, fixing her thoughts on what she had lost. Instead, she chose to focus on God and the privilege of worshiping him. She gave out of gratitude for what she had instead of grieving over what she had lost. This made her heroic in Jesus’ estimation, so exemplary that her humble act of faith would be recalled throughout the history of Christianity.

Those who know God desire to please him. Like the widow, we can offer no more than what we have. But, again like the widow, we can give all we have to God. Time, talent and treasure, in whatever degree we enjoy them, are God’s gifts to us. He asks us only to invest what he has already freely given us. We need to stop talking and start giving out of gratitude to God for his grace in our lives.

For Reflection

Where are you investing? Whose glory do you seek? Are you faithfully seeking to share with others the Good News that you’ve discovered?


Give all you have: time, treasure and talent.Give out of gratitude to God for his grace in your life.

Content drawn from the NIV Celebrate Recovery Bible.

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