Day 120 – A Poor But Generous Widow

Mark 12:41-44

Daily Devotionals for Families

People who love God will show their love by how they live their lives. One area in which their love for God will be manifested is how they spend their money. If how they spend their money isn’t affected by their relationship with God, they probably have no relationship with Him.

For example, parents love their children, and their love shows when they use their money to take care of their children’s needs or buy them gifts. If a parent never spent any money on his children, we would doubt his love. People love their friends, and their love shows when they, among other things, spend money to show hospitality to, or help their friends. People love their dogs, and their love shows when they spend money on their dogs.

By the same token, when people love God, it affects their pocketbooks. Unfortunately, many people who claim to love God actually prove by their actions that they love their dogs more!

Of course, there is no way to give God money or any material thing directly. The only way we can give to God is to support what He is interested in, and He is primarily interested in His kingdom and the advancement of it. He wants people to be saved and discipled. So we can show our love for God by supporting our church, missionaries and other biblical ministries.

As today’s story clearly illustrates, God is not so impressed by how much we give, but by how much we give in proportion to how much we have available to give. It’s easy for a millionaire to give a thousand dollars to God’s work, but in God’s eyes, a poor person’s gift of one dollar could be a bigger gift. This is something for us to consider in our own lives. Every Christian should regularly be giving a portion of his income to God’s work, but those who have more should be giving a larger percentage—if they want their gifts to be equivalent to the smaller percentages that poorer Christians are giving.

Q. Is there a biblical percentage of income that is the minimum that every Christian should be giving? If so, what is that percentage?

A. In the Old Testament, God commanded all of His people to give ten percent of their income to His work, regardless of how rich or poor they were. It would seem reasonable to conclude that God does not expect less of His people under the new covenant, and so giving ten percent is a good place to start.

Q. Let’s say your parents give you an allowance of five dollars a week and you give it all to a missionary. Would that be the same as your parents giving away all of their weekly income?

A. Your giving would be commendable, but your parents’ giving would be a much greater sacrifice. This is not because the amount of their gift was greater, but because they gave what they had to live on for a week, something you really didn’t do. You probably didn’t need any of your money to buy food, pay electric bills or purchase clothing for your kids!

Application: Because God knows everything, He views things differently than we often do. What impresses us might not impress Him, and vice versa. Jesus once said, “What this world honors is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).