Mark 12:43

Verse of the Day Devotion: Mark 12:43

“Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;” – Mark 12:43 

This scripture is about giving to God.  Here are the contextual verses.  “And He sat down opposite the treasury and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.  A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.”  Mark 12:41-42.  It is important to note these were voluntary contributions by the worshippers which were used to buy wood for the alter, as well as other necessities not provided for in any other way.

Jesus sat and was observing the giving that was taking place in the treasury.  As He watched, he called the disciples to Him and gave them a lesson in giving.  He saw many rich people giving large amounts of money.   By the fact Jesus saw them from a distance, this was probably being done in a way that was intended for others to see.  They were making it clear how much they were offering and was proud of the amount they dropped in the containers.  Then He watches as a poor widow came and dropped in two small copper coins, the smallest denomination of coins back then, worth less than a cent in todays value.

Many would say the rich gave much more than this woman.  They would only see the amount that is given.  However, that is not how Jesus saw it.  “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”  Mark 12:43b-44.  Jesus is not as interested in how much we give, but in how much we sacrifice.  Notice the words describing the offerings.  The rich gave of their surplus, the widow gave out of her need.  The rich gave what they had left over, the widow gave all she had to live on.  Charity should not be judged by its appearance; what we see with our eyes, but by the spirit in which it is given.

God sees everything we do, both our deeds and our intentions and motives.  He sees what we do in public and what we do in private.  There is nothing hidden from Him.  He sees the circumstances and our heart, whether we act with care or negligence.  With a heart of compassion and love, or of arrogance and greed.   The poor widow gave more because she gave her all.  She gave out of her love for God, giving because she wanted to honor Him.  She also gave out of trust because I think she knew she would be taken care of.  “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

We must check our motives and ensure our giving is to honor Him and not ourselves.  Our motives and compassion decide the value of our gift.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 19:17

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 19:17

“One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.” – Proverbs 19:17

Today is Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the Christmas Season.  This time of year is a favorite to many who enjoy the decorations, songs and movies that are popular during this period.  This is also a great time to enjoy shopping with family and friends and giving clues as to what you would want to open on Christmas morning.  It is truly a blessed time for many.

However, there is an important segment of society that we need to remember as well, that being the truly poor around us.  There are many people who do not have enough money to pay for food, clothing and shelter; our three basic needs laid out by Jesus in Matthew 6:31.  That makes celebrating Christmas with gifts and a feast definitely out of the question.  They would love the opportunity to give a gift to others, however it would take away from providing for the basic needs as listed above.  Furthermore, they would love to give their children a great gift, but many times have to either find something that was thrown away or not give a gift at all.

What if this was our situation.  Would we want help?  Would we want someone to bless us with the ability not to see Christmas as just another day?  Think about this and remember what Jesus said, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12.  Also note when He used the phrase regarding the law and prophets another time.  “And He said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40.  Helping in this manner will show your love for both God and our fellow man.  We no doubt will be unable to help everyone in this situation.  But if we can help at least one person or family, it will make a great difference in their lives and help them to celebrate just as we are able to.

And notice the second part of our focus verse.  “… and He will repay him for his good deed.” Proverbs 19:17b.  This repayment will either occur in this life, in things that are temporal and/or spiritual, or in the life to come.  We may not know what and how this repayment will be, however we can feel comfortable that it will be wonderful and something only God could give.  However, we must remember to give out of love and not in search of repayment.  This is important for this is how God gave His Son for us to provide the salvation we need.

In closing, I want to encourage everyone to look for ways to provide a special blessing to those who are poor and suffering during this time.  If you would like some ideas, feel free to email me at [email protected].  I have several areas that we are assisting in and I know would love the support and assistance you can offer.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Luke 18:22

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Luke 18:22  

“When Jesus heard this, He said to him, one thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” – Luke 18:22

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18.  This young man was a ruler among the Jews.  He was also a very rich person who essentially lacked nothing.  This man was not a Sadducee because he believed in a future eternal life.  He asked Jesus a serious question because he was concerned about what he should do in order to receive and enjoy everlasting life.  However, he was looking at this from a legal standpoint, figuring that all good things are given him by his good works.  Therefore, he said “what shall I do to inherit eternal life. 

Jesus then asks him about what he said.  “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Luke 18:19.  Knowing the young man was a Jew, Jesus knew this young man did not believe Him to be the Son of God.  He was one who believed keeping the Jewish law was important and helpful in attaining the favor of God.  And Jesus used this knowledge to open up the discussion regarding the Law.  “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.”  Luke 18:20. 

The man then tells Jesus he has kept all these from his youth.  He was hinting that he knew it would require more than just following the Jewish Law, which it does.  But again, he believed their must be more that must be done.  Then Jesus tells the young man what he must do.  “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Luke 18:22.  What Jesus was telling him was he had to give up those things which were more important to him then God.  Mark adds an additional idea to this.  “Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him.” Mark 10:21a.  To many, money has become an idol, the thing they seek beyond everything else.  And this appears to be what was going on with this young ruler.  He responded by becoming very sad because of the great wealth he had.  These things he had accumulated along with the great wealth he had set aside was more important than the eternal life he asked about.

It is important that we examine our hearts and see if there is anything we would choose not to give up for the cause of Christ.  He is to be more important than anything else in our lives no matter what.  What is it that motivates you?  If it is other than doing God’s work or a relationship with Him, then, as Jesus said, we may have to give these things up.  We cannot allow anything to take precedence over God.  So, I want to challenge us, and I include myself in this as well, to look at what is the most important thing that drives us.  And if it Is not God, then we may have something we need to give up. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.