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 of money. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling His disciples, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, in her poverty, put in everything – all that she had to live on” (Mark 12:41-44).
I love this parable because it shows how God is El-Roi, the God who really sees (stay tuned to our Kay Arthur Study to hear more detail about the names of God and how they describe His character). I love that when you have given your very best, though others might not count it as worthy, He counts it as precious.
- He knows when you are tired and out of patience and you decide to take that deeeeep breath and respond to someone in love rather than in frustration – and He credits you for that.
- He knows what you have given when you set aside time during an overwhelming day to call a friend who is in need.
- And he knows when you are financially strapped and decide to give to your church offering out of faith that He will provide for all the rest of your needs.
This is giving when you have nothing left to give; and we have a God who honors and values that sort of generous giving.
His master replied, “Well done my good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt 25:21). Jesus gave us the Parable of the Talents to teach us about stewardship, about being faithful with what you have been given. The good servant invested the master’s money and got a good return while the lazy servant buried it in the ground so as not to lose it. The wicked servant thought that he was clever by protecting the master’s coin, but instead he was despised for missing his opportunity to grow the talent (remember in Bible times a talent was a unit or measure of money).
Whatever “talent” God gives us, whatever gift He entrusts us with (musical ability, people skills, a caring heart, a sound mind, business acumen, athletic prowess, strong family relationships, good health or financial abundance), He expects us to take good care of it. He does not expect us to bury it like the wicked servant. He does not want us to hoard it and keep it for ourselves…if so, we have squandered the Master’s investment in us. Rather He expects us to take a risk and do what is necessary to grow the talent He has given us.
God wants us to grow our gifts so we can share them. He blesses us so we can be a blessing to others – this is part of the promise He gave to Abraham when He called him to be the father of many nations – including us (Gen 12:3). Out of that promise, came the most important gift He gave to mankind: the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a gift we must invest in ourselves, this gift we must grow and this gift we must share generously with others.
Generosity is the willingness to share your best with others; this is pleasing to God. So cultivate all the gifts God has given, including relationship with Jesus, and these gifts will grow and multiply so that YOU can generously bless many others!