My friend, Dennis, recently reshared this nugget on Facebook, a post he originally posted back in 2012.
Several years ago, I was complaining about a donated couch that was old, torn, and dirty.
I was bending the ear of a precious sister. I wanted her to take part in my rant, and so I asked her if this was the kind of couch that she would want Jesus to sit on.
She thought for a moment, then tilted her head and closed her eyes almost completely, as if she were listening to her heart, then said, ‘If that was all I had.’
That humbling lesson set the foundation for our ministry. Not all we receive is useful, but it does not affect the value. The intent of the giver’s heart assigns the value to the gift.
We desire to give our best, but our best is not defined by man. In the Kingdom, even a smile is priceless.
Twice Blessed Resource Center
Dennis and his wife reach out to those disadvantaged in their hometown. Most of their ministry stems from their thrift store. They assess all donated items to see if they are ready to be sold or if they need a little work before they go on display. Dennis restores what can be restored to the best of his ability. Twice Blessed then resells these quality treasures at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, some individuals take advantage of Thrift Stores such as Twice Blessed and dump off items that are in such poor condition that these non-profit stores have to rent dumpsters to take care of other people’s trash.
Low income and special needs individuals and their support workers love Twice Blessed as the store oozes unconditional love and acceptance. The couple loves to minister to anyone who wanders through their storefront’s door.
It appears the Woods take after their big brother, Jesus. They, too, dismiss the surface grunge of an item when gauging its value – a rare commodity these days.
Our world is not much different from the world that Christ walked in during his ministry years on Earth. Most of us measure the value of an item or gift by its size, price tag, the quality of the materials offered, or its wrappings.
However, the Kingdom’s value system is topsy-turvy, and Jesus points this out in Mark 12:38-44 (ESV)
And in his teaching, he [Jesus] said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretence make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Jesus was only pointing out something that should have been plain to his disciples, all Jewish men. The Jewish law expected everyone to place a temple offering that was in direct correlation to their financial standing. Sacrifices and offerings were supposed to be significant enough to the giver that they’d feel the pinch while not leaving them destitute.
Jesus placed a higher value on those two lowly coins that clattered in the offering box than the gold coins casually tossed in the same box by the richly garbed religious echelons. Why? Jesus knew the widow felt the pinch of her offering more than the wealthy did. She gave more than required by the law; she gave from a heart of generosity.
Some questions to ask yourself:
Do you discount the gifts, talents, and time that you have as being of little value? If so, have you stopped giving and serving using the following excuse? ‘My offering is so little that it doesn’t make much of a difference anyhow, so why bother giving?’
God calls us to give, and he rewards those who give joyfully. Ask him what to give, give it, and trust him that he will richly supply your needs.
Do you compare your gift to others? “I am always volunteering at church, and I have more kids than so-and-so.” “I don’t see them bring anything to the church pot-lucks.” “Must be nice to be able to afford all those vacations, I don’t see them at any of our church conferences though.” “I am no singer; I’m not called to worship; it’d be a sacrifice for those around me if I were to sing my praises to God. I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
God sees the hidden motivations, struggles, and circumstances of those who we are tempted to judge by what we witness through our finite vision. Their race is not yours to speculate upon. Run your own race. Keep your eyes fixed on the call God set before you.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2019 Katherine Walden
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