This past weekend my hubby, PL's (Pastor Lucas) message was titled "How to Impress God". He used the parable of the widow's offering found in the book of Luke.
In the Jewish religion, it is considered almost a curse to be a female. So much so that Jewish men wake up every day and the first words out of their mouth to God are, "Thank you that I am not a woman". Well, the lady in this parable was not only at a disadvantage because of her sex but she was also poor and a widow. She didn't have much to offer yet she didn't measure the cost of giving. She willingly gave out of her poverty while the others gave out of their wealth. It didn't affect them to give because they had plenty. But the widow, when she gave, the bible says that she put in all she had to live on. PL elaborated that the words "live on" come from the Greek word "bios" which means life. The widow didn't only give her money. She gave her life. Her likelihood for survival was placed in the offering to God as if she was saying, "I am nothing without you. Here I am, here is all I have, use me."
I can't imagine the amount of faith or love that this requires but this is exactly what God desires from us. He doesn't simply need us to come to church, read our bible occasionally or give an offering every now and then. He wants our all. He wants our heart, our time, our money (not because he needs it). He wants everything.
And then PL said that God does not get impressed with just anything and he certainly doesn't get impressed with: 1. Who you say you are 2. What you can do or 3. What you have. I loved it when he said that God will take empty hands and do much with them. The things that really impress God are trust, faithfulness, and love.
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."