Amsterdam Ministry: What do you have to offer?

Mark 12v42 ‘But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.’

The widow’s offering is a story that is familiar, one that I often glaze over. Commending the woman but not thinking about any applications for my own life. Other than I should probably learn to give more.

As I read it this time, I began to reflect on the woman herself and how it must have felt to be her. She gave everything to God. She offered all she had at that moment and her faith was noticed. Not by the people around her but by the most important person in that room, Jesus. V43-44 ‘Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, put in everything- all she had to live on”‘

I began to think, how sometimes in our lives we can be like the widow with what we have to offer. We wake up feeling broken or unworthy or we have very little to give. When we think about even having any sort of quiet time or prayer that day, we feel that we can barely lift anything before God.

I was taught something valuable through the widow’s story; give to God all that you have, even on your hardest day to surrender the little that you have. To be able to come before God and to surrender even the emotions that have been overwhelming you that day, allows you to begin to know some release and hope. Knowing that those emotions do not have to overwhelm you. Small offerings include reading your bible even when you feel that nothing makes sense. Praying when life feels so jumbled and messy. Praising God, even when you feel so far away. Surrendering some of your time, even when you feel you have no hours left in the day.

It matters where our heart is when we come before God. It does not matter how big the offering. For everything already belongs to God. It matters more where our trust is placed. I have been learning even on the days where eveything feels so distant and bad. That God is still God, he is still good. To simply lay my life before him, saying, “Today Lord, this is all I have but I offer it to you.”

I am learning to be thankful that God takes me as I am. That when I give him my day, he has a wonderful way of working it for his good. Even if I do not see it at the time. I have seen how God has used the time that I have offered to him, to go on and bless people. Not by my own will but by his. In seeing how God shows up in incredible ways, reminds me to be at peace. That I do not have to do big and extravagant acts for God. For eveything is already under his control. It is about learning to come before him and walk faithfully with him throughout the day. I am not left alone to figure out everything. God has an incredible way of working, that enables me to see him in the people I interact with or even in the creative activities I do. I am truly learning to see how awesome God is. That it is not about me! That my life finds it fulfilment when I surrender all to him. Sometimes that offering of surrender may feel so small but he is a gracious God who knows where my heart is. It is not about comparing my life to those around me! I need to learn to be honest before God, to surrender and find my hope in him.

Hebrews 4v16 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may recieve mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Let us offer up what we have with hearts of thankfulness. Not worrying about the quantity but the quality, especially where our heart is in the offering. The woman with the two small coins is an account that shows a beautiful act of faith and surrender.

We cannot be ignorant of the other people in the account, the ones who gave out of their wealth. They gave a portion but knew that they still had security in their money. V41′ Many rich people threw in large amounts. ‘ What they were doing was not necessarily wrong but it mattered more where their heart was. Sometimes we may need to reflect on our own lives. I know I fall short of this. That I give a lot of my time to serve people and do acts for God. Sometimes, my heart can be far from him. Instead of giving my all for God, I work out of my own strength and security. I want to trust in myself just in case. It is such a reckless way to live. God is so much greater than even my greatest successes and my life should be used to give him glory and honour. I need to learn to surrender all that I have to God, it is in him that I find fullness of life. Nothing or no one else can give me that security. That is something I need to learn to live out each day.

It is possible we can identify with both sides or one of the sides. God is gracious towards us, he will lead us and guide us in the way we should go. Let us come to him with a thankful heart and begin there. No matter how big or small, God will lead us forward.

Psalm 100v4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

May you have a blessed week. Remember that you are loved and cherished. God bless, Victoria. Xx