Two Small Coins and a Canvas
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There’s nothing quite like a homemade card from your kids. If you are a parent, you know this to be true. On my very first Mother’s Day a few years ago, my husband got together with my oldest son and did an “I Love You Mommy” canvas that they painted together, then took finger paint and put my oldest son's hand and footprint on.
I’ll never forget the moment they presented the gift to me on Mother’s Day. While I received flowers and another more expensive gift from my husband, the most thoughtful gift was this handmade canvas that probably cost less than $5 to make. To this day, the canvas is displayed in our garage, and I see it every time I drive in or out of the garage. I smile every time I see it because of the immense value it holds to me.
And while this canvas may not seem valuable to someone else because it was a heartfelt gift from my son, it means the world to me.
I love the story of the widow’s offering from Luke 21 because it shows this same principle to be true. The most valuable gift is the one that is given out of a pure heart. In Luke 21:1-4 we read:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” 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.” (NIV)
This widow didn’t have anything extravagant to offer in her offering, and to anyone else I am sure her gift of two small pennies seemed like nothing and even insignificant. What would two small coins provide for the temple offering? I am sure this was the thought of everyone who saw her seemingly small offering. However, it wasn’t the size of her gift that mattered; it was the heart behind what she gave. She gave extravagantly and all she had left.
I can picture the smile on Jesus’ face as He told this story to his disciples. He was teaching them a valuable lesson that day that it was not about the size, or boast, of the gift they could give, but the purity of their heart in which they gave their offering. This widow gave everything she had, and while it was small, it was pure and the most extravagant offering of all.
The same is true in our walk with the Lord. When we give Him a gift out of a pure heart, even if it may not seem like much to someone else, it holds such value to the Lord. Where our treasure is, there our heart will also be (Matthew 6:21) — much like the Mother’s Day canvas my son painted. Out of all the other expensive gifts I could receive, this gift truly touched my heart the deepest because of what it represented: a pure and beautiful gift with more value than meets the eye.
Today, what offering can you give to the Lord? To every person, this offering will look different. So do not be tempted to copy someone else's offering. Maybe God is asking you to surrender your time, your finances, or your heart. Maybe He is calling you to a greater surrender that will stretch you past the point you feel comfortable. Whatever it is, spend some time with Him now as you quiet your soul and ask Him, “What offering should I bring to You today, Lord?”
The offering that is brought to Him out of a pure and fully surrendered heart will always be the most valuable gift.
Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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