On my desk at work I have one of those little pocket-sized books; you know the kind that are 3″ x 2½” that you find in the checkout line at the bookstore? The one on my desk is called Daily Prayer. Each page includes a Bible verse from the NIV plus a short prayer suggestion. The other day I opened it up looking for some wisdom and found this:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10 (NIV).
As you pray today:
Pray about giving a little extra to cover a special request that you know about.
The verse talks about tithing, and we usually think first of money when we read this verse. But it occurred to me when I read this that sometimes the little extra that God calls us to give is not out of our financial resources, but our of our spiritual and emotional resources.
But what if our spiritual and emotional resources are running low? What if we don’t feel like we have any encouragement left to give because we fear we will need all that we have to sustain ourselves? That’s how I’ve been feeling at times lately. And yet there is a need for encouragement that has come to my attention, a “special request that I know about.”
I was reminded of a story recorded in Mark 12. This particular incident in the life of Jesus occurred during Holy Week, as He sat in the temple courts during the great festival of the Passover.
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. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the 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.” Mark 12:41-44 (NIV).
Those who have received a wealth of encouragement and spiritual strength ought to share what they have received with others. But sometimes it is necessary to give the widow’s offering of encouragement and spiritual strength, though we may have little to give, rather than keep it for ourselves. When we do, not only will others be blessed, but God will pour out to us such a blessing of encouragement and strength that we will not know what to do with it. If we give the widow’s offering, one day we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21 (NIV).