2021.01.05 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, January 5, 2021 comes to us from Joanne Fleck of Oregon
Luke 21:1-4 1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Luke 21:4 (NIV) Jesus said, “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth’ but [this poor widow] out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
“Giving with Love”
When my husband and our two-and-a-half-year-old great-grandson Carson returned from a walk one morning, Carson handed me what was left of a rose. Apparently, it was already wilted when he found it, and on the way home all but one rather sad-looking petal had fallen off. In spite of that, I valued it just as much as I would a perfect rose fresh from a florist shop because it was a gift from a person I love.
That’s the way it is when we offer whatever we have to God with all our love. Jesus took notice when the woman in today’s reading gave her two small coins to the temple treasury. When we give of our time, talents, and money to God, it is precious in God’s eyes. I’m sure God loves to see us take time to study the Bible and pray, to use our talents to help someone, or to give money to our churches and people in need. What we have to offer may seem less than what others have to give; but instead of comparing our gifts to others’, God measures only the love with which we give them.
Prayer Focus: Children Learning to Give
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to give with joyful and generous hearts. As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bead. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.
Thought for the Day: I want to offer God the best of what I have.
— Joanne Fleck
I love the story, commonly called “The Widow’s Mite” in general, but also because I know a story that helps me understand how this happens in our modern lives.
I have a friend who, when she was a seminary student, participated in a cross-cultural program in Moscow, Russia. While she was there, she attended worship at a church near where she was staying, so she didn’t wear a heavy coat. After the service, she was surprised to discover that each student had been invited into a member’s home for a midday meal.
She got on the bus to the home where she was directed. Not realizing how far she would need to go, she didn’t go back to her hotel for a heavier coat. By the time she arrived, she was chilled through. Her host family was concerned, so they sent her into the bathroom to take a warm bath. After she warmed up, they shared a lovely meal and great fellowship.
What she was told later was that the bath they invited her to take most likely used the family’s allotment of hot water for at least a week.
They had given all the hot water they had in a most gracious act of healing and kindness.