The Lesson of the Widows Mites

(Mark 12:41-44)

Jesus sat in the temple opposite the treasury and watched the people giving gifts. Many rich people put in large sums, but there was a poor widow who contributed just two coins. These coins in total amounted to about one penny. Rather than consider this to be insignificant Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson.

the widows coinsSometime ago I read a scripture which gave me great comfort in the work I am doing in the name of the Lord. At times I felt I was wasting my time and working for nothing. At other times I was perplexed as to what I should do or what to do next. Sometimes I felt the work was insufficient or not good enough.

Then I read the scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:58 which says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” This was a great comfort to me, to know that the work I am doing for the Lord is not in vain. There is a value in anything you do for the Lord.

And we see in this scripture in Mark 12 that it can be the most insignificant thing, for the Lord sees value where man does not. The people at the treasury on the day the Lord was there possibly may have disregarded the widow’s contribution as trivial. But Jesus saw it as the greatest gift of all those people giving for she contributed out of her poverty, but the others from their wealth. The rich could more than afford their gifts, but the poor widow would have struggled, and yet she still gave of her means. And she was accepted by the Lord for what she gave, insignificant as it may have been.

This principle was reinforced by Paul when he wrote, “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.” (2 Corinthians 8:12) So if you are offering a service to the Lord, no matter how minor you may think it is, you are accepted fro what you have, not what you do not have. You do not have to do major or mighty works to be doing the Lord’s work. You do not have to be putting great riches into his treasury as we saw in the scripture in Mark 12. Whatever you do in the name of the Lord is accepted and that work is not in vain.

We must remember too that when the Lord God passed by Elijah in the wilderness, he was not in the great strong wind that rent the mountains and broke rocks to pieces. He was not in the mighty earthquake or raging fire that followed. He was in the still small voice that spoke to Elijah and gave him comfort and instruction. (1 Kings 19:9-18)

God is in the small things. There is a saying in this world that says, “The devil is in the details.” The saying is false and it is wrong. God is in the details. God is in the minutiae and the details of all things. It is the devil who glosses over things so that people will not look for the detail for he lacks detail. It is in the detail that we gain understanding, insight and wisdom.

So don’t ever consider that when you do something small for the Lord it is insignificant. Anything you do for the Lord is not in vain and it is valued, as were the two mites of the widow.

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