Total Devotion (Luke 21:1-4)
Luke 21:1-4, And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
Christ gives a good lesson on giving here. This example has many good principles in it for our giving to the Lord. Jesus gives a lesson on how God evaluates giving. A person’s gift is determined not by the amount they give, but by the amount of sacrifice involved in the giving. The rich, at times, give only out of their wealth—making no real sacrifice. The widow’s gift cost her everything. She gave as much as she possibly could. This powerful story describes a woman whose attitude and behavior reflect someone who is very devoted to the Lord and willing to make great sacrifices. The treasury was located in the Court of the Women, one of two outer courts. This was as far as the women could go in the Temple area. Located in the treasury area were thirteen trumpet-shaped receptacles for the offerings from the people. The coins would rattle as they jingled down the wide tube of the trumpet into the chest.
Due to Passover week, a large crowd of people were assembled, Jesus quietly observed the rich men putting their gifts into these trumpets. What grabbed Jesus' attention was a poor widow. She may have gone unnoticed by the people in the area because she was very poor. Her poverty was visible. Her clothes were probably ragged, nothing compared to those who were wealthy. Jesus watched her put in two mites. This would be like putting in two pennies in our currency. Haddon Robinson said, “The gold-medal giver in the New Testament turns out to be a woman who contributed less than a nickel”.
When this widow gave those two mites, she gave all she had. She emptied her pockets and her hands of all the money she owned. She gave it all. The Lord was not focused on the amount she gave, however, for she gave little in monetary value. He was focused on what she had left, which was nothing. She gave according to the best of her ability. She did the best that she could with what she had. That is what a person does who is totally devoted to the Lord. Even though she was emptied handed, she had treasure in Heaven. Her trust was not in money. Her trust was in God. She literally gave all she had to God. Her spirit was right; it was reaching out to God, saying that all she had belonged to God. Both she and her possessions were the Lord's. God measured what was kept back, not how much was given. The widow had less remaining; the others still had much. The widow had given more of what she had; the others had given less of what they had. The widow had sacrificed more; the others had sacrificed less.
A good question to ask at this point is, "How do we get to a point where we are totally devoted to the Lord one-hundred percent?" It was in 1873, in Dublin that D.L. Moody heard British evangelist Henry Varley utter those life changing words: "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him." It was after an all-night prayer meeting in Dublin, at the home of Henry Bewley. Varley did not even remember making the statement when Moody reminded him of it a year later. Moody said, "As I crossed the wide Atlantic, the boards of the deck… were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with them." D.L. Moody did great things for Christ because the Lord was the master of His life. Is He yours? Andrew Murray said, "God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him."
This principle can be applied to all our service for Jesus. He judges our work and ministry not by its size or influence or success, but by the amount of sincere dedication, sacrifice, faith and love involved. Those who are totally devoted to the Lord are concerned about their future appointment with Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is their desire to have the Lord to say to them, "Well done!" They want to please the Lord and do their best for Christ. They desire the reward of the Lord (II Timothy 4:6-8).
Points to Ponder:
Total devotion means that Jesus Christ is Lord in every area of our lives.
Total devotion does not mean perfection, but it does require dedication.
Questions to Consider:
How would I describe the level of my devotion to the local church where I am a member?
If you are not a member of any church, what’s keeping you from making that decision?
PRAYER: Father, You demonstrate devotion at a level that always amazes me. You love me when we don’t love You; You pursue me when I run from You. You display devotion with me and remind me that You’re in it with me for even eternity! Thank You for Your devotion with me that makes our commitment to one another possible. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.