Suggested Reading – Mark 12:38-44
As the woman’s words nestled into a deep crack in my scarred heart, I had no idea they would cripple my thinking for years.
Your work has no value. Your words are worthless.
When I closed my eyes, those messed-up mantras morphed into the real fear this woman’s cruelty stirred up.
You have no value. You are worthless, insignificant, inferior.
As I wrestled with discouragement, God gently nudged me to move forward in obedience, to keep sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth.
God reminded me that only He could determine the worth of His creations and all they offered to Him through their faithful service and acts of worship.
Even though I was still writing with a limp caused by the wounding words of a person I barely knew, I started my Facebook Author Page and began sharing God’s truth and love through mini-devotions, prayers, and graphics.
In His loving and humorous way, the Lord encouraged me while I encouraged others who were battling discouragement or debilitating doubt.
No one should have to wonder if the love-offering they are placing into God’s hands is enough . . . if they are enough.
Writers are not the only ones who struggle with insecurities, doubts, and fears that can keep us from serving God courageously, faithfully, confidently, and obediently.
God has gifted His people according to His perfect plan and uses each of us according to His perfect pace.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
So, if God created us and intended us to do the good works He planned for us in advance, then why would we wonder if what we have to offer Him is good enough?
As I considered this question, I thought of a poor widow in worn clothes walking through a crowd of rich people, adorned with jewels and New Testament name brand outfits.
Scripture says Jesus watched the people “putting their money into the temple treasury” (Mark 12:41, NIV). The widow “came and put in two very small coins, worth only a few cents” (v. 42).
The poor widow didn’t drag her feet, bow her head in shame, or peer over shoulders to compare her offering to anyone else’s gift.
She simply walked into the temple, prepared to give what she had already determined to give, and worshiped the Giver of all good things.
She minded her own business, because she remained focused on her Father’s business, and “put in everything ̶ all she had to live on” (v. 44).
Jesus made sure his disciples realized this poor widow had “put more into the treasury than all the others” (v. 43).
They didn’t have to be great mathematicians to realize God’s math doesn’t work like the numerical system of man.
Jesus didn’t say the offerings of the rich people were worthless, but that their offerings were worth less than the widow’s sacrificial gift.
Could it be the widow’s humble posture of confidence?
She didn’t care what anyone said about their perceived value of her gift.
She didn’t announce the sacrifice she made.
She didn’t seem to want any attention drawn toward herself, which is in stark contrast to the image of the “teachers of the law” that Jesus shared in Mark 12:38-40.
Jesus said they “like to walk around in flowing robes” and “have the most important seats,” using prayer as an opportunity to show out and show off. Their offerings may have been substantial in amount, but the substance of their hearts lacked compassion and humility (v. 40).
Jesus measures the motives of the givers, not the amount or type of the gifts offered.
Our loving Lord knows the deepest intentions of our hearts, whether we’re worshipping Him with a financial offering or by using the time or talents He’s entrusted to us so we can serve Him.
The person who prays for a hurting friend and the person who pays a hurting friend’s rent are both valuable.
The person who makes people feel loved with a smile and a kind word and the person who passes out meals to the homeless every holiday are both valuable.
The person who helps a neighbor in a practical way and the person who faithfully volunteers overseas or commits to a consistent schedule to impact their community are all valuable.
And yes, the person who shares a hefty sum of money, the person who shares a small sum of money, and the person who cannot contribute financially so they serve in another way to support God’s Kingdom work and help those in need . . . each of these people are valuable.
No gift is too small or too large to give in the name of Jesus and for the glory of Jesus when our focus is fixed on serving God and others.
So, what does God consider priceless worship?
Anything we willingly and cheerfully give to please Him, to show our gratitude for all He’s done and all He is, to express our total devotion to Him, to honor Him, and to shine a light on His sovereign goodness, faithfulness, and love.
In today’s Pause for Prayer video, Heart Lifter Series Episode 1, I share the story that inspired this post and helped free me from debilitating doubt fed by the harsh critics in the world and in my head.
Click here to see how the Lord used my story, “Priceless Worship,” to encourage millions of readers around the world, proving that He can use anything and anyone in ways we never dreamed possible.
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Thank you for your encouragement, Shrease. To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!