It’s not what goes in that counts, it’s what is left out

On Sunday we looked at a passage from Mark 12. Jesus notes a poor widow putting two coins into the collection at the temple. It was all she had. In this she contrasted with the wealthy who looked good, and did the good thing by pouring lots of money into the collection containers.
Jesus, sitting and watching says this: “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together”.
And in we noted three things:     God sees what we don’t;  It’s not what goes in that counts, it’s what is left out;     What are we holding back and why
 
God sees what we don’t: Jesus sitting and watching, isn’t impressed by the large amounts that are put in by the wealthy. The giving that captured his attention and his heart was my the nameless woman who gave all of what she held. She didn’t keep anything back. Nameless, vulnerable, poor – but not ignored by God . When our eyes might be captured by the powerful, the influential, the wealthy – it doesn’t matter to God, He notices who others might ignore. Why?
 
It’s not what goes in that counts, it’s what is left out
The wealthy give, but remain wealthy and comfortable. Jesus says the give out of their abundance, there’s plenty left in reserve. But the woman who could least afford to give, held nothing back. Two coins in her hand, to coins into the collection. And while the might not have made any noise dropping to the bottom of a bucket, the made a noise in heaven. She gave generously and sacrificially. This woman who was in need of charity gave all that she could. She demonstrated a love of God and a trust in his promises that the wealthy didn’t. She said, I’ll give what I can and more, and God wont let me down. She gave generously because she knew a generous God. She gave lovingly because she knew the love of God. 
For too many of us, our giving, whether money or time or our talents, doesn’t cost us. We wont let it, we check our budgets see what we need and God might get a bit of the balance. We dont want to be uncomfortable. God’s watching, and it’s not what we put in he’s concerned about, it’s what we dont and why.
 
What are we holding back and why?
Jesus isn’t criticising the giving of the wealthy, he’s asking us to check our attitude when we give. Do we give willingly and sacrificially because we are grateful to God. To we give out of duty, or love because we know what God has done for us. Are we willing to go without so others can go with. 
Are we so focussed on our budgets on what we need that God and what he asks of us is a distant last? If so what does that say about us? Are we grateful for what we have and acknowledge that it all comes from God? Are we trusting God and willing to sacrifice for him. Are we willing to be uncomfortable, or do we give what we wont miss?
What are we holding back? Our time, our money our talent? If so, what’t the real reason for doing so?
 
God’s watching. Maybe you dont think you have much to offer but you give what you can. God’s heart swells. He loves that. Maybe you’ve got a lot to give, but you have other priorities. What do those priorities say about your trust in God?
 
Folks we have done so well with our giving. Really well. What is God saying to you about yours? Have you asked him?
 
Jesus gave everything for you – what will you give for him