The Text

Mark 12:41–44 (CSB)
41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums.

42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little.

43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had—all she had to live on.”

The Devotion

The gift of salvation from God is free.

Titus 3:4-7 (CSB) But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us —not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy — through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Romans 6:23 (CSB) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But when you receive this gift, it will cost you everything.

Your sin, your heart, your thinking, your soul, your affections, your actions–they now belong to God.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (CSB) So let no one boast in human leaders, for everything is yours — whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come — everything is yours, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB) Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.

So let us not read this passage and think, “If we give like the poor widow, we will have God.”

No. Where God leads us to give–not out of obligation nor guilt nor shame–we give because our money is not ours but God. God provides for all of our needs.. Our affections and desires are not ours but God’s. God has given us his heart so that we would have new affections and desires for him.

Even our thinking belongs to him:

2 Corinthians 10:5b (CSB) we take every thought captive to obey Christ.

God wants everything from us because in Christ, he has given us everything.

The Discussion

1. Everything for everything--where else have you heard this exchange?

Genesis 3:6-7 (CSB) The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Romans 1:22-23 (CSB) Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.

2. In what way has Christ exchanged our sin for his glory?

2 Corinthians 5:21 (CSB) He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

3. If Christ has exchanged the sin of his people for his life, what do the people of God get to do?

The Prayer from the Psalms

Psalm 18:25–29 (CSB)
25 With the faithful you prove yourself faithful, with the blameless you prove yourself blameless,

26 with the pure you prove yourself pure, but with the crooked you prove yourself shrewd.

27 For you rescue an oppressed people, but you humble those with haughty eyes.

28 LORD, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.

29 With you I can attack a barricade, and with my God I can leap over a wall.

You are my Way,

I am a man with little mercy. My life is filled with shame. My heart is ridden with cancerous sin. My will longs for the wide path well-traveled.

I cannot think I am better than a prideful man because I am that prideful man.

But you, O my Abba, have cleared one singular particular definite path to you and that is through your precious Son, my Christ my Savior and King.

If I am not humble, then please humble my soul. If my heart is hard, then take mine and give me yours. If sin crouches, then remove it from me and give me your Son’s righteousness.

To you, there is but one way. To life, fullness of joy, and pleasures evermore, there is only one way. To complete satisfaction, there is only one way and His name is Jesus Christ.

I run to you. Protect me.

God help me.

Amen.