1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
The concept of the Two Pennies ministry comes from this widow that Christ spoke about to his disciples. Christ said that she had given more than all the rest because they gave out of their wealth, while she gave sacrificially. In Scripture she remains anonymous, but her story has been used throughout the centuries as an example of the heart of giving.
Our desire is that lives are transformed through personal sacrifice. Our gifts should be a reflection of Christ’s working in our lives. We encourage people to sacrifice something that is meaningful to them while at the same time giving to people in need. It is similar to the Biblical idea of fasting. Our hearts and minds are focused on the people we are giving to instead of ourselves.
The Two Pennies Ministry team has been excited and humbled by the response of people to the idea of sacrifice. Nowadays the concept of giving up our personal comforts for others is not exactly in fashion. Yet, throughout our first campaign at First Baptist Church we discovered that people were willing to buy in to our radical new idea.
When Christ saw the widow at the temple give her last two coins (Luke 21), he said, “She has given more than all the rest.” This obviously wasn’t literal, as what she gave was virtually worthless. The idea was that her giving meant more because she gave sacrificially. The others had given out of their abundance, while she gave all she had. The transformation in her was complete. She had sold out to the notion that the God of creation would honor her gift. And he has. For 2,000 years now, her story continues to be told.
When was the last time you gave when it hurts? When did you last give up your comfort to provide for the need of someone else? What could be more Christlike?
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
I John 3:16-18
See how your sacrifice can lead to transformation. Share your story.