“For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” — Luke 21:4 (NLT)
When I turned 18 and graduated high school, my parents told me I was allowed to live at their house rent-free, as long as I was going to school and paying for university. This made for a busy life as I took a full course load, worked part-time and competed on my university’s cross-country and track teams. Though I may have felt strapped at times, I’m thankful for the provision that allowed me to pursue my love for sport and also get an education.
One of the names for God in the Old Testament is Jehovah Jireh, which means “God provides.” Do you live as though you believe God will truly provide for you? Jesus pointed out this value in a poor widow in Luke 21:1-4: Jesus watches as rich people drop their offerings in the collection box, and then a widow drops the minimum offering you can give by the Mosaic law. Jesus commends her, saying “she has given more than all the rest combined. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, as poor as she is, has given everything she has” (Luke 21:3-4, NLT). This widow was living out her faith in God as her provider.
In first-century Palestine, people equated wealth with favor from God, and poverty and calamity as a sign of God’s judgment. In this passage, Jesus dispels this perception. God looks at the heart despite what the surface looks like (Luke 11:39-41). He points to how the widow truly trusts God by giving everything she has, while the rich people trust their wealth to take care of them more than the God who blessed them with those riches.
God is our ultimate provider, not just financially, but for love, salvation, affirmation and purpose. What would our lives look like if our actions reflected our trust in God as our provider, and we stopped pursuing the world to provide these things? I have a feeling we would have more peace and love if we truly lived as if God is who He says He is.
Where in your life have you trusted provision from someone or something rather than God? Have you looked to yourself, your parents, your finances, your accomplishments or your relationships to give you what you need or desire? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what is getting in the way of you experiencing God fully, and ask Him to change your heart in this area.
My prayer is that when you trust God as your provider, you’ll feel the peace and fullness that God has to offer, and in that, you’ll have the freedom to be who God has truly meant you to be.
— Andrew Pepper, Halifax Mooseheads chaplain
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