What's in Your Heart
God looks to see what's in your heart, not your purse.
Several coins of various values from small to large and a bag of pennies to pass out to the children.
"They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." (NIV)
I enjoy taking walks in the neighborhood where I live. Sometimes on my walk, I will find a coin in the street. If it is a penny, I might not even bother stop to pick it up. After all, a penny isn't worth much. If I find some other coin that is worth more than a penny, I will probably stop, pick it up and put it in my pocket. If I am lucky enough to find a dollar, do you think I would stop and pick it up? You know I would!
You and I sometimes look at other people and form an opinion about them by how much money they have. If there is a child in your class at school whose parents have a lot of money, is that child treated better than others in the class? If there is someone who doesn't have much and can't afford to wear nice clothes, are they treated the same as those who have a lot of money? When we see a homeless person on the street, do we look at that person the same way we look at someone who lives in a big, fancy house?
In today's lesson, we will see the way Jesus looks at people and hopefully, it will change the way we look at people as well.
One day, Jesus and his disciples were sitting at the temple, watching people drop their money in the offering box. As they watched the pass come by, they saw some who were rich people put in large amounts of money. The disciples were very impressed to see the large offerings the rich people gave. Then along came a poor widow. She put just a small amount into the box. When Jesus saw her, he called his disciples together and said, "This poor widow has given more than all the others have given. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has."
When we give our offerings of money or time or talent to God, he doesn’t compare our offerings to those of other people. Some of us have more time or more money than others to begin with. God looks at what we have to start with, and God looks at the attitude we have about giving. When we give with a generous and thankful heart, God is pleased with us and happy. I am glad that God doesn't judge us by how much money we have, aren't you?
Today I am going to give each of you a penny. That penny is to serve as a reminder to you that in Jesus' eyes, you are just as important as someone with a million dollars. I hope it will also serve as a reminder to you that we should look at others in the same way that Jesus looks at us.
Heavenly Father, we are thankful that you judge us by what is in our heart and not by what is in our purse. We pray that we will look at others in the same way that you look at us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.