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When we think of generosity, we often think of giving money freely, randomly, exuberantly, and at no real cost to our livelihood. Many are paralyzed by this definition, using it as an excuse to hold tightly to their finances until they can "afford" to give. Yet, living generously is not solely about money. First and foremost, it is about the heart.
In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus highlights the beauty of a poor widow's offering. The woman's gift encapsulates what it means to live generously, for she did not give out of her abundance; she sacrificed and gave all she had to live on—two copper coins—and in her poverty, lived generously.
Giving that pleases God costs us something.
There are many people today who give lots of money, yet do not live generously. They are stingy with their time, their resources, and even their gratitude. However, those who live generously are preoccupied with questions like, "How does God want to use me?" and, "Where is God leading me?"
The widow in Luke 21 didn't just give her part—she gave her "only." Her beauty of soul led her to sacrifice and give the smallest yet greatest offering that day. Through her story, we see the definition of "heart giving"—giving not just based on quantity, but on quality.
First, heart giving is what matters to God. Tax collectors do not care if you are angry or happy about paying taxes; they only care that you pay your dues. Unlike the tax collector, God is more interested in the attitude of our hearts as we give (see 2 Corinthians 9:7).
Second, heart giving is sacrificial. When giving to God, we must challenge ourselves with the question: "What have I given up in my giving? What have I gone without in my giving?" God is not impressed with all our evangelical talk if we remain unwilling to sacrifice anything for Him. He is searching for the heart that is completely committed to Him.
Giving that pleases God costs us something. It is not the sacrifice itself that pleases God, but the position of surrender and trust we demonstrate that pleases Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to give sacrificially, not just out of the abundance of what I have. If there is anything I am withholding from You, help me to surrender it today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship" (Romans 12:1).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Living Generously, Part 1: WATCH NOW | LISTEN NOW