Mark 12 records the story of a time when Jesus was watching as people were bringing their offerings into the temple. Rich people came by and dropped in large offerings into the offering box. Then a poor widow walked up to the box and dropped in two small coins. Upon seeing this, Jesus gathered his disciples and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Everything. That’s a lot to give. How was she going to live? How was she going to put food on her table? How was she going to pay her bills? What was she thinking? I’ll tell you what she was thinking. She was thinking that God was more than capable of taking care of her needs if she put all that she had in His hands. She was thinking that God was more than enough for her. She was thinking that even if she died that day, she still had hope that went beyond her life. She was willing to die empty.
This widow challenges me to the core of my being. The future holds uncertainty and it’s hard to let go of our earthly security and trust God with whatever may come. It’s an amazing faith that leads us to the place where we are willing to say, “God, my life is yours. If you want to pour my life out in ways that the world says is wasteful, then so be it. I have given you everything.” The greatest wealth in the world is not in Fort Knox. The greatest wealth in the world is not in the banks. The greatest wealth in the world is not even in the hands of the richest people in the world. The greatest wealth in the world is in the cemetery filled with people who died full.
Now is not the time to hold back. Our world is in dire need of men and women of God who are willing to lay down their lives (literally, if necessary) in order to see the name of Jesus exalted. I don’t want to live my life to accumulate things. I don’t want to “save up” my life for later. I want to be like this widow. I want to give it all. When my time on this earth is over, I don’t want to have to say, “There was something more that I could have done. I had more that I could have given.” I want to pour my life out in such a way that when all is said and done, I will be able to say, “I have nothing left. I gave it all for Jesus.”
This world is not my home. This world and everything in it is passing away. There will come a day when all of the things I cling to so tenaciously will mean nothing and be worth even less. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” I want to live my life with eternity in view. I want to live for things that will last forever. I want to die empty.