Several months ago I had the opportunity to speak at a small church near Ft. Worth, Texas. As I often do, at the conclusion of my sermon I shared the story of how I came to be involved in the seven-year Life Essentials Bible Study project and its impact on people’s lives. Afterwords, we made Bibles available for purchase.
A lady with a sweet and humble spirit expressed a deep desire to have a Bible for herself and her teenage son but couldn’t afford it. As we often do, we gave her gift Bibles.
We just received a letter from the same lady. She expressed what a great blessing the Life Essentials Study Bible has been—for her and her son. She explained how helpful the commentary and video teachings have been in explaining God’s Word. She concluded:
As I explained I’m disability retired and money is very tight, but I wanted you to know that I truly appreciate Jesus’ gift through you so I’m enclosing this tiny offering of $40.00 in hope that it will further your discipleship/ministry.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ response in Mark 12 to the sacrificial offering of a widow of His day. Jesus contrasted her attitude with the self-centered, self-serving ways of those in His day—especially the religious leaders. Here’s what I wrote in my commentary regarding a principles that reflects true generosity:
Jesus drew attention to the poor widow. Giving out of poverty, she even gave away what she needed to meet her own physical needs. By contrast, the religious leaders, who took advantage of such women (v.40), gave out of their abundance. Furthermore, they gave to honor themselves (Matthew 6:2).
Needless to say, this “modern-day widow” is a very encouraging example of what Jesus taught! It’s also a lesson to us all in terms of the way we use our own material resources.