Welcome to Day Three of this Holy Week devotional journey as we follow Jesus during the week leading up to his death and resurrection. What did Jesus focus on? What was He concerned with? What does God want us to see? And how will we respond?
Before we focus on the scripture, let’s make space to be still and pray. Take some time to pause, slow down, be still, and cast your cares upon God.
The Bible says he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Do you have any cares, hopes, pain, or lies you need to let go of? Are there people and circumstances to give to God? Take some time to do just that, by praying, “Jesus I give you…”
We will be making our way through the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ week leading up to His death and resurrection. Take a few seconds to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the scriptures.
Today let’s read Luke 21:1-4 in the CSB version. Here’s how The Message puts it:
“Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!”
What stood out to you? What captured your attention? Usually, this is what God wants you to think about, consider, and focus on. Take a few seconds and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight into the scriptures. What verse, verses, or phrases stood out to you. Why?
– Jesus challenged the disciples to turn loose of their entrenched religious and cultural ideas that would connect a person’s devotion to their offering. Women in Jesus’ culture would have been vulnerable in general. This widow had no husband to protect and provide for her – she was in a socially and financially weak position.
– Her motivation was different. She gave ALL she had to live on, more than all of the rich who gave of their surplus. Their giving was not painful. No sacrifice. No going without. Jesus challenges us to assess our motivations in stewardship. How are we managing all that God has given us? How do we view our resources?
– Using the widow’s action also seems to point to the cross. Jesus was about to show his disciples and the world what it looks like to give EVERYTHING. On Friday, Jesus would give his entire life over for the rescue and salvation of the world. Jesus would not hold back on the cross. His sacrificial gift would hurt. His gift would be infinitely painful and would cost everything he had. And as a result, all of us who choose to say yes to his salvation are products of infinite generosity.
Now we want to pray back to God what stood out to each of us in a personal way. What insight, challenge, opportunity, promise, truth, or step to take with Jesus stood out to you? Take some time right now to personalize and pray back to God what he has shown you in today’s scriptures.
Next, we want to come away from our time with Jesus in the scriptures with an “I will statement”. What is God inviting us to do? To practice? To surrender? Take some time to pray and write down your “I will statement”. Then share it with someone you trust and who will encourage you to do what God has said to do.