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Biblical Illustrator Luke 21

Biblical Illustrator Luke 21

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 14, 2011
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BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR LUKE 21CHAPTER XXITbbs. 1-4. TUB poor widow hath cast in more than they aXL—The widow'smites : — Onr Lord wished to see ?' how the multitude cast money into thecollection-chest " — not only how much — anybody could have discovered that — but inwhatmanner and spirit it was being done : reverently or irreverently — as unto God oras unto man — so as to display or so as to conceal the offering — with aconscientiousaim to give all that was due, or a self -convicted sense that a part thereof was beingwithheld. The searching eye of the Master struck through the outward demeanourof each passing worshipper, right down to the motive that swayed the hand. Hewas reading the heart of each giver. He was marking whether the gift was themere fruit of a devotionless habit — a sheer affectation of religious liberality — or,as it ought to be, a humble and sincere token of gratitude and consecration to God.These were the inquiries that were engaging the mind of our Lord on this memor-able occasion. We are not informed how long He had sat or what discoveries Hehadmade before the arrival of the "poor vndow," but He noticed that she gave buttwo " mites " ; and knowing that this was all she had, He discerned the unselfish-oess and love that prompted an offering which would perhaps be her last oblationon the altar of the Lord. This act of imfeigned devotion touched Him at once,insomuch that He immediately called His disciples, and drew their attention to sostriking and instructive a case. It was her gift, rather than any other, thatattracted the greatest interest in the courts of heaven. It was her offering, ratherthan any other, that was alone worthy of a permanent record in the Gospel Historyand the "books of eternal remembrance." And why? ot only because shegave " all her living," but because she gave it unto the Lord "with all her heart."ot at all in a spirit of petulance or desperation, as might have been the case ; notat all because she saw want staring her in the face, and thought it no longerworth her while to retain the paltry coins she possessed. On the contrary, it wasthe fineness of the woman's spirit, the richness of her gratitude and love, thewealth of her self-forgetfulness and trust under the severity of her trials, thatgave her little gift the exceeding rareness of its value. She was neither despairingnor repining, but "walking by faith" and in contentment, reflecting that, not-withstanding her indigence, there was none to whom she was so great a debtor as
 
unto the Lord her God, who in His providence had given her all she had, or everhad had, or ever would have, temporal and spiritual. And out of the depths of her adoration and thankfulness she says unto herself, "I will go," in iny povertyand sincerity, " and pay my vows unto the Lord in the presence of all His people,"oast my slender and oiJy offering into the sacred treasury, and await the goodnessof His hand in " the land of the living." The other worshippers were givingf ariously, but all " of their abundance " ; or, as the Bevised Version has it, ?' of theirsuperfluity." They never missed what they gave. They were sacrificing nothing toenable them to give. They could have given more, some of them far more, andnever have felt tiie slightest pressure in consequence. But the " poor widow " hadnot an iota more to offer. She gave her " uttermost farthing," and she gave itgladly. (J. W. Pringle, M.A.) The duty of almtgiving : — 1. It is necessary andscriptural that there be public voluntary contributions for pious and charitablepurposes. 2. Both the rich and the poor should contribute to pious and charitablepurposes, and that according to their respective ability. 8. It concerns us all t«472 THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR. [chap, xxusee that oul contributions be such, in respect of the principles and motives from¦which they flow, as will meet with the Divine approbation. 4. Be exhorted tocast liberally into the offerings of God, by the encouraging considerations whichare placed before you in His Word. (1) Remember that the eye of the Lord JesusChrist is upon you. (2) Bemember, again, the considerations connected with theamazing kindness of your God and Saviour to you. (3) Be exhorted, once more,to give liberally, by the consideration of the promise of an abundant recompense,both in this world and in the world to come. (Jas, Foote, M.A.) The anonymotuwidow : — It is related of Father Taylor, the sailor missionary of Boston, that onone occasion, when a minister was urging that the names of the subscribers to aninstitution (it was the missionary cause) should be published, in order to increasethe funds, and quoted the account of the poor widow and her two mites, to justifythis trumpet-sounding, he settled the question by rising from his seat, and askingin his clear, shrill voice, " Will the speaker please give us the name of that poorwidow ? " {Christian Age.) The widow's mite : — When it is said that this mitewas all this woman's living, it must, of course, mean all her living for that day.She threw herself upon the providence of God to supply her with her evening mealor night's lodging. From what she gave, which the Lord brought to light andcommended, the expression " I give my mite " has passed into a proverb, whichin the mouths of many who use it is ridiculous, if not profane. What ought tcbe the mite of one in a good business which yields him several hundreds a year
 
clear proflt ? What ought to be the mite of a professional man in good practice,after all reasonable family claims are provided for ? A man with an income of atleast two or three hundred a year once said to me, when I called upon bim forassistance in keeping up a national school, " I wiU think about it, sir, and I willgive you my mite." He did think, and his mite was two shillings. Contrast thiswith the following. Two aged paupers, having only the usual parish pay, becamecommunicants. They determined that they would not neglect the offertory ; buthow was this to be done, as they were on starvation allowance ? Well, during theweek before the celebration, they did without light, sat up for two or three hoursin the dark, and then went to bed, and gave the few pence which they saved in oi)or rushlights to be laid on the altar of God, (M. F. Sadler.) Giving hit all: — A gentleman was walking late one night along a street in London, in which standsthe hospital where some of our little friends support a bed (" The May Fair Cot,"in Ormond Street Hospital) for a sick child. There were three acrobats passingalong there, plodding wearily home to their miserable lodgings after their day'swork ; two of them were men, and they were carrying the ladders and poles withwhich they gave their performance in the streets whenever they could collect acrowd to look on. The third was a little boy in a clown's dress. He trottedwearily behind, very tired, and looking pale and sick. Just as they were passingthe hospital the little lad's sad face brightened for a moment. He ran up thesteps and dropped into the box attached to the door a little bit of paper. Itwas found next morning there. It contained a sixpence, and on the paper waswritten, "For a sick child." The one who saw it afterwards ascertained, as hetells us, that the poor little waif, almost destitute, had been sick, and in his wearypilgrimage was a year before brought to the hospital, which had been a " HouseBeautiful " to him, and he was there cured of his bodily disease. Hands of kindnesshad ministered to him, words of kindness had been spoken to him, and he had leftitcured in body and whole in heart. Some one on that day in a crowd had slipped asixpence into his hand, and that same night as he passed by, his grateful little heartgave up for other child-sufferers " all the living that he had." It was all done soquietly, so noiselessly ; but oh ! believe me, the sound of that little coin fallinginto God's treasury that night rose above the roar and din of this mighty city, and¦was heard with joy in the very presence of God Himself. The giving out ojabundance and out of penury : — " Mamma, I thought a mite was a very littlething.What did the Lord mean when He said the widow's mite was more than all themoney the rich men gave?" It was Sunday afternoon, and the question wasasked by a little child of eight, who had large, dark, inquiring eyes, that werealways trying to look into things. Mamma had just been reading to her the storyfrom the Bible, and now she wanted it explained. Mamma thought for a fewminutes, and then said, " Well, Luln, I will tell yon a little story, and then I

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