As I read through the passages today the theme of offerings really stood out to me. In these three chapters Jesus gives three very clear examples of what we should be offering to God.
Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” He said, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” In this verse a man who is a follower of the commandments and who Jesus looks on with love is told that he must sacrifice everything he has in order to inherit eternal life. Upon hearing that he has to offer all of his earthly treasure in order to gain treasures in heaven his face fell and he went away sad. I wonder if he later regretted his decision.
Sometimes it’s really easy for me to get caught up in following the rules. If I can check off everything on my ‘Good Girl’ list I assume that I am pleasing God. This verse reminds me that God wants so much more form me. He wants me to offer all that I have without reservation, no looking back. I need to challenge myself to give all that I have and all that I am without regret. I can admit that I’m not there yet.
Mark 12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. If my ambition is to experience the kingdom of God I am closest when I am putting the interests of God and others before myself. I am commanded to give myself (my time, my resources, my attention) to God and my neighbor as an offering more pleasing than any other. I’m not there yet either (and am sensing a pattern).
Mark 12:42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” Here’s what I know, whenever Jesus starts by saying he’s going to tell me the truth I know that I’m going to be in for it. If I truly want to please God I need to give him more than I can afford to give. I need to give my entire life for His will. Yikes.
Needless to say I am not there yet either. But I can say that I am continually striving to make my life a sacrificial offering and am continually praying that he will help me to release the grip that I have on myself and learn to let go.