From the very beginning (Cain and Able) God has expected His creation to give to Him its very best. God is the giver of all things. Therefore, by sacrificing something and returning back what has been given to the giver, we are expressing not only our gratitude and our understanding of where all things come from, but also our faith. Godly giving has always been about giving our best, about making a sacrifice. This was true with Cain and Abel, with Abraham offering Isaac, with the Israelites making a holy and unblemished offering, and it is also true with the Christian under the new covenant. Godly giving is about the heart. A terrific example of this can be seen in the sacrifice of a woman who probably thought (along with others) her contribution was insignificant.
Not long before Jesus would be crucified, He was teaching and answering questions in the Temple (Mark 11:27ff.). At one point He began watching people put their offering into the treasury, and He saw that “many rich people were putting in large sums,” followed by a “poor widow” who only put in “two small copper coins” (12:41-42). It is easy to think that those who make the bigger contributions are somehow doing more for God. However, Jesus said that this poor woman gave “more than all the contributors,” because they had given “out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on” (12:43-44).
What a great lesson on godly giving! Yes, the rich were putting in a lot of money, but it would make no impact on their lives, it was no sacrifice. Conversely, that woman put in mere pennies, yet to God it was worth more than all the other contributions combined. Why? It was costing her something. She was showing her faith in God by giving all she had. If we fix our budgets and just give to God what we have left over (our surplus), are we truly trusting Him, are we giving our best? Godly giving is more about the amount of our heart than the amount of the contribution. Let each of us give to God from our hearts, “not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians. 9:7).