Deena was on her way to work when she decided to make a quick stop at the gas station. She had less that 1/8 of a tank of gas and only $15 to put towards filling it up until her husband was to get paid again. As she got out of her car, a woman suddenly approached her and asked for a dollar to put towards her already $4 in gas. Deena, although wondering if this lady was scamming her, agreed to not only give her a dollar, but pay the full five dollars for the woman's gas.
After pre-paying for both of their gas, Deena proceeded to fill her tank with the remaining $10 worth. She noticed the gas pump reading was moving extremely slow. It felt like she was standing there, in the freezing cold, forever. She buzzed the cashier about the problem in which he unpleasantly replied that he had no control over the speed the gas pumps. All of a sudden the pump just stopped. The gas reading stated $2 and some change. She proceeded to press the pump handle again and the gas began to spill over. What was going on? The gas meter read that there was only $2.83 worth of gas in her tank. She got in her car and turned the key, the gas gage went to F. Her tank was FULL!
Wanting to do the right thing, Deena made her way into the gas station to inform the cashier that there was a mistake. She shouldn't have received a full tank for such a mere amount of money. After explaining this to the cashier, he proceeded to give her the remaining amount that she didn't use. He stated that by law he was required to go by the gas reading rather than by her statement.
God truly works in mysterious ways. You see Deena wasn't thinking of herself when she paid that small amount of money for the stranger that day. And she surely wasn't looking for any kind of recognition. I'm sure she could have used that extra money herself. But one thing was sure, God saw Deena that day. He saw Deena's need for gas as well as the state of her heart when she gave to someone who had a greater need than her own.
When we give out of our lack, it seems to move the heart of God. Mark 12:41-43 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; You see, it wasn't the large amounts of money that moved Jesus; it wasn't even necessarily the smallest amount. It was the sacrifice of the widow that struck Jesus. This woman gave out of her lack. She was poor and a widow; the lowest you could possibly be in that day. She didn't have a husband to support her, and I'm sure she could have found good use for those 2 mites, (just as Deena could have with the $5 she gave away) but she chose to honor God. I can guarantee that God took care of that widow. It's not the amount we give, but more so the state of our heart when we give. The rich gave out of their abundance. It didn't even put a dent in their pocket. Yet, the widow, out of her love for God, gave all she had. Her offering was her sacrifice to God.
It's easy to give out of our abundance, whether it's our belongings, time or our talents, but it's another to give out of our lack. Giving from out lack is a truer sacrifice and reveals the true state of our heart.
Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. We are to look after the poor in our society. The poor among us are people who are lacking in some area. I'm not talking about someone who chooses not to work for a living when they are well and capable of finding a job, or someone who continually sponges off of others to get by. That's pure laziness and shouldn't be rewarded. I'm referring to the elderly, widows, single parents, orphans and families who may be struggling to pay their bills. They're all around us. God's eye is on the poor. God has always used people to reach people. We are to be God's hand outstretched to them. Anytime we give to others we are in essence giving to the Lord. Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed. When we help the poor, we are giving of ourselves. We are taking focus off of our own needs and taking the time to center in on someone else's needs.
2 Corinthians 9:7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.