Abundance or Living?

~ Are we giving our “Abundance” or Living”?  ~
Mark 12:44, “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
I am sure we have all read or heard this story preached about. The woman who gave her all. I know I’ve heard it many times and it’s been linked to how we should be willing just like her to give what we have and to give it willingly.
One thing jumped out at me though while I was reading this passage, not so long ago.
The words “abundance” and “living”
Now we have many things that we could say we have an “abundance” of. It could be, money, food, clothes, gadgets, talents etc. and those are all good things to have and there is nothing wrong with having an abundance of that but in this passage, I don’t think that God was just saying that He wants just our tithe or talents. He doesn’t necessarily want just our “abundances” instead, He wants our “living”.
Our lives are made up of all the things I listed. In the world we live in, for us here in the luxury and wealth that we have, there are not many of us here that can say we lack these things. But are we giving any of it for the Lord?
I don’t mean going out and giving away all our clothes and food but…what about giving God our living?
The lady in the Bible did and she did it “of her want”. She wanted to do it.
That lady cast in her two mites and that was all she had. That was her living.
We have more then two mites, we are blessed beyond measure no matter what condition we may live in. We are blessed in so many ways and yet we are only willing to give God what we are abundant in.
God doesn’t just want that, He wants our living.
We may be abundant in the ability to play an instrument, sing, write poetry, draw, talk to people and the list goes on and on and those are all good things but, God wants our “living.”
He wants it all and He deserves it.
It is not for us to keep because it is rightly His.
The other people cast in what they were abundant in. They “have more where that came from” and they were fine with giving it because they knew they had more elsewhere but this lady gave it all and she knew that was all she had.
The other people gave theirs willingly because they were abundant in it but she gave hers willingly because she wanted to.
 What are we giving God willingly because we know we are abundant in it?
What about our living? Are we willing to give God everything even if that means giving Him all that we have?
The Bible doesn’t tell us any more about that woman but I am sure that she never regretted giving away all that she had.
This lady had the faith to know that even though she was giving all she had…. her living, she knew that God would provide and He always does.
At times, it is hard to see that but in the end, He always comes through true to His word.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understandings.”
This is blog is short but it is something I want people to think about, if they haven’t already. I know it left me thinking. It made me wonder what was I giving the Lord freely because I knew in my heart it was something that I had lots of. Whether it was a talent that I have or money. I used my talent freely because I knew that I could do it again. I gave money willingly because I knew I had more in the bank. I gave someone the clothes that I no longer wanted because I had more in my drawer and closet.
But, am I giving God my “living”? Am I giving Him my all?
Yes, it is good to use talents for Him and tithe and help others out but…is that all I’m going to do?
Is that all you’re going to do?
Are we giving God our living?
Are we trusting Him to bring us through and provide for us?
Are we willing to give Him our all even if that means having nothing left and all we can do is trust that He will take care of us?
Are we giving God our “abundance” or our “living”?
(S.W)

The Birds still Sing

Have you ever sat with your window open during a storm and just listened to the noises outside? Recently I had the opportunity to do just that and a thought struck me. It was during a lightning flashing, thunder roaring, wind blowing and rain pouring storm. The storm was so strong that it uprooted tree’s, ripped off shingles from some of our sheds, and sadly it came pouring in some of our bedroom windows. By the time the storm had died down and we no longer had to fight the water that was gushing into our rooms I was tired and discouraged. I went to sit down and take a couple of minutes to rest. After opening the living room window to receive some fresh air I leaned back and listened. The sounds that came to my ears both amazed me and encouraged me.
As the thunder roared and the lightning lit up the sky with rain still coming down in a steady pace the birds were singing. In the distance I could hear the birds chirping from the tree’s.
During the storm it was raining so hard that visibility was so limited we could hardly see our yard but after things settled down a little bit and the chaos died down the birds went right back to chirping and it was still storming.
I sat down on the floor by the window and just listened. It was such a refreshing time. The fresh air, the cheery chirping of the birds and the reminder that even through the storms we can be just like those birds and still sing. Those birds had the possibility of losing their nests which are their homes. They had the possibility of losing each other in the wind of the storm. In reality, they had it worse then we did.  They survived the storm from the outside, we survived the storm from the inside and we are much, much bigger then the birds. But yet, they still sang even during the rain and thunder.
It was such a beautiful sound to be honest. To hear the thunder roaring a few miles away and still have cracks of lightning here and there and all the while the occasional chirping of birds. I thought of what an example those little birds are for us humans. No matter the seriousness of the storm or the loss that may happen because of it, they still sing.
We can apply that to our lives, we face many storms in our lifetime.
The storms could be, loss of a loved one, job, home, etc. It could be the storm of bad or digressing health. The storm could be in our education and the struggles that are there with all the deadlines, peer pressure and the stress.
It’s true these storms can wear us down and drag us to the point where all we want to do is give up. I’ve been there and I’m a saved person. Just because I am a Christian does not mean that my life is easy. I’m just as human as you are and it’s something that so many people forget at times because we tend to hide behind this facade and we refuse to let the world see that we are just as human as they are, but that is a whole different topic. Back to what I was originally saying.
We face many storms and the question that I want to ask you is, do you sing when it’s storming? Birds sing, they chirp, that is what they do aside from building nests, dig up worms and take care of their young…. kind of like humans eh? But one thing I’ve noticed from my bird watching is that, they sing before the storm, they sing during the storm and they sing after the storm.
Do we?
I know it’s hard to sing during a ‘storm’. Especially when it’s painful and all you have are questions of “why is this happening to me?” or “what is the meaning of all this?” but it’s during times like these when our faith is exercised. The birds still sing, do we still sing? Do we dance in the rain? Do we have songs in the night?
The Bible says that God looks after the sparrows. He see’s if one falls to the ground, He knows when one is hurt.
Matthew 10:29 – 31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” 
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
“Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
 Listening to those bird’s chirp during that huge storm really encouraged me and made me realize that I can sing during the storm. I can sing before, during and after. It’s up to me. If they can sing during the hard times, why can’t I?
It is easier said then done, but it’s not impossible.
It’s having that “song in the night.”
It’s praising God during the storm.
The birds still sing.
Do you?
Psalm 42:8, “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”