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"Bare Essentials"

Date published: 06/07/2018

Luke 21:2-4 “…He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  ‘I tell you the truth,’ He said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’" (NIV)


   God’s truth in this passage goes to the core of every Christian’s walk with Christ.  Is your walk with Christ determined by what you have or by what Christ wants for you?  Is your Christian life determined by what works best for you or God working His best in your life?  Are your decisions determined by a negative or positive outcome or by what God is doing?  The reality is we tend to give financially by our excess of money unless of course it is for our wants.  We commit our time according to the busyness of our schedule unless it is for a great experience.  We embark upon a task that is achievable and not doomed for failure.  We tend to do what is under our control instead of what is done by faith and trust in God.


   Think of the widow:  Instead of scrapping for food out of the dumpsters, she is in church worshipping.  Instead of holding onto her last pennies to buy food, she is giving it to God.  Instead of governing her decisions by where her next meal  will come from, she chose to trust God.  Living in the flesh makes your fleshly desires your god.  Letting go of your control and letting God take the driver’s seat is a defining principle for experiencing Him in His fullness.


   Living for Christ involves three core principles of faith.  Grasping and living them out will be nerve racking and unsettling, but they will provide you the pathway to more of Christ. 

  1. Mentally prepare yourself to make decisions from the least feasible as described by Jesus  in Matthew 7:13, “Enter through the narrow gate.” (NIV) You live in a culture that says do  what is easy, comfortable, and painless.  A mind that is wrapped around that mentality    will seldom go where Jesus is sending them.  Be ready to say yes whenever Jesus calls and for whatever reason He is calling.
  2. Flee the cultural mindset that orientates your life around “more.”  For Christ to become more, you must let go or forgo as John 3:30 says, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (NIV) Remove the chains of control from Christ, so that the power of Christ can be magnified in you.
  3. 2 Timothy 1:8 tells you to expect suffering: “…Join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” (NIV)  Living the Christian life for the positive things you can get out of it will cause you to miss so much of God’s work.  We live in time limited bodies made up of 100 trillion cells.  The pieces will start to fail and change, and, yes, there is an end to each of our physical stories.  Let your focus not be to avoid pain and suffering, but to experience God’s greatness and purpose as He takes you through it. 


   I cannot imagine giving away my last dollar not knowing from where my next meal will come.  Even though the actions of the widow are beyond my comprehension, I can start to live my life in Christ with a faith that is mentally and spiritually prepared to follow Him wherever He is taking me; I can be comfortable with less; and I can see suffering and hardship as a common result of following Jesus in obedience.  May God give us the strength, wisdom, and faith to be less, so He can be MORE!


1 Peter 2:19 “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” (NIV)


Do you know someone who needs this message on being less so God can be more?  If so, sign them up to receive weekly or forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ.


Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience:  “Satisfaction” and “Deeper with God.”


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