Summary: This message calls for greater commitment and sacrifice. I found the inspiration for this message after having gone to Romania on a missions trip.
Mark 12:41-44 KJV And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  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.
Mark 12:44 WEYMOUTH But she out of her need has thrown in all she possessed—all she had to live on.
I. THE TEXT IN MARK 12
-This story told in Mark 12 (also repeated in Luke 21:1-4) gives much insight as to how the Lord really looks at giving. I suppose that when you hear a text read like this one, that the mind of the hearer immediately surmises that this message has to do with money.
-What Jesus was attempting to convey in this passage goes much further than money. It deals not only with money but it reaches further into the concepts of what we do with our time and our talent.
-Jesus never even spent a word on the gifts that the wealthy gave on that particular day. He sensed the hypocrisy in their giving and they gained their reward when all of those in attendance saw the gift that was being given.
-Their giving was entirely to be seen by the people. God is far more interested in seeing what we give in private than what we choose to give in public. That is why the public anointing can never rise any higher than private devotion.
-This account that Mark and Luke write of comes in the last week of the Lord’s life. Women from all over the nation would come into the Temple and give their offerings. Along the walls of the court there were huge trumpet shaped containers that people would place their gifts in.
-The rich and powerful would often make much fanfare with their giving. The containers were made of a thin-metal and when coins were dropped into the box much sound would be generated. The bigger the gift, the greater the noise.
-The Scribes who had devoured the widows’ houses would make much of their giving but suddenly the widow appears on the scene and her intent has a much more noble purpose but her gift is much smaller in total. But the smallness of her gift is swallowed by the value of the offering.
-The Scribes were rich and selfish. . . The little widow was poor but sacrificial.
A. The Widow
-The eyes of the Lord are literally riveted on this lonely, solitary widow who has come to give in the Temple. She was very poor and she comes alone. Perhaps she came alone because she was embarrassed to mingle with the crowd of those who had something to give.
-Her condition and her clothing betrayed her on that day. She wore the uniform of a mourner and the Lord’s eyes watched her very closely and then read her very clearly.
-In her hands was the smallest amount of coins and the Law stated that her gift was not acceptable. It was but just a farthing which was less than a dime but it was literally everything that she had.
-It was a very humble gift but it was all that she had. But that small gift propelled her far beyond in the realm of sacrifice than anything that all of those around her were giving on that particular day.
-This widow gave everything that she possessed. The phrase from Weymouth’s translation gives it like this: But she out of her need has thrown in all she possessed—all she had to live on.
-She literally threw her life away with this offering. She would only have her faith to carry her on from this point forward.
II. LESSONS ON COMMITMENT
-There are some very powerful lessons on commitment that come from this particular text.
-It is commitment, not talent or resources that will place you among God’s greatest.
A. Commitment Elevates Value
-Commitment elevates the value of the gift. What was only a farthing (less than a dime) became so much more because of the commitment necessary to give it. The Lord clearly stated that she “cast in more than they all.”
-If there is a sacrifice in the giver, there will be power in the gift.
-Often what may seem so small and inconsequential are the small hinges that are fastened to huge doors that open up to fresh power and anointing.