Every year in Vacation Bible School, the children collected a missions offering. On the Sunday after VBS, the pastor always announced the amount of money the children had given to the missions offering. Then the pastor also listed the other items the children included in the offering plates during the week of VBS: marbles, a crayon, or maybe a kids’ meal toy from a fast-food restaurant. There were always several items, and it was different every year.
The list brought smiles and some chuckles to people in the church. Some of the items probably were given by accident as a child emptied out his pocket. I wonder if some of the items were placed in the offering because it was all the child had to give. He may not have had coins to give, so the most impressive thing he had to give was his kids’ meal toy.
Giving sacrificially may not always involve giving of our money. Mary, Jesus’ mother, is an example of someone who gave willingly to the Lord.
We read in Luke 1:26-38 that the angel Gabriel went to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. Mary’s response was, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” She willingly gave of herself to be used by God in bringing Jesus into this world. The offering she gave was that she would serve the Lord.
As you think about giving sacrificially, consider the ways that you give to God. In what ways do you serve Him with your time, gifts, or talents? As you give willingly and obediently, seek to serve Him from your heart. The most impressive thing you hold to give to God is yourself as you serve Him.
Father God, Help me to give sacrificially by serving You willingly and obediently. Develop a giving heart within me. As I teach Your little ones about Your love, may You be pleased with this offering that I give. Amen.
by Joye Smith, WMU Preschool Ministry Consultant