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REV. ANDREW DEMOTSES

I have often found myself wishfully thinking that if I ever won the lottery, I would be able to endow the church and help the needy. In my more reflective moments, however, I realize that it is a mistake to thlnk that I would do more if only I had more money, or more time, or more talent. For most of us, this is merely an excuse for doing nothing. Instead of dreaming about what I would do if I had a million dollars, my time would be more productively spent doing the best I can with what I already possess. If we don't do our best with our present gifts, why do we think that we would do better if we had even more?

We also need to remember that how we give is also as important as what we give. It is for this reason that the gift of the widow's mite was more earnestly praised and valued by Jesus than was the gold piece of the wealthy man. It was given with greater sincerity of motive, and certainly represents far greater sacrifice. In the parable of the gold coins, moreover, Christ assures us that being faithful in "small matters' opens the door to greater opportunities.

Very few of us can give thousands of dollars to advance the work of the kingdom of God, or to send large sums of money to help feed starving children. But if every one else used that as a reason and excuse for not giving at all, then nothing good would ever happen. No matter how generous the wealthy may be, every good cause continues to depend on the small but steady stream of gifts from those who cannot give much, but are nonetheless moved to give what they can.

We also need to remember that not every gift is measured as money; perhaps your gift could be to teach a Church School class, or to sing in the choir. It is not important how much we give, as it is to be faithful in giving what we can. If you are faithful in this way, it may be that God will offer greater opportunity and capacity. Remember also that if you are not generous with a small income, you are not likely to be generous with a large one.

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