Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

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The High Value of Small Offerings

 “Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:43–44 (NIV)

Jesus positions Himself opposite where people are giving at the temple, and He’s watching people cast their coins into the containers—both rich and poor alike, giving their gifts to God.

And then she walks in.

She was a widow who, when she lost her husband, she lost her income and essentially she lost everything. And yet living in dire poverty could not diminish the depth of her faith. No matter what has happened to her—the severe loss, the mistreatment, the brutality that comes with aging—she didn’t let any of these realities diminish her hope in God.

She is there that day giving her offering to make a statement: God is the only protector I have left in life.

That day, while Jesus is observing, all she had on her were two small copper coins, the smallest coins in circulation at the time. They amounted to virtually nothing in the eyes of the rich, and to most others for that matter. All she had were these two coins and that’s what she gave, placing them in the offering as a demonstration of her hope in God.

She gave her all and expected that before the day ended God would provide her needs.

What a faith. What a hope. What belief in God.

Jesus explains to His disciples that while many rich people had given that day out of their wealth, this poor widow had given all because she gave out of her need. She effectively laid her life down in front of a sovereign God and made the clear statement, “God, You sustain me. God, You keep me. God, You provide for me. You be my defense. You be my sustainer.”

And Jesus blesses her.

What a high value Jesus puts on small offerings.

What small offering can you lay before the Lord today?





Steward Your Authority

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 
John 8:11 (NIV)

In an attempt to trap Jesus, some men brought to Him a woman caught in the act of adultery, and they asked Him if she should be stoned. Jesus told them that whoever was without sin should cast the first stone, and one by one, they left her alone with Jesus.

Asking her where her accusers had gone and if no one was left to condemn her, she answered “No one, sir.”

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

What did Jesus decide to do with His authority? He decided to pardon her. He gifted her with a chance to live past that moment and to push her life in a different direction. He blessed her to turn the page on the past chapters of her narrative and write something new.

Jesus stewarded His own authority by deciding to give mercy.

Are you stewarding the spiritual authority in your own life so that you’re not making decisions based on the intimidating, encircling presence of influence and pressures?

Authority must be stewarded intentionally. You can respond to life in any way you want, but this text teaches us that God expects that the Spirit living in you would have such an impact on you that it will guard your tongue and your behavior. It will change and alter and transform your actions.  

Learn to be a faithful steward of the authority that the Lord has given to you.


Be a Blessing

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

If you really want to be blessed, be a blessing to somebody else. If you really want to be helped, help somebody else. If you want to get over your issues, step into the issues that somebody else is facing. If you want to win your battle, take your weapon and stand beside somebody else and fight the good fight.

When you jump into the lived experience of others with the purpose of bringing joy, you will also leave with joy. That’s because you can’t bless somebody else without getting blessed yourself. 

The key is to stop focusing only on self—my hurt, my pain, my shame, my struggle. Don’t be so insular that the entire content of your life is about you. That’s not what makes for a good Christian.

What makes for good Christian discipleship is bearing one another’s burdens, walking in fellowship one with another, letting the strong bear the infirmity of the weak, gathering together for prayer, fellowship, and the breaking of bread, and going out into this world together to make disciples.

We are living in an excessively insular world. People are so focused on themselves that they miss blessings that others possess for them.

Turn your attention outward, and then go be a blessing to someone today.


Fight the Emptiness

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:21-22 (NKJV)

It’s amazing to me how much space emptiness can fill in our lives.

But life in Jesus Christ is not about living an empty existence. Your relationship with Jesus is defined by fullness and peace and joy and inner alignment and blessing and elevation and success and exposure. The Lord doesn’t fill your life with such blessings and enjoyment for you to then walk around feeling empty.

Jesus wants you to be healthy and whole and happy. He’s able to keep you connected and to make you successful. He’s able to entrust you with prosperity. He’s able to bless your temporal life. Jesus wants you to be holy. He wants you to propel. He wants you to excel. Jesus doesn’t want you to live an empty life.

The blessing of walking with the Lord is that He will encourage you, He will challenge you, and if necessary, He will push you to address the emptiness that occupies way too much space in your life.

For the rich young ruler, it was clear that he was too closely attached to his riches. They defined who he was in his own estimation. But if you were to stand in the place where the rich young ruler stood, what would the Lord bring front and center about your life?

I want to get you fired up about putting up a resistance against accepting a life of emptiness. I want you to want more than that. Don’t just accept the relentless grip of emptiness without at least putting up a fight. Don’t let emptiness have any time or attention in your life.

Fight it, defy it, resist it. Strike back against it. Stand up to it.



Hand It Over

Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

The things that appear to be problems in your hands are actually opportunities in God’s hands.

The best thing that we can do is to stop trying to shape and manipulate those things in our own hands, and instead put them into the hands of the Lord.

How long are you going to keep trying to shape something in your life that you know can be worked out by the Lord if you only surrender it?

Every night we go to bed shaping our anger, our resentment, our malice, our disappointment, our low self-esteem, hoping we can fall asleep in peace yet unsuccessful in doing so.

We should instead turn these things over to Him and say, “Lord, I can’t do anything about these things swirling around my life. I’m trying, but I can’t fix it. I’m tired of holding this thing in my hand. Let me give it to You.”

Each of us holds onto things much longer than we should. What are you holding onto right now that you should be giving over to Jesus? The first thing that comes to your mind is probably a priority in your life that should not be. Whatever that is, envision yourself handing it over to Jesus like a child to a parent. In fact, Jesus said that if you want to be a part of the Kingdom, you have to become like a little child.

So with the imagination of a child, take that thing that has you so stressed and hand it over to Jesus. Success, failure, mistake, temptation, trial, burden, doubt, fear, resentment, resistance, disease, pain, sickness…whatever it is, no matter what the problem, when He gets it in His hands, He can solve it. Just turn it over to Him.