Out of Poverty
The principal of how important it is to put in
offerings for God out of the livelihood is clearly
exemplified in the story of the widow, who had put
her two mites into the treasury (about two pennies),
so God praised her and said:" Truly I say to you that
this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these
out of their abundance have put in offerings for God,
but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood
that she had." (Lk 21:2-4).
God is teaching us that giving in offerings
for Him is greater when it is out of poverty
If anyone is giving out of his necessities, this
proofs that he is giving as well lots of love and
sacrifice, this person is actually favoring others more
than himself…in contrast to the person who, out of
abundance, gives out whatever was left with him and
didn't feel in the first place that he is in need.
Concerning this subject, I would like to
contemplate with you into the act of whoever gives
out of his poverty (necessity): whether of his money,
time, of his rest hours or out of his health…
There are those who give out of their
necessities their own children or their relatives.
The first example is our Father Abraham
when he offered his son Isaac.
Our father Abraham had a son after waiting for so
many years for this to happen, he was given divine
promises, his wife was barren, and he had already
aged. He was joyous with having this son when God's
command came unto him "Take now your son, your
only son Isaac, whom you love…and offer him there
as a burnt offering on one of the mountains…"(Gn:
Abraham went up there to offer God, out of his
necessities, his own son.
This offering was very dear in God's eyes, so
when Abraham prepared the altar, wood, and knife
for the burnt offering, God just stopped him, and
said:" because you have done this thing, and have
not withheld your son, your only son-- blessing I will
bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your
descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the
sand which is on the seashore"(Gn 22: 16, 17).
Another example is Hannah, Samuel's
Hannah was barren, and her rival provoked her
severely that she wept. So she fastened, prayed in
the House of the Lord, wept a lot and made a vow
that if God will give her a male child, then she will
give him to the LORD all the days of his life, (1Sm1).
And it happened…when God gave her Samuel, as
soon as he grown to be just a little child; she took
him up with her and offered him to serve the house of
the LORD in Shiloh.
She gave, out of her necessities, her own son. So
God blessed him, and made him His prophet, Samuel
was given to anoint Saul as a King (1Sm10), and
anoint David as a king (1Sm16). And the LORD also
gave Hannah, Samuel's mother, another three sons
and two daughters.
She gave, out of her poverty, a son to the LORD.
And the LORD never made her in need for children
Unfortunately some wives do not give out
their husbands to be ordained as Priests! And
also they don't give out their sons and
daughters for Monasticism.
This has happened with us several times: the
congregation approved upon the election of one of the
servants to be ordained as a priest, but the wife
refused, so he was not ordained!! As the bible says:
"Happy are your men and happy are these your
servants, who stand continually before you and hear
your wisdom!" (2 Ch 9:7)
Giving out a husband for priesthood, could be
giving out of the necessities, the wife could be
considering that her husband will be turned to (public
sector) after he had been only for herself…!
Another example of those who had put in
offerings to the Lord out of their own necessity:
is the person who offers himself to God.
I mean the person who dedicates himself to God,
and offer the LORD this self which he possesses
nothing else except it, desert everything for God's
sake: whom he knows, and what he owns.
Let's move to another point which is putting
out money out of the livelihood.
There is a person who owns lot of money out of
which he puts in offerings for the LORD. But this kind
of giving is not as meaningful as when a person puts
in offerings out of what he is in need of.
As when a person says: my whole salary is not
even enough for me, so how can I pay its tithes?
Indeed, you will give out of your necessity. That's
why God will bless the rest which will be more than
the whole amount.
Another example, God's saying "Consecrate
to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the
And that is the commandment of the firstborn, in
the old times it was out of the vegetable or animal
production. For example a person might plant a tree,
and waits about three or four years till it bears fruit,
he then takes all the fruits (the first production) and
put it in as offering for the LORD. This is giving out of
necessity; he was waiting for it and didn't take it for
The same goes for an animal. The owner waits till
it delivers, then takes its firstborn and put it in as
offering for the LORD…so what about nowadays.
Most of the graduates complains of
unemployment, so if it happens and someone got a
job that he has been waiting for, he takes his first
salary and puts it in as offering for God, as it is the
firstborn of his income. This is also giving out of the
Likewise the first medical surgery operated by a
surgeon, or his first medical examination for a patient
or his first prescription, he dedicates it also to God.
Also every engineer or teacher does the same, an
accountant, an attorney, or any professional does so,
puts in his first income to the LORD.
So do you judge yourself for the old
firstborns which you didn't put in as offerings
for the LORD?
I don't mean its old value which it was worth ten
years ago or may be more, but I mean its equivalent
value which is worth now…because if you give out
today the same value which was worth in the old
days, then you are not giving out of your necessity…!
Shortly, it all matters about to what extent
man loves money, or is he over and above that
For that reason, the money of a poor person who
puts it in as offering for God, is more precious than
the money of a rich man who gives out of abundance,
it represents a kind of hard currency.
It reminds me of the story of Olugious the stone
breaker, who earned only one dirham everyday, then,
sits by the entrance of his village at sunset to see any
stranger who is coming. He then hosts this stranger
out of his only dirham. Hegumen Daniel the saint, of
Shehid has told the story of this man…
This also reminds me of the story of Hegumen
Youssef Metallic, who was of Alexandria's Forefathers:
a poor met him on the street and asked him for
charity, he had no money in his pockets, so he
borrowed from the grocery which was near the
Patriarchate, and gave the poor man…by this he
obeyed the commandment which says: " Give to him
who asks you "(Mt 5:42), even if you don't have
There are other examples, a poor father who
pays for his children's education out of his
necessities. Or a sick father who prefers not to buy
his own medicine for the sake of using this money to
cover up for his children's needs…
Do children ever remember how much their
parents gave them -out of their poverty-till they were
able to raise them up?
At that point I remember churches that do not
fulfill all the Poor's needs as they want the money for
construction projects or other activities…!!
These churches should have given the poor out of
their necessities to obey God's commandment, so
that the care for the poor would be put into real
action however the need for the money is…give the
poor even from the finances of the superb projects.
We tried this kind of giving in some of Heliopolis'
churches, and as a result the income of these
churches has highly increased than before, the church
has projects which need the money, though it was
directed to helping the poor.
I move to another point now, which is
putting in offerings for God out of our time.
And this includes work time or break time which
actually is needed for our good health.
You return home when you are so tired saying to
yourself "The heaviness of the day and its heat I
endured not by reason of my weak nature", you want
to rest and get some sleep, but what about praying?!
You say: I don't have the time now, honestly I am so
tired, and so sleepy…
So, you don't want to put in offerings for God out
of your necessities!
But if you resist fatigue, give out of your need to
rest, and prayed, hence your prayer avails much, and
God will give you the grace to continue…
Or sometimes you proceed to start your prayer,
and in your mind there are so many issues that keep
you busy and you want to think of them. This means
that you should keep all those issues out of your mind
first, so that you can pray…if you do so, then you are
putting in offerings for God out of your necessities.
Don't say to yourself: I will first finish thinking
about this issue then I will pray…or I will just finish
talking to this guest then I will start my prayers…or I
will first have my dinner then I will pray…by this you
are scheduling God at the bottom of your list…then
you finally start your prayers when you became too
tired to do so… so you just say I will sleep now and in
the morning I will pray!!
It is as if you are telling God, as was said to St.
Paul the Apostle, "Go away for now; when I have a
convenient time I will call for you." (Acts 24:25)…
things shouldn't go this way.
So, you should put in offerings for God out of
necessities of your time: whether for prayer,
contemplation, or spiritual reading. Do this with your
heart, and God will not forget your weariness and that
you gave out of your effort…
The same goes for the time that you spend in
church service, this time that you dedicate to God in
spite of your work and the burden of other
responsibilities… Don't ever try to apologize for not
doing your service, justifying by not having the time.
Put in offering for God out of your necessity, out of
I direct my speech to youth meetings' servants,
university assemblies’ servants, and to servants who
give out lectures.
I direct my speech also to priests, they should
dedicate more of their time to visiting their
congregation, confessions, visiting patients and
solving family problems.
Do not apologize for not doing those things using
the justification of not having time; remember this
phrase: "the path to hell is paved with apologies and
Try to overcome anything which keeps you busy,
and give the Lord time out of your necessity.
When you give God out of your time in weariness,
he will make it up for you and take away the fatigue,
as said " He gives power to the weak, And to those
who have no might He increases strength" (Is 40:29).
You should know that the phrase "I don't
have time" could mean "I'm not interested". If
an issue raises your interest, you will find time
I am speaking as well about raising kids.
The parents are responsible for raising their child
spiritually, and not only just caring for his health,
nutrition, clothing and education.
Does any party of the parents justifies himself for
not sitting with his children in a spiritual meeting, by
not having the time to do this?
Here is God who says: "And these words which I
command you today shall be in your heart. 7You shall
teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk
of them when you sit in your house" (Dt 6:6).
When I attended the millennium of Russia's
baptism, I thanked the church for preserving the faith
during seventy years of communism. I also thanked
mothers and grandmothers who cared for their
children and were teaching them Christian faith and
prepared them for baptism.
So, give time-even out of your necessity-to teach
your children their religion.
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