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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


What You Could

Nov. 24, 2013

She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. (Mark 14:8, NIV)

What if Jesus said to you and every one of His professed followers, “You did what you could”? What a difference that would make in this world!

It’s far easier to lie back and let someone else “do it,” to give Jesus our minimum rather than our maximum. Too often, we reserve our time, our talent, and our treasure exclusively for our use. But the story of this woman pouring out on Jesus a jar of expensive perfume serves as an example for our own devotion. Do we really love Jesus with our deeds, or just with our words? Of course, words are important — but what are we doing for Him? What love are you pouring out on Him today?

Of course, in the flesh Jesus is not with us now. Thus, what we do for Him in devotion is what we do for others and what we do to advance His kingdom. This woman was not stingy in her devotion to Jesus. Don’t you want to be just like her?

In all likelihood, the woman did not realize the deeper significance of her gift, that she was anointing Jesus for burial. She just wanted to say thanks to Jesus for what He had done for her. If the woman is Mary, then her anointing of Jesus comes in gratitude for the raising of her brother, Lazarus. Jesus sees a deeper meaning in her act, and He does the same with us.

I wonder if we realize also that our expressions of love for others — the gifts of our time, energy and substance — touch others in far deeper ways than we may realize at the time. The recipients of our generosity may find a far more extensive meaning and impact to our gift than we perceive.

I think of simple gifts I gave my nieces when they were very young. I didn’t have much money as a high school student, but with what little I had I bought the three of them small red plastic stools they could either roll or sit on. Fifty years have gone by, and they still have those gifts. For my nieces, the stools became an enduring symbol of my love. From a monetary point of view, they cost little — but, at the time, the gifts cost all I had. I just wanted my nieces to have something to play with, as they had so few toys. But they cherished the stools and gave them a significance far beyond what I intended in the gifts themselves.

We must give our very best to Jesus, and we do that through our care for others and involvement in His kingdom. He then takes our gift to the next level. Perhaps we will wait until eternity to see the full consequences of what we do for Jesus.

There’s also another way of looking at this. Perhaps you may have given something very valuable and the recipient treated it as ordinary. Remember how disappointed you felt? Think, then, of what it cost Jesus to save us and provide for us eternal life.

He gave everything. He held nothing back! Do you value what He has done for you? Or, has what He has done for you been taken for granted? Do you respond to Jesus’ extraordinary love with nonchalance or with heartfelt adoration and worship?

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I join with the apostle Paul in saying thanks for a gift so great that it is indescribable (2 Corinthians 9:15)!

DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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