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Wednesday, September 7, 2016
She Did What She Could - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 7 September Wednesday
When her friends say thoughtless or outrageous things on social media, Charlotte chimes in with gentle but firm dissent. She respects the dignity of everyone, and her words are unfailingly positive.
A few years ago she became Facebook friends with a man who harbored anger toward Christians. He appreciated Charlotte’s rare honesty and grace. Over time his hostility melted. Then Charlotte suffered a bad fall. Now housebound, she fretted over what she could do. About that time her Facebook friend died and then this message arrived from his sister: “[Because of your witness] I know he’s now experiencing God’s complete and abiding love for him.”
During the week in which Christ would be killed, Mary of Bethany anointed Him with expensive perfume (John 12:3; Mark 14:3). Some of those present were appalled, but Jesus applauded her. “She has done a beautiful thing to me,” He said. “She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial” (Mark 14:6–8).
“She did what she could.” Christ’s words take the pressure off. Our world is full of broken, hurting people. But we don’t have to worry about what we can’t do. Charlotte did what she could. So can we. The rest is in His capable hands.
Lord, help us not to define our self-worth by what we do for You, but by what You have done for us. Show us how we can show Your love to others.
Do thy duty, that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Bethany, the location featured in today’s article, was a village on the slopes of the Mount of Olives less than two miles from Jerusalem. Pilgrims traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem, a journey of twenty-four kilometers or about fifteen miles, would pass through Bethany. Three famous siblings resided there: Lazarus, Martha, and Mary (John 11:1–2). Early in Jesus’s ministry, Martha opened her home in Bethany to Him (Luke 10:38). Jesus would stay there whenever he was in Jerusalem to teach or to celebrate the Passover. During the Passion Week, Jesus spent His last few nights—probably Palm Sunday to Wednesday—with the three siblings (Matt. 21:17; Mark 11:11, 19).