Loving Jesus with little things
I have said it before and I will say it many more times, for good truth – like good grooming — bears much repeating: Though God is the Maker and Owner of all things, there remains one thing that is truly ours alone to give or withhold from Him, one thing which without our consent He will not have. This one thing is our willful and loving obedience.
“If you love me, keep my commands,” said Jesus. “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15, 21)
“She has done a beautiful thing to me,” said Jesus of the woman who anointed his head with costly perfume (Mark 14:6). “She did what she could,” He added. A small thing, yet a costly thing… a thing of her own deciding and sacrifice. It was a love-motivated extravagance, momentary in time but producing a lasting aroma… an aroma that lingers today: “Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Commenting on this passage Oswald Chambers asks, “Have you ever been driven to do something for God not because you felt that it was useful or your duty to do so, or that there was anything in it for you, but simply because you love Him? Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to Him?”*
“God watches to see if we will give Him even small gifts of surrender,” Chambers adds. “…We should quit asking ourselves, ‘Am I of any use?’ and accept the truth that we really are not of much use to Him. The issue is never of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time.”*
James warns us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:22-24).
What willful and loving obedience will you offer God this day?
“…Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24).
*Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Feb. 21 entry