A Window of Opportunity

A Window of Opportunity

She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Mark 14:8 (NKJV)

The apostles couldn't understand why Mary would take an alabaster jar containing perfume valued at a year's wages and break it open and pour it out upon Jesus' head.  To them, this represented waste as it could have been sold and many poor could have been fed.  And yet Jesus said, "She has done a good work for Me" (Mark 14:6).   He then said they would have the poor with them always, but He would not be with them much longer.

You could say that Mary seized a window of opportunity given to her.  She very well could have missed it as others had, including her sister Martha.  And then there were those women who waited too long to come and anoint Jesus.  We see the story of them coming to Him after He was crucified, but it was too late, and the window of opportunity had closed.  

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Luke 24:1-3 (NKJV)

The jar of perfume Mary used upon the body of Jesus was made up of a variety of ingredients.  I think we can compare these ingredients to the variety of individual talents and abilities we have been given as Christian men and women. And in like manner, we too, have an opportunity to be poured out on the body of Christ.  This is because every Christian makes up the body of Christ here on earth.

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; Romans 12:4-6 (NKJV)

We are given great opportunities each day to serve the body of believers and to use our many talents to bless others in it.  There will be windows of opportunity provided by God for us to be a part of His ministry.  It is up to each of us to say yes to these opportunities, or we can choose to let them pass.  

It is important for us to understand that our time here on earth is limited - what we do or decline to do, will have eternal implications.  Every one of our actions will set something in motion; either for good or for evil.  The choices fathers make will impact their children, and their grandchildren.

An example of this truth is the extensive seven year study performed by Yale University about 40 years ago.  It centered on how a person's choice of actions in life affects the lives of his or her children. This study was focused around the lives of two men: Max Jukes and Jonathan Edwards.

Max Jukes was an Atheist that believed in the abolition of laws and rules. Mr. Jukes formed an organization called the Freedom Movement that preached free sex, no laws, no formal education and no responsibilities.  Jonathan Edwards was known by all as the "disciplinarian". Not because he disciplined his children harshly, but because he was a self-disciplined man. He became a preacher that believed in leading by example. He authored two books on the subjects of physical fitness and kindness. Mr. Edwards later became involved in teaching people to be responsible for their daily actions. Both of these men were chosen for their diverse beliefs, but also because they both fathered 13 children. Here are the legacies they left behind:

MAX JUKES                       JONATHON EDWARDS

1026 descendants                     929 descendants
300 convicts                               430 ministers/314 war veterans
27 murderers                              75 authors
190 prostitutes                            86 college professors
509 alcoholics & drug addicts    13 university presidents
                                                     7 congressmen
                                                     3 governors
                                                     1 Vice President of the United States

Hey Christian, we have a window of opportunity here while in these temporary tents known as bodies.  We will be given choices and we need to know our decisions will have profound impacts upon those around us.  Let's make the best of those windows of opportunities like Mary did.  It might cost us a great amount, but whatever we sacrifice, will be minuscule compared to what we receive in return.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to seizing opportunities and serving the body of believers?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you seizing the opportunities God is giving you each day?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord daily for the opportunities that make their way to you.  Ask Him to give you wisdom, discernment, and a peace about whether the opportunity is from Him, and then proceed when you have that peace.

Father, thank You for Your opportunities that You have provided in my life.  Father, I am sorry for the times I have chosen not to take advantage of what You have provided.  Help me to see these opportunities clearly and to be guided in each one.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000