July 17, 2018


Mark 14:3-9

She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

—  Mark 14:3

There have been a few times when our family received very generous gifts. Those were times of financial need for us, and they were more appreciated than I could ever say. But, honestly, it took me a while to accept such generosity. Personal pride got in the way and made me feel guilty about accepting those gifts. But the bottom line was always that the people who felt led to give didn’t do it out of guilt or duty. They did it because they loved our family and knew that God had blessed them to be a blessing to others.

We know that the cost of ­discipleship—following Jesus—involves relying on God and following his calling in our lives. The people who blessed our family were doing just that. The woman in today’s story gave extravagantly to Jesus with no thought about her own needs or agenda. She simply did what she was called to do.

Some of the people who saw this asked why she would do such a thing. That can happen when a person follows God’s leading and shows generosity.

Surely there were other people more needy than our family when we received generous gifts. Surely the money spent on the jar of perfume for Jesus could have helped people in need. But Jesus was the one whom the woman was called to bless at that time. She followed God’s leading in her that day.

What is God leading you to do? Whom is he calling you to bless today?

Father, allow us to hear your call and to follow wherever you may lead, no matter the cost. Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is director of faith formation at a church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, camping, and visiting national parks with his family.

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