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November 18, 2015

Maximizing Your Opportunities

Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. Mark 16:2 (NLT)

The first people to see the risen Christ were the three women who followed Jesus. What a reward for their faithfulness! They maximized their opportunities to serve, even when what they did didn’t seem like much. We may not think that what we have to give will make a difference.  We may diminish the value of the impact we can make. But, God doesn’t! He says that even a cup of cold water given in His name will not go without a reward. These women must have remembered what Jesus said earlier in His ministry with them…

“And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of My followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42 (NLT) 

In the crisis of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion, what could these women do that would possibly make a difference? They didn’t have positions of authority before the Governor that could influence him. They couldn’t dissuade the mob from opposing Jesus. They certainly couldn’t overpower the Roman soldiers and rescue Jesus. Nevertheless, these women did what they could. They were the only ones, among His followers, with the exception of John, that remained at the cross to support Christ when He suffered and died.

When Joseph of Arimathea was granted the body of Christ to bury in his personal tomb, these ladies followed him to see where Jesus would be laid to rest. Then, as soon as the sun set after Passover, they went to purchase spices to anoint Jesus’ body as a sign of love and respect.  Despite their limitations, these women made their way to the tomb early that Sunday morning, wondering how they would remove the stone. It was too heavy for them to move and, besides, there were Roman soldiers guarding the tomb from any attempt to steal the body of Jesus and make a claim of resurrection! None of this stopped the women from making the most of their opportunity to serve Jesus.

Is it any wonder why they were so greatly rewarded for simply doing what they could do! Imagine being the first witnesses to the resurrection! What an honor! God blessed these faithful women for their diligence and determination. They were devoted to Christ and decided that, obstacles notwithstanding, they would give what they had and serve with the best of their abilities. What a witness to us today! As Christ followers, we should maximize our opportunities to do what we can rather than worrying about what we cannot do. When we do, we will encounter the presence of the risen Christ!