August 25, 2014

Best Effort

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 25, 2014

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.” Mark 14:8

God expects our best, nothing more nothing less. Our best plus God’s best is a productive combination. Indeed, we can fall into the false belief that God will take care of everything without our efforts. Or, we can on the unnecessary the stress of everything depends on us, without thoroughly trusting in the Lord. Neither is healthy nor right—He simply expects our best—He understands our limitations.

Your stage of life, giftedness, experience, availability and wisdom all determine your capacity. The ability of others will be more or less than yours, so let the Lord define what you can or cannot do. There will always be opportunities, but measure each engagement along side your ability to give it your best. Do not commit under duress knowing that your capacity to deliver is sorely limited. Instead, have confidence in God to say ‘no’ now in preparation for a ‘yes’ later.

Indeed, when you have given it your best, this is all that is required of God. You have done what you could. You can trust Him with this; so do not beat up yourself. Self-flagellation will not gain you points with God or people. They will replace respect for you with pity. On the other hand do not become puffed up over your best. There is always another person who has done or will do better. Thus, rest in the fact that you have glorified God and brought others into His healing influence.

“Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them” (Matthew 15:30).

Our best mixed with God’s best is dynamic. Yes, we have limitations. We can only do what we can do, but with God all things are possible. He can arrange circumstances, relationships and resources that intersect with your best. All of a sudden your best, plus the best of others, plus God’s best leverages outcomes you never dreamed could happen. Your “small gift” given to teach abstinence to teens in Africa will yield one result, but that same gift combined with generous friends way more exceeds a 100-fold result.

Furthermore, your decision to do less may accomplish a lot more. It may accomplish more if you focus on becoming an expert in your field of work. Why settle for the wilderness of simple addition when you can celebrate the promised land of complex multiplication? Your best effort blessed by God brings eternal results.

Your best is a valuable resource. Use it for others and to serve God’s Kingdom. The more you exercise your best, the better you become. Your best may become the best, so by God’s grace you become an expert in your field. Take what you have—dedicate it to Jesus—do what you can and trust God with the rest. Dismiss the noise of the crowds’ criticism and listen for His approval. People will be amazed and praise the Lord!

“Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today” (Luke 5:26).

Prayer: What can I sacrificially give back—what God has given me—all for His glory?

Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:6; Proverbs 25:14; Luke 9:13; Romans 12:6

Post/Tweet today:  Do not commit under duress knowing that your capacity to deliver is suppressed. #wisdomhunters

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