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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : October 4. Acceptable Offerings

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"She has done what she could!" Mark 14:8

This was a wonderful commendation to come from the lips of Jesus. Mary could not have done better than this — if she had been a thousand times as gifted. We get two lessons here:

One is, that all Christ wants — is what we have ability and opportunity to do. He asks no impossibilities. The poorest things, the smallest offerings, are acceptable — if they are really our best in the circumstances.

A child in a mission school offered her teacher a handful of weeds and grasses, wilted and soiled — which she called a bouquet. Did the teacher refuse the gift, and criticize the poor withered weeds? No, she accepted them with as sincere gratitude and as many thanks as if some wealthy friend had offered her an elegant bouquet of flowers. The child did what she could; and the teacher looking behind the gift — saw the love in the little heart, and that transfigured her poor gift. Just so, Christ accepts our poorest work, or our plainest offering — if it is our best.

But the lesson has another side. "She did what she could." It is this, then, which pleases Christ. Are we doing what we could do? Do we always bring to Him our very best gifts? Do we never put Him off with the faded flowers — keeping the fresh and fragrant ones for ourselves? Do we do for Him our very best work? Are we faithful?

If we are only doing half of what we might, we cannot take the comfort of this commendation. The widow's two mites were very acceptable coming from her, because they were all she had; but they would not have elicited any such commendation if one of the rich men had given them. A little child's ministry is very beautiful for a child — but it would not be as fitting in the father or mother. We must really do the very best we can — if we would have this commendation.

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