Are you dedicated to God? Are you willing to risk criticism, ridicule, and rejection to follow Him? Steph Nickel gives us the example of the woman who was so dedicated to God, that she poured out her expensive perfume onto Jesus, even though her intentions were mocked by the disciples.
Dedicated To God
Matthew 26:6-13 says,
”Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.’”
You have to wonder if this woman had any idea what she was actually doing. Did she know she was preparing Jesus for burial? Did she know that very soon He would be put to death? Did she know that her actions would be recorded for us to read about thousands of years after her selfless act of love?
The likely answer to these questions is no. But I’m certain she knew a number of other things. She knew the Master deserved this extravagance. She knew it was worth facing criticism to pour out not only expensive ointment but also excessive love. She knew it was possible to focus exclusively on Jesus even in the midst of a crowd.
I think we have a lot to learn from her, a lot that applies to life in the 21st century. Let’s ask ourselves a series of questions.
Is It Worth the Material Cost?
First, are we willing to pour out our most prized possession to show our love for the Lord? Do we own anything we would not be willing to give up if it would further the cause of Christ? Do we love Him more than our stuff?
Is It Worth the Emotional Cost?
Then again, some of us have a very loose hold on our possessions. They truly don’t mean all that much to us. But what about our emotional well-being? What others think of us? What they say about us? This woman was criticized. She was accused of being selfish. After all, she could have sold the ointment and given the proceeds to the poor. Wouldn’t that have been the more spiritual thing to do? Yet, she offered the Lord a precious gift—and He accepted it wholeheartedly.
Is It Worth the Social Cost?
I wonder how much thought this woman gave her actions beforehand. Did it cross her mind that her motives might be called into question? Did she think she would be rejected by the Lord’s disciples? Did she consider the possibility that Jesus Himself might not respond as He did?
In 2 Samuel 24:24, King David says, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.”
While we don’t offer burnt offerings anymore, do we still see the value in sacrificial giving? The fact that Jesus gave up so much for us should prompt us to express our gratitude in extravagant ways. This woman was willing. Are we?
His Sacrifice For Us
Philippians 2:5-8 is a powerful passage. It says,
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
This passage reminds us what the Lord Jesus gave up to become our Saviour, our Redeemer. It also begins with the words, “Have this mind among yourselves.” He set the ultimate example we are to follow, one of self-sacrifice and extravagance. And He commands us to view things from the same perspective—and to willingly give of ourselves.
Are We Dedicated To God?
Are we that dedicated to the Lord? Are we willing to give up any- and everything to express our love for Him? Are we willing to risk ridicule? Are we willing to focus exclusively on the Lord? I believe that is the call on each of our lives.
I struggled to get this devotional together. And I know I will struggle even more to honestly examine my own life and take opportunities to unreservedly express my love for the Lord. Thankfully, I can depend on the Holy Spirit to increase my love for Jesus and show me how to express it in God-honouring ways.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, I encourage you to keep your eyes open for the opportunities that will come your way.
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