Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.- John 12:3
This morning, as I opened my Bible to John 12, I read another familiar account. The story of Mary pouring expensive ointment (or cologne/perfume) upon Jesus’ feet. She took her hair and wiped his feet after she did this. Although my thoughts may not be new, they entered my heart with conviction.
One of the first things that sprung from God’s Word into my heart as I read was the idea of giving God our very best. Mary did not grab a cheap bottle of Kmart perfume to dabble on His feet. She grabbed what I believe was one of the most pricey ointments they could have had. My impression is that it was worth quite a pretty penny.
She did not spare the best for our Lord. I think about my own life and wonder, do I give my best all the time? Do I give him the pound of ointment of spikenard, or do I settle for that cheap, smelly Charlie perfume (oh that stuff stinks!)? Do I do things to my very best ability, or do I half-effort a task just to get it done?
Several things came into mind as I read this:
Do I tithe enough? Am I giving 10% out of obligation? Should I be giving more at times? Am I listening to the commands of the Lord or worrying over my financial state?
Do I dedicate my whole self to ministry? Do I go and perform the tasks out of routine and obligation, or do I truly give my heart and soul?
Do I keep myself completely focused during devotions, or do I get distracted by things around me? Am I giving my all when it is time to sit down with my Father? Do I start thinking about the day’s tasks and events?
Do I give my all when I am in the services? Do I pay close attention to every point and try to take it in? Do I listen closely to what God is telling me? Do I let my mind wander?
Do I give my all when helping/encouraging others? Do I try to give my heart and soul to brothers and sisters, or do I do what is convenient?
I am sure if I thought long and hard, I could come up with many more areas to evaluate my life. Most of these questions I believe are yes at some times, but they are also no at other times. I would be a liar if I said I gave my best every single time. I would be willing to bet almost everybody would be a liar if they claimed that. My desire is to change that!
Another thing that Mary taught me today is that sometimes we need to stop being so busy. I know I have a bad habit of becoming so busy, I lose my intimate time with the Lord. Sometimes, it is good to just stop and sit at the feet of Jesus. Put aside your work, put aside your ministry, put aside your finances, put aside everything, and just sit with the Lord. I know when I do take the time to do this, it truly revives my heart in more ways than one.
Take the time to read from God’s Word, and let it speak to your heart. Take the time to have a real heart-to-heart talk with our Father, and you will be amazed at what you may hear! Take the time to get lost in some godly music and worship Jesus for being such a Holy, Perfect Saviour!
The third thing that Mary taught me is to be humble. When we were younger, we used to have that joke where we would pretend we were bowing and say “I am not worthy,” to the person. Basically, it was a sarcastic way of pointing out someone’s pride (though at the time we thought it a funny joke). A friend might be boasting on their A in class, and the rest might come back with the “I’m not worthy,” comment. This, my friend, is neither right nor humble.
However, to sincerely bow at the feet of the Lord and tell Him that you are not worthy of His love and forgiveness is humble. To revel in His glory and majestic perfection is humble. To know that you are nothing but a speck of dust next to our HOLY God is humble. The world looks at bowing down to anyone or anything as a disgrace. They look at it as demeaning. Some cults and paganistic religions bow down to inanimate objects or false gods. However, the one true King, Jesus Christ, deserves for us to humble ourselves at His feet.
The thing is that when we humble ourselves at the throne, it is not just a one way street. When we humble ourselves, the Lord loves on us in a great way. Isn’t is wonderful to have a Lord and King who truly adores us? My pastor just recently preached a two-part sermon on God delighting in His children!!
Humble, according to the 1828 Webster Dictionary, means low; opposed to high or lofty. It means lowly; modest; meek; submissive; opposed to proud, haughty, arrogant or assuming ways.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. – James 4:10
This sounds so easy but in reality is not. I know that lately it has come to view in my heart how prideful I truly am. I always called it “stubbornness” because it sounded better and more acceptable. Guess what? Bible.com gives a list of signs to identify pride, and one of them is stubbornness:
“Being stubborn. Webster’s dictionary defines stubbornness as: unduly determined to exert one’s own will, not easily persuaded and difficult to handle or work, resistant. The root issue of stubbornness is willfulness, which is ‘I want what I want when I want it.’ Another name for pride.”
Mary may not have had much money, and many in Bible days did not respect her. However, she was a godly woman that we could all learn from. She truly loved the Lord with all of her heart and was not afraid to show it. I believe that she had a very special place in Jesus’ heart and life.
I praise the Lord that we have a Holy Book that holds pages of not mere words, but living and breathing Scriptures! I praise the Lord that my King James Bible not only reads poetically, but it convicts me, encourages me, and guides me in my path! I praise the Lord that every time I read something in this Amazing Book, I am blessed with something new. There is not one single book outside of God’s Word that I can make that claim about! Praise the Lord for His Truth!!!!