Sunday, February 7, 2016

What's Your Fragrant Offering?




And being in the Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly spikenard.  Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.-Mark 14:3

Spikenard was very expensive. John's Gospel records Mary as pouring a pound of the oil on Jesus' feet.  Mark says she poured it on His head.  Maybe it was both since they both recorded different locations of the anointing.  However, John tells us how much that spikenard was worth.  

Judas Iscariot is offended by the "waste"  of expensive oil on Jesus.  He is the one to identify its worth at being 300 denarii.  300 denarii was about a year's wages.  One usually earned about 1 denarii for 12 hours work. So this oil must have been very precious to her, but Jesus was of greater value.

Just like Mary, there will be people in your life who will criticize what you give to Jesus.  Whether it be your heart, your time, your money, your gifting, some will not understand and criticize you and tell you to use your gifts for something else, something that will profit you. Like Judas, they might think what you are doing is a "waste."

But just know that what you give to Him is never wasted.  Mary didn't see what she was doing as a waste.  Jesus didn't see what she was doing as a waste.  In fact, He commended her.  He is saying the same thing of you that He said of Mary, 

 She has done a good work for me.
-Mark 14:6


John's Gospel also says, "And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil."  I don't know if you have ever smelled spikenard before, but it is very woodsy, and a little goes a long way.  I can imagine what the house smelled liked if she poured a pound of it on Jesus.  It would have been very strong.  Not only would Jesus have smelled of the spikenard, but every other person in the house would have walked out with the scent of it on their clothes and themselves.

It is the same with what you have to give to the Lord.  Not only will it bless you and Him, but it will get on other people as well.  They will walk away fragrant with the odor of the life your offering to Him provided.

Don't let your life be dictated by other people's ambitions for you, but let it be dictated by your love for the Lord. Your heart will be fulfilled.  Other people will be blessed.


Prayer:

"Lord, please help our lives not to be dictated by the thoughts of others.  Help us not to be afraid of men, but only to be moved by our love for you.  In Jesus' beautiful name we pray.  Amen."


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