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Tag: Alabaster Jar
[Giving it All] Day 2: Your Priorities
Reading: Matthew 26:8-12
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.“
What’s wrong with the disciples? Was it wrong to give the money to the poor to help them? The problem here is that they missed the point of why the woman poured out the expensive perfume on Jesus’ head (Matt 26: 6-7).
We are like the disciples at times. We sometimes miss the point of why God allows things to happen in our lives. We sometimes fail to see things in God’s perspective. We tend to get angry with God without even seeking Him.
What the disciples saw as a waste, Jesus described it as “beautiful”. The woman acknowledged who Jesus was and without having second thoughts offered her perfume to Him. She knew that Jesus was very much worthy of the expensive perfume.
Is Jesus worthy of your precious time? Is He worthy of your resources and services? Putting God first in your life is never a waste. In fact, it is the most worthy thing you can do in your life. Your life will never be the same once you have set your priorities right, with God being the first.
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
How do we put God first?
- Making time for God. Have a quality time with God by reading the Bible and prayer. When Jesus was on earth, He always wakes up early in the morning and even avoids the crowd when He needs to spend time with the Heavenly Father. ( In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35)
- Acknowledging God and His Word as your authority in life. The values and principle we live by should always be aligned with what is in the Bible. In our day to day, we will always face trials and temptations that is why it is important that we know what is right in God’s eyes through the Bible. The standard of this world especially today is very immoral. We need to have a clear stand of what standards do we follow – the world’s or God’s. (And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2)
- Choosing God in all circumstances. Compromise is very dangerous in our spiritual walk. When we start giving in little by little to the wrong things, we will eventually find ourselves justifying the wrong and making it look right. God does not allow temptations that we can’t handle. Temptation is not a sin but when we stop choosing God and gave in, then that’s when it becomes an act of rebellion against God – aka sin. But God does not let us overcome temptation on our own. He will always sustain us. ( No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13)
With God being the first on your priority list, loving our neighbors is the second most important. Who are these?
- Family – next to God should be our families. In the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), the first 4 talks about our relationship with God. The 5th commandment talks about family – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
- Ministry, Work – our ministry in church and/or work should never take priority before our family. When we fix our weekly schedule, there should always be an allotted quality time with family. Work takes us most of the hours in our week that’s why other activities should be properly planned. Ministry is also important as this is our service to God and other people. But if this takes up more time than spending alone time with God and quality time with our family, then, we need to drop it. God first, Family second.
If you want God to help you set your priorities right, you can say this prayer.
Thank you dear God for reminding me today of how important it is to put You first in everything that I do. Thank you for Your Son, Jesus who taught us how to live a life that honors You. Lord, help me to make my priorities right. Give me strength and teach me discipline that I will be able to spend more time with you in my day to day. Guide me also that I may be able to spend more quality time with my family. Teach me to properly plan my week so that the other things that I need to do will not take the time I should be spending with You. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-7
Forever by Hillsong
[Gving it All] Day 1: All of You
Reading: Matthew 26:6-7
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
- Jesus loved to spend time with people, did not matter what kind of status the people had in the society. He ate with them and had conversations with them. (While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples – Mark 2:15)
- Bethany is the place where Lazarus lived. Lazarus was the one whom Jesus raised from the dead, brother of Mary and Martha (John 11). This family was very close to Jesus as well.
Just imagine if Jesus would come to your home to hang out, how would you prepare? For sure, you would make things look impressive, taking out the “special” dishware which are only used during special occasions. However, as I read and imagine this – he was reclining at the table, I pictured it as very relaxing and comfortable. Jesus just really wanted to hang out and be with people. He did not care about the external. This is the same with our life. Jesus does not care with the brand of clothing or shoes you wear. He does not even care what position you have or how rich you have become. He just wants to be in your life, to be the center of your life. He wants to hang out with you – all of you.
The woman mentioned with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume was Mary. In today’s time, the most expensive perfume costs US $215,000 which is the Clive Christian’s Imperial Majesty. It is a 6.9-ounce perfume bottle with an 18-carat gold collar that is embellished with a five-carat diamond. Do you even want to use that perfume if someone would give it to you? We might just even hide it to make sure no one steals it. Now imagine this – Mary poured out a very expensive perfume on Jesus’ head. Imagine pouring out a US $215,000 worth of perfume just in one time. Would you even dare? Mary did.
Jesus is like the alabaster jar with the very expensive perfume. God gave His Most Precious One and Only Son Jesus to us to the point of death. Jesus sacrificed ALL of His life that we may have eternal life. (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16). That’s how much God loves us.
Our life is also like the alabaster jar with the very expensive perfume. Jesus wants the entire perfume, not just a portion of it. He wants us to give our ALL to Him. He wants us to give our BEST to Him. Is there anything in your life right now that is hindering you to come closer to God? Are you always giving your best in everything that you do? Is there anything that is holding you back to give all of your life to God? Giving your all does not mean giving up your career or your money or your family to follow Him. Giving your all means putting God first before anyone and anything in your life and that in everything that you do, it honors and pleases God.
If you desire to give your all to God today, you can say this prayer:
Thank you for reminding me today of how much you love us. Thank you for your One and Only Son Jesus that through Him I can have eternal life. Lord, teach me how to give my whole life to you. Help me to make You the first in my life that I may be able to give my best always in everything that I do. Forgive me Lord for holding back a lot of things in my life which hindered me to be more close to You. I want to know more about Your love through Jesus Christ. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I Offer My Life by Don Moen