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