Day 18

Day 18 ~ EXtravagant Blessing

Mark 14:3-9

“But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me.’” (Mark 14:6)

Can you picture the scene? This was a tense setting. Word was that the authorities were looking for ways to arrest Jesus. This was a place for serious conversation and for invited guests only.

And then came this woman with the perfume. Who invited her? And who gave her permission to pour the entire contents of a perfume jar on the head of the guest of honor? Can you imagine the smell? You know the way to use perfume. Just a little dab will do. But she poured out the perfume like football players dousing their coach with the Gatorade bucket. And why waste so much expensive perfume? As some said, it could have been
sold -- and the money could have been given to the poor.

We do not know this woman’s heart. Perhaps she had experienced the forgiveness of Jesus and felt so grateful for him that she had to find some way to bless Him. Whatever the reasons, Jesus defended her heart, and her lavish gift.

One could debate that the resources your church needs to invest in ministry could be spent on any number of things. Sometimes people may grumble, “ A capital campaign? I want to give money to people, not to bricks and mortar.” In truth, investing in bricks and mortar is an important way to invest directly in impacting the lives of people. Doing such ministries effectively requires such tools. But instead of arguing the point of all that could be done, perhaps we should ask a different question. Is what we are doing honoring God? Is what we are accomplishing furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ? Does what we are doing bless Christ?

Very soon Jesus was stripped of His friends, His dignity, and His clothing as He was nailed to a cross. That dark day the only thing His tormentors could not get off of Him was the smell of that perfume on His head. As Jesus struggled to draw painful breaths upon the cross, did the sweet smell of that loving gift strengthen Him to be broken and poured out for us all?

Prayer: Lord, give me the grace to give to You as lavishly as You have poured Yourself out for me. Let me bless You, even as You have blessed my life.

Action Item: Make a list of the ways that your gift – and these projects – might bless God.