Life, Death, & Glory: Extravagant Devotion

Life, Death, & Glory: Extravagant Devotion

Life, Death, & Glory: Extravagant Devotion

Devotion; Commitment; Worship; Thanksgiving / John 12:1–8

 

Love Rock Hall

As a newbie to RH, you tell everyone how great things are

Where you’ve been here forever, RH isn’t that amazing

This is why people who come to Jesus are so excited about their faith, their church

John 12:1–8 NIV
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Let’s remember where we are in the story:

Jesus has brought Lazarus to life … a celebration … a thank you

Six Days before the Passover … town is beginning to fill

Matt 26:6 tells us he is at the home of Simon the Leper … used to be a leper

Mary’s devotion:

Always at Jesus’s feet

Asking for understanding

Asking for help

Now offering back b/c he has changed her life

John 12:3 NIV
3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But we don’t know much about her gift…. except for the sinful heart of Judas:

John 12:4–5 NIV
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”

Devotion is Extravagant

Judas tells us what her extravagance was like:

300 Denarai = Year’s wages = $30,000

Mary’s love was Extravagant, yes, but really she did what she could

“She did what she could” Mark 14:8

It was a lot, It was more than others could have done, but it’s what she was able to do.

Remember the woman with two coins… gave more than anyone else.

It’s not about how much we give – serve – help – that depends on how much we have…. it’s about what we do with what we have.

I heard about a NFL quarterback Derek Carr who got a huge salary and he said the first thing he was going to do? Pay my tithe.  He said he had been doing that since he was in college on his student loans, he would continue to do so.  People don’t start tithing when they get $125 million. People tithe $125 million when they first get paid $125.

The most generous people in the world are the poor. Do you know why that is? I don’t either, but I think its because they understand the importance of a little. They have a greater appreciation for the little they do have.

This isn’t a message on giving, but I will say this

You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.

Love always Gives!

Think about the things you love: what do they get from you:

Time, money, attention, anxiety, study,

I’ve heard it said that “money runs down hill” what that means is: What we have always follows what we value

Matthew 6:21 NIV
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The more we value something, the more of ourselves we are willing to commit to it: Retirement, Alma Mater, our Civic club, our grand-kids,

Devotion is extravagant, and devotion is timely

John 12:7–8 NIV
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Mary did what she could – when she could.

Devotion is always on time

John tells us that Judas was the one who wanted to access to this wealthy gift because he was a thief… that was his motivation, but what about the other disciples? Matthew and Mark’s account of this same story tell us that it was also the other disciples who thought this was a waste of resources.

Religion is a poor substitute for devotion.

For them it was about what “should we do” for Mary it was what can I do…

Family cooking their only chicken

Mark 14:8 NIV
8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.

Jewish tradition of preparing the body for burial.

When Jesus died, there was no opportunity to do this, quickly wrapped and placed in a tomb… the women came on Easter Sunday to apply the spices…

Mary didn’t know what she was doing, but she was anointing him for death while he was still alive.

She did what she could, when she could.

Devotion isn’t bound by the things that bind our bodies. Devotion isn’t limited to bad knees, or bad hips, devotion isn’t limited by

Devotion – Wholehearted commitment to God.

Dating…spending more and more – money and time

Move from ROMANCE to DEVOTION

Love in action? Worship

Romans 12:1–2 The Message
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

We want a Mary-sized devotion… how do we get there?

How to deepen your devotion?

By sharing my story, Jesus’s story, and our story.

When I meet people, I listen for this….

When people want to join the church, I ask them directly…

When I talk to a leader in the church, or consider someone who is interested in becoming a leader, I reflect on what they have shared…

Hearing these stories are the best way to deepen our devotion.

What Jesus has done for me:

Life since I became a disciple:

Reflect on you what your life was like before Jesus became the Lord of your life

Maybe you experienced a powerful deliverance

More likely, we were living “good” lives until one day something we read or some preacher or teacher in our lives, on the radio said something that grabbed our attention to the truth that our trying to be a good religious person who didn’t really need Jesus was actually an offense to God… we were our own God… we had been living in the dark even though we thought it was light.

Ephesians 5:8 NIV
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

What was your life like before Jesus became your Lord?

Then think about what Jesus has done for you.

Romans 5:6–8 NCV
6 When we were unable to help ourselves, at the right time, Christ died for us, although we were living against God. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. 8 But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

What kind of death? Embarrassing, painful, humiliating, torturous,

Having our life and Jesus’s sacrifice in view, now think about how your life has changed since you became a disciple of Jesus.

God has blessed my life, my family, my community… spend time in prayer praising God for what he HAS DONE and IS DOING.

You may think, well I would like this to be true of my life… maybe I will get there one day.

let me go back to a couple of details in the story that you may have missed.

John 12:3 NIV
3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

And the house was filled with the fragrance…. her devotion touched everyone there.

Her extravagant act of devotion impacted everyone in the room.

But that’s not all

Matthew 26:13 NIV
13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Her devotion lives on today.

Mary lived for the Glory of God, we can too.

Extravagant Devotion is possible in your life. I know this because we are sitting in the proof of it right this moment.  This church is the result of someone’s devotion.

Will someone stand in yours?

 

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