Mark 16:1-8, John 12:1-8
We continue to thank God for the privilege of being ministered to by the Women Fellowship in this month of September. It is a great joy to reflect on how God uses women in ministry. We look at women who stood out and devoted themselves to Christ. The objective is to encourage all women to offer themselves to be used by God. Last Sunday we focused on Debora, today we focus on Mary Magdalene, Mary the sister to Lazarus, among other ladies of worth mentioned in the scriptures today.
The stories of Mary anointing our Lord shortly before His death and the three women going to the empty tomb have profound influence on how we walk with the Lord. We think of the deep revelation of how these ladies attached very special honor to the Lord Jesus. The disciples joined Judas in scolding Mary for wasting this expensive perfume on Jesus when it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus defends Mary by replying “Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her. Jesus intends that the preaching of the Gospel should issue in something along the very lines of the action of Mary here, namely, that people should come to Him and waste themselves on Him. The gospel is to bring each one of us to a true estimate of His worth.
So this is a story about how not to waste your life. It’s also a story about motivation: why do you do what you do for the Lord? Do you serve Him for the satisfaction you get when you see results? It is satisfying to see Him use you, but that’s the wrong motivation. Do you serve Him because it helps others? Again, it’s gratifying to see others helped, but that’s the wrong motivation for serving Him. The true motive for serving Christ is because He is worthy of everything you can do for Him and because you love Him and want to please Him because He gave Himself for you on the cross. We learn this from Mary’s act of devotion.
John in the text contrasts Mary’s act of devotion with Judas’ self-centred focus and with the evil plans of the chief priests, who now not only want to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus, whose resurrection was resulting in many believing in Jesus. So the story’s lesson is:
A life spent in selfless devotion to Jesus is not wasted, but a life spent on self is totally wasted.
1. Selfless devotion costs you socially: “Do I treasure Jesus more than my pride?”
2. Selfless devotion costs you some criticism: “Do I treasure Jesus more than my reputation?”
3. Selfless devotion stems from personal love and gratitude.
4. Selfless devotion results in action.
• Action results in the fragrance of Christ surrounding your life.
• Action results in service for Christ.
• Action results in witness for Christ.
You will totally waste your life if you spend it on yourself but will gain if you spend it in serving God.
We too are called to a life of devotion to the Lord; not just women, but us all. Like Mary, we too can show our devotion to the Lord by; How we Search for Him-this time not in the empty tomb, but in prayer. Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while he may be found”. We can show our devotion to the Lord by Serving Him this can be done in many ways: volunteer, donations, giving etc Further we can show our devotion to Christ by willingly sharing the good news of our salvation by being intentional about spreading the good news about the salvation offered by Christ. We need to influence your peers and family members. Mary Magdalene is a good example for us to emulate as far as devotion to Christ is concerned. We too can show our devotion to Christ today by;
1. Searching for Him –in prayer
2. Serving Him-through the various gifts He Has graciously given us
3. Sharing the good news of Christ-by the way we live
The Lord bless all and keep you safe. We continue to celebrate our ladies in the service of God at LUC. Amen!