Friday, 25 March 2016

Am I 'Counting the Cost' of my love for Him?



Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3

Extravagant wastefulness. That's what they called it. 

A beautiful thing... a good deed... a gift worth remembering, forever. That's how He saw it. 

She gave without counting the cost. Because He was worth it.

How could they not see? 

I wish I could be more like her, but I'm afraid, in my heart, I'm like them. 

A misguided disciple. 

Her gift was extreme. Wasteful. Lavish. Extravagant.

 derived from Latin, present participle of extrāvagārī;  
extrā - outside of + vagārī - to wander;  
going beyond usual bounds, unrestrained 
exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions… or passions 
wandering beyond bounds

She was unrestrained in her giving. A year's wages. Broken and poured out.

Me... I'm more measured... seldom wandering beyond the realm of reason.  

More restrained. Calculating the cost. Justifying a better use for the wastefulness. 

A calm, unemotional, indifferent disciple. That's who I tend to be. Prone to forgetting.

Wholehearted devotion. That is what I see in Mary. That is what Jesus called 'beautiful'. 

And a depth of spiritual insight painfully lacking in the disciples. 

Mary saw Jesus for who He really was.  A King, a High Priest, a  Saviour who must die... for her. 

Jesus had forewarned His disciples... told them of His impending death and resurrection. Perhaps they didn't hear... didn't understand.

But Mary knew. 

I believe, deep in her spirit, Mary saw who He was... understood the sacrificial love of God the Son, forsaken by God the Father, in order that she may be counted blameless. 

She knew the extraordinary, pursuing, eternal love for one who was undeserving.

How could she not respond?  

How could she not give him her all?

Mary knew that only one thing was needed... to be seated at the feet of Jesus... in total surrender. And so, unabashedly, with her heart solely focused on Jesus and paying no mind to herself, she poured out her devotion to Him. 

Generous, timely and memorable, not because of who gave it, but because of Who she gave it to. She didn't allow herself to get in the way of her gift.  Didn't allow the focus to remain on her. Not counting the cost, she did what she 'had' to do - "and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." John 12:3b 

What about us? 

How are we pouring out our love for Jesus? 

The One who 'took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted... the one who 'was pierced for our transgressions, ...crushed for iniquities'; who brought us peace through the punishment that was on him, and who has healed us by his wounds. Isaiah 53:4-5


Are we giving all that we have to The One who loved us without counting the cost?

Or are we giving just enough? Just enough to appease our guilty conscience? 

Measured... calculated... restrained. 

Oh, I pray to be a Mary - wholly devoted to The Only One who could take away my guilt and shame...  The One who looked at me in my helpless state and paid the price that I couldn't pay... The One who covered me with His blood and replaced my low-down, dirty sinfulness with his pure righteousness. 

I pray to be unabashed in my devotion... not because I have to... not because there's something in it for me, but simply because He is worth it.

What about you? 

Are you taking all that you have, offering it as an extravagant gift to Jesus, and filling the 'room' with the sweet aroma of Christ? 


10 comments:

  1. This is beautiful and especially poignant on Good Friday. I certainly have much more work to do. Thank you for the inspiration. #SHINEbloghop

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    1. I have a long way to go too, Regina, but if I could only take my eyes off of me and fix them on Jesus, I would see that He has already done all the work and I would overflow with gratitude. Have a blessed Easter! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Carlie what a thought provoking and poignant post! Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder. I am analytical by nature so I tend towards the measured side. I pray to God asking Him to help me be a good steward for Him and be wise in helping those in need. I want to be in the center of His will. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Resurrection Sunday!

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    1. That's it exactly, Horace. I think the answer lies in our complete dependence on God, relying on His power within us 'to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose'. (Philippians 2:13) Thanks so much for stopping by and blessing me with your encouragement. May you have a blessed Easter season!

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  3. Carlie, I'm afraid I'm probably more on the measured and calculated side and I have so much to learn from Mary. If it wasn't for God's grace, I don't know where I would be. Thank you for this beautiful reminder which is so fitting during the Easter season.

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    1. There it is again...Grace. Unmerited favour. We would all be lost and hopeless if it wasn't for His grace. May we continue to live lives overflowing with thankfulness. Happy Easter, my friend!

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  4. Carlie, your post is giving me some food for thought. I struggle with the idea of being extravagant, even to the Lord. Considering all He has done for me; I should give my all for Him.

    Blessings! Happy Easter!

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    1. Oh Kim, I sat in a Holy Week service one evening this week and was inspired to write this post. It has been the focus of my thoughts ever since. Needless to say the Lord and I are having many discussions about it. But rather than harbouring feelings of guilt, may we instead draw ever closer to our gracious Father. Wishing you a blessed Easter season!

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  5. "I wish I could be more like her, but I'm afraid, in my heart, I'm like them." ~~ Me too, Carlie. Me too. what a beautiful post and a pointed reminder of the humility and passion we should have for Jesus. Thank you for linking with us at The Loft.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Leah! I know that with Jesus even this is possible.

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