How Much Do We Love Jesus ?
How long has it been since you did something for someone just because you loved them ?
Cleaned your room ?
Sent some flowers ?
Sent someone a card ?
On a scale of 1-10, how are you at expressing your love ?
Joke: Husband who came home, and told his wife he was taking her out for supper !
Joke: After being away on business, Tim thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift. "How about some perfume?" he asked the cosmetics clerk. She showed him a bottle costing $50.00. "That’s a bit much," said Tim, so she returned with a smaller bottle for $30.00. "That’s still quite a bit," Tim complained. Growing annoyed, the clerk brought out a tiny $15.00 bottle. "What I mean," said Tim, "is I’d like to see something really cheap." The clerk handed him a mirror
It is important that we show our love to those that we love !
But it is far more important that we show our love for Christ, for until we understand the importance of showing him our love, I do believe that we will ever fully comprehend how to love, and express love for others !
Thought: How long has it been since you did something for Christ just because you love him ?
Many times what we do for him is out of obligation rather than adoration !
What we do for him should be in response to what he has done for us !
This morning in our text we read the beautiful story of how a woman(named Mary) expressed her love for her Lord.
Two days before the feast of the passover........only a couple of days until the crucifixion
In Bethany.........only a few miles from Jerusalem.
In the home of Simon the Leper........who has been healed by the Lord. The 12 disciples were also present with him !
As they sit at the table and eat, a beautiful scene unfolds.........
I. She Expresses Her Love Instead Of Conforming To The Crowd. V3
Everyone in that house that day had received something from the Lord.
Simon.......cured of Leprosy.
The disciples.......saved, and called to serve.
Yet, only Mary expresses her love for him !
Everyone else seems to be just sitting around the table, and enjoying the fellowship with the Lord. Yet, she has a desire to show her love for the Lord, and to do something for him. The fact that none of the others choose to do such a thing does not keep her from sharing her love for Christ. It does not bother her that she is the only one. It does not bother her that others are watching ! She is not aiming to please the crowd, but Christ ! She could have stayed in the shadows, or among the crowd or in a comfort zone, but she chose instead to do a work for the Lord....which he calls a beautiful work !
II. She Expresses Her Love Without Considering The Cost !
Many Biblical scholars believe that this flask of precious ointment was a heirloom. It had been passed from generation to generation !
The ointment that she poured over the head of the Lord Jesus was expensive perfume ! It was worth approx a year’s wages. Yet the price of what she gave is not as important as the point ! The point is she gave her best !
Illust. Little boy who had nothing to give.........
She did what she could !
Illust. Bill Borden
In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden Dairy estate, he was already a millionaire. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave him a trip around the world. As he traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, Borden felt a growing burden for the world’s hurting people. Finally, he wrote home to say, "I’m going to give my life to prepare for the mission field." After making this decision, William Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: "No Reserves."
Borden arrived at Yale University (Connecticut) in 1905 trying to look like just one more freshman. Very quickly, however, Borden’s classmates noticed something unusual about him. One of them wrote: "He came to college far ahead, spiritually, of any of us. He had already given his heart in full surrender to Christ and had really done it. We who were his classmates learned to lean on him and find in him a strength that was solid as a rock, just because of this settled purpose and consecration."
Borden’s first disappointment at Yale came when he heard the university president speak on the students’ need of "having a fixed purpose." After hearing that speech, Borden wrote: "He neglected to say what our purpose should be, and where we should get the ability to persevere and the strength to resist temptations." Looking around at the Yale faculty and student body, Borden lamented the results of this empty philosophy: moral weakness and sin-ruined lives.
During his first semester at Yale, Borden started a movement that transformed the campus. One of his friends described how it happened: "It was well on in the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively whose suggestion it was, but I feel sure it must have originated with Bill. We had been meeting only a short time when a third student joined us and soon after a fourth. The time was spent in prayer after a brief reading of Scripture. Bill’s handling of Scripture was helpful. . . . He would read to us from the Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance."Borden’s small morning prayer group was the beginning of the daily groups of prayer that spread to the whole campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting for weekly Bible study and prayer. By the time he was a senior, one thousand out of Yale’s 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.
Borden made it his habit to choose the most "incorrigible" students and try to bring them to salvation. "In his sophomore year we organized Bible study groups and divided up the class of 300 or more, each man interested taking a certain number, so that all might, if possible, be reached. The names were gone over one by one, and the question asked, ’Who will take this person?’ When it came to someone thought to be a hard proposition, there would be an ominous pause. Nobody wanted the responsibility. Then Bill’s voice would be heard, ’Put him down to me.’"
Borden’s outreach ministry was not confined to the Yale campus. He rescued drunks from the streets of New Haven. To rehabilitate them, he founded the Yale Hope Mission. "He might often be found in the lower parts of the city at night, on the street, in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him, seeking to lead men to Christ."
Borden’s missionary call narrowed to the Muslims in China. Once that goal was in sight, Borden never wavered. He also inspired his classmates to consider missionary service. One of them said: "He certainly was one of the strongest characters I have ever known, and he put backbone into the rest of us at college. There was real iron in him, and I always felt he was of the stuff martyrs were made of, and heroic missionaries of more modern times.
"Although he was a millionaire, Bill seemed to realize always that he must be about his Father’s business, and not wasting time in the pursuit of amusement." Although Borden refused to join a fraternity, "he did more with his classmates in his senior year than ever before." He presided over the huge student missionary conference held at Yale and served as president of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa.
Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high paying job offers. He also wrote two more words in his Bible: "No Retreats."
William Borden went on to graduate work at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month 25-year-old William Borden was dead.
When news of the death of William Whiting Borden was cabled back to the U.S. from Egypt, "a wave of sorrow went round the world. Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a sacrifice."
Was Borden’s untimly death a waste? Not in God’s plan. Prior to his death, Borden had written two more words in his Bible. Underneath the words "No Reserves" and "No Retreats," he had written: "No Regrets."
III. She Shows Her Love Without Concern For Criticism !
When some who were gathered there saw what she did, they became critical. They called it a waste, and said that the ointment that she had poured out could have sold, and the money given to the poor !
When one chooses to do something out of the ordinary, or be different, you put yourself at risk for criticism. Some of us are afraid to live for Christ, to show our devotion to and for Christ because we fear what others will think. Yet, this lady, her life transformed by the Son of God does not concern herself with the possibility of criticism. Her heart is filled with love for Christ, and she must express it ! Are you willing to to get out of your comfort zone, and go against the grain, beyond the ordinary !