Summary: Stewardship has a lot more to do, then just what we give from our pocket books to God. True Stewardship is about every area of our life.
For the next four Sunday evenings we will be in a new series entitles simply, “Stewardship.” Now before anyone panics, thinking that I am going to be preaching on giving your money in tithes and offerings for four weeks; don’t worry. Remember stewardship involves every area of our life, not just our pocket books. As we journey through these series you will see a common theme in its teaching, “It is always better to give, then to receive.”
Jesus was a welcome guest in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany. John 11 tells us of the raising of Lazarus from the dead and how immediately following the raising of Lazarus a feast was prepared where Jesus was the guest of honor. It was during this supper that Mary demonstrated her lavish, extravagant devotion toward the Christ.
Tonight I want us to look at the topic of Extravagant Devotion, and what is the benefit of being a person of extravagant devotion? Well let’s see.
I. Extravagant devotion seeks an appropriate means of expression
a. Love will find a way
b. Gratitude will manifest itself
c. Christ recognized Mary’s gift as a lovely work done in view of his coming death and burial.
d. Christ had confidence in his kingdom’s progress and permanence (v. 9)
i. What Mary did that day, still lives on today.
ii. She was devotion to Christ, and because of that devotion she sought to expression her love for Christ in the best way she knew how.
II. Extravagant devotion leads to extravagant loyalty
a. The sinful woman (Luke 7:44-47)
“Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for my feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feel with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
b. John 15:15
“No longer to I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his mater is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
i. When we devout our lives to Christ he does not treat us like slaves.
ii. But we are friends with Christ
iii. I don’t know about you, but I cannot think of a better person to have as a friend.
III. Extravagant devotion blesses the lives of others
a. Mary’s act of devotion blessed the heart of Jesus as he faced death
b. Mary’s precious perfume continues as an endless living stream to inspire the hearts of others.
c. The fragrance of Mary’s perfume still fills the room of those who read and listen
i. That day the disciples and others in that room, learned the meaning of true devoted service to Christ
d. How long has it been since others have been blessed by some area of your life?
IV. Do you have the Judas mind or the Mind of Mary?
a. It could be said concerning many of us we measure our devotion to the Lord and his cause with a medicine dropper.
i. A medicine dropper is normally used to administer limited dosages to those who are sick.
b. Instead of permitting the devotion of our hearts to flow with the vigor of a well, we continually restrict it and almost completely choke it off. Such was not the case with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Her kind of love is the need of the kingdom right now.
c. Judas was on the other hand a shrewd businessman who knew the price of things.
i. He was completely practical about everything.
ii. He disapproved of Mary’s act as a foolish waste.
Jesus disagreed with Judas and commended Mary. Jesus loved people extravagantly to the extent that he gave his own life for them. God loves us extravagantly. He gave his Son to die on the cross for us.
The measure of our sacrifice is the measure of our worship. The measure of our sacrifice is the measure of our concern for others.