6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: God wants our best, our all. Mary the sister of Martha was an example of giving our best and our all to the Savior.

Alabaster Giving #1

John 12:1-8


In a few minutes I’m going to be reading about a home in the Bible. This is the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. In this home we find:

Lazarus – who had been raised from the dead.

Mary – who was sitting at the feet of Jesus in worship.

Martha – who was busy serving.

This home is a picture of what our church should be. Every church should have three essentials in it.

1. New life in Christ - Lazarus

2. Worship – Mary

3. Service – Martha

I. Another Way Of Putting It Is Witness, Worship, And Work.

The Christian life is to be a healthy balance of these three things.

1. Mary was worshipping. In this particular incident she was worshiping in giving.

2. Martha was involved in serving our Lord and others.

3. Lazarus was a witness. His very presence was a testimony of the resurrection power of Christ.

II. We Can Also View These Three Aspects Of The Christian Life As Worship.

1. Service is an act of worship.

2. Witness is an act of worship.

3. Giving is an act of worship.

The main focus of my message tonight is not on service or on witnessing – but on giving. So with this in mind we are going to be taking a look at Mary and her example in giving.

III. Mary Is Found Three Times In The Gospels And Each Time She Is Found Sitting At The Feet Of Jesus. (Lk. 10:38-42 and John 11:17-45 as well as this passage)

This was Mary’s way of expressing her love for Jesus. Mary’s question had been – What can I do to show my love for Jesus.

IV. Mary’s Love Was Extravagant Love.

Mary gave her most valued possession and in giving that possession she built a monument – a monument of love.


O’Henry’s short story – “The Gift of the Magi”. In the story the young couple each expressed their love towards the other by selling their most prized possession so they could buy a gift for the other.

V. Mary Started A “Wave Of Blessing”

1. She was a blessing to Jesus as she shared her love.

2. She was a blessing to her home as the fragrance spread.

3. She was a blessing to the early church that heard of her devotion.

4. She is a blessing to the world today as we read about it.

VI. Alabaster Giving Is Not Just Giving Of Our Possessions But Giving Of Our Lives

I like to read the biographies of great Christians – People who have given their lives as broken vessels to God.

Adonirum Judson – Burma

Amy Carmichael – India

David Livingston – Africa

Hudson Taylor – China

William Carrey – India

Joni Erickson – Handicapped

D.L. Moody – Evangelism

John Wesley – 1,000,000 souls won

The fragrance of their lives fills the world

VII. God Is Our Example In Giving

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1. God gave us Jesus and eternal life

2. God gives us everything that we have


Is Jesus the center of your Affection

Is Jesus the center of your Devotion

Is Jesus the center of your Worship

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