Summary: A sermon that asks us...are we doing all we can with all we have?
ARE WE DOING WHAT WE CAN?Mark 14:1-9INTRODUCTION1. Jesus at the house of Simon the leper. a. In continuing to look at the hours just prior to the cross we come upon a beautiful illustration.b. These were times of great peril for our Lord.c. The Jews had already decided to take His life.d. Judas had already purposed in His heart to betray Him.e. In just a short time He would give the church the ordinance of the Last Supper.2. Some might find it odd to find Jesus in the home of an outcast.a. Those who knew Him best would not be.b. Jesus spent the majority of His ministry teaching those society had no use for.Luk 5:29-32 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. (30) But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? (31) And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician: but they that are sick (32) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.c. I think the church could take some lessons on who we need to focus on.d. Those who were considered wealthy or powerful in Jesus’ day had no time for Him.e. The same is true today.f. In the midst of the fellowship, an unusual thing happens.Mar 14:1-9 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. (2) But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. (3) And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she broke the box, and poured it on his head. (4) And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? (5) For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. (6) And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. (7) For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. (8) She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. (9) Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. B. A Woman and Her Precious Ointment.1. We find out through study that Jesus identifies this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus a. The same Mary who sat at His feet in Lazarus’ house to the scorn of her sister.b. Here we find her at Jesus feet as well.c. What a testimony for Christians…We would do well to model our lives after Mary’s.d. What she saw in the eyes of the Savior we do not know.e. But what she saw or heard led her to give an enormous gift to Him.f. She took an extremely expensive perfume…($40.00) probably the most precious thing she had…and anointed his head with it.2. There are two lessons we learn immediately.a. Giving all we have brings blessings. Most give Him leftovers. God asks us for the first. When we tithe we show our obedience to the Lord. We also experience great blessings. The reason pastors encourage tithing…so that his flock will experience the blessings of God upon their life. b. Making a commitment like this also brings criticism! Notice their indignation! What a waste…this could have been used to feed the poor…but they were not concerned about the poor…they wanted to line their pockets!!!Joh 12:4-6 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, (5) Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? (6) This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Notice what those around her did in verse 5…they murmured against her! They talked about her…they gossiped…they derided her… For lavishly anointing the one who would bear the cross to save our souls. You can’t outgive God. There is nothing you have…even your life…that is too good to give to the Lord! Nothing…3. Giving all she had brout commendation from the Lord.a. She hath done what she could…b. Jesus said that what she did would be honored forever in the church…c. We continue that today.d. She left us a great example…to do what we cane. There are three things all of us can do today..BODYA. Do What You Can To Build Up Your Faith!!! (1 John 5:4)1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.1. The thing that allows us to overcome anything in this life is our faith.a. But be aware of this…we are only as strong as we train our faith to be.b. If we are going to live a life that requires great faith…then we’d better spend some quality time developing that faith!!!c. We should be developing that faith while we are not in the midst of the storm…d. That kind of faith takes time to develop… Time in the study of God’s Word. Time in prayer. Time to be alone with God…leaning…and learning.e. So many times we’ve heard that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed and we could move mountains…but we never hear the next verse…Mat 17:20-21 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (21) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.2. In other words…it takes effort to develop this kind of faith.a. Faith is like a muscle.b. If it is not used it will atrophy…or become paralyzed…and of no use.c. No one wants a faith like this…but very few will put in the effort it takes to develop a quake-proof life.d. A life that is immune to the shakes and bumps of this world in which we live.e. God’s word promises us that ALL of us will experience our share of sorrow and heartache.f. The difference is how we will respond to it when it comes.g. That difference is in direct proportion to our faith.h. The stronger the faith…the less of an impact life’s troubles will have on us.3. In order to have this kind of faith it requires that we exercise…a. Faith is like a muscle…when exercised it grows…stronger and stronger.b. We begin with by turning even the smallest of problems over to Him.c. As we experience God working in the little things of our life we gain the trust and confidence to turn bigger things over to Him.d. As He begins to stomp out the bigger things our faith grows even more.e. When we begin to EXPECT God to move in our life we are on the road to developing that quake proof life.f. As it grows, we start to exercise the gifts that He gave us.g. We start serving Him in His house.h. We want to give back…because of how much He means to us.i. That is what Mary did in Simon’s house.B. Secondly, Do What You Can To Build Up Other Believers! (Rom. 13:19)Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.1. God’s words tells us we are to edify or build up each other.a. If we learn to give as Mary gave…we will build each other up.b. Even though we may be misunderstood (Martha)c. Even though others may (murmur) rail against us.d. Jesus said that one of the acid tests of whether we belong to Him is whether or not we love each other.Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.2. The full impact of this scripture lies in the fact that the word Jesus used for love was agape! a. This is the same love Jesus has for us.b. The love that is unconditional…c. The love that finds it’s fulfillment in the wellbeing of others.d. An unselfish love.e. A love that seeks not its own gratification but is wholly focused on others.f. This is a love that does not: Tear others down Focus upon the faults of others. Gossip or murmur about our brethren Speak negatively about each other.g. It is a love that: Doesn’t cause a brother to stumble. Understands that no one is perfect. Considers weaker members of God’s family. Let’s concern for others govern our conduct.3. Galatians 6:1 tells us that when other’s are overcome, those in the body of Christ who are Spiritually mature have a duty to lovingly restore them.a. Not ridicule them!b. Not to sit in the church and say…(I knew he was no good!)c. Instead we are to roll up our sleeves and go to work…d. LOVINGLY…goes to attitude…remember that agape thing!!!e. Bring them back…f. Our God is a God of Second chances!g. He uses us to get that message out.h. Not with scorn…but with agape love one for another.4. Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens.a. This measn we are to help them carry their load.b. To be there when they need us.c. Not only to be there…d. But to be ready…willing…and able…even eager to help those brethren in need.e. And get this…the most important thing…is our attitude.f. We must have an attitude of love.g. An attitude that comes from becoming more like Jesus.h. As we learn more and more about Him, we assimilate more of Him into us.i. And we learn to love each other unconditionally…as He loves us!5. I Tim 4:12 tells us to be an example to other believers.a. We are to be examples to others in word…deed…love…spirit…faith…and purity.b. In other words we are to show younger believers how to live in Christ.c. By letting Christ shine thru us…we edify others and develop the same spirit Mary had…we give our best to Him when we lead by example.C. Thirdly, Do What You Can To Build Up The Body Of Christ. (Eph. 4:11-16)Eph 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.1. Not only are we to edify each other individually, but corporately, we are to build up the body!a. Now the human body is an amazing machine made up of many parts… But as amazing as the human body is the body of Christ. Like the human body, the Body of Christ is made up of many complex parts. The only way for the church to develop normally and grow like it is supposed to is if all the members of the body to be working in unison! Each member doing what God calls them to…willingly…lovingly…carry out God’s plan for their life. God puts within the body all the necessary gifts for the success of the body If the body is fed right…and watered…and functions correctly…it will grow. However, just like the human body, there are some Spiritual pitfalls that will stunt the Growth of the church. Pride…Jealousy…Envy…b. If we are to build up the church…there are three things we must do! 1. Build up the body through the using of our various gifts…a. Are you gifted to teach…then teach!!!b. Are you gifted to give…then give!!!c. Are you gifted to sing…then sing!!!d. Are you gifted to work with children…then get in there and do it!!!e. Every one of us has a gift…and it’s not warming a pew.f. Each of us will benefit…when you do what God gave you the talent to do!g. We are not places here to be a sponge.h. We are placed here to edify one another…and build up the body of Christ.2. Build up the body through love and encouragement.a. This is a special gift God gives to special people…b. The gift of encouragement.c. Discouragement is one of Satan’s most efficient tools…d. With it he can pry open the hardest of hearts…and plant discord.e. God sent us encouragers to defeat this…f. With love and encouragement…build up the body3. Build up the body through evangelism…a. Evangelism is simple…even though many make it hard…b. It’s simply telling others…in your own words…what Jesus did for youc. And relaying the information…that He is willing to do it for them as well!d. That’s it…simple…effective…yet often ignored.e. At the beginning of this year I challenged each of you to reach one person this year for Christ…f. How many have you tried to reach???g. If we don’t try…one thing is certain…we will certainly fail.h. I ENCOURAGE you…tell others about this Savior who means so much to you.i. We will then build up the body through evangelism.CONCLUSIONA. In Conclusion this morning I hope we can see…1. We are to be builder uppers not tearer downers.2. We are to be about the business of building.a. Building up our faith.b. Building up each other.c. Building up the church.3. What’s in it for you???She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. (9) Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.a. Everlasting reward!!!4. Where do we learn how to be like Mary…a. The same place Mary learned…b. Sitting at the feet of Jesus.