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Summary: An example of Extravagant worship in spirit and in truth

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Apprenticing Under the Master March 26, 2006

Extravagant Love for Jesus

Mark 14:1-11

Kevin putting up sign for Faith

Have you ever done something extravagant for love?

Jesus tells the woman at the well that “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Here we have an example of true, extravagant worship. In this story, we can learn from another apprentice as well as Jesus

True, Extravagant Worship

Led by the Spirit

It’s not explicitly said, that the woman in the story is led by the Holy Spirit, when she anoints Jesus with this expensive ointment, but it is implied. How else would she know to do this at this time, to prepare Jesus’ body for burial?

If we want to show extravagant love to God, we need to listen to what he desires. People can perform all sorts of acts for God without asking him if he wants it.

It is like wanting to show love to a friend by making them a beautiful roast beef meal with all the trimmings and gravy and all, but they are vegetarian!

There maybe times when our so-called extravagant acts of worship are more about us than they are about God. We can perform extravagant acts of worship for ourselves and say they are for God!

Jesus says “Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers.” Matthew 7:22-23

We must learn to worship, led by the Spirit, so that what we do in worship, will be received as worship by God!

Motivated by Love

There is a similar story found in Luke 7:36-48

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, "This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!"

Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you."

"All right, Teacher," Simon replied, "go ahead."

Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people--five hundred pieces of silver[f] to one and fifty pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?"

Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt."

"That’s right," Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins--and they are many--have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."

Whoever has bee forgive much, love much, whoever has been forgiven little, loves little.

We can have all sorts of motivation for showing signs of love to God, or even to people – we want something from him, so we are trying to butter him up, we see it as our duty to show worship, sp we go through the motions. Our worship is to be motivated by love. It is usually in response to God’s love shown to us.

Humble

For a woman to enter a room of men and do this was at once bold and humble. She came into a place where she was not welcome and was sneered at for what she did.

Because we have a charismatic culture around this church, there may be times when our extravagant acts of worship are out of pride rather than out of humility. We are hoping that everyone notices what we are doing for Jesus and hoping that they are duly impressed with us. This is why Jesus tells his disciples not to make a big show of their prayers or their fasting, or their alms giving – it is for God to see, not for others. This woman’s act of extravagant worship was fairly public, but it was not for the others to see, it was all for Jesus. Our extravagant acts of worship might be public, but they must always be first for him. If you feel led to dance for God in worship, that might be great in our public service, in fact we encourage it – you worship blesses the rest of us. But if you find that you’re not that interested in dancing in private with only God as your audience, you need to ask yourself, is this really for God? Is it in humility, or am I showing off? This can be applied to any form of worship – if you feel the need to draw attention to it, who are you really doing it for?

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