Summary: Mary gave 100%. What she had she did. What she possessed she gave. Have you given Christ your all? What are you doing with what you have? Are you giving 100%?
INTRODUCTION: On the evening prior to what is called the Triumphal Entry or Palm Sunday, our Lord Jesus Christ was a dinner guest in the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany about two miles southeast of Jerusalem along with Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. At the dinner while Martha was busy and active with serving, Mary took an alabaster container or perfume vase filled with pure nard, an expensive aromatic ointment, most likely imported from India, and breaking it open anointed the head and feet of Christ. Mary’s action demonstrated total commitment and love for Christ giving Him 100%.
I. She gave what she had.
A. Mark 14:8 Literally "What she had, she did."
B. What she had in her heart, and in the power of her hands to do; she did according to her ability.
C. Mary’s and Martha’s talents and abilities were quite different. Martha was a multi-talented woman who is seen busy in service. Mary didn’t have the talents that Martha had but she what she did have she gave.
D. Mary took her most precious and prized possession and sacrificed it for Jesus.
E. She gave 100% of what she had – she gave it all to Christ.
F. God does not expect you to give or do MORE than you can; but He does expect you to give and do ALL that you can!
G. In 1927, 15-year-old Lois Secrist promised God she’d become a missionary. But she married Galon Prater, a farmhand who became a heavy drinker, when she was twenty-three. Years later, Galon did become a Christian just before his death in 1988 at age 80. After Galon’s death, Lois’s childhood desire of becoming a missionary returned. At first she resisted. At age 76, she felt her opportunity to serve as a missionary had slipped away. "I said, ’Lord, I’m too old to go now. I can’t do this,’" Lois admitted. But this great grandmother was determined to follow the Lord’s calling. So after several more years, at age 87 Lois Prater became the unlikely builder of an orphanage in the Philippines. It has become a lifeline to 35 children whose lives previously consisted of begging in the streets. Lois built the orphanage without taking out a loan, relying instead on individual financial support from across the United States. Because of her age, she is not supported by any church denomination and depends solely on private donations. When asked if that makes her nervous, Lois replies: "I serve a mighty God. He’s in control. I feel I’m not talented enough to do any of this. But God enables me. My responsibility is to do what I can." What has the Lord called you to do? Today in prayer, give Him this day and do all that you can do for Christ. – Peter Kennedy, Devotional E-Mail, Devotions In Genesis, firstname.lastname@example.org
H. "I have never met a soul who has set out to satisfy the Lord and has not been satisfied himself." - Watchman Nee
II. She gave without regard to the cost
A. Oils and perfumes were used widely in the ancient world. Guests entering a house would customarily be given water and a towel to wash their faces, hands, and feet. Often there would be oil to wipe on the dry, parched skin as well. A flask of oil that normally was used to anoint the heads and feet of guests cost one mite, the smallest coin in use at that time. However, Mary chose to use oil that only kings and wealthy individuals used sparingly only a drop at a time, costing 300 denarii per flask or bottle, the equivalent of the average annual worker’s wages.
B. Mark 14:3 MKJV states that Mary "came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and POURED it on His head."
C. Mary gave freely not a drop at a time without thoughts to what it cost her. In doing so she was expressing that nothing is as precious as or more important than Jesus Christ. So often we give ourselves to God one drop at a time and wonder why He does not use or bless us more. Mary gave 100% realizing the greatest value of life is to not to be found in things but in Jesus Christ.
D. Hebrews 11:26 NKJV Moses esteemed "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt…"
E. Matthew 6:21 NKJV For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
F. It happened one time after a pastor had made an appeal in church for a great and worthy cause, that a certain woman, a member of the church, came to him and handed him a check for $50, asking at the same time if her gift was satisfactory. The pastor immediately replied, "If it represents you." There was a moment of soul-searching thought and she asked to have the check returned to her. She left with it and a day of two later she returned handing the pastor a check for $5,000 and again asked the same question, "Is my gift satisfactory?" The pastor gave the same answer as before, "If it represents you." As before, a truth seemed to be driving deeply. After a few moments of hesitation she took back the check and left. Later in the week she came again with a check. This time it was for $50,000. As she placed it in the pastor’s hand, she said, "After earnest, prayerful thought, I have come to the conclusion that this gift does represent me and I am happy to give it." – elbourne.org Illustration