How should we worship the Saviour? Steph looks at the woman who poured the ointment on Jesus as an example.
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How To Worship The Saviour
Matthew 26:6-13 says, “Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her’” (ESV)
What an amazing story! It’s one of my favourites in all of Scripture. However, it’s also one of the most challenging.
What can we learn from this woman?
We can’t be concerned about what others think.
How often do we refrain from expressing our love for the Lord because of what others might think? This woman had to know that there would be those who would object to her act of worship, but she didn’t let that stop her—and neither should we.
We can’t let anything hinder us from extravagant worship.
I realize that some of you may risk more than your reputation by openly worshiping Jesus. I’m not suggesting you should put yourself or your family in danger by doing so. But extravagant worship can take many forms, even those not visible to those around us.
This, however, is not an excuse for those of us who don’t live in these conditions. Finger-pointing, name-calling, and lack of understanding aren’t good enough reasons to refrain from worshiping Jesus openly and extravagantly. (Before you think I’m criticizing or scolding you, remember, first and foremost, I’m speaking to myself.)
We must pour out our richest treasure for the Lord.
It is always a good exercise to consider the things in our life that mean a lot to us. Would we be willing to be without them? Do we love the Lord so completely that their value pales in comparison? If it’s difficult for us to say yes with any amount of certainty, we can pray the prayer I learned many years ago: Lord, make me willing to be willing.
We can’t let doubts creep in.
It’s so easy to make excuses and to justify why we don’t worship extravagantly. It simply isn’t who I am. The Lord knows what’s in my heart. I don’t want to distract anyone from worshiping the Lord.
I’m sure, if we chose to be honest, we would realize there are many things that hold us back. This woman chose to ignore her doubts and fears. What a great example she set for us!
We must trust Him with the results.
The wonderful thing about worshiping the Saviour is that we can trust Him 100 percent. He may not silence the naysayers or cause our name to be remembered for millennia, but He can be trusted to take care of our every need. And we can rest assured that He accepts our extravagant worship.
Because this list was far easier to come up with than it is to live out, there are a few things we must do to get to know the Lord so well that we desire to worship Him extravagantly, so well that we are willing to ignore the naysayers around us.
First, we must come to saving faith.
We won’t truly recognize that Jesus is worthy of extravagant worship unless we have accepted the fact that we have sinned (as it says in Romans 3:23) and that Jesus took the punishment for our sin when He died on Calvary and won the victory over sin and death when He rose from the grave. When we realize that He is the only One who could save us from our sin and that He willingly did so, we begin to realize worship is the only reasonable response.
We must get to know Him by studying the Scriptures.
We must spend time in prayer.
It is especially helpful to take the time to dwell on the blessings He has poured into our lives. As the old song says, “Count your blessings; name them one by one.” As we do, it becomes difficult not to overflow with thanksgiving.
Fellowship with other believers.
While it’s true that some fellow believers won’t understand our expressions of extravagant worship, we are meant for community. We need one another. And who knows? Maybe those around us will be encouraged and challenged to worship more extravagantly if we do so willingly, despite objections.
Just one last thing …
Our heart condition is vital. Extravagant worship must never be for the purpose of drawing attention to ourselves. It must not be motivated by a desire to appear “more spiritual” than those around us. (That was actually what motivated the disciples who criticized this woman.) Our worship must be more about Jesus than it is about us.
Just like this woman, will we pour out our greatest treasure in worship of our Saviour?
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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