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Encouragement for Today - December 23, 2005

  • 2005 Dec 23
  • COMMENTS

 

12/23/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“Giving Jesus Our Best”

Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor of P31 Woman Magazine, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Luke 7:37, “When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

 

Devotion:

Her shame might have held her back, but hope and love drew her that night to the house of Simon the Pharisee – where Jesus was the invited guest.  Like a frightened doe, she timidly stepped through the crowd surrounding the courtyard, and approached the table where Jesus reclined.  At any moment she expected to be grabbed by her arm and shoved away from the table – but it didn’t happen.

 

Her unbound hair marked her for what she was – a woman whose life was seeped in sin.  Many male eyes likely dropped to the ground, fearful of recognition as she walked towards Jesus, tears flowing freely and dropped to her knees.  Her lovely hair flowed over the dirty, calloused feet of Jesus.  A servant should have washed them, but the woman saw Simon withhold this basic social etiquette.

 

She held in her hands an alabaster jar filled with perfume.  This valuable product might be been used in her work, but that no longer mattered.  After hearing Jesus teach that she was loved, and forgiveness could be hers, she was overjoyed to offer Jesus the best gift she possessed.

 

Gratitude and love mingled with her salty tears as used her long hair to clean the feet of Jesus.  She then kissed His feet and poured the valuable perfume over them. 

 

This lovely child of God offered her absolute best to Jesus, in spite of the fears and doubts she might have had.

  • Her fear didn’t stop her: What will they think of me?  They know who I am.”
  • Her shame didn’t stop her: I’m not worthy to approach Jesus.”
  • Her feelings of insignificance didn’t stop her: “It’s only a small bottle of perfume, and it’s not even the best there is.”
  • The crowd of important people didn’t stop her: I don’t belong there.  Those people can offer Jesus more.”

 

Nothing stopped this woman from showing Jesus love and gratitude, in thanks for the new life He offered her.  Giving Jesus our best doesn’t always mean material goods.  I believe what pleased Jesus more than the gift of perfume was the giver’s heart of love.

 

This Christmas, will we give Jesus our best?  It’s easy to offer Jesus the leftovers of our time, talents and resources.  We are grateful for our new life, but we can take God’s gift to us for granted sometimes.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus by giving gifts to each other, remember the woman in Luke 7 who offered her best to the King, and let’s do the same.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to earth.   As we celebrate His birthday with gifts to each other, help us to remember to offer our best to You.  You are not pleased with tokens of our love.  You desire our whole-hearted adoration and offering of ourselves.  Forgive us when we hold back our best.  Thank You for always loving us and forgiving us when we fall short.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Identify one thing of value (material, spiritual, talent, etc.) you can give to Jesus.  Commit to offering that gift to Jesus this Christmas.

 

Reflection Points:         

What has God done for you, for which you are most grateful?

 

How do you show your love and gratitude for that gift?

 

Like the woman in Luke 7 who brought valuable perfume to pour on Jesus feet, what do you have of value to offer Jesus?

 

What are some reasons you hold back from offering God your best?

 

In what areas of your life can you offer Jesus more?

 

Power Verses:

Mark 14:3-6, “While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly. ‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus. ‘Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.’” (NIV)

 

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  (NIV)

 

Psalm 107:1, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 95:6-7, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” (NIV)

 

Matthew 13:45-46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. “ (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Do You Know Him?

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/knowHim.htm

 

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm

 

The Christmas Story: Experiencing the Most Wonderful Story Ever Told, by G.A. Myers

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_christmasStory.htm

 

 

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