In Mark chapter 14 a woman comes to Jesus and pours expensive perfume on His head. She did this act of extravagant love surrounded by those who quickly found fault with her–judging her, and giving her advice. I’ve grown up with this passage, and it always moves me. Joyce Meyer took this passage and gave an even greater, deeper meaning for me. The woman chose to love extravagantly, and Jesus, the Son of God, was deeply touched by her act of love. It prepared Him for the difficult journey ahead. Wasteful? Perhaps. Could she have sold it and purchased food for the poor. Yes. Was the act necessary for Jesus to carry out His work on the cross? Nothing would stop Jesus’ act of love for us.
…..Some of the people there became angry. They said to one another, “Why waste this perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s pay. The money could have been given to poor people.” So they found fault with the woman.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. You will always have poor people with you. You can help them any time you want to. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare me to be buried. What I’m about to tell you is true. What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her.”
Life is meant to be celebrated and honored. The sunrise is a time to rejoice–“This is the day the Lord has made!”
Our lives are meant to love extravagantly. Think of the love of Jesus and all He has done for you. How can we not celebrate and love extravagantly? Do we have to buy expensive perfume to show this love? Maybe, sometimes, you feel led by the Spirit to give a gift of sacrifice–all you have, to show your love and passion toward someone, or a ministry; however, the smallest of gifts can help someone face the journey of tomorrow, and the days to come.
After hearing this message, I took a walk and found Jesus reminding me of this along the way.
(Items from Pastiche At Main, 811 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24501)
One store I entered had gifts for loved ones and friends that literally jumped off the shelf into my mind and heart. Love extravagantly…..
As I placed them on the counter, the shop owner asked if she could wrap them for me…”Are these gifts?” “Yes! They are all gifts!”, I exclaimed. The joy I felt watching her tenderly wrap each gift….
My birthday was this month. My loved ones and friends loved on me extravagantly. It filled my soul and prepared me. The gifts spoke to me as a mom, a wife, a co-worker, a friend…..I was loved. Thank you.
Where does this love come from?
2 John Chapter 1
I love all of you because of the truth. I’m not the only one who loves you. So does everyone who knows the truth. I love you because of the truth that is alive in us. That truth will be with us forever. God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son will give you grace, mercy and peace. Those blessings will be with us because we love the truth….. He commands you to lead a life of love. That’s what you have heard from the beginning.
What a thousand mercies are wrapped up in the assurance that the truth will be with us forever; will be our living support, our dying comfort, our rising song, our eternal glory; this is Christian privilege, without it our faith were little worth. Charles Spurgeon
How can you love extravagantly today?
God provided for Jesus–blessed Him through the act of a woman willing to give of her possessions and face controversy because of it. Her gift prepared Jesus. “For the Joy He endured the cross….” I just imagine the fragrance of the perfume on His skin, and her act of love in His heart and mind as He endured a painful journey. We may never know the act of love– a card sent, an email of encouragement, a gift, time, a hug that spurs someone on.
As I write this, the sweet perfume from an oil I purchased lingers on my skin. A gift of love. I realize that we can only experience this love if we are willing to receive His truth and to see life as a gift. How many acts of love have we minimized, judged, or apathetically received because we were much like the people surrounding the woman who poured the perfume? Cynicism, jealousy, and judgment robs us of experiencing the depths of extravagant love. Let it go, and be loved. Let His love be your living support and rising song!