Tag Archives: anointing

God’s Ways

God’s ways
are not our ways;
his criteria
are not the ones we use.
He doesn’t look at
age,
status,
looks,
what other people think;
he judges only
by what is in someone’s heart.

Forgive me Lord,
the times I have listened
to the wrong people,
been swayed
by the way someone looks
or the status others give them;
when I have missed
the gifts of others,
because I looked too hard at the outer wrapper
and not what was within.

May I allow myself to be surprised by you
and how you work
and work with you.

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 (CEV)

34 Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his home in Gibeah.35 Even though Samuel felt sad about Saul, Samuel never saw him again.

The Lord Chooses David To Be King

The Lord was sorry he had made Saul the king of Israel. 16 One day he said, “Samuel, I’ve rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil in a small container and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem. I’ve chosen one of his sons to be my king.”

Samuel answered, “If I do that, Saul will find out and have me killed.”

“Take a calf with you,” the Lord replied. “Tell everyone that you’ve come to offer it as a sacrifice to me, then invite Jesse to the sacrifice. When I show you which one of his sons I have chosen, pour the olive oil on his head.”

Samuel did what the Lord told him and went to Bethlehem. The town leaders went to meet him, but they were terribly afraid and asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”

“Yes, it is!” Samuel answered. “I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Get yourselves ready to take part in the sacrifice and come with me.” Samuel also invited Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice, and he got them ready to take part.

When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel noticed Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab. “He has to be the one the Lord has chosen,” Samuel said to himself.

But the Lord told him, “Samuel, don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.”

Jesse told his son Abinadab to go over to Samuel, but Samuel said, “No, theLord hasn’t chosen him.”

Next, Jesse sent his son Shammah to him, and Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.”

10 Jesse had all seven of his sons go over to Samuel. Finally, Samuel said, “Jesse, the Lord hasn’t chosen any of these young men. 11 Do you have any more sons?”

“Yes,” Jesse answered. “My youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep.”

“Send for him!” Samuel said. “We won’t start the ceremony until he gets here.”

12 Jesse sent for David. He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes. As soon as David came, the Lord told Samuel, “He’s the one! Get up and pour the olive oil on his head.”

13 Samuel poured the oil on David’s head while his brothers watched. At that moment, the Spirit of the Lord took control of David and stayed with him from then on.

Samuel returned home to Ramah.

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Knowing Your Need

Simon the Pharisee

36 A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him. So Jesus went to the Pharisee’s home and got ready to eat.

37 When a sinful woman in that town found out that Jesus was there, she bought an expensive bottle of perfume. 38 Then she came and stood behind Jesus. She cried and started washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. The woman kissed his feet and poured the perfume on them.

39 The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, “If this man really were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him! He would know that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus said to the Pharisee, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

“Teacher, what is it?” Simon replied.

41 Jesus told him, “Two people were in debt to a moneylender. One of them owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other owed him fifty. 42 Since neither of them could pay him back, the moneylender said that they didn’t have to pay him anything. Which one of them will like him more?”

43 Simon answered, “I suppose it would be the one who had owed more and didn’t have to pay it back.”

“You are right,” Jesus said.

44 He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Have you noticed this woman? When I came into your home, you didn’t give me any water so I could wash my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You didn’t even pour olive oil on my head, but she has poured expensive perfume on my feet. 47 So I tell you that all her sins are forgiven, and that is why she has shown great love. But anyone who has been forgiven for only a little will show only a little love.”

48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 Some other guests started saying to one another, “Who is this who dares to forgive sins?”

50 But Jesus told the woman, “Because of your faith, you are now saved.May God give you peace!”

Women Who Helped Jesus

Soon after this, Jesus was going through towns and villages, telling the good news about God’s kingdom. His twelve apostles were with him, and so were some women who had been healed of evil spirits and all sorts of diseases. One of the women was Mary Magdalene,who once had seven demons in her. Joanna, Susanna, and many others had also used what they owned to help Jesus and his disciples. Joanna’s husband Chuza was one of Herod’s officials.

This story of the washing of Jesus feet, completes the theme this week of forgiveness.  I love the story of the woman who comes to Jesus.

She is considered sinful.  She is not one of the nice ladies of the town.  Imagine if the Queen were coming.  I’m sure we would select someone to present her with flowers with care.  We wouldn’t choose some hoi polloi, never mind worse.  We would choose someone worthy, deserving in some way.  But this woman doesn’t let that worry her.  She has something she wants to do for Jesus and she is going to do it.

She cries her own tears to wash Jesus feet with.  She is under no illusions about who she is – and clearly under none about who Jesus is either.  Yet she cleans, dries and anoints his feet with a very precious offering of herself.

Neither is Jesus under any misunderstanding about who she is.  He doesn’t mistake her for anyone else, he knows her background and what people say about her.  He also sees her need of making this offering to him.  Simon and the others in the room, who no doubt considered themselves upright members of society, faultless and blameless, have not even offered him a bowl of water – she has done this most intimate of acts in a most intimate of ways.  She not just throws herself at his feet, but ministers to him too.

She knew she wasn’t worthy, and in being so aware, made herself worthy.  She knew she needed forgiveness and so was able to receive it.  Those who didn’t understand that they had got anything wrong, could not know that forgiveness.

Do I need forgiveness?  Or have I got everything right in life?  Am I sitting pretty?  Or knowing my need of forgiveness?

Jesus I come to you,
Just as I am,
knowing my need of forgiveness,
and your willingness to give it.

Thank you

Extravagance

Do you have something that you’re keeping for a special occasion?  Waiting for just the right moment to use something so precious.

John 12:1-8

At Bethany

12 Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.

A disciple named Judas Iscariotwas there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.”

This is a story of ridiculous extravagance.  Of being so caught up in the occasion, the response comes solely from the heart.  What a fabulous way to respond to Jesus.  Mary is fully aware of what Jesus has done for her and will do for everyone.  She doesn’t care about the cost, she has to show Jesus how much he means to her.

It was customary for guests to be anointed with oil at well-to-do dinner parties as a mark of respect – what Mary does for Jesus this night goes beyond respect.  She is caught up in the moment of worship of Jesus, and nothing else matters – not cost, not personal embarrassment – just adoration of her Lord and Master.  What passion – what love!   It is acknowledgement of all that Jesus is and all that he means to Mary.  She by her actions embodies kingdom principles.  She does what Jesus did in turning water into wine – much more than is needed and much better than is needed.

It would however have been totally shocking for a woman to loosen her hair and wipe Jesus feet with it.  Such was the depth of her feeling for Jesus that this was what she wanted to do.  She let her hair down and let her true feelings out.  Nothing, no-one was going to hold back such an extravagant expression of what Jesus meant to her –it was there for all to see.

Her passion for Jesus was not to be kept in check, it was not to be watered down so that it didn’t upset anyone, she allowed it to run free, and Jesus was blessed by it.

Remember, Mary was the one who sat at Jesus feet, while it appeared Martha did all the work – now Mary is doing something and it is worth sitting up and taking notice.

This is six days before Jesus’ death…  What Mary did pointed to his death.  There would be no opportunity for him to be anointed after his death, she does that now – beautifully, extravagantly, in a great offering of love…

Mary’s response can be contrasted with that of Judas – cold, calculating and missing the point.

How do I respond to all God has done for me?  If  Jesus were here with me now, what offering would I make to him?  Or would I be counting the cost?

 

Lord you have never held back in what you have given me,

may I give to you with such extravagance.

I give you everything I have,

the precious things,

the things I’ve been keeping.

Help me not to count the cost.