Excited About God
In all things remember that the focus should be on Whom it is for, not what or how much.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. And I use the word “dear” advisedly. My heart warms with love and concern over those of you to whom I minister day by day. A lot of you I’ll never see ’til we get to glory. I know that. But God has put in my heart a very tender concern for you, because I know that sometimes, a word that is spoken on this broadcast makes a big difference in somebody’s life. Oh, beloved friend, I trust that even in these moments, God will give you something precious for your own heart.
What I’m doing is summarizing some of the truths that pop out of the Word of God as we go through the Book of Mark. We’ve come now to chapter 14 and of course, immediately, we are met with the account of the box of perfume, an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard, very precious. This is Mary and she poured it, it says, on His head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves and said, “Why was this waste of the ointment made for it? It might have been sold for more than 300 pence,” that’s a year’s wages, “and been given to the poor.” And they murmured against her. Now, the same story is told in John 12 and I want you to see what happened here. In John 12, John writing said, “Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, anointed the feet of Jesus, wiped His feet with her hair.” Then said one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, the one that would betray Him. He said, “Why was not this ointment sold for 300 pence and given to the poor?” This he said not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief and had the bag and helped himself to what was put therein.
Judas started it, Alright? That’s John chapter 12. Now back to Mark 14, it says, “They murmured against her.” The point being, grumbling is contagious. Griping and grumbling and complaining is contagious. It only takes one person to complain, to start a groundswell of murmuring among people who are disposed to listen. Do you wanna think about that the next time you’re in a situation that involves other people? I talk to a lot of college students, some of whom listen, believe it or not, to the broadcast in spite of all their homework pressures and all the rest. Happy straight As, all you folks. [chuckle] But you know, in college, it’s so easy for somebody to say, “Oh, I hate the food here.” “Oh, yeah. It’s not like home. It’s institutional food.” [chuckle] Have you ever heard that?
Yes, you have. But it just takes one person like that to say that out in the lunch line or the dinner line, and you’ll have 10, or 20, or 50 people say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s terrible.” And before you know it, there’s a petition signed to throw out the present chef and get another one, or whatever it may be. [chuckle] It’s so easy to start a grumbling campaign, isn’t it? Well, what do you do about it? My father used to say to me sternly, “My boy, it doesn’t take any brains to complain. Now do something about it.” In his roughshod way, he hit upon a key truth, didn’t he? It doesn’t take any research or brains or anything else like that just to complain. But you can do something about a situation.
Don’t complain. Rather, do something that positively will help. And in this case, try to see what it’s all about. Judas never really saw that Christ was pleased and honored with that gift of love. Others may have. Mark listened enough so that he could put it down, the answer that our Lord gave. “Let her alone. Why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. Ye have the poor with you always, but me you have not always. She hath done what she could. She believes me when I say, ‘I’m gonna rise again.’ So there may not be time to anoint my body to the burying, she came ahead of time.” That was his answer. And the key to it, of course, is, it’s not how much but for whom. “She hath wrought a good work on me.” Not how much but for whom is the key.
There was that story of the lady who dropped in two mites, a very small offering, less than than a cent or two in our money, but it said, it was all she had. He said, “She gave more than all the rich people because she gave everything.” The value system of our blessed Lord is far different from those who narrowly look at the expenditure of funds. You wanna think about that the next time you tend to criticize somebody who’s doing a work for God and you wanna criticize the way he or she or they are utilizing funds. I know there have been some mistakes made. I know. The point being, it’s easy to criticize, but God looks oftentimes on a different value system than you and I employ. This is an illustration.
Humanly, this lady wasted. Humanly, now, from the eyes of the onlookers, she wasted a year’s wages. She just poured it out, it was gone. Jesus said, “Don’t trouble her. She did it for me.” The next time you want to criticize your minister, or an evangelist, or someone on the radio or TV, and you say, “Why did they do that?” Just remember that it’s quite possible, beloved, that that person or those persons are doing what is done for Jesus. And that there are results that you and I may not know about because He has been honored. Pretty good idea? I think that may make some of us a little less critical and a little more tolerant of folk with whom we possibly might disagree as to the use of their funds. You think about it. That’s not part of the sermon, I just threw it in free. [chuckle] Not how much but for whom. Why do you do it? Why do you give it? Why do you employ it? Whatever the idea or the action may be. Jesus looks to see whether you did it for Him. Now, Paul reflects that same truth, doesn’t he, in Colossians, where he says, “Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of that is, under the authority of and for the sake of, the Lord Jesus.” Then he says later on in the third chapter of Colossians verse 23, “Whatever you do, do it heartily.”
That’s psyched up, that’s the basis for the little booklet we’ve been offering, “Psyched Up For God”. Do it heartily, do it psyched up, get excited about serving your Lord because He said, “Knowing that of the Lord, you shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye served the Lord Christ.” You’re working for Jesus, you’re doing it for Him. And He is going to reward you, so you can get excited about it. That same truth is there, isn’t it? Not how much but for whom and in what spirit. Oh, may it be true of me and of you, my beloved friend, that what we do, we do for Jesus. Now, I know it’s pleasant when people say, “Oh, well, that was a great message,” “Oh, you taught a wonderful class,” “Oh, this was great.” That’s easy to take. And maybe a little human encouragement helps along the way. But the bottom line, the real truth is found in the question, “Who were you doing it for?” Doing it for Him? If so, He’s the one that’s gonna reward you and say, “Well done.”
Just a word about the fact that God’s plans are already laid. Again and again you find the Lord Jesus exhibiting His foreknowledge. The Bible says, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” And you find that truth portrayed in the plans that the Lord Jesus made for observing the Passover. First day of unleavened bread, His disciples said, “Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the Passover?” We’re gonna have a Seder. Where do you want it? And He sent forth two of the disciples and said, “Go into the city, there you will meet a man bearing a pitcher of water.” That would be unusual in itself. Ordinarily the ladies carried the water. [chuckle] That was before women’s lib. “A man bearing a pitcher of water, follow him. Wheresoever he shall go in, you say to the good man of the house, “The Master says, where is the guest chamber where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples?” And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared, there make ready for us.” The disciples came, found as He had said. God’s plans are already laid, He knows what He’s doing. I have to relearn that lesson every day, I’m afraid. So, perhaps, do you. Because we live in our own little world and we forget that we are part of that eternal scheme of things that is called the Will of God.
Oh, today would you draw a little closer to your Lord in the ordinaries of life? Who prays about doing the wash, aside from saying, “Oh, God, do I have to do this again?” Who prays about chauffeuring the kids to school, or to cub scouts, or to violin lessons? Who prays about the task of commuting to work? The half hour or one hour that you spend on the train or bus getting to work or driving to work? Who ordinarily prays about the simple matter of picking out a new suit or a new dress? Very few people. And yet God has plans that embrace the ordinaries of life. This was a very mundane matter. “Where are we gonna have the Seder?” Jesus said, “This is where you’ll find it.” He didn’t give them the street address. He could have, but He didn’t. He said, “You go into the city. You’ll see a man bearing a pitcher of water, you follow him.” He could have given them a street address but He didn’t. He said, “You go, you look, you’ll see, you’ll follow.”
Now, beloved, this is the way God often works. Oftentimes He doesn’t give you a name and address. What He does is to say, “Hey, how about obeying me? Just obey me. You go in, you go into the city, you look, you’ll see, then you follow, and then I’ll show you.” This is the way God often works, not always, but often. Would you let Him lead you today in the ordinary things of life? Would you let Him lead you in the simple matter of walking down a street? That’s what they had to do. Would you let Him lead you in preparing for things that need to be done?
God can prioritize your schedule so that you use time efficiently, and for His glory. God can keep your from frustrating dead end streets where you tried and nothing happened. God has His plans already laid. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. You can’t walk a path without taking steps. Take a step of faith today and obey God, and He’ll lead you step by step.
Dear Father, today, may we follow Thy directions, step by step, so that God is involved in all the ordinary things of life, making them a miracle. I ask in Jesus’s name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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