Sacrifice -Never Wasted
A life poured out for Christ is never wasted.
Alright, thank you very much. Hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Oh, I’m fine, thank you. Happy in the Lord. [chuckle] Glad to be alive, glad to be with you. What a blessed combination that is. Early, early in the morning, to be in touch with God, and His Word, and my dear friends scattered across the country and around the world. I’m so grateful for the privilege of ministering God’s Word day by day. Thank you for being there.
We’re looking at Mark chapter 14, and we got to the story of Mary, who brought this container of perfume. It said, “Very precious,” so it was pretty expensive stuff. It said she poured it on His head, and another account said that some of it got on His feet, and she wiped His feet with her hair. An act of tender love and devotion, as well as supreme honor, for in those days, if you wanted to honor a guest, you poured some perfume on him. [chuckle] I don’t know if I’d like that myself. [chuckle] I don’t wear perfume very well. Who was it? One of the great preachers of days past. Ah, that doesn’t matter, but I remember the story about him. He would have been known back in the beginnings of this century, and on into the 20’s and 30’s, perhaps. McGinley, that’s the one I’m thinking about. He used to put a little cologne or something on, you know. But he wasn’t noted for any patience with people, or politeness with them. He was very brusque. And so, some lady was greeting him after the service one Sunday, they tell me. She said to him, “Is that perfume I smell?” He said, “It is, lady, and you do.” [laughter] Can’t you just… Oh, dear. Well, I say, I don’t know whether I would have held up under that kind of welcome or not, but in those days, it was an act of supreme honor, and in Mary’s case also, of adoration and devotion to the Lord Jesus.
He was the one who had raised her brother Lazarus from the dead, and to her dying day, I’m sure, she felt that surge of gratitude in her heart for all that He had done. “Mary,” it said, “Hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Mary was the one who sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. She was the one, evidently, that brought this container of very expensive perfume, and just lavished it on the Lord Jesus Christ. John, I think, is the one who says the house, the whole house, was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. Let me look and make sure that I’m telling you the truth. Yes, that’s right. It says, “The house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”
Well. What about it? There are always two reactions to sacrifice for Jesus. You can expect them, they come like clockwork. Some people will rejoice over what you do for the Lord Jesus Christ. Other people will complain about it. I don’t know why that’s so, except that it is. And in this case Judas was the one, John tells us, that started the grumbling. He said, “There were some that had indignation within themselves.” Said, ‘Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than 300 pence.” That’s a year’s wages, in those days. “And given to the poor.” They murmured against her.
Criticism, when you make a sacrifice for the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, as I say, it’s predictable. It comes as regularly as the calendar, or clockwork. Criticism is bound to come from some quarters whenever you do something just for Jesus. I’ll give you an illustration from years past. It’s been a good many years now, since those precious young men in the jungles of South America were killed by the natives whom they were trying to win. You remember that story? They had flown their tiny aircraft over the village, and they had dropped gifts. And the gifts had been received, and there seemed to be a friendly atmosphere about it. And so finally, they, in their attempt to reach this tribe for the Lord Jesus, they had given the gifts, letting them down on a string, so that the people there by the river bank could get these gifts of food and trinkets and whatnot.
Now they landed their specially built little airplane on a sand bar in the river. They were going to try to make further contact with these natives. And out from the jungle, there came those long spears, and thrust them through, and killed them. Martyred for Jesus. Their attempt to carry the gospel was cut short and their lives were snuffed out. Well, you know, some of you old timers can remember at least. The spate of comment, that there was. Life magazine was still being published then weekly, and that magazine and others ran full spreads of pictures of the river and the wrecked airplane and the bodies and what not.
And the general comment by the press and by unbelievers was, “What a waste of life. Why,” they said, “Why didn’t these people stay in the cities and send out to the jungles those who were better fitted, to do this sort of thing.” What they actually meant was why risk your life when you can risk somebody else’s? That’s the bottom line there. [chuckle] But why was this waste made? The predictable reaction of the unsaved heart is that anything done for God is wasted. So don’t fall for that ploy, don’t become a victim of that point of view. Rather look at what the Word of God says, “The world passeth away and the desires thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
You know of course that, that whole tribe, that these young men were trying to reach, McCully and the rest of them, trying to reach. That whole tribe was brought to Christ, and that representatives of that tribe were later brought to this country and also to other sites of conferences and gave their testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not a waste. What you do for the Lord Jesus Christ today, will keep on paying out throughout all eternity. “He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
CT Studd was immensely rich. Read his life story and be thrilled by the way God used him. He was a very fine athlete. The British game is called cricket, he was a cricketer. Very fine athlete and immensely rich, but when God called him to the mission field, he took his entire inheritance and gave it to Christian work, believing that God would have him, trust God for his support throughout the rest of his missionary life, which he did. Well again, there were people who clucked their tongues in dismay and thought that this was a foolish thing to do. And yet DL Moody and others who were the recipient of those gifts enabled to, were enabled to carry on Christian work effectively across the world, as a result. You never know the results of what you’re doing as you sacrifice for your Lord. Now put that concept into your own life, would you, beloved?
I certainly don’t know what the blessed Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer is saying to you at this the point, nor do I need to know. But for every person who prays, and who seeks God about his stewardship, there will come the faithful guidance of our Lord. And when you obey that guidance in your giving, whether it be to your church, or your missionary society, or your Christian radio station or network, or your Christian college. That’s where I am of course.
But whatever God tells you as you pray, as the indwelling Spirit of God prompts you, when you obey, beloved, you become part of God’s eternal purpose. And that gift of sacrifice, whether it be of time, effort, money or all of the above, becomes woven into the eternal fabric of God’s plans, and never, never that is, will be lost be lost item. “He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” You wanna put that concept to work in your own life? You wanna pray today, “Lord what will Thou have me to do?” And then follow through with obedience? Any sacrifice, whether it be of time, strength, money or all three… Any sacrifice for the Lord Jesus Christ, is built right into the eternal purposes of God. Hallelujah for that. That somebody who never would hit the front page, can be eternally significant because he or she fit into God’s plan. Isn’t that great? Oh, dare to obey God today. What you do for Jesus, my Lord, is never wasted. Never wasted. Never wasted. Remember that and gladly obey the leadings of His blessed Holy Spirit.
Small thought here, before we go off the air. Criticism often reflects an inner turmoil and something that needs to be settled. Don’t fight your critics, pray for them, because they have their problems. “This he said… ” John remarks, Judas’ complaint. “Why was not this ointment sold?” “This he said, not because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief and was treasurer of the disciples and helped himself from the common purse.” That’s what John said. Don’t fight your critics, pray for them because they have their problems and that’s why they criticize. Okay? We’ll go on with this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, help us to do what You ask us to do in terms of sacrifice with the sound and blessed knowledge that we’re fitting into Your eternal plans. In Jesus 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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