A Life Devoted to Jesus

7 10 2007

By Pastor Norman S. Lao

Text: John 12:1-8

Introduction

If you study the life of Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, you will find out that she was truly a devoted follower of the Lord. When Jesus visited their house in Luke 10:38 &ff. we find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what He said while her sister Martha went to the kitchen and got busy preparing. When Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus died Martha came running to Jesus crying, but when Mary came running to Jesus crying she knelt before him (John 11). This same Mary was also at the tomb of Jesus when the Lord resurrected (Matthew 27:61; 28:1).

So, to summarize:

Mary listened when others did not.

Mary did something that others could not.

Mary was where others were not.

In our text today, Mary showed her devotion to Jesus when she broke a very expensive jar of perfume just to anoint the Lord. The cost of the perfume was equivalent to the salary of an ordinary worker for one year! (John 12:5) The Lord was pleased (delighted) with what she did that Jesus said that when the Gospel is preached in the whole world what she had done will also be told. (Mark 14:9, considering that this was the same woman)

The word devoted is a very good word. We hear it often: she is a devoted mother to her children. He is a devoted husband to his wife. He is devoted to his work. She devoted her life to saving the whales.

Devotion comes from the word “devote.” To devote means to commit yourself to something or someone.  It is to spend time with or have in your heart constantly a person or something as the object of your devotion.  It is a state of being dedicated or loyal.

Where did Mary’s devotion come from?  What was the source of such intense devotion?  

I. Devotion to the Lord comes from a heart of Love.

Mary clearly loved Jesus.  Her devotion was a result of her love for the Lord.

A.  When a person is in love NOTHING IS TOO EXPENSIVE for him or her. Mary did not mind the cost of the perfume. She did not care how much it cost. What she cared about was that the Lord will be pleased.

When we are in love with the Lord, we become generous toward His work, toward His church, toward His people. We do not mind the cost.

People who do not love do not give. Selfish people are people without love.

Many Christians are not generous toward the church. They give very little. Their giving is far apart. And they always complain. This shows that they do not love the Lord, because if they love the Lord, they will support the Lord’s work.

B.  When a person is in love NOTHING IS TOO HARSH. He or she DOES NOT CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE MAY SAY. All he or she cares about is the OBJECT of his or her love. All that Mary cared about was Jesus. Her focus was on Jesus. Her attention was on Jesus. Her mind was on Jesus. Her heart was on Jesus.

Christians are called “fools,” “stupid” or “crazy” because of Christ, but they don’t mind. They love Christ so much that insults do not matter to them.

C.  When a person is in love NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT for him or for her. Everything is possible for those who are in love. People in love will go through the storm, go through the flood just to be with the person they love.

Christians who are in love with their Lord are present in church in spite of the storm, in spite of problems, in spite of difficulties. For them, nothing is too difficult – they love the Lord.  Those who are in love will make sacrifices for the One they love.  Jesus loved us so much He went to the Cross for us!

II. Devotion to the Lord comes from a heart of Appreciation.

To appreciate means “to value something or somebody highly.” There was no other reason why Mary was so devoted to the Lord.

A.  Mary’s dedication was a result of her appreciation of Christ. Mary’s devotion to the Lord was evidence (or proof) that she appreciated what the Lord has done for her. The Lord saved her. The Lord brought her brother back to life. The Lord changed her life. The Lord blessed her so much in every way. Devotion is the natural result of appreciation.

There are so many Christians who are not devoting themselves to God. These Christians do not appreciate what God has done for them.

B.  Mary’s adoration came from her appreciation of Christ. Mary was a worshipper. Worshippers are people who appreciate or are thankful to God for what God has done for them. We are devoted to the Person we adore and admire.

C. Mary’s action was the outcome of her appreciation of Christ. She broke her most expensive jar of perfume. She gave the Lord her BEST. A person who is thankful acts thankful.

When the Lord blessed Zacchaeus the Tax Collector the result was that Zacchaeus immediately promised to return everything he stole and give his money to the poor. That is appreciating the Lord! Not just by words, but by actions!

There are some people who, when the Lord saved them, give up their secular (non-religious or non-sacred) jobs to serve the Lord full-time.

III. Devotion to the Lord comes from a heart of Surrender.

Surrender means to give up the fight. When applied to Christians, a surrendered Christian means he has stopped resisting the Lord, he has stopped fighting against the will of God. A Christian who has surrendered his life to Christ is a Christian who has stopped living his life on his own, but has given everything to the Lord. A Christian who has a surrendered heart is one whose heart belongs to the Lord.

Mary was also a sinner like all of us (Luke 7:39), but she surrendered her heart and life to Jesus. She understood that if Jesus is to be her LORD, then everything she has: time, treasures (money), and talents must belong to the Lord.

Many Christians want Jesus to be their Savior only. They want Jesus to save them, they want to go to heaven, they want to be blessed, but they do not want Jesus to be their Lord (Master). They want the Lord’s blessings, but they want to live their life on their own. This cannot be! For unless Christ is Lord of our life, He cannot save us!

Many Christians are not devoted to Christ because they have not yet totally surrendered their lives to Him. They are serving other gods and masters that’s why they cannot be fully devoted to the Lord. Have YOU already surrendered your life to the Lord? Have you surrendered your vices? Have you surrendered that pet sin?  Have you surrendered your idols? Have you surrendered your hobbies to Him? Is Jesus Christ number one in your life?

Conclusion

The Lord is looking for men and women who will will devote their lives to Him.  Will you be that man?  Will you be that woman? 

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One response

7 10 2007
Birdie M.

I think that this is a very timely message. I especially think that Christians must become more devoted to studying God’s word. We spend some much time learning about worldly things, that oftentimes believers do not spend as much time learning about the living God that they serve. We are often told to be devoted to a spouse, but we often forget that we (the Church) are THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!

I would also like to ask you to pray for me. I have a vision to begin a ministry. The mission of Sarah & Isaac Mother and Child Ministries (SIM) is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with women and children without regard to ethnic, denominational and socioeconomic barriers with effectiveness and excellence. The primary focus of this ministry is reaching out to single mothers and their children.

How you can help: Please pray for the ministry. SIM also is raising money to cover expenses associated with applying for an IRS tax exemption. Any additional funding will be used to begin the work of the ministry.

Thank you and GOD BLESS!

jlrcm reply: Thanks for visiting our site. We appreciate it. However, we apologize that we cannot post your links.

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