Mark 14:3 (CSB): “While he was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it on his head.”
I have always loved looking at the gospels and reading the account of the woman with the alabaster jar. It has all the elements of a genuine, undefiled worship of Jesus, as we have examples of grace, forgiveness, sacrifice, servanthood, and overflowing gratitude, all in one short narrative. What an amazing, touching message!
Often, however, we can get tangled up in the daily routines of life and miss out on the intimacy that we see captured in this passage. For me, I need reminders, refreshers to keep me thinking and fixed on the love of Jesus in and around me. My mind might be willing, but my mind gets distracted, despite my best of intentions. So what do we do? We find ways to refocus on Jesus, capturing that same kind of sentiment that we see in this passage shown above. We fight for intimate, personal time with Jesus in worship daily. Here are four ways that we can do just that this week:
- Take time to pray about His love. He loved you despite any shortcomings you might have, and He loved you so much that He paid the ultimate sacrifice: death on a cross. Remind yourself that it is by grace through faith that you’ve been saved (Eph 2:8-9). Taking time to quietly pray and meditate on Jesus’ love and grace will help you to take captive your day for Him.
- Spend time reading about God’s love. The Bible contains hundreds, even thousands of passages in which a person expresses his or her love for God and people. Take some time to read, reflect, and recapture this same response to a holy and loving God. One idea is to read a chapter a day in the gospels and journal how God’s love is seen in that chapter.
- Serve someone in love. As Jesus led people, He served. Mark 10:45 reminds us that “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, CSB). Serve someone in some way, whether a stranger, friend, or family member. And while you’re at it, point them to the reason why you serve: the love of Jesus.
- Give out of love. In Mark 12, Jesus commended the widow and the two tiny coins she dropped into the treasury. It wasn’t the amount she gave, but her sacrifice, because it was clear that she was doing it out of love. Worship involves not only a grateful heart but a generous one as well. When you share your resources with your local church, rather than giving out of obligation, do it out of love.
I hope that these are helpful as you spend time with Jesus. As for me, I’m walking with you, looking to keep my focus on the One who saved my soul. Let’s love Jesus greatly!
Dr. Fran Trascritti is a husband, father, grandfather, but most of all, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. After serving as a pastor in various churches for over 23 years, he now serves with the Explore the Bible team at LifeWay. You can email him at Fran.Trascritti@LifeWay.com.