Have you ever done something extravagant for someone you loved? Or maybe, someone did something extravagant for you? What a wonderful way to express your love and gratitude. I was recently studying Mary of Bethany and came to the part of her story where she anointed Jesus' feet with expensive perfume. Mark 14:3-6 says it like this:
"While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly. "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me."
I have always loved this story but what struck me this time around was that I realized this was soon AFTER Jesus had raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. Knowing that helped me understand just how thankful she was and why her gift of worship was so precious to her. She couldn't help herself! After all, her brother's death had brought her to the pit of despair, but along came Jesus who raised Lazarus from the dead and gave them all a second chance. So when I read the part of how they criticzed her worship, it made me even more mad! How could they?! Didn't they see Lazarus sitting there, healthy, smiling, talking and laughing? How can you repay someone for bringing your brother back to life?
Friend, I don't know what Jesus has done for you, but I could NEVER repay Him for what He has done for me. Despite the critical people around me who may not like the fragrance of my worship, I tell you what, I can't help myself! Jesus has spoken life to my deepest pains and made them my greatest gains. He has revived dreams in me that I thought were long gone. I could go on and on (but I won't).
My challenge is simply this. Resolve that you're not going to hold back your worship of Him who is worthy to be given your best. Let people criticize and say what they will because those who belittle the extravagance of your gift underestimate the value of your recipient. Just tell them, "I can't help myself!"