6″And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” 10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
How much does this cost? This is a question that we hear a lot these days due to the economy. We oftentimes find ourselves asking it as well, whether it be paying bills, buying groceries, or even taking the kids out to eat.
I believe it is a legitimate concern since we want to be good stewards with the blessings God has bestowed upon us. But what about when it comes to our service for God? Do you ever find yourself asking, “What is serving God going to cost me?”
When this thought first crossed my mind, my immediate response was, “Of course not!” but as I searched my heart further and I was honest with myself I discovered that, yes, I do ask this question more times than I should.
It should not matter what serving God will cost us. We are so important to God that He sent His Son to die on a cruel cross for our sins. We should be willing to give up anything that is needed of us in order to serve God.
As scary as that sounds, I have grown to understand that we can not out-give God. Whether we give of our time or our finances, God is faithful to supply our needs. Philippians 4:19 says:
“But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
The lady in this story was giving to God all that she had. She did not consider the cost. She did what she could to bring honor and glory to God.
As I read this Scripture and have continued to ponder it in my heart, I have discovered some changes that need to take place in my own way of thinking. Possibly you have too.
I pray today if you find yourself concerned with the cost of ministering for Jesus or serving Him, that you will think back to these verses and remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. John 3:16 tells us:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
I have made the commitment this morning to stop focusing on what serving God will cost me. I do not want to be so concerned with the cost of serving God that I miss an opportunity to bless others. I want to share God’s love with those around me no matter what I must give up.
I pray today that you will join me in this commitment. I can promise that you will not be sorry. I am reminded of the Scripture that is found in Matthew 6:19-20
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
One day all these earthly things will pass away and all that will matter is what we did for God’s glory.
There is a quote that I was recently reminded of as I helped one of my students work on a literature report. It is by Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed while ministering to the Auca Indians in Ecuador. Jim said:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.”
I pray that these words will find you encouraged and inspired this morning to continue to minster for God’s Glory.