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Extravagant Love

(Matthew 26:6-13)

Lesson 13 -- first quarter 2010
February 28, 2010

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2010

Introductory questions to chew

What gift do I have planned for Jesus today?

When does another's gift to Jesus make me upset?

In analyzing "waste" and stewardship, am I using the same standard as Jesus uses?

Am I also missing opportunities to praise another rather than criticizing him?

The poor. Oh, yeah, the poor. Does God see I care?

What have you "wasted" for Jesus?

The woman had a treasure she could have kept for her own pleasure. Alternately, she could have sold it for a nice chunk of money which she could have then used as alms (and thus have impressed the disciples, perhaps). Of course there were other ways she could have used that treasure. But she chose to "waste" it on Jesus.

What tangible treasures do you have? And how about intangible treasures like time, vigor, knowledge, skills, and so forth? God has generously gifted each one of us. We get to decide if we shall waste these gifts and treasures on ourselves for temporal benefits or if we shall "waste" them on Him for blessings that begin here and extend into eternity. What will it be, my friend?

To what purpose is this waste?

Judas, a trusted thief -- the Bible clearly identifies him as an embezzling treasurer. Judas, a betraying disciple -- though he eventually double-crossed the Master, the Bible does not speak of him as a pseudo-disciple. Judas, a greedy opportunist -- he may have wanted to trick the priests out of some easy money by delivering to them One who would then easily deliver Himself from them. Judas, a man with so much to discard for so little -- he turned against his divine Friend and Master, despised his high calling as an Apostle, and forfeited his own life (both temporally and eternally).

And to what purpose was that waste? Judas surely joined those who criticized the woman for how she chose to use her treasure. Just as surely, he missed seeing his own wastefulness. He trashed his calling, his relationship with Jesus, his standing with God, and his very own life!

We can see (quite easily and clearly) the foolishness and short-sightedness of Judas. Looking on, we cannot miss the obvious carnality and materialism in this man. But how perceptive are we about our own hearts and lives?

Jesus called me to follow him and I accepted His call and His cleansing. What a grand, incomparable gift He has given me! Yet I often I think, speak, and act in ways that are out of step with Him and contrary to His purposes for me. To what purpose is that waste?

God has made available to me His Word, His Spirit, and His friendship. What treasure; what honor! But I easily and frequently forget, neglecting His Word, ignoring His ever present Spirit, and relegating my relationship with Him to the remote regions of my life. To what purpose is that waste?

God has given me this life that I might live it as demonstration of His power and grace. He has given me the privilege of investing my life in Him and His people. I have the opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven, to seek first His kingdom. Yet I'm prone to live in my own power, after my own selfishly carnal desires, and for some very temporal purposes. To what purpose is that waste?

Now that I filled up this sheet and now that you have read it, may we not waste the message by continued careless living!

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