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Alabaster jar lesson 3: Prioritize your devotions!

Rev. Enoch Thompson | September 4, 2023 | Matthew 26:6-13

KEY VERSE:

The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. Matthew 26:11 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

The anger of the undiscerning disciples ignited a response of the master’s rebuke of their lack of discernment and misplaced priorities. We need to weigh our priorities and evaluate what things are needful and expected of us by the Lord. Pragmatism without due sensitivity to God and His leading can make us too earthly that we are no heavenly good (yes, that is a turning around of the accusation of people being too heavenly minded that they are no earthly good!). We must seek out the thin line that separates heavenly usefulness and earthly usefulness and walk that tight rope to please God and serve humanity to the glory of God.

The argument of the disciples against the woman’s worshipful extravagance was ⁸. . .. "Why this waste?" ⁹"This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." Matthew 26:8-9 (NIV). To them the poor among men needed help and certainly they did, and the poor today need help. But the Lord valued the “wastage” by the woman, at least it was so in the eyes of the over-pragmatic disciples, excellent service that would gain global recognition wherever the Gospel was preached, even as it is today. Why?


The scales of the Lord were different from those of the disciples because He saw within the action of His death and resurrection the hope for human well-being and a catalyst for society’s progress (I am not advocating a prosperity gospel; I am only declaring Gospel. I do not believe in the prosperity gospel, but I believe there is prosperity in the Gospel!). When people come to terms with the essence of the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and latch their faith into that truth, they live in such a way that they can only be seen as ushered into a life of progress which we may call prosperity no matter its scope and extent.


The poor people in society and the direction of resources for their upkeep, in that instant, was not the solution to the human problem. In fact, when God ushered the Israelites into the land flowing with milk, He promised them that “. . ., there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, Deuteronomy 15:4 (NIV). However, in the same context, God also indicated “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV). Let us think that God is more realistic and pragmatic than the pragmatism that seeks to take away from the dedication of resources from investment in developing worship and worship-related expenses of time, money, and human resources.

FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

What are your priorities in the handling and distribution of the resources of time, money, skills etc.? Do you realize that it is in your commitment to rightful worship in the Word, prayer, and authentic fellowship that you will find the true resources for helping yourself and the poor around you? Set your priorities right, and you will be blessed to be a blessing.


PRAYER:

Dear Lord, I desire to truly worship you and to serve humanity in your Name as an expression of my worship of you. Please help me and all who seek to walk in your steps, so that we may prioritize appropriately, and receive your recommendations in all we do with our resources. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ___________________________ DAILY word study: POOR The word "poor" in Matthew 26:11 is translated from the Greek word "πτωχούς" (ptōchous). This Greek word refers to individuals who are materially or financially lacking, often described as "poor," "needy," or "beggarly."


The statement "The poor you will always have with you" is a recognition of the ongoing issue of poverty in the world. Jesus does not dismiss the importance of caring for the poor; instead, He emphasizes the extraordinary nature of His own presence at that moment. He is underscoring the significance of the woman's act of devotion as a preparation for His impending death and burial.


This passage invites us to reflect on our responsibility to care for the poor and needy in our midst while also recognizing moments of unique spiritual significance. It reminds us that acts of worship and devotion can have profound spiritual value and should not always be measured solely in terms of their material impact.


Reflections How can you strike a balance in your life between caring for the practical needs of the poor and recognizing and participating in moments of unique spiritual significance and devotion to Christ?


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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