The Gospel...to be Believed and Worshipped



{click here for printable version}
Last post I asked this question at the end: 
Worship...is it a response of the heart or an act of obedience? 

My take is 'all of the above'.  Matthew 26:6-13 is a great visual of what I mean.

Matthew 26 ~
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, 
which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”


As I meditated on this word, I saw 2 things:

First...A responsive heart acting in obedience to the will of God
  1. [vs 6-7] This woman responded to a longing in her heart to show her love for Jesus by pouring this precious perfume over His head. (response of the heart)
  2. [vs 12-13] Jesus tells the disciples that she did this to prepare Him for burial AND that her response of the heart will be told as part of the gospel message. (act of obedience...we are commanded to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth and God moved her heart to respond in this way as part of His glorious, eternally driven plan)
My heart, when surrendered to the power of the Holy Spirit, is driven to respond in an act of obedience to the leadership and eternal plan of God.

Second...an example of judgement driven by self focused perspective that plays out between the previous verses...
  1. [vs 8-9] The disciples want to judge her for the way she is showing her adoration and praise for Jesus.
  2. [vs 10] Jesus tells them that this act of worship isn't about them, it's about Him and her.  
As I shared in the last post... 

The response of my heart to adore and praise God 
is driven by the depth of my personal relationship with God.  

I don't know the back story of this woman, but I can only imagine that Jesus touched her in a powerful way at some point.  
  • Did He heal her or a child of hers?  
  • Did He release her from shackles of shame and guilt with His forgiveness and redeeming words of grace? 
  • Did He meet her where she was on a road of sinful disobedience and welcome her into His arms, showing her a better life road to follow? 
My acts of worship, (adoration and praise of God), are a direct response to how God has shown up and been there for me. 

Jesus reprimanded the disciples for judging this woman's act of adoration and praise because they judged in ignorance.  Just as the 'back story' of what led this woman to feel a need to worship Jesus in this way was not shared with us, the disciples weren't told either.  All they were told was 'this isn't about what you think should be done...this is about her and Me'.  

At some point, she was a broken woman 
and Jesus spilled out all of His grace and power in her life 
to put her back together.

Her response of adoration and praise reflects 
His glory that was poured out into her life.    

Our choir has been rehearsing a song (Broken and Spilled Out) based on this scripture, and it was our discussions about the message of this song that originally drove me to meditate more on this particular word of God.   

A good portion of the song is about how Jesus was broken and spilled out for us through the sacrificial act of love on the cross.  This is why I'm able to have a personal relationship with God that leads me to worship Him.

But there is also the message of spilled out adoration and praise in this song.  Let me share the chorus with you: 

Broken and spilled out

Just for love of you Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on Thee
Broken and spilled out
And poured at Your feet
In sweet abandon
Let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee
~ words by Gloria Gaither~

I've highlighted the words that spoke so powerfully to my heart.  There was a time in my christian walk that I was like the disciples, judging acts of worship based on what I thought was right and proper.  And then there came a time in my life that all that I held together with wires and tape to present myself as the 'good and upright' christian was broken and I was spilled out before God.  

That was when I moved 
from believing God 
to worshiping God.  

I released the grip I had on that wire and tape and found freedom in letting Him hold me together instead.  It was then I found freedom to worship Him with sweet abandon, holding nothing back. 

And how that worship spills out of us with sweet abandon is personal...between God and ourselves.  We are just called to respond to it as an act of obedience.  

I'm so glad God chose to include these 8 simple verses in His big book of scriptures.  This simple act of worship could have been easily left out, but I would have missed this intimate moment with Him, deepening my heartfelt responses of adoration and praise.  

It's just as Jesus foretold..."Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told..."

God desires His gospel to not just be believed, 
it is to be responded to with worship 
(acts of adoration and praise)!


Prayer:
Lord God,as I bow before you today, I am moved to ask myself; 

  • Have I allowed myself to be broken and spilled out before You, or am I using all of my strength to hold it together and not appear broken to the world?  
  • Do I recognized all that You have spilled out into my life? 
  • Am I ready to spill out my adoration and praise for You with sweet abandon? 
Lord, show me what I cling to for self preservation or worldly validation so that I may be further broken and spilled out before You.  Give me eyes to see You in every aspect of my life...to see Your glory and not my circumstances.  Let the response of my heart be driven by my recognition of all that You have poured out for Me.  ......I come to worship You in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.  

Our recipe today is for Worshipping with Sweet Abandon
The ingredients are from Matthew 26:6-13
The directions are to allow ourselves to be broken and spilled out before God

{CLICK HERE for a printable version of today's recipe for the soul.  Make notes on it of how God is speaking to you today, and carry it with you to feed your soul as needed.}

Other conversations held at His table that may feed your soul today...
Limp or Rigid?
Ready to Run

I'd love to have you at the table each time I pull up a chair.  
If you don't already, won't you join us?
Just click the link above, submit your email address and then
be sure to click the 'verify' link when the email is sent to your inbox.
After that, I'll be saving you a chair at the table!


God Bless and Keep You,
Copyright© 2013 Feeding a Hungry Soul

For more time at His table, try visiting these blogs 
where I like to link up in fellowship with other followers of Christ. 
A word of encouragement? A note to say 'hey'?  
Just click comments below...it makes my day! 

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