Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Alabaster Box

Scripture: Matthew 26 v 7 - 13: "There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
8  But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
9  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
10  When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
11  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
12  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
13  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her."

This box was made of marble that contained a very expensive perfume that could only be extracted by breaking the marble stone.  The unnamed woman came to Jesus to pour the whole bottle over His head while He was eating. She did this as an expression of her love for Him because He had ministered to her. 

This woman had been bound by sin and shame until Jesus set her free to live a righteous life.  Her joy knew no bounds.  She publicly poured out her thanks not realising that she was doing something deeper for Jesus.  He recognized that this was His burial confirmation, that He would rise from death before His followers could embalm Him.

It was something that really upset His disciples though. They considered it a waste of costly perfume which could have been sold and the money given to the poor.  Jesus told them not to bother her because only He knew the depth of this kind blessing.  They were thinking of material gains while He was receiving spiritual revelation.

We need to break our alabaster box within us so that the power of the Holy Spirit can flow forth from our hearts.  This cold marble covering represents our soul which resists truth, brings contradictions, makes contentious arguments against the knowledge of God.

Our hardness of heart must yield to our Saviour, until it is broken the essence of Christ cannot flow.  It needs to be cracked open to both receive the power of God and to give back true worship of Him.

In 2 Corinthians 2 v 14: "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."

Jesus makes manifest the fragrance of His knowledge through us to the whole world. He has to break through our flesh to release this sweet odour so that everywhere we go we spread it around.  Our flesh puts up a struggle which blocks the release of our spirit to touch the needs of others.

What kind of struggle we ask?  The mental battle where we argue with God that we can't possibly speak to a stranger about Him because how will they react to such invasion of privacy?  I recall being alone in an elevator with a man in a hospital after visiting a patient.  I received a word from God that this man was a backslider.  My choice, ignore or speak.  What should I say?  

So I said Jesus wants you to know that He still loves you and wants to spend more time with you.  He was so surprised, tears came in his eyes.  He said, I have offended Him, but I will make it right.  The doors opened and we went our separate ways.  Message delivered, received and understood.  Thanks to Jesus for the knowledge to reach out in a specific way.

My stance is rather offend the whole world than offend or disappoint my Saviour.  I seem to regularly offend the world, sometimes provoking response, sometimes even positive outcome.  We are here, saved, blessed, with the purpose of delivering a message.  We need to be open to receive the right prompt at the right time to have a victory for Jesus.

The Spirit of God is moving, stirring up righteousness, stirring the Living Waters so don't be left stranded jump in and flow with Him in glorious liberty.  He wants to use each one of us in small or great ways to reveal His love and bring people to salvation.  From the moment we are saved that is our task.

Let us not become a stumbling block through our stubbornness, pride and religion.  Religion is a system of binding rules and rites to help us please and appease God.  It does not have this affect on Him at all.  He is offended by religion and tradition, fancy garments, grand titles, pomp and ceremony.  He calls those churches Laodicean.

Revelation 3 v 14 - 20: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

So many churches fall into this category whereby they falsely believe that the beauty of their buildings, the expensive interiors, marble pulpits and Armani apparel earns them favour with our God.  He looks on the heart to seek humility, patience, love, kindness, truth and joy.  He resists the proud and arrogant and gives grace to the meek.

Christianity is the life of freedom given by God when He finds us and we respond to His love and mercy. We should pour out the contents of our broken alabaster box to glorify Jesus in His resurrection power. It will show Him that we are willing to sacrifice something we treasure to bless Him.  Perhaps we sacrifice time.  That football game on TV you were looking forward to watching.......then someone has a need, and you drop everything to be where God needs you.  

Know your soul and see the danger it represents to life in the Spirit of God.  Every time you conquer one of its objections and do the thing that pleases God, another piece of marble breaks off and more of Jesus within your heart is released to give life to the dying. 

Hebrews 4 v 12: "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The Truth in the Bible is a sword that divides soul from spirit!  It needs to be divided and diminished so that we grow into vessels meet for the Master's use.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that today You will break our alabaster boxes to pour forth the love, peace, joy and truth of the Gospel to a dying world. Help us to let that sweet savour of Christ permeate the atmosphere wherever we go. Let us glorify You. In Jesus' name. Amen.