The “Mary” In Our Midst

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Mary of Bethany Annoints Jesus’ Feet

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” –John 12:1-8

 

John 12:1-8 is the biblical account about Mary of Bethany. Here we see how much love this woman has expressed to our Lord. She does not care about how much she is spending and who are looking. Her eyes are set upon her Lord and God, unwavering, full of devotion and truthfulness. She exudes genuine worship.

We can see about Mary three things:

  1. Being Selfless- She does not mind spending a valuable personal possession- a pure nard perfume. She does not care about losing it. All she wants is to offer to the Lord the best she can give. That is being selfless. It is pure and true.

Application:

Being Selfless is a mother’s virtue. Often, a mother would rather absorb the pain of her child if only to keep him or her from suffering. A mother would save the best portion of food for her children and would take the least craved. Selflessness is being sacrificial, thinking less of oneself and more of another especially the one he or she cares for. Any person can exude selflessness like Mary if that person knows how to give more of him or her self with no strings attached.

  1. Being Courageous- She washes the Lord’s feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. It must have been controversial during those times but she does not care about what people would think about her. She is courageous to defy what people would say.

Application:

How can we be courageous in our everyday relationships? Do the right thing even if it is not the popular choice among your circle of friends; saying the right words even if it hurts. Being assertive is being courageous. Being assertive is having the courage to tell what other people need to hear in a nice way. Sometimes, we need to assert what is right without being too aggressive because aggressiveness would offend them more than correcting them.

  1. Being Loving- She does not care about the cost of her offering. Even if it costs a year’s wage, she does not mind. For God, she can be extravagant.

Application:

We lavish things for the ones we love. How much more for God and to those God loves! How can we show love to others?

  1. with words of affirmation
  2. giving quality time
  3. doing acts or service
  4. giving gifts
  5. through physical touch

This is the challenge to all:

Give God your best effort.

Most precious hour is everyday of your life.

Use your most valued possession for His glory.

Such devotion not only pleases God but tells the world how great He is!

 Condensed from the sermon of Mrs Thelma Japzon, Vice Chairperson of the Church Council  on March 24, 2013, WSCS Sunday at the Lagro UMC

Image credit: http://www.bible-people.info/Martha_and_Mary.htm

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” –2 Corinthians 5:17 (21st Century King James Version)

What is the difference between someone who has faith and someone who has not?

This is a very interesting question to consider. What is the difference between someone who says he is a Christian and someone who is not? Is there nothing? What separates the two?

Someone confesses, “I used to be a chain smoker, but when I have received the Lord in my heart, I have overcome my desire to smoke”. Another testifies, “I used to be hooked on porn but when I have received the Lord in my heart, I have learned to quit viewing porn materials”. Another says, “My life had no direction and headed to disaster. I committed criminal acts thinking that life was all about power and money. I ended up in jail. Through a jail ministry, I met the Lord and I received Him as my Lord and Savior, now I am free. Maybe not physically, but I found new life free from misery”.

The greatest miracle in life is a change of heart. A person living with hate, anger and misery turns to God in humble repentance is the sweetest miracle and it is all because Jesus has come into his heart.

If you receive the Lord into your heart, there will be an indescribable change: a change that will make you a new being with new focus and direction, and with a new way of life.

We as Christians have experienced this change, since Jesus came into our hearts.

Fairest Lord Jesus

“Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my soul’s glory, joy and crown”…

These are my favorite lines from the hymn “Fairest Lord Jesus”. They are the last two lines from the first stanza. The words describe a Christian’s passion for God within his heart; that he longs to love and honor God and seeks his personal glory, joy and reward from Him.

We can meditate upon the glory of God in creation. How in His power he has created all things beautiful. If he has created the universe, what else can He not do for His children?

The Lord is fairest! I have looked for the meaning of fairest: it means best, brightest, finest, pleasantest, clearest or cloudless. Indeed, the Lord Jesus is the best friend we can all have. While He is God, yet He reaches out to us not just as a powerful Deity to mere creatures but also as a wonderful and loving Friend that satisfies all our longings and fills all our emptiness.

God has created us and has given us the breath of life but we have fallen and have lost that life. Yet Christ has come, has ransomed us from death, and has given us new life in Him that is everlasting and free from all evil.

It is only but fitting to cherish and adore the One who has given Himself for us to live in the newness of life that exalts the power of God that works relentlessly in and through us. It is only but fitting to sing and praise our fairest Lord Jesus!

 

People Need The Lord


Only God can give the peace and security that we try to look often at the wrong places. Only He can give us the grace to survive the struggles that we face in each day that passes and we ought to share that peace that we have received by His grace and love through Christ.

May the message of this song encourage us to share the love of Christ that we have received when we have received Him as our Lord and personal Savior because people need the Lord.

Mary Did You Know?


This is one great pianist I have seen in You Tube. Great musicians help worshipers have prayerful meditations at home, in church and anywhere we can get a chance to listen.

Just like how David’s music with his lyre soothes the spirit of King Saul whenever an evil spirit torments him. The power of God moves through such instrumentalists who have given themselves in the service of the Almighty King! The power of God manifests in them not because they are good perse, but because the God they serve is good all the time!

God Is Great

This is another great praise song unto the Lord of hosts. We have been singing this song in church for our praise and worship for several weeks already although we are still perfecting our rendition.

The song speaks so much of God’s glory and of how the whole world shall bow before Him in worship and in praise. It seems to speak of the future when all the nations shall rise to worship the Almighty God before His heavenly throne.

May we all be blessed as we listen and sing along with the song, God Is Great! Shall we all say, Amen!

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

The other song we would be singing in the retreat is “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. It is also a moving song as it speaks of the mystery of being with the Lord finally. We do not know what would happen then, what we could be doing when it happens. Shall we talk to Jesus when we see Him face to face? Shall we kneel before His feet?

Indeed, it remains to be a mystery and can only imagine what would that day be. What is sure is that it would be a joyous and glorious day that is beyond description. I just can’t wait at all….

You’ll Come by Hillsong

One of our speakers in our forthcoming retreat requested the band to sing two songs. One is “You’ll Come” by Hillsong. I sought it out in You Tube to learn the song. I found the You Tube video version of it from the Hillsong chapel.

It speaks of a believer’s faith in Jesus, a faithful anticipation of His return and it is sure as the sun will shine and the dawn will appear. Jesus will break all chains, heal lives, open all eyes as He reveals Himself.

We will not be shaken because our Lord will come for us.

“I Receive” by Israel Houghton

I have been trying to look for a song that I can use for our praise and worship teams’ spiritual retreat this coming October 25-26, 2011 at out church main sanctuary. I have been tyring to find a song that would fit our theme- “Experiencing God’s Power through Music”.

I could not find a song with lyrics about experiencing God’s power in You Tube but I have told myself perhaps I could find a song that would help explain what the theme says.

After several clicks and views, I have come across this song “I Receive” by Israel Houghton. I have found a video that looks like a small worship gathering and I have watched it.

The song speaks of receiving God’s love by grace at the cross and it has redeemed us from sin and has transformed us from within. Indeed, if we understand this truth by heart we can experience the power from God that saves and transforms. In that way, we too can receive the power to share that power unto others that they too might experience the power of God’s love in their lives.

I have tried to look for a lyric and chord sheet of the song in the net but there’s none so I have decided to buy a music sheet notation of the song from Musicnotes.com. I cannot share the sheet here because it’s patented but I would like to share the song here from the You Tube video that I have watched. Hope you will be blessed as well.