John 12:3 & 5 – Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. – Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
In the year 2016, the average salary for a full-time worker in the USA was just over $44,000. In 1½ years, that would be $66,000. That is approximately 300 working days. Jesus once told the parable of workers being hired for one pence per day. Based on that example, 300 pence (300 days wages) would be comparable to $66,000 (or more) today. In our Text for Today, we read that the spikenard was one pound in weight. That is equivalent to approximately $4,125 per ounce….more precious than gold.
This is NOT an attempt to put a market or dollar value on one’s sacrifice and service to the Lord, His kingdom, or His Church. It IS, however, an attempt to draw our attention to the great truth that our God places GREAT VALUE on our love, sacrifice, service, and witness of and for Him. He is faithful, indeed, to not forget your labor of love. Take a moment and reflect on the story set forth in our Text for Today. And after that reflection, I have some questions I pray will provoke serious thought for you.
Do you have a relationship with the Lord? Is it one that has covenant basis, and are you working to strengthen, improve, and develop that relationship to new levels? Remember, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, the opening two words, “Our Father,” clearly indicate an established relationship.
Do you value the sacrifice you are making to the Lord, His work, His kingdom, and/or His call on your life? The simple truth surrounding this question is that the Lord values the worth of your sacrifice in the manner and measure that you value it. If you don’t value it highly, then neither will the Lord. Remember, it is the measure with which you give that determines the measure of the return, and the measure with which you give is determined by you.
Does the measure with which you give carry with it a sweet-smelling savor of faith that works by love being released to Father; an aroma pleasing to the Lord? Remember, faith works by love, and without faith it is impossible to please the Lord.
Whatever your sacrifice is to the Lord and His Kingdom, be sure of your relationship with Him, value what you are giving highly enough to make it worthy of keeping for yourself, and when you offer it, do so with a heart of love in the spirit of faith. You could be setting the stage for a mighty move of God.
Manna for Today – John 12:1-11; Hebrews 6:10; Luke 6:38; Galatians 5:6; Hebrews 11:6