Daily Delight

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

We are called to live our lives set apart from the world. In today's age, deciphering what that should look like is a struggle. 

What does living a life set apart look like? 

To be honest, I've never been fond of the people who go to extreme lengths to show the world that they are not like them. In fact, I've always been the girl who would live the kind of life 1 Peter calls us to, gentle and quiet (3:4). But there are moments in my life where I think that 'extreme length' to show people that I am living my life set apart is necessary. 

In Mark 14, we see a woman who was judged by the disciples of her choice to pour out a very expensive, very treasured pure ointment (perfume) over Jesus. 

Yeah. Did that last part get you too? 

If it was for Jesus, why was she being judged so harshly? Especially by the disciples!
Let's take a moment and see how they judged her, because it wasn't simply over that.
Luke retells the story describing her as a sinner, quoting Simon to have said, ...He would know who and what sort of a woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner, (Luke 7:36-50). In John's account, Judas judged her for "wasting money". And yes, it's the same Judas that would betray Jesus for money for himself. 

Now, both Matthew and Mark wrote her story without mentioning by name who had condemned her, but still noted that the disciples were indignant by the so called waste. 

An alabaster box in Jesus' day could be sold for the equivalent of an estimated $20,000 in today's currency. (Maybe even a little more!) It was definitely worth a lot- and that's when it hit me:
Mary of Bethany was giving absolutely everything to Jesus, and showed everyone in the most extreme way she could at the time. 

That alabaster jar could have been part of her dowry. She could have sold it and used the money for other comforts. She could have used the money to help the poor as the disciples had pointed out. There were a million things that Mary could have done with her alabaster jar, and instead she poured it out upon Jesus' head and feet. 

She gave Him her all. 

As I was reading that passage over and over again, conviction hit me hard: What is my alabaster box? What are the things that I think are too valuable for me to give to Jesus? What do I keep gripped fiercely in my hand so it won't shatter? What do I hold onto that I think Jesus doesn't deserve?
Scary questions. What's worse is that I had answers to them. 

The way I saw it, Mary's sealed alabaster box held one future for her- wealth, husband, security. She broke it at the feet of Jesus and received a very different future: a future that was given to Jesus. 

Giving it to Jesus, she would most certainly be living her life set apart! 

My alabaster box holds my ideas of my future. And I'm not saying it's bad to have dreams, they give you something to go after, something to pursue. But I can also place those dreams and ideas at the feet of Jesus and let Him have my everything, and live a life that is set apart for Him. 

We don't find out what happens to Mary of Bethany after that. I can only the imagine the set apart life she was able to live after surrendering her all to the One who could give her everything. 

And it makes me want to taste even just a tiny bit of the joy she must have felt kneeling at the feet of Jesus, free from what her world wanted from her, and simply being in His presence.

{photo: missy_e}

About the Author

Nikki Dent≫ ≫Nikki is a new generation speaker, writer, pastor and surfer from Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia. Her life involves a kaleidoscope of roles, platforms, layers, colours, stories and seasons. 26 & Married to a skater boy with two gorgeous baby girls, Nikki has been teaching and preaching the Word of God since she was 19 years old. She is insanely passionate about helping people seek, understand, experience and fall in love with the Word of God for themselves - which is why she founded Paper & Treasure, a website designed to be a tool in the hand of young women who want to dig for treasure in the paper of their bibles. She'd love for you to pay it a visit at www.paperandtreasure.com, and you can find her on Instagram @paperandtreasure


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