A Heart of Worship – The Woman with the Alabaster Box

Ben —  September 1, 2011 — Comments

Worship is inherent in all mankind, found in all races and cultures. Everyone worships something. We can direct our ‘worship’ towards many things – in our culture worship of ‘self’ seems to be prevalent.

As each of us at Lifeplace cultivate a passion for worshipping God, and as together we direct our worship towards Him, we are building a dynamic atmosphere of worship in our church.

Worship

  • Restores our first love
  • Builds an atmosphere of the presence of God
  • Builds our spiritual passion

I love to read the stories of the many different people Jesus came across. In these we get a glimpse into the mind of God and see what really matters. We also see the amazing way people responded to Jesus – how, rather than being alienated, so many were attracted by the great love He showed them.

Luke 7:36–50 recounts an interesting episode in the home of Simon the Pharisee, a prominent religious leader of the day. While the men are eating together, a ‘woman of ill repute’ enters uninvited and proceeds to break a container of precious, fragrant ointment over Jesus feet, washing them with her tears and drying them with her hair. Simon’s initial reaction is one of disgust and outrage. Yet Jesus highly commends her and receives her offering with approval.

This story is as much about Simon as it is about the woman. Notice the contrast between the contrite prostitute and the self-important religious leader. Simon forgot that he too was a sinner who needed God’s grace as much as anyone.

This woman knew the Pharisees looked down on and hated her, but she also had a great revelation of Jesus’ love that overcame her concern for what anyone might think of her. Something in the heart of this woman tells us much about the true nature of worship.

Mark 12:30 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…’

We are to worship God:

  1. With all our heart – the innermost, hidden, deepest part, our cental core, the inward, hidden person.
  2. With all our soul – ‘breath’ or ‘breath of life’, the seat of one’s life force; the ‘self’; the seat of our inner drives, emotions, feelings and expressions.
  3. With all our mind – our understanding, intellect and feelings; our ability to engage in philosophical and creative thought and to express thoughts; our habitual thought patterns whether good or evil. A way of thinking by which we as believers renew our minds to continually focus on God.
  4. With all our strength – our individual power or forcefulness; great execution; intense effort.

Do you need to recommit to that place where you first or once loved the Lord? Has your spiritual passion dried up somewhat? Have you become a bit like Simon the Pharisee – hardened, overly familiar, self-righteous or cynical, or maybe just taking Jesus for granted?

Do you want to take your devotion to Jesus to a new level?

Developing a heart of worship is the key.

 
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