Those of us who have experienced life with Christ know the joy of being loved, forgiven and set free. We have the hope of heaven resting in our souls and the confidence that God will never leave us or forsake us.
So how do we respond to this extraordinary love?
Two word: extravagant devotion.
In Mark 14:1 – 11 we see an example of extravagant devotion as a woman pours a jar of expensive ointment over Jesus’ head. We are not told why the woman responds to Jesus in this way, nor do we know what Jesus did in this woman’s life to prompt this action. All we know is that when given the opportunity, she responds to Jesus with an extravagant act of devotion.
Although we don’t know what the woman is thinking, we are told clearly what others think. They are upset and annoyed with what they see to be a waste of good resources. A little oil, perhaps is fine; but to break open the whole jar seems extravagant and wasteful.
And yet Jesus commends her actions. He calls it beautiful. He says it is to prepare for his burial. He promises her actions will be remember when the gospel is preached. This shows Jesus has knowledge of both his coming death and his triumph over death. He will die but good news will spring up from the grave.
The woman’s extraordinary devotion prompts us to ask: How are we responding to Jesus? Are we like this woman? Are we extravagant in our devotion? Do we realize who Jesus is and what he has done for us?
In case you don’t know, or in case you haven’t thought on this lately, let me remind you.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who laid down his life to redeem us. He suffered so that we might be forgiven. He died so that we might live. He was separated from his Father so that we might be brought near. He experienced the wrath of God, so that we might experience the love of God. He was cursed so that we could be blessed. He was wounded so that we could be healed.
So how do we respond?
We respond to his extraordinary love with extravagant devotion.
I’m not going to tell you what that looks like in your life, but I have a hunch that when you do it, God will smile, others will critique and you’ll wonder if you’ve lost your mind.
If you find yourself in that place keep standing on the edge of yikes and remember: Extraordinary love always leads to extravagant devotion.