Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Sunday in Lent

Be Still:  Dear Father, thank you for the extravagant gift of Jesus.  May we live our lives in gratitude for His sacrifice.  In Jesus’ name, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen

Be Strengthened:  John 12:1-11
1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then 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.
4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." 6He 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.
7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
9Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.

Be Stretched:  Judas seems to have had a valid point, but his heart was in the wrong place.  Today, ask our loving Father to show you places where your motives are not of Him.  Think about Mary’s extravagant gift.  Ask Jesus to help you love Him more deeply.  Lazarus was a target simply because of Jesus’ miracle.  Pray that Christians throughout the world whose only crime is loving Jesus would be strengthened as they endure hardships.

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