March 30

Deuteronomy 8:5 (NIV) 5Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

The word "discipline" means "to teach". God is always trying to teach His children. The verses in yesterday's devotion showed us that trials in life teach us how much we need to depend on God's Word. We need to learn the lesson of humility. The teaching method God often uses is discipline.

In this verse, we are told about the heart of the teacher. He has a Father's heart. No wonder Jesus called God 'Daddy' (Abba). The word of God tells us that even Jesus learned through the things He suffered. If Father God would take His beloved Son, Jesus, through difficulty to teach Him, then how much more do we need it?

We often pray to be delivered from illness, to escape a trial, to be rescued from situations, and we should look to God when we are in trouble. The lesson we see in the wilderness wanderings of Israel, is that of attitude toward the test. Israel often failed by murmuring about the test instead of learning the lesson God was trying to teach, the lessons of humility and dependency.

What will you do when the next trial comes your way? What should be your response? Some demand that God remove the test, the teaching tool, without learning or even acknowledging the lesson. Others run to man to find a solution and refuse to acknowledge the test comes from a loving Father.

Consider: First, see the source. Then find the lesson that needs to be learned. Thank your Father for His loving discipline, and learn.

March 30

Matthew 26:7, 12-13 (NIV) 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

This is extravagant worship! The woman was so blessed by the words of Christ that she took something as valuable as a year's wages and poured it out on Jesus' head (Mark 14:5). Whether she consciously knew that Jesus was about to be crucified for her sins or not, we cannot tell. She was moved to make this costly action and did not allow her mind to keep her from it. How many times are we moved to do something that seems excessive, but we allow our reasoning to justify not following through? The carnal mind is often at odds with the Spirit.

Extravagant worship is almost always criticized by reasoning people. Someone will always suggest a better use for the time or the money. Some that were present suggested it could have been sold and given to the poor. Jesus cut short their petty bickering by telling them that the poor are always there, and they can give to help them at anytime. He was not going to be with them much longer. If our action is the leading of the Holy Spirit, we may never know the far reaching effects or the real purpose of the Holy Spirit. There would be no time to anoint Jesus body before His burial. The women came to do it on resurrection morning, but somehow, the woman in our text today was moved to do it beforehand.

The fact that you are reading this today is proof that Jesus' words have come to pass. This woman set an example for us all of loving Jesus with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. She doesn't rank very high with historians, and we aren't really sure who she was. (Some think she was Mary, Lazarus' sister. See John 11:2.) But she rates pretty high in the hall of fame of the faithful for this extravagant act of worship.

Consider: Are you an extravagant worshipper?