Wednesday, April 28

Oh, Laz-ar-us!

I love John 11:43 in the original Greek Text. Before I share why I love it, let’s go back to the beginning of the story.

On the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, approximately two miles east of Jerusalem, and on the road to Jericho, sat the little town of Bethany, home of the family Jesus deeply loved…Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha.

When Lazarus became gravely ill, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

“When Jesus heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’” Yet, He did not leave but stayed where He was for two more days.

Jesus told the disciples that Lazarus was dead and added, “I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

When they neared Bethany, they learned that Lazarus had been buried four days before.

Martha heard that Jesus was on the outskirts of town and went out to meet Him. “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha thought that Jesus meant Lazarus would rise again in the last day resurrection.

Explaining, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

She answered, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Martha then went to get Mary and said, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” Mary jumped up and ran to find Jesus. Finding Him, she fell down at His feet, weeping and said to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw the tears streaming down her face and heard the cries of the other mourners with her, He “groaned” in His spirit. “Groaned” in Greek usually means to be angry or indignant, or to reprove severely, as violent agitation of mind. But here, it is that inward agitation of grief. He was deeply disturbed at seeing the sorrow of others.

When they took Jesus to Lazarus’ tomb, the depth of Jesus’ sorrow became evident, for “Jesus wept.”

Jesus told some of the men to remove the stone from the entrance to the tomb. Martha said, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Here is my very favorite verse, “Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?’” (v40 Amp)

As they rolled away the stone, Jesus lifted His eyes and prayed. (Now, we come to the verse I mentioned at the beginning.) Then, Jesus yelled out, as it says in the Greek, in a ‘megas’ voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”

I love looking up the original meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible as they give a greater depth to the insights of a verse. What Jesus said was this, “Lazarus! Here! Outside!”

Can’t you just see Jesus pointing His finger at the tomb and then at the ground, stomping His foot, and commanding in great resolution and power that Lazarus come out and join Jesus?

However, what we fail to realize is that when Jesus stood before all the tombs that day, He had to yell, “Lazarus!” If He had not, every one of the bodies buried there would have come out with him!

So, out hobbled Lazarus, wrapped head to foot in his burial cloths. Jesus said to those around Him, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

I love this story. It reminds me of a friend who prayed desperately for her brother to be released from his grave of darkness and come out into the Light.

Jesus loves each one of us just as much as He loved Lazarus. He weeps that death separates us from Him without His salvation. He gives us a Lazarus-call, beckoning us to come out of our darkness into His Light.

When we hear His call, do we stay in our darkened tomb, wrapped in our stinking death cloths, or do we shed them and come out to join the Light of Life? Will God be glorified?

“Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?”


Monday, April 26

Faith Lessons for Chronic Illness

Today, I am very pleased to bring you my guest poster Sue Ingebretson, author of FibroWHYalgia. Take it away, Sue…

Our Christian faith shapes all that we are and do. That’s a good thing, right?

But what if you’re in pain from an unknown condition? How do you seek medical attention, gain support from family and friends, and learn to cope with the stress caused by chronic illness? Where does faith fit in?

Fibromyalgia is the chronic condition that sidelined me many years ago. I spent years trying to define what didn’t “feel right” and why it happened to me. Because I’m a word person -- a writer -- I felt I should be able to articulate my feelings. With an unknown diagnosis, however, my future seemed an ambiguous muddle of pain and suffering.

That’s where the good and bad of my faith kicked in. The good is easy to describe. Knowing that my Heavenly Father lights my path (even when it seems there’s only darkness) brings immeasurable comfort. I knew He had a plan for me, but I had yet to figure it out.

The “bad” part of my faith came from my own interpretations of Bible lessons. If you’re anything like me, your religious background has provided you with many character-shaping lessons.

For example, Sunday School teachers taught me to sit quietly and to not interrupt. Pastors taught me to respect my elders, care for my neighbors, and turn the other cheek. Church organists taught me that they do indeed have eyes in the backs of their heads and can see fidgety children in the front pew (wait … that only proved true when the organist was my mom and the kid was me).

Standing up for our faith, and the lessons we’ve learned, comes easy, but what about standing up for our health? Think about the body language you exhibit as you sit on a doctor’s exam table in a paper dress. That dejected “posture” often predicts the success of your visit.

Many people – women in particular – live with illness and pain in silence. If the chronic pain stems from an accident, it’s considered an after-effect from the physical trauma. Therefore, if the pain is expected, it’s nothing to complain about, right? If pain comes on slowly, it’s tolerated to accommodate a busy woman’s life. The pain is relegated to the back burner.

Christians know how to suffer in silence!

It took a very long time for me to grasp the fact that chronic pain is never “normal.” Pain is the body’s way of getting attention, and that’s where I was at an impasse. How could I seek treatment for an unidentified condition?

I had to go back to my Bible and learn that assertiveness, inquisitiveness, and tenacity are all Biblically-sound principles. I was harboring a “meek will inherit the earth” attitude while trying to garner attention from overworked and distracted medical professionals.
Meekness does not always translate to wellness.

Here are a few other examples of this fact. Matthew 9:20-22 details the healing of a woman who’d been ill for a dozen years. Her chronic affliction was cured by simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. “Your faith has made you well,” Jesus said to her.

We’ve all heard this story and know it to be a great depiction of abiding faith. But, I’d like to point out something. Where was the woman? Was she home in bed? (She was sick, after all.) Propelled by her faith, she sought a solution for her condition. She took action.

In Mark 10:46, we hear the blind man, Bartimaeus, cry out for Jesus to restore his sight. Crying out doesn’t sound meek to me.

If you are in pain, then something is wrong. Please know that it’s good to do some self-detective work to find out why. Think about specifics of your pain such as, when did it begin? Does it ebb and flow? Does it ever go away? Can you relate activities or foods with increased pain? Document the answers to these questions in a “wellness notebook” and begin the search for your answers.

Remember the picture I painted earlier of a dejected patient in a doctor’s office? Imagine her instead, this way. She’s still wearing a paper dress but has also put on the armor of confidence and self-education. She brings her wellness notebook filled with details about her symptoms, specific facts that will guide them to a mutually agreeable treatment plan. She’s open to new ideas, new treatments, and, best of all, a future of hope and promise.

Asking for help, seeking out new ideas, putting faith in others outside your social circle is risky, but it’s also quite Biblical. When I speak to groups about healing from chronic illness, I’m always quick to point out how thankful I am for the lessons that fibromyalgia has taught me. I’m thankful that I learned how to depend on His guidance rather than my own limited understanding.

Looking back at the faith lessons I learned as a child, I can now see that tenacity was right there, hand-in-hand with meekness. It’s just a matter of balancing them in ways that keep me moving forward. Faith provides that balance for me, and for you, too.

~~Thanks so much, Sue, for being my guest today. If you’d like to visit Sue’s site, click here...Rebuilding Wellness. You can also purchase FibroWHYalgia there and through Amazon.


Wednesday, April 21

Purity is Essential

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.”
Matt 5:8 NLT

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3 NIV)

In Greek, ‘pure’ is defined as clean, clear, pure as cleansed, free from impure admixture, without blemish, and spotless.

Some of the definitions from the English dictionaries describe ‘pure’ as…

*physically chaste
*free of or without guilt
*clean, spotless, or unsullied
*untainted with evil; innocent
*of unmixed descent or ancestry
*free from foreign or inappropriate elements
*without any discordant quality; clear and true
*free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter

God made each of us as a precious being, a body, soul, and spirit needing special care. His intention was that we preserve the purity of our minds, hearts, and bodies, protecting them from anything that would harm the integrity of His creation. It was His gift to each of us.

How hard do we work to keep ourselves from inappropriate contaminants that sully our purity while waiting for our Beloved’s return? Do any of these negative things camp out in our hearts…doubt, worry, unbelief, strife, stealing, cheating, covetousness, lying, pride, unforgiveness, depression, murmuring, complaining, filthy language, rebellion, hypocrisy, bitterness, judging, gossip, speaking against others, addictions, impure thoughts, lust, internet porn, or anything else that grieves the Holy Spirit?

What do we look at or listen to that tempts us or puts us at risk of lusting, lusting for anything? We cannot look at or listen to just anything. Our eyes and ears act conveyor belts of the world’s junk dumping it all into our minds and hearts. Impure sights and sounds siphon out the purity of our lives and become infinitesimal steps of separation between us and God.

Though God fills us with His holiness through Christ’s salvation, the upkeep of holiness depends solely upon us. It is absolutely necessary, as Paul persuades, that we “Pursue a godly life,” (1 Tim. 6:11a NLT) for “God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” (1 Thess. 4:7 NKJV)

If we keep our hope and trust in Jesus, we continually flush ourselves of impurities, keeping ourselves pure in Him. Therefore, Paul says, “Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7:1 NKJV)

We do this because “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27 NKJV)

The purity of holiness is not an option, for, without it, the Lord will not receive us, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, “Seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14 TLB)

I wonder if God asks the same question about us as He did of Hosea when He lamented over Samaria and their idols, “How long will it be before they attain purity?” (Hos. 8:5 Amp)

Remember, “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” So, how bad do we want to see God?

“He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.” (Prov. 22:11 NKJV)


Tuesday, April 20

The Grumpy Monk author interview

I am happy to bring you an interview with Robin Khoury, the author of the new children’s book The Grumpy Monk.

Q: When did you become interested in writing?

A: I have been writing since I was a little girl. I have an old attempt at a romantic novel that I attempted when I was about ten or twelve! My mom and I still laugh about the opening lines: “A tall thin blond walked down thirty second street…”

Yes, I lived on 32nd Street, but the tall and thin part was definitely poetic license! I was on school newspaper in high school, and then wrote a regular column called Robin’s Nest for the Oklahoma homeschooling magazine for many years. I have been published in several Christian magazines, such as Virtue, Brio, Confident Living.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: In 2005, I picked up a copy of The Practice of the Presence of God on a bargain book table. I had read it years before and was blessed by it, so I decided to buy this nice hardback. As I reread it, I kept thinking, “I have never seen this story written for children.” I started working on it then and continued to work on it for the next year.

Q: Is The Grumpy Monk your first book? Do you plan on making this a series?

A: The Grumpy Monk is actually the third book I have written for children. It is part of a series called Miss Robin’s Christian History Heroes. Our children need to know about servants of God that did great things for Him. Then they will be encouraged to serve God, too.

Q: What is the main message you desire for children to learn?

A: The message of The Grumpy Monk is three-fold. The first is that God knows you and loves you. He created you and knows your name. He is not surprised by the place you are in today.

The second message is that every job is valuable when done out of love for God. The third message is that God gives us the ability to do this. He will guide and give strength, love, and peace for the job He has assigned to you. All of these messages are carefully woven into The Grumpy Monk.

Q: Do you have anything else you’re working on?

A: Thanks for asking! I’m so excited about this. As I read and reread The Practice of the Presence of God while working on The Grumpy Monk, I kept having to look up a bunch of words. The original was written in the 1600s, so it is pretty hard to read.

Finally, I just thought, “I’m going to write this book out so that any mom can just pick this up and read it!” So, I sat with a dictionary by my side and rewrote the text while asking myself, “How would I say this?” The book will be out in a couple of weeks.

Q: Where can your book be purchased?

A: The Grumpy Monk can be purchased at or if people would like to see all of my books.

Thanks so much, Robin!

You can visit Robin at her site: or facebook:RobinKhoury or twitter: @robinkhoury


Friday, April 16


“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
(Matt. 5:7 NKJV)

The dictionary defines ‘mercy’ as compassion, pity, or benevolence, or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power.

Vine’s says the Greek word for ‘merciful’ means “not simply possessed of pity but actively compassionate, is used of Christ as a High Priest, Heb 2:17, and of those who are like God, Matt 5:7.”

To ‘obtain mercy’ means to compassionate (by word or deed, specially, by divine grace), to have mercy on, to succor the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched, to show kindness, by beneficence, or assistance, to feel sympathy with the misery of another, and especially sympathy manifested in act.

Who comes to mind of a modern-day servant of compassion? Mother Teresa! She has been dubbed “an angel of mercy.” She said, “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

And what did she do? She desperately and consistently tried to fill those needs. Her active mercy-compassion knew no bounds.

Was Jesus merciful and compassionate? Of course, He was. Scripture says, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them.” (Matt. 9:36 NKJV) Several other times, scripture says Jesus was filled with compassion for an individual.

So, how are we God’s hands of mercy to others? Are we actively seeking to be compassionate to all those that cross our paths? Do we go out of our way to show God’s kindness, sympathy, and assistance to one suffering in life? Sure, we may do so for family, friends, or even for some strangers. But what about our enemies, those who offend us? Hmmm, another matter, isn’t it?

As we are to follow Jesus’ example, we can apply to ourselves what Jesus said to Peter in a parable, “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matt. 18:33 NKJV)

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV)

In need of mercy? Reach out to another. As the verse says, those who are merciful will receive mercy.

William Shakespeare wrote…

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

May you and another be blessed as you spread mercy and compassion today!


Tuesday, April 13

Creation's First Home

Have you every thought about what man’s first home looked like?

God designed an opulent home for earth’s first inhabitants, which I’ll collectively call ‘man.’ God did not assign man to a cozy bungalow or a gold-inlayed palace, but rather He placed him in a gorgeous, prolific garden - all for man’s pleasure.

Starting with the roof, God made a never-ending, sapphire canopy, arrayed with a flaming chandelier of light to warm the man and illumine his path during the day.

Through the windows of heaven blew breezes for natural air conditioning. The tree of life spread out its limbs of shade for a cool respite in the afternoon.

For man’s bedroom, a luxurious carpet of green welcomed him as the first Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress, followed by a visitation of the counting sheep! Fields, overflowing with their harvests of grains and vegetables, all begging to be picked, contained the first outdoor kitchen.

The tree branches bowed to the ground under the ample supply of succulent, ripe fruit. For man’s drinking pleasure, crystalline water gushed forth from the center of the garden, meandering around its perimeter and forming four fluent tributaries, as a continual current of bubbly refreshment.

Saturated with the plentiful riches of the earth - gold, oil, spices, and precious stones - the garden provided man with abundant wealth.

While animals provided man with amusement, only man’s mate could provide him with the warmth of companionship, the arms of comfort, and the readiness to help.

All this provided not only man’s lodging and welfare but also his own personal art gallery. God colored in the canvas of creation with a palette of yellows, reds, greens, and blues, as if painting royal robes around creation’s shoulders.

At day’s end, when twilight hovered, God drew the curtain of darkness shut, poking holes in it for the stars to sparkle through like bazillions of twinkling lights sprinkled across a drape of black velvet. Choreographed like a dance of angels with flashlights and orchestrated by the man in the moon, these nightlights lit the path to the throne of the Creator. It must have been a breathtaking panorama!

God had lovingly clothed His Garden in an eye-popping ensemble of heaven’s finest garments, adorning it as a bride in her wedding finery. Created as a garden filled with joy and pleasure, Eden flourished as a little Patch of Heaven, a pure paradise, for its name means delicate, delight, or pleasure.

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.” (Gen. 2:1 NLT) God’s creation completed. The seeds of His Word had transferred their power, done their job, producing all God had spoken.

Of all the garden’s lovingly created elements, no more precious element existed in the garden than God’s presence. In ancient times, when a Persian king wanted to present a special honor on one of his subjects, he granted the subject the title of “a companion of the garden,” which gave him the privilege of walking in the garden as a special friend and companion of the king.

And man did so unashamedly – for a while.

The garden of creation was God’s kingdom on earth, which contained health, wealth, welfare, safety, prosperity, peace, all God’s plan of salvation.

All that God created speaks of His forethought for benefiting all mankind, “The Father, Who is the Source of all things and for Whom we [have life],” (1 Cor. 8:6 Amp) created all things for the sustainment of life, so man should have The Light of the world, The Living Waters, and The Bread of Life. And “His divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3 RGT)

The Father filled the emptiness of earth with His kingdom, and only the kingdom can fulfill man’s emptiness.


Thursday, April 8

Are You Dressed Right for the Wedding?

One day, Jesus and the disciples went to the temple. The chief priests and Pharisees confronted Jesus as He began to teach. He began telling them The Parable of the Wedding Feast…

“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son.” (Matt. 22:2 NKJV) He went on to tell how the king sent out invitations but, when he sent his servants to tell the people that the banquet was ready, they refused to come.

So, the king ordered his servants into the highways to invite everyone they could find. These accepted the invitation, came to the wedding, and filled up the hall.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matt. 22:11-13 NKJV)

This man was not wearing the garment provided for him. He presumptuously entered in his own attire, without honor for the king.

The custom of many countries in biblical days was to wear long, white robes at weddings and other occasions. Those having wealth, and especially royalty, made every provision for those invited to a wedding, which included the furnishing of wedding garments.

Refusing to accept or wear one of these garments was not only the highest insult and disrespect, but, in some countries, also worthy of punishment.

God has provided and honored us with our wedding garments, as Isaiah said, “He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom is adorned with his ornament, and as the bride wears her jewels.”

The acceptable wedding garment cannot be purchased; it is given only as a gift. The King has generously provided each one of us with the wedding garment of righteousness and holiness through His Son Jesus. We cannot enter the wedding feast without it.

The writer of Hebrews tells us to “seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14 TLB)

*Do we insult the Father by wearing our own garment of self-sufficiency rather than the one He has given us?
*Do we live a clean and holy life, keeping our wedding garment spotless?
*Are we dressed properly?


Wednesday, April 7

Knowing the Struggle is Over blog tour

Today, I bring you an interview with K. M. Johnson on the blog tour for her book Knowing the Struggle is Over. If you would like to be entered in the drawing for the book, please leave a comment at the end of this post.

Q: K.M., the title of your book is, Knowing The Struggle Is Over, which is very fitting for the current economic situation. I know some people may be wondering, though, what exactly is the struggle?

A: Honestly, I get that question often. The struggle is not your typical financial situation or necessarily an addiction that I am speaking of. Though those are two great examples, a struggle is actually any situation, trial, or tribulation you may find yourself in.

When you find yourself in a struggle, it often means that you have come to a point where you must make a decision and ultimately a choice. I say this with the understanding that everything we do daily is a choice.

Q: In your book you tell the reader that they can get through any struggle in just three steps. So, what are these three steps?

The first step is to Stop Complaining. Now, I must admit I did say you can get through your struggle in just three steps, but I never said it would be easy! During this first step, the focus is on renewing our minds and changing the way we view the things that are happening to us. Oftentimes, we become so caught up in the world around us that we forget about the God within us.

The second step is to Let Go and Let God. For myself, this was the hardest step. Mainly because I had NO idea what it meant to literally “Let Go and Let God!” Once I had an understanding, it became a natural sequence in restoring my faith in God in regard to my situation.

The third step is to Acknowledge Him. Some may see that as easy and obvious, but how often do we know what to do and still we don’t do it! You have to develop a major spirit of praise and give Him ALL of the glory for everything, big and small. The noticeable things in our lives we always seem to give Him the glory, but God is truly in the details as well.

When we begin to pay attention and notice how He is moving and working in our lives, that is when we can truly praise Him. And a praise like that becomes a sincere and spirit-filled praise. It’s not forced, and you won’t even have to second guess.

Q: How did God lead you to write this book?

A: It’s funny and I talk about this at the beginning of my book. As I drove home on I-10 from Houston, TX, to Gulfport, MS, for Christmas, I received a revelation. I was somewhere in Louisiana, and I began praying about the situation I was in. As I finished praying, I remember thinking, “I should write a book.”

Now, what is interesting is that not only did God impress upon me the strong desire to write a book, but He also gave me the title and contents during that drive. By the time I had made it to my mother’s house, I was so excited because I knew I was about to write this book called Knowing The Struggle Is Over and I was going to have three steps that would help others accomplish just that.

If I were a writer, this wouldn’t have sounded so crazy. I never really had a true interest in writing an actual book before then. The only thing I had ever considered prior to that day was writing a children’s fiction book, or maybe a few songs or poems. But a non-fiction book? Absolutely NOT!

Q: Why did you feel that it was so important to write a book about getting through a struggle?

A: I truly would like your readers to know that with everything you go through, God is preparing you for the next level He wants to take you to in life. Sometimes, we think that we know who God is, and we really don’t. Just because we spent time with Him last week doesn’t mean we can ignore Him this week.

To better understand how He works in our lives, we have to continuously strive for a closer, more intimate relationship with Him daily. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean to put limits on Him, that just means to trust Him.

We begin to lose faith because we aren’t spending enough time getting to know Him. We get through our situations by restoring our faith and developing a closer relationship with God. Everyone has an area in their relationship with God where their faith is not at the level it COULD be.

Q: How can readers get their hands on their own copy of this miraculous book to help them restore their faith in God?

There are several options. My book is available on both my blog: and my author site:

You can also order it from your favorite local bookstore and have it within a few short days. It is also offered on various online stores. Regardless of how you get your copy, the most important thing is that you get your copy! This is a great way to revive your thinking and restore your faith!

PLEASE NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to the blog host by the author in exchange for posting this interview on their blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about their blog tour management services.


Friday, April 2

Sweet Smell of Sacrifice

In ancient Jewish tradition, a mother weaved a seamless garment for her son when he left home. Did Mary do this for Jesus? No one knows but I’m pretty sure, if she held to tradition, she must have.

If Mary lovingly created it, I am sure Jesus wore it, even wearing it before His betrayal when He went to Simon the leper’s house. As He reclined at the table, a woman came and broke open her beautiful, alabaster passion box, full of the extremely valuable, perfumed oil of spikenard. As she lovingly poured it upon Jesus’ head, it probably trickled down His cheeks, seeped into His beard, and gently dripped upon His shoulders, saturating His garment.

In Eastern culture, the garment of the bridegroom is saturated with rich perfumes. This woman lovingly poured out her precious possession upon the heavenly Bridegroom which permeated His garment. Almost as prophetic words, the Shulamite woman says of her beloved in the beautiful Song of Solomon, “While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.” (SOS 1:12 NKJV)

Don’t you know that through the long hours of His agony in the garden, during His betrayal, in the courtyard of His judgment before Caiaphas and Pilate, and until that garment was removed, Jesus breathed in that sweet smell of sacrificial love that had been poured out upon Him, while this scripture may have echoed in His Spirit, “The odor of your ointments is fragrant, your name is like perfume poured out.” (SOS 1:3 Amp)

As He probably did not wash His hair, the fragrance clung to it. That sweet aroma must have wafted its fragrance of love into His nostrils throughout His torment at the whipping post and while hanging on the cross, more than likely thinking, “This is for all those who will pour out their love on Me.”

Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness and eternal life cost Him His life and was a sweet aroma to God, as scripture says, “God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to Him.” (Eph. 5:2b TLB)

Are our trust and faith as that sweet aroma of the alabaster passion box poured out to Jesus? Do our offerings cost us something, or do they have little meaning to us? If we give God what is of little value to us, how will it be of any value to Him? If a sacrifice is to be a true sacrifice, it must cost something to give it.

A true, sacrificial worship gift costs us the surrender of our money, for we give sacrificially, as the widow who gave her two mites. It costs us the surrender of our time, for we sacrifice it to put God first. It costs us the surrender of our hearts, for we sacrifice our love to those who hate us. It costs us the surrender of our lips, for we sacrifice our praise to God when all seems lost.

Whatever it costs, it must come from a loving and willing heart.

Jesus gave you His sweet sacrifice of salvation.

What have you given Him? What does it cost you? Have you given your heart to the One Who gave you His life?

Are you “a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God”? (Phil. 4:18 NKJV)

May you experience that sweet smell of Easter’s sacrifice in a fresh, new way this year.