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Busy Bees (Today devotional from Seedbed Wake-up call)
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

WORD

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

Luke 7:36–38 (NIV)

CONSIDER THIS

Raise your hand if you consider your life busy. My guess is that a fair number of us had a hand in the air. Did you know that one of the challenges to surrendering our thanks is busyness? In his book The Power of Human, author Adam Waytz recounts an anecdote about a man who immigrated to the United States. As he learned the culture and the language, he came to believe that the word “busy” meant “good” because when he asked people how they were doing, they often responded with one word: “busy.” Being a North American, I can attest to the cultural pressure that exists to climb the corporate ladder, accumulate wealth, have your kids succeed in afterschool activities, and constantly be on the go. The unspoken value of busyness is everywhere By the way, none of those activities I just mentioned are, on their own, bad. However, if your busyness keeps you from slowing down and offering your thanks, then you are missing an encounter with the Lord and surrendering our thanks has a cost.

In Luke’s Gospel, we read the story of a woman who brought to Jesus a jar of expensive perfume which she broke open and poured out on Him. We could take a deep theological dive into these few verses as there is much to learn, but today I want to encourage you to see this as a selemim offering. She did not have to give it, but she made a choice. She did not give from obligation, but an open heart. She did not come for an hour, put her offering in a basket, and immediately leave to go back to her daily activities. Just like Joshua did in yesterday’s story, she stopped. She wasn’t too busy or distracted by the world to surrender her thanksgiving and linger with her Savior as an act of worship. This outpouring of her time cost her, but it would be repaid by an outpouring of mercy and peace from Jesus.

There are many contrasts in the passage. The Pharisees were religious and educated. The woman was sinful and wasn’t allowed to study. The Pharisees were there to question Jesus. The woman was there to worship Jesus. The Pharisees were prideful. The woman was humble. The Pharisees shunned the sinful woman. Jesus showed her mercy. Because the woman was willing to come before Jesus with her broken offering, she received wholeness and redemption. What a moment.

I love that the gift she offered was viewed as expensive and extravagant, but the reality is, it would not have mattered to Jesus the cost of the gift. In Mark’s Gospel, we read, “Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others’” (12:41–43). He gave praise to the widow who offered her two small copper coins because both gifts were given from a heart of joy and gratitude. In exchange for their surrender and obedience, Jesus offers peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). This is the same peace He offers to you today. Let us respond to the extravagant grace of Jesus by slowing down, perhaps even stopping, and pour out our thanks to the one who has poured out Himself for us.

THE PRAYER

Lord, what could we give to show our gratitude for Your love? Today, we don’t want to hold anything back from You. We give You all of ourselves. Amen.

QUESTIONS
  • In what ways have you allowed busyness to get in the way of giving thanks to God?
  • If you were to sit at the feet of Jesus today, what are some of the things for which you would thank Him?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent

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