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3

Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; (Song of Songs 1:3 NKJV)

Let me worship like the woman who
Wept upon the Savior’s feet
Washed them with her tears of sorrow,
Tears of love washed Jesus' feet.

Then she took her hair and wiped them
Cleaned the dirt from the long dry path
Feet that just a few days later
Would feel nails of God’s own wrath
 
Help me love you with abandon
Like the woman, fragrant, sweet
Help me break the box of my life
Pour its contents at your feet

Now the box of ointment broken
Poured upon the Savior’s head
Sacred head that soon would carry
The crown of thorns, blood flowing red

Her sins though many, now forgiven
Her love displayed for all to see
Her love was given with abandon
Written for all eternity

Help me love you with abandon
Like the woman, fragrant, sweet
Help me break the box of my life
Pour its contents at your feet 

Now she shares with Him the fragrance
The scent of spikenard they both wore
Prepared for burial was the Savior
Mary, born to die no more

Help me love you with abandon
Like the woman, fragrant, sweet
Help me break the box of my life
Pour its contents at your feet

Jesus grant me true repentance
Fill me with your Spirit sweet
Let the fire of your Spirit
Burn the chaff and purge the wheat

Help me worship with abandon
Help me give my life to You
Help me live to serve you always
Let my life smell just like You.

Copyright Ben Nelson 2006 - All rights reserved

photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh via photo pin cc

 

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But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.
- Mark 14:6 ESV

As I read this passage this morning, this phrase ‘beautiful thing,’ stuck me. It drove me back to this wonderful story.

In context, we're at a dinner party with Simon the leper, and a woman came in and found her way to Jesus.

She took a flask of precious ointment and poured it out on Jesus head.

Immediately others in attendance expressed their disgust at this waste.

It’s interesting to me that the word Mark chooses for ‘waste’ is not the same word as Jesus used in the parable of the prodigal son. “. . . and there he squandered his property in reckless living. - (Luke 15:13 ESV) Mark does not suggest that she squandered this ointment.

Here—with this precious offering poured out without regard to its cost—the writer uses a word that means ‘utter destruction.’ This perfume was not simply wasted, it was destroyed.

And yet, Jesus looks at her offering as a ‘beautiful thing.’

It makes me think of another precious and costly offering, poured out without reserve, not simply wasted but utterly destroyed.

This was the beautiful thing that Jesus did on the cross.

He took a vessel of precious ointment, the most costly possession mankind had ever known, and poured it out without reserve.

That vessel was His body, that precious ointment His blood.

That’s a beautiful thing.

7

My friend Pattie from work asked a great question about our maiden and the opposition she faced in from the guards and watchmen.

The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.

Song of Songs 5:6-7 NASB

Pattie asked whether this picture of our maiden could be a foreshadowing of Mary Magdalene.

We don’t know for sure, but there is a good chance it was Mary who was caught in adultery and faced stoning by the religious leaders in John 8, where Jesus told them

He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. - John 8:7 NASB

After they all left – considering their own shame, He looked to (we’ll call her) Mary and said –

Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?

Mary: No one, Lord."

Jesus: I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.

From John 8:10-11 NASB

Later we see her washing His feet:

I like the account in Luke 7 of this, and though it seems out of sequence and Mary is not named here, I suspect this is the same woman from John 8 (today we call her Mary.)

And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. - Luke 7:37-38 NASB

Jesus dinner host – the Pharisee – is incensed to have this woman in his house making this spectacle during his dinner party.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." - Luke 7:39 NASB

So here is the connection

Mary gives her life into the hands of Jesus – her master.

His forgiveness was demonstrated in the street.

His instruction follows – Go and sin no more.

Now she is tested by the hatred of those who do not forget her past, but lock her in it by their memory – by their on going abuse.

Who are you to join with those of us who have always been righteous?

How can you think that because a simple encounter with Christ in the marketplace you are clean?

We know who you are?

We know what you’ve done?

Get back in your place. We don’t have any problem with you as a whore in the street – but don’t pretend to have a relationship with God.

O Church – It’s time for us to believe the power of God to transform a life, and learn from this woman:

1)    No one is beyond the touch of Jesus Love.

2)    Anyone can be transformed in the twinkling of an eye into a child of the Living God.

BN Writers Page 150Thanks for coming by today.

Thanks for the question Pattie.

See you again soon.

Ben

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the does of the field,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases. ~ Song of Songs 2:7 NKJV

I was with a few beloved believing friends this week, and we were worshiping the Lord. It was a free time of worship, intended to draw us into a place of prayer and intercession. This time was so sweet though. The clock seemed to be pressing us toward intercession, but the Spirit was holding us in His embrace.

There was a moment in the evening when I had the sense that we could go either way, we could move on with the task at hand, praying for those who were in desperate need, or stay in this embrace.

I heard in my Spirit the words to Jenn Johnson’s song “A Little Longer”

What can I do for You
What can I give to You
What kind of song would You like me to sing
I’ll dance a dance for You
I’ll pour out my love to You
What can I give to you Beautiful King

Cause I can’t thank You enough
I can’t thank You enough

Then I hear You sing to me:

You don’t have to do a thing
Just simply be with Me and let those things go
They can wait another minute
Wait this moment is to sweet
Please stay here with Me
And love on Me a little longer
Cause I’m in love with you   © Jenn Johnson

[Listen Here – you will love this song!]

It was that 2nd part that I heard as clear as a bell – the voice of the Spirit saying, “just a little longer.” Those needs, those cares, those things to do, will be there.

Don’t flit away like a deer, like a gazelle, frightened away by the first distraction. Stay here in my embrace.

Not forever, just a little longer. I know we have things to do, I know we have places to go. I know there are needs we must address, I know all the things that pull you, that call to you, that want your attention.

But right now look deeply into my eyes and stay here with me.

Do you remember Mary anointing Jesus’ feet in Matthew 26. When they complained about the waste of the costly oil, saying they could have done some good work with it, do you remember what Jesus said?

For the poor you have with you always; but you do not always have Me. ~ Matthew 26:11

He was not saying, don’t care for the poor, rather, right now, worshipping me is the right thing.

Another time when Jesus was hanging out at Martha and Mary’s place, Martha was busy with hostess stuff, and Mary was hanging on every word Jesus spoke. Jesus again affirms this idea.

But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. ~ Luke 10:42 NKJV

Again, it is not that there was anything wrong with hospitality; rather it was the right time to pay attention to Jesus.

In the Song today we see Jesus hanging a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the parlor door.

Are you easily distracted in your times of worship or meditation? We can be like a gazelle, or a deer, startled, distracted, by the break of a twig, or scent on the breeze.

It may be time to turn off your devices, get where no one will walk by. (Jesus suggested the closet.) Make time to worship. There will be time to act, to ‘do,’ to care for those in need.

Jesus is calling “Come, now it the time to worship.”

BenThanks for stopping in today.

See you next week

Ben

While the king was at his table,
My perfume (spikenard) gave forth its fragrance.
(Song of Songs 1:12 NASB)

I don’t know about you, but when I read this line I cannot help but think of the woman – Mary – who crashed the Pharisee’s party and washed Jesus' feet with her tears, and dried them with her hair, and then broke open her alabaster box of ointment and lavished it on the Saviors feet.

Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:3 NASB)

I know that there are markers in each account that might make them seem like more than one story, but I choose to blend them into one telling.

The story of Mary washing Jesus’ feet is the essence of the transformed life.

Mary has a history, probably a woman of the night, demon possessed, and given over to sin. She may well have been the woman caught in adultery.

But there is more to her history than her past. (I like the sound of that) [Tweet This]

She was forgiven! Her past sins were unwritten, blotted out.

Those in the room with her could not see it. They still saw the loose woman.

But that woman no longer existed.

Now, in the shell that used to hold a whore, there was a worshiper.

The heart that used to shut down for a one night stand, was now a heart that poured out a life savings, wasted, squandered, lavished upon the feet of one man, her heart forever His.

Have you known this transformation?

Do you know this love?

Throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and hear those words whispered to your heart – Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.

BenThanks for reading today.

See you next week.

Ben

Related articles:

The scent of Jesus

One Act of Worship

photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh via photo pin cc

 

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Let me worship like the woman who
Wept upon the Savior’s feet
Washed them with her tears of sorrow,
Tears of love washed Jesus feet.

Then she took her hair and wiped them
Cleaned the dirt from the long dry path
Feet that just few days later
Would feel nails of God’s own wrath
 
Help me love you with abandon
Like the woman, fragrant, sweet
Help me break the box of my life
Pour its contents at your feet

Now the box of ointment broken
Poured upon the Savior’s head
Sacred head that soon would carry
The crown of thorns, blood flowing red

Her sins though many, now forgiven
Her love displayed for all to see
Her love was given with abandon
Written for all eternity

Help me love you with abandon
Like the woman, fragrant, sweet
Help me break the box of my life
Pour its contents at your feet 

Now she shares with Him the fragrance
The scent of spikenard they both wore
Prepared for burial was the Savior
Mary, born to die no more

Help me love you with abandon
Like the woman, fragrant, sweet
Help me break the box of my life
Pour its contents at your feet

Jesus grant me true repentance
Fill me with your Spirit sweet
Let the fire of your Spirit
Burn the chaff and purge the wheat

Help me worship with abandon
Help me give my life to You
Help me live to serve you always
Let my life smell just like You.

Copyright Ben Nelson 2006 - All rights reserved

photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh via photo pin cc

 

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