“A woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head…” See Matthew 26:6 – 13
Anna, “Who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
See Luke 2:36 – 38
When I think of devotion to the Lord, I’m always reminded of dear sister Greta Williams from Jamaica. Sister Greta was a godly, caring wife, mother, and friend to all of us. I met, and worked with her during our years of service in Jamaica at Oceanview Bible Camp. Her love for the Lord and her relationship with Him was one that amazed and challenged me spiritually to emulate. How did she seem to know exactly when I needed a friend to visit with, or a word of loving encouragement, or practical financial help?
Perhaps sister Greta learned the secret of devotion to the Lord from the life of these two godly women from the Bible who were obviously, completely, devoted to the Lord.
A certain woman:
Possibly Mary of Bethany, but you see, in Matthew and Mark’s account, it’s not her name that is recorded for all eternity; it is her devotion to Jesus, her Lord, flowing from her heart of love. How did her love and devotion to the Lord begin? Certainly, she was one of the many who followed Jesus, observing His love for souls seen through His words, His actions, His touch. As her own heart was drawn to Him, she listened to His every word. Quite possibly, she heard Jesus tell His disciples, multiple times, that He “would suffer many things, be rejected…be killed and be raised the third day” (Luke 9:22). With all these thoughts filling her mind, her adoration for her Lord overflows, and willingly, she pours out her very costly, fragrant oil on His head. Not just any oil she had in the cupboard, it was Spikenard, a special fragrant oil of great cost to her, oil she kept carefully protected in an alabaster flask. Was this costly oil purchased for her burial or that of a family member, or was it her “nest egg” or for a future “rainy day?” None of these things of earth distracted her from giving her all. How precious to read the Lord acknowledges her actions, giving us a glimpse into the thoughts of her heart by saying, “in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.”
Only three verses in Luke 2 but they record for us, and for all eternity, the account of Anna, a widow and prophetess, who, for at least eighty-four years, “did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”(Luke 2:37) Wow! Those eighty-four years spent in God’s presence is where Anna’s heart of love and devotion for Him grew. As a prophetess, she would be known as one who communicated God’s word to others. Fasting tells us she put away all the distractions the world offered. Prayers speak of being in constant communication with her Lord, where undoubtedly she learned to know His voice and His ways. It’s no wonder she was in the right place, at the right time, with a word of thanksgiving to God on her lips, at the exact moment the baby Jesus, the longed-for Messiah, is brought into the temple.
You say, “Those are extreme examples, hard to follow.”
Not for one whose heart is completely devoted to the Lord. Devotion to Him flows from a heart that has, with the eye of faith, seen the Lord of Glory, the Altogether Lovely One! A heart whose desire it is to bow down before Him in worship, and spends time in His presence. The distractions of this life fade away as our love and adoration for the Lord Jesus fills our hearts and our vision. Devotion willingly, selflessly, pours out everything we have and are to Him, all that we hold most precious and valuable to our heart. Is that too extreme? Is the Lord Jesus Christ not worthy? I believe I was blessed to know dear sister Greta who was an example to me of devotion to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Lord of Glory we adore Thee,
Christ of God ascended high:
Heart and soul we bow before Thee,
Glorious now beyond the sky;
We Thee worship, We Thee praise,
Excellent in all Thy ways.
~ Spiritual Songs #134; Author: R. Holden
About The Author
Evelyn Balsiger is a Christian, a wife of 39 years, a mother of four grown children, and a grandmother of six. Evelyn cares deeply about supporting and encouraging women to honor the Lord Jesus in their everyday walk with Him. This clearly comes through in her writings on her blog at teatimewithev.com.
Evelyn’s Christian life experiences have been increased and enhanced through serving alongside her husband; raising their four children, serving the Lord as missionaries in Jamaica and working many years as a camp counselor to teen-age girls.
Presently, she travels throughout North America with her husband, visiting Christian Assemblies, camps, conferences, and families for encouragement and the ministry of God’s word. When she does have a few days at home, she enjoys having adventures with her six grandchildren, baking, or quietly sipping tea with family or friends in her lovely backyard garden.