The Extraordinary Extravagance of Worship

May 18, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:8)

We will never enter into the depths of worship until we understand extravagant waste. Waste is a matter of projected worth and perspective. What is a not enough for someone, is too much for others. The truth is that we could pour out the perfumes and riches of the whole world upon Jesus, and it would never match the value of His worth. The disciples knew less about Jesus than the one who poured out ALL of her precious ointment upon Him.  She was all in—they were still bean-counters. Our motivations rat us out. We assign worth to things, and how we relate to that which we have valued tells everything about the posture of our heart. 

Fear of waste will never get us to extravagant worship. We have to get past measuring if we have given enough. This is not about money but about how we will express the worth of Jesus to Him.  It is not about showiness—because then the rich might have an advantage; rather, it is about letting the entire contents of our heart, soul, mind and strength be poured out on Jesus with absolute abandon. Remember the Shema? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4).

Pour it all out; offer every part of yourself to Him. Hold nothing back. Make it look like you have given too much. You never can, but try. Embarrass yourself in front of others because you acknowledge your utter need for God and are so thankful for His extravagant love to you that you fling everything at Him. He did the same for you! He extravagantly poured out His love to the Father by extravagantly pouring out His blood for you!

If you are still measuring, you haven’t seen Him clearly yet. If you are looking for sensible, you might have gotten your priorities out of whack. God is looking for extravagant worshippers. Why was the woman even doing this during a dinner party? What was her motivation? Jesus seems to think that she was prophetically doing it for His burial. He didn’t think it was too much! Only those who love past their own limits can see the bigger picture. When things are no longer about me, I gain the divine perspective to be able to see how it is all about Him. Then the words “mine” and “me” bear no sway. Can you feel this woman’s willing desperation to pour it all out on the feet of Jesus? Read this passage until you see that she is making Jesus the hero, not making herself a spectacle. Perspective is everything. See His worth— be done with yourself. Pour it all out. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Don’t Gossip

May 16, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no gossiper, quarreling quiets down.  (Proverbs 26:20 NASB)

We fuel a lot of dangerous, destructive fires with our tongues. They are technically arson because we start them deliberately and often with bad intent. God sees all things. He sees what others do, and He sees what you do. He doesn’t need you to tell others about what your neighbor did. Actually, it is safe to say He doesn’t want you to tell others about what your neighbor allegedly did.

Stay away from busybodies, and don’t be one yourself. It takes a lot of time to live right, to give God adequate time, to do the necessary tasks of everyday life, to honor the sabbath, and to worship. You really don’t have time to be always watching and judging what others are doing or not doing and then discussing it amongst others. When you do that, you are being a busybody, and you are sinning and causing others to sin.

If you don’t add fuel to the gossip fire, things get mighty quite mighty quickly. Learning to sit on your front porch with others and say nothing, or only say edifying things, is a truly blessed thing. And think of this: listening is an active role in gossip just as much as speaking. It can be hard to be the one to walk away from or shut down the gossip talk, but once you do, people will be more careful around you as to what they choose to say. 

If you feel the need arising to talk about someone, talk to yourself and God about it first. What can talking with another about someone else do for you? You might need a good talking to from yourself or from God to rearrange where your heart is in the matter. We really don’t have a right to think poorly about our neighbor. There is an old rabbinic tradition that seeks to put people in the best light possible by considering why their allegedly bad behavior happened or why they might have had good reason for their actions.  While it is wrong to justify evil, there is a place to give people the benefit of the doubt when you don’t understand or approve of their behavior. To do otherwise is to take things into your hands instead of putting it in God’s hands. Again, this is not to justify an actual evil, for there are biblical guidelines to deal with sin in a community, but to keep you from sinning by assuming something or saying something about someone that is inaccurate or untrue. 

Put out the fires of gossip. Better yet, don’t let them get started.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

When He Appears

May 2, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

The apostle Paul constantly holds before us the hope of Christ’s appearing. This hope is like the North Star, something the believer focuses on to get his bearings in the world. While the gospel is life-centric, it is also death-centric.  One has to pass from death unto life. In our baptism, we die to our old life and are raised in the newness of life in Christ. Jesus does not reform us; He resurrects us. He brings us from death to life. He becomes our life. 

Do we understand the depths of this truth? That our life has actually died and we are no longer our own but Christ’s? Wherever Christ is going, we are going with Him. We do  not cling to this world, and to establishing our lives here, but we eagerly await His appearing, for that means that we, too, will appear with Him in glory. The old hymn states, “The world behind me, the cross before me; No turning back, no turning back.”

This world is not our home. We are pilgrims and sojourners, so whether things go well or not so well in this realm, we have already turned our backs on our lives here. We are now living by the life of the One who loved us and gave His own life for us. This is why we look for His appearing. It is not that we are looking to escape this world, but that we know its limits and know that it cannot satisfy us because we are born from above. All of our life we look toward the Day when He appears, and we appear with Him. What does that mean? Scripture says that when He appears, “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). When we see His glorious Face, we will see our faces reflected in His and know ourselves for the first time.  Does not this thought send shivers down your spine? All of the shadows and uncertainties of this age will disappear, for we will be fully seen and known and united with our Lord. What a glorious thought!

So keep your perspective ever clear about the nature of your life in this world: yours is a temporary sojourn in a world system that shall be fully restored to the rulership of your soon-coming Lord. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net