A Remnant Reserved

July 17, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)

God always has a remnant of people faithful to Him. In every generation, there is a godly witness. In Noah’s time, it was just Noah, with his family, but there is always a faithful remnant. Sometimes it can seem like we are alone in standing for God where we live. We can look around and get discouraged because it seems that we have no others that stand fast with God and have not kissed idols. 

Elijah had just killed all the false prophets and assumed that he was the only true prophet left. Elijah told the Lord, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts” (1 Kings 19:10). Zeal for the Lord is a good thing until it produces self-righteous self-pity in us! Elijah had been out “setting things straight for God,” and just as he tries to rest, he hears that Jezebel has put a death threat out over his life.

He is exhausted and feels that it is all too much. He thinks he is the only faithful one left. What he doesn’t know is that he is one of seven thousand. This lack of knowledge and perspective affects his feelings, his courage, and his actions. In a way, his pride trips him up.

Know that God always has a remnant reserved. If you are faithfully standing with God, know that there are other faithful ones, even if you do not know of them personally. As the end of the age approaches, you can be sure that God has hidden faithful people where He needs them to be. In some generations He has more, and in some generations He has less of a remnant, but you are never the only one. Remember, too, that a crowd of witnesses cheers you on. 

Beloved, God does not need your strength! When things become hard, it is human nature to feel sorry for myself. I can imagine that no one understands, that no one has sacrificed as much, that no one is as spiritual as I am. This is simply not true. When you feel this way, laugh yourself down off your high horse! We do not know the secret things of the Lord. We do not know how many or where God’s faithful ones are. When you become weary in well doing, it is time to “let go and let God.” Don’t let your weariness lead you into false speculation and misguided accusations. Look for the provision of the Lord. God knows where you are and what you need. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek 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

Written wisdom from Mama June

by June Evans

The Essence of the Gospel:

The essence of the gospel is the person of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not another religion. The gospel is the way, the truth, and the life. Not a religion among religions. Faith is not believing “what.” Faith is knowing “Whom” you believe. It is easy to be taken off track emphasizing people, music, culture, buildings, etc. Stay centered. Keep first things first. Hold onto the personal relationship with Jesus not allowing any thing or person to disrupt that. Jesus is first, primary, essential. It is all about Him.

Our Internal Filter: 

We have an internal filter which affects all of life which is the carnal mind. The filter of the carnal mind judges and is prejudiced allowing only certain information to enter and is basically flawed. There is much wrong information in the carnal mind. That is why the Bible demands that the mind be renewed to think as God intended the mind to think. There is the new filter of the Word of God giving us the mind of Christ. So, you may want to check your filter today. Your filter, the mind, may be clogged with wrong information. Your filter made need to be renewed. In fact, a renewed filter is life changing. It will transform your life.

Overthinking:

Beware of overthinking. Overthinking is our attempts to solve our own problems. Overthinking never solves. Overthinking complicates and causes anxiety, fear, and stress. We all will think about life and its problems. We must learn to think with the mind of Christ. We must allow His mind to have input into our minds. Faith does not overthink. Faith rests. So, find out what Jesus thinks, and then think as He does. Take those overthinking thoughts captive today. Give your mind a rest

Checkup:

If your life is not working as it should do a checkup: 1) Do you hold fast to your faith? 2) Have you done what God has told you to do? 3) Are seasoned Christians speaking into your life? 4) Do you need to repent of wrong? 5) Have you forgiven others as Christ has forgiven you? Remember the answers to life begin with you.

Emotion:

Emotions are a part of who we are, but emotions should never govern who we are. Just because we feel a certain way does not mean that we should follow our feelings. Feelings are not stable. We can feel one way today and feel another way tomorrow. We should never be without feeling, but we should not be led by feelings and emotions. Emotions will follow our faith. Our emotions can be healed and made healthy by the Holy Spirit. Living led by emotions is like living on a perpetual roller coaster ride. Up one day and down the next. Get off the roller coaster. Be Spirit led. Life will be so much better

June Evans is the Pastoral Advisor to Women of the Word and a much sought after conference speaker. Her teaching, which flows out of a life that knows God intimately, is relevant to what women experience at every age. June displays the Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom in humorous, practical and understandable ways. Her anecdotes of real-life situations reveal that the Lord is active in our daily lives.

Women of the Word is a ministry that conducts Christian women’s conference and online Christian bible studies. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life. The above “words of wisdom” are re-posted here with permission and can also be found on Facebook by searching #writtenwisdomfrommamajune.

My Beautiful Ugly Scars

by Barbara Benton

If each of us had a long time to talk and share our lives based on our scars, we would hear many stories, stories of pain. From a fleshly vision point, we often think of our scars as being ugly. After all, we are in a world where beauty and youth are worshiped.

Let me share a few stories of scars that I have on my body.

The largest scar that I have is several inches long and is on my abdomen. It is not pretty, believe me! Though it is a bit unsightly, there are times the scar beckons me to gaze at it and recall why I have that scar. When I was forty-four years old, I was suddenly faced with a frightening diagnosis. After examinations, an MRI that lasted thirty minutes, blood tests, and a long talk with my doctor, he told me that tests seem to indicate that I had ovarian cancer. Surgery would be required, and a surgical oncologist would accompany the doctor. The oncologist would take over after the tumor was removed and stage the disease.

There were more mind battles during that period of time than I care to think about or describe. Yes, I am a Christian believer, but that does not inoculate me against the battlefield of the mind.

Miraculously, a large tumor was removed, and to the doctor’s shock, it was benign. There had been much prayer, even prayers of relinquishment that God would have His way no matter the report. I wanted Him to be glorified.

Today, nearly thirty years later, God has blessed me with a good life, flowing with the river of His presence, filled with a new generation of Bentons known as grandchildren, and a ministry of teaching His Word.

Yes, the scar is ugly, but oh the scar is beautiful! It reminds me of that period of time when God was present even when I had no idea of the outcome. God was with me!

I also have a scar that I wish I did not have. It is on my nose, right between my eyes. As a young child, a sibling threw an empty vegetable can and hit me on the nose. Where the can had been opened was sharp, and that part hit me causing an ugly gash. Had I been taken to the emergency room for stitches, the scar would not be so prominent for all to see. There was no money in the budget for that!

Occasionally, the scar on my nose will catch my eye, and I am reminded of my childhood. Even though the cut at the time was painful, my childhood was much more painful. I have often shared my scars from childhood, not to get attention, not to get pity, but to speak of the healing power of Jesus Christ. While my wound on my nose was visible at the time, and my scar is visible now, my childhood wounds were rarely if ever visible. The years of abuse that my siblings and I endured were so hard. They deeply wounded my young heart and robbed me of innocence and joy. That nose scar represents years of tears and sorrow, but that scar epitomizes that God can give beauty for ashes. He can turn mourning into dancing.

Were those days hard? Indescribably hard. BUT … I love that scar now. I had no idea that the God who created the universe, would make me a new creation over time. Those internal wounds from childhood are now internal scars showing that healing has occurred! I share those unseen scars with others. I want to be a herald of the good news that Jesus not only saves, but He also heals emotional damage and restores new life to dead places.

My scars represent more than the presence of a previous wound. They represent healing. They represent new life. They represent miracles. They represent God at work in hopeless times. They represent God’s provision.

What scars are you carrying today? Stare at them and remember what God has brought you through. That same God will bring you through what you are facing today.

It would be nice not to have scars on this fleshly body of mine, especially the highly visible one between my eyes. But, oh the stories behind the wounds that are now healed. Thank God for my beautiful ugly scars!

“…I will give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. I will give them the oil of joy instead of sorrow, and a spirit of praise instead of a spirit of no hope. Then they will be called oaks that are right with God, planted by the Lord, that He may be honored.” – Isaiah 61:3

Barbara was reared in an environment of poverty, abuse and alcoholism which led to severe depression. At the age of 17, life began to take on new meaning as Barbara accepted the love of Jesus Christ as Savior.  Over time, God has truly changed her into a new creation and overcomer. She is a living example of how God can “turn mourning into dancing” and fill one’s heart with joy. She can be reached at BarbaraBenton.org

Barbara is also a frequently requested speaker at Women of the Word, a ministry that conducts Christian women’s conference and online Christian bible studies. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life. The above blog is used with permission.

Heavenly Wisdom

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)

July 11, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

The best advice is this: don’t put confidence in how wise you think you are. Even if you have learned some wisdom by that which has befallen you, in some way it is a human wisdom. The wisdom that comes down from heaven is a differentkind of wisdom. This heavenly wisdom is hallmarked by humility. It manifests in purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, willingness to yield to others, bearing good fruit, and being impartial and sincere (James 3:17).  

We learn wisdom by fearing the Lord and departing from evil. Wisdom has no concourse with evil because there is no wisdom in evil. Adam and Eve thought hey we’re wiser than God, and their “wisdom” was demonically inspired, causing them to not fear God and opening the door to the downfall of the whole human race.  God always has wisdom to offer us; we just need to ask. But we also need to believe that what He tells us is the best, the truest, and the highest good, lest we elevate our judgment above His. 

We must learn to partner with God, not as equal partners but as those being mentored by Someone who is infinitely wiser than we are. We watch God as He acts in our lives, we ponder His Word, we wait and listen for Him to speak to us. We do not move forward unless we sense that He bids us to. We do not automatically assume that our thoughts are His thoughts, but neither do we freeze in indecisiveness.

God does want us to learn wisdom as we partner with Him. He  wants us to know His wise ways, but we must remember that wisdom is not a mental thinking of the best plan, but an active stance that always departs from evil. Our wisdom is learned in the chosen departure from evil, from all that is not found in the character and ways of God. 

If we would be wise, with heavenly wisdom, we would do well to ask God to show us how to depart from evil, how to fear God in such a way that we are always looking for His goodness in a matter. This is not learned mentally but relationally. It takes time, and it takes loving the goodness of God. Just as an apprentice goes from fashioning crude facsimiles of what He sees the Master making, so our wisdom is refined in the close watching of what God does, and then the carrying out of what is seen. 

So let us stay close to the Master so that we can learn His wise ways. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek 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

Outside the Camp

June 28, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” (Hebrews 13:13)

Jesus suffered outside the camp for our sins. It is only by revelation that people were given to understand who He was.  It is still only by revelation that we understand who He is. The path of being where Jesus is can take us or force us off the beaten track of religion as it is commonly practiced. We may not be able to follow that which is trending, that which is socially acceptable, that which is seen as “cutting edge” or even safe. 

Our Lord asks us to follow Him outside the camp of popularity and safety because that is where we will see Him in sharp contrast to a god of our own making. It is also where we will find the lost ones that He wants us to help gather to Himself.

Even as He is dying, He gathers up one of the men who is dying next to Him. His heart is always for the lost sheep who have wandered into the wilderness. The call that the Galilean makes upon us will not lead to a life of comfort and ease. We will know the same kind of rejection, disdain, and suspicion that He did: “a winebibber, a glutton, and a friend of sinners” (Luke 11:19).

We may not be able to tolerate the temperature of the current status quo. We may have to brave the rip-tides in order to get into the depths of the sea. Our hearts may ever be restless in this world because we are always hearing the call to the unreached, the forgotten, the cast-offs. The world may think that those we minister to are not worth saving. Go to them anyway. 

There is much to be said for being rejected by the kind of religious system that would reject Jesus. Being included is not always what you want because that inclusion may come with a price you should not be willing to pay.

It is a privilege to stand with Jesus outside the camp. It is a blessing to find others out there who are willing to stand with Him. These are your band of brothers.  They are a meek but sturdy lot. They know how to bear reproach. They will know how to stand in that Day against the Evil Man. They may know the ultimate sacrifice of their life as their Lord did.  Standing outside the camp is a privilege. Don’t be afraid to embrace it in whatever way it comes to you. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek 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

Teach the Truth

June 24, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?” (John 3:10)

Jesus “pulls no punches” with Nicodemus, and He will pull no punches with us. Nicodemus, the seeking Pharisee, comes to Jesus under cover of night to ask Him some questions, but instead, Nicodemus gets questioned.  Perhaps it would have been too embarrassing and socially unacceptable for Nicodemus, a Pharisee, to ask Jesus a question in public, as that may have looked like Nicodemus was acknowledging Jesus’ authority to answer.  

Nicodemus, however, ends up facing the heart-searching questions that Jesus poses to him. Jesus speaks to him of how souls are birthed into spiritual life, and Nicodemus does not seem to understand the process at all. He thinks that Jesus is talking in human terms about the human birthing process. 

Envision, if you will, Jesus looking at him. Jesus says, “Are you a teacher in Israel and you don’t know these [basic things about spiritual birth]?”  James says in his epistle, “My brothers, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1). Jesus is rebuking Nicodemus and letting him know that he is strongly lacking in his spiritual knowledge. How can he then be a good teacher?

There are many things that we think we know about salvation and the kingdom of God, but we must come to Jesus and allow Him to ask us questions, hard questions, to see if we truly understand the way of salvation. Many of our beliefs may be amalgamations, half truths, mental truths, or downright errors.  We shouldn’t be surprised when Jesus comes, either gently or not so gently, and questions us thoroughly. 

 It’s important that what we believe and teach be as true and pure as possible.  Better to be corrected now while we have time to make a correction then to face God later and find out that we were not teaching the truth! When James says that teachers teaching falsehoods will receive a greater condemnation, we need to take that seriously. Condemnation is a pretty strong word—not one that you want applied to you. Even if you aren’t a teacher, it is important to live out of correct beliefs because all beliefs bear fruit, good or bad, in our thoughts and actions.

Furthermore, we can be doctrinally correct, but our hearts can be far from God in the application of the truth. We “see in part” Paul says. No church or denomination has the entire truth or is completely free from error. And no one individual understands everything about God and His Word correctly. 

Let God ask you some questions so that He might refine or downright correct what you believe.  Let there be no false teaching falling from our lips.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek 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

Women of the Word is a non-profit ministry conducting Christian women’s conferencetrips to Israel and online Christian Bible studies.  “WOW” also offers bible reading plans and instruction for how to understand the Bible for beginners and those maturing in their faith. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life.

The Depths of God’s Love

June 19, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

May [you] be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and  length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. (Ephesians 3:18-19a)

Whatever is happening in the world, we are no longer in shallow waters. Now we will learn about what it feels like to be in the swirling waters of the world as it writhes in its agonies, and also to learn what it is to know the “deep, deep love of Jesus! Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free, rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.” (1)

The love God has poured out to ransom us cannot be measured. It stands forever. We who are “in Christ” are found to be in an ocean of His love. God’s love toward us is constant, not able to be overturned or swept away. His love sustains us, no matter what befalls or assails us in the world. We are going to have to know this deep in our bones. A characteristic of the end of the age is that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Human love may lose its heat, it may be quenched, but divine love cannot be.

If we remain abiding in the love of God, we will have more than enough love, and it will inflame our hearts and burn brightly so that others can be warmed by it. The many waters of adversity, betrayal, loss, or pain need not result in our love being quenched if the source of our love is God. Human love will fail, but  the agape love of God is resilient and cannot be exhausted.

You may ask, “How do I gain this kind of love?” It is, dear friend, a gift. God’s love surrounds us like a shield (Ps. 5:12), but it also indwells, by His Spirit, all who belong to Him. 

God Himself is love. It is important that we become comfortable relaxing in the ocean of His love as the world darkens. Just as the waters of adversity may sweep over us, so can the depths of God’s love. This is not a nice theory or a pleasant fairy tale but the reality we can actually live from and put our weight into. Just as water buoys us up, so the love of God will uphold us in life’s darkest hours. 

Give yourself to the love of God, fall back into it in a trust fall, so that you may actually feel what it means to be held by it. The sweeping torrents of life can take us out of our own control, but they can never sweep us away from the torrential floodwaters of God’s love. 

Maranatha.

(1) S. Trevor Francis, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!”, 1875

Rose-Marie Slosek 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

Women of the Word is a non-profit ministry conducting Christian women’s conferencetrips to Israel and online Christian Bible studies.  “WOW” also offers bible reading plans and instruction for how to understand the Bible for beginners and those maturing in their faith. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life.

God Appointments

June 11, 2024

Since early May I have been pondering God’s calendar especially as we approach the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew), otherwise known as Pentecost which occurs on the Biblical Calendar beginning at sundown on June 11 of this year (2024). I believe that the Lord is beginning to shift and revive HIS work in this season of Shavuot/Pentecost.

Calendars are an integral part of our lives. They help us know what the date is and what day of the week it is. In American culture we mark each day of the week anticipating the weekend or time off from work. We count the weeks and days until we can take a vacation, or when a baby will be born, or we get married, or a holiday or whatever day we are anticipating.

Many of us also have special appointments and we put them in our calendar. The calendar helps us establish a rhythm in our life and helps us prepare and be on time for special times like weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays and other celebrations important to us. If a certain day or time is important to us we put it in our calendar. With the advent of calendars on our phones we can also set alerts to be sure we don’t miss the appointment. Our calendars are mostly set around us and perhaps events important to work, family members or friends. If we are part of the Christian world our calendar may also include church events, holidays and special meeting times such as concerts and other gatherings.

How often do we consider that God has a calendar? He has set special appointed times when He calls His people to gather, worship, not do regular work, bring offerings and remember that He has brought out of the bondage of sin into freedom. There is a biblical cycle of appointed times. Jesus kept them as did the disciples and early Church.

However, in early Church history the Church fell away from keeping these appointments and began to set up a different calendar. For example, the push to create a separate non-Biblical celebration of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection began as early as the second century. In 325 CE it became official at the First Council of Nicaea to establish the date of “Easter” as the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox. Emperor Constantine wrote … it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. …Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Savior a different way.” (Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book 3 chapter 18)

Have we received a different way from our Savior? I think not. We have received a different way from men who set themselves up above what God says in His Word. Jesus suffered, died, was buried and rose again during the week long celebration of the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits. God set the date in His Word. It begins at twilight on the first month of the biblical year on the 14th day – it is the LORD’s Passover (see Leviticus 23:4-8). God said that this time of Passover is a memorial and to be kept as a feast by an everlasting ordinance (see Exodus 12:14). Jesus is our Passover Lamb (see 1 Corinthians 5:7).

The next feast on the Biblical calendar is Shavuot (Hebrew for the Feast of Weeks) which we identify as Pentecost because it occurs 50 (penta) days after “Easter” or after the time of Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits? Well on the Christian calendar it’s obviously celebrated 50 days after Easter but on the Biblical calendar the appointed time is 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits (part of the week now collectively known as Passover). Some Scriptures about Shavuot are Leviticus 23:15-16, Numbers 28:26-27, Deuteronomy 16:9-12.

My purpose here is not to bring condemnation upon us if we celebrate the dates set on the Christian calendar, but to bring awareness that there is a DIFFERENT Calendar – God’s Calendar – God’s appointed times. Perhaps we should consider these appointments that God has set and begin to incorporate them into the rhythm of our lives? Obviously we are not an agrarian society as Israel was in ancient times, nor do we continue on with animal sacrifice as Jesus is THE perfect sacrifice that was slain. God is also always present with us and we can worship Him at anytime and anyplace. But, just as we have daily relationships with our spouses, family and friends we also have special “appointed” times of special celebrations wit them. So it is with God! He invites us into these times. It’s not a “have to do it”, but rather a “get to do it”. Yes, it will take some effort to re-adjust our calendars but it’s worth it!

I am expectant of this season of Shavuot/Pentecost. I believe God is shifting us and as it says in Habakkuk 3:2, reviving His work as in days of old. We surely need it! We need a fresh Baptism of the Holy Spirit that empowers us be strong witnesses of the saving, healing, transforming and delivering power of the Lord Jesus Christ! I believe that as we lay our hands on people in humility and faith praying for their healing and deliverance we will begin to see His glorious deeds manifest in this season. People are sick – in mind, body, emotions and spirit. It’s time for the people of God to bring them the ONE who heals – Christ Jesus! Let’s also expect many to come into the Kingdom just as on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when 3,000 souls came into the Kingdom and were baptized after Peter’s sermon empowered by the Holy Spirit!

I leave you with these scriptures which have been coming again and again since early May. Make them a prayer with me!

“O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. God came (and is coming) from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered (and is covering) the heavens, and the earth was full (and is full) of His praise. His brightness was (and is) like the light; and He had (and has) rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was (and is) hidden.” Habakkuk 3:2-4

May this Shavuot/Pentecost be the beginning of a shift for you and those you love. Come Lord Jesus Come – Maranatha!!

For more on the Feast of Pentecost/Shavuot read this blog>>

The image used above is by permission of Deana Harvey, the artist. Deana can be reached on Facebook at Tree of Life Art Gallery>>

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, a non-profit ministry conducting Christian women’s conference, trips to Israel and online Christian Bible studies. 

Women of the Word also offers bible reading plans and instruction for how to understand the Bible for beginners and those maturing in their faith. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life.

What’s in Your Wallet? 

June 4, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:22)

Jesus understands that what we clutch, what we trust in, binds us. We are meant to be completely free of bondage to anything or anyone. Our trust is in God alone. We—and everything we have— belong to God.

Many of us grew up thinking that our goodness and our “good works” helped us, or even gained us approval with God. We tend to gravitate toward that which we are naturally talented in, and that is not all bad. God has put gifts and talents in us that we are meant to use, but they do not gain us approval with God, nor should they be something we trust in. 

The rich young ruler is trying so hard, but he has his aces still hidden in his pocket. He knows, or thinks he knows, that religion is about following the rules, and giving God His due. He doesn’t realize that Jesus approaches him in love to get him to let go of it all! 

Here is a game that this earnest young man is not signing up to play. It is a game of winner take all. It is a call to total relinquishment. It appears that the young man is not exactly asking Jesus an honest question, as he most likely thinks he is getting the salvation game right and is possibly fishing for a compliment. 

Jesus is not rebuking him; He is backing him into a corner. He needs to get at what the young man is holding back, not what he is eager to give. So it is with us. The young man has money, and Jesus asks him to not just give a tithe, or a double tithe, but to give all of his possessions away and come and follow Jesus. 

Dear friend, allow God to rifle through your things and ask you for anything and everything. You can bet that He will find just the thing that you are a bit too dearly attached to—the thing that you have hidden in the back of the closet, the thing you are unwilling to share, whether that be a physical object, money, time, or a connection with your own life that, if not surrendered, will cause you some trouble and pain. Dear God, please just don’t ask for the chocolate!

God is not looking to take things from you. He needs nothing, but He does have the right to put his finger on that which must be surrendered in order for you to be free. So let Him ask you, “What’s in your wallet?” Then give it all to Him.

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

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