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DUALITY: Serving Donors & Beneficiaries Alike
I have heard severally that worship is the act of sacrificially giving to Jesus something that is precious to us. What would that be for you? Your money? Your home? Your time? Your job? For the woman in the true story from scripture, it was a container of perfume. Let’s look at her story...
This story takes place just before Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. Mark identifies scene as the house of Simon the Leper in Bethany. We know almost nothing about this man, other than the fact that he had suffered from leprosy, and Jesus had healed him.
Mark doesn’t mention the woman’s name, but John identifies her as Mary of Bethany, Martha’s and Lazarus’s sister - whom Jesus had raised from the dead (John 11).
Jesus is the guest of honor at this gathering and dinner. While he eats, Mary enters the room with an alabaster box of perfume. It’s identifies as spikenard perfume, which was a very expensive fragrance and may have been imported from India. It’s also valued at three hundred pence, which was the equivalent of a year’s salary for a worker. It was probably her greatest possession.
In her honor-shame culture and community, it was customary to wash the feet and anoint the head of a guest in your house, but Mary goes above and beyond - that's extravagant love gift of worship.
John says that she anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. She then breaks the container, and pours all the contents on Jesus’ head.
Immediately, the people around with the disciples begin to criticize her. One gospel records Judas as the most vocal.
They claim that Mary was wasting the precious perfume, and that she should have sold it and given the money to the poor instead. Could you imagine how Mary must have felt? After pouring out everything she had as an act of worship, she gets criticized and ridiculed by followers of Jesus. I am sure her heart must have been broken just like the alabaster box broken to release the fragrance.
So, Jesus puts a stop to their criticism. He tells everyone present to leave her alone, because she has done a good work for Him, saying they can help the poor anytime they want, but that they will not have very many more opportunities to show their love for Him in person. He had told them a number times before about his coming death, burial and resurrection – and indicates here that Mary’s action would serve as the anointing for his body when they mishandle him as a criminal and kill, break and bury him with disrespect in a tomb. Mary's therefore establishes a different kind of honor to the Lord and Master of our souls - through extravagant worship or sacrificial giving - expecting no rewards. And Jesus acknowledged this just as much as the Widow's mite for the woman that gave her all.
True story from the Word of God.
To All Our Generous Donors:
In conclusion, we need donors - who are extravagant givers, like Marry – who sacrificially gave as worship unto the Lord Jesus, expecting no rewards from the beneficiaries who are served.
"Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." - (Mark 14:3-9)
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" - Matt. 25:40
The poor and needy will always be there – BUT their expectations shall not always be forgotten – Psalm 9:18,
May God touch your heart as a donor or volunteer to change and continue to touch lives through your sacrificial giving that makes lasting impact on thousands of lives through the Relief Network Ministries platform. To donate now, click here.
Summer 2017 Mission Newsletter is here.
Walk 4 Water Relief in March - April
Helping communities create sustainable water, sanitation, hygiene, and Christian witness programs in partnership with local churches is just the best way we've found to do that. Why? Because the water crisis affects poverty, women, health and education—and for us it's a spiritual issue.
Some 680 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water—that's 1 in 9 of us globally, and 5 in 9 in Africa. In the places we work in West Africa, it's more like 1 in 2. Great progress is being made globally, but whole people groups are being overlooked—it's the poorest people with the least political power that continue to suffer, and these are the people we are called to serve.
Next Niger Mission Trip
Come join us - volunteer, or support the venture as we send a team from Houston and Nigeria to help establish a new local drill team for Niger. Work has started with some 3 wells done in Niger - Naimey area, and 6 in the Niger Galmi area.
Contact us to enquirer about how you can get involved.
Digital Water Meters - Is now in Africa's future
In The News:
December 12, 2015
RNM Annual Reports
Our Annual Reports provide a quick overview of our accomplishments against our mission and goals. Read it now
February 28, 2016
Due to limited power generation and unstable distribution of grid power, it has become imperative for us to introduce the use of Solar Water Pumps - for both deep and shallow wells.
In Nigeria, we are now gearing up to install a number of model well sites in rural and semi-urban areas that use solar pumps to move water from the deep to shallow wells to overhead tanks, from where the fetching points will draw water.
In Niger, we have also kicked off the use of solar pumps with the first training of locals and the installation of 6 solar pumps in the 6 shallow wells done at - a Church, School, Mosque, Market Square, Maternity Hospital, and the Village Chief's Compound in Galmi area of Central South Niger.