A Life Poured Out
by Adam Howard
Content Coordinator, CBN Europe
A life poured out; a beautiful picture of worship. A broken vessel in every sense, pouring out over the Saviour, Jesus. We sing about the reckless love* of God for us, yet so often we are so cautious in our response to Him. We pray, “God give me all of you”, yet hold ourselves back from Him.
“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them…
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
This incredible story in Luke 7:37-38, 44-47 (NIV) encourages me so much. It challenges us to look at our response to His reckless love for us. It causes us to look at the salvation we freely enjoy with a renewed sense of gratitude. For I have messed up and been forgiven much.
So, what is our response? What are the things that stir us to respond with such outrageous gratitude?
It starts here, in our hearts.
She was captured. She was captivated. She was counter-cultural.
What captures your heart?
Her heart had been arrested by the goodness of God. When we realise the vastness of His mercy, we become more aware of His grace, His unmerited favour, for us. Revelation 2:4-5 “you have forsaken your first love. Remember the heights from which you have fallen, turn back and do what you did at first.”
Allow Him to re-capture your heart.
What captivates your gaze?
Her eyes were set on Jesus. The room would have been full, but her gaze was set on the one who had could free her. Captivate means to attract; hold the attention and interest of; to enthral; enchant; engage. Do our eyes flit from issue to issue or are we ‘eyes up’ to where our help comes from.
Allow Him to captivate your gaze.
What informs your response?
Her offering was an over-the-top, unreserved, effusive act of worship. Effusive means a showing or expression of gratitude in an unrestrained manner; a pouring forth with holding back; lavish; exuberant. Culture convinces us to hold some back, just in case; be reserved; don’t show your hand; don’t let people in; be self-sufficed. This story shows us a different way; a different culture; a counter-culture; a culture of wild gratitude; a culture of unreserved thanks.
When the lenses of this world inform our response to Him; flavoured and coloured by the ever-changing landscape, we’ll always respond with a contingency. However, when our worship, our giving, our perspectives are filtered by the truth of who He is, His goodness, His grace, His sacrifice for us…the fact that we have been forgiven much…our response will match up. He went all in for us, so I’ll go all in for Him.
Allow Him to inform your culture.
I believe that as we whole-heartedly pursue Him in our worship, we will uncover fresh, new aspects of His love for us. He has selflessly poured out everything He had for us and that should inform our response; not out of obligation, but out of a place of overflow. As He has so passionately pursued us, we respond with outrageous and costly worship.