Willing Servants

John 12:1-3 WEB

Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. [2] So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him. [3] Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.


Mary had been angry with Jesus because he tarried at Lazarus’ death (John 11). Her anger did not stop Jesus’ obedience to the Father. Nor did it make Jesus love her less. Mary did not recognize the work of God happening around her. But she would soon see the greatest of Jesus’ miracles, the raising of Lazarus. Now, after a bit of time passed, we find this same Mary anointing the feet of Jesus. She probably washed Jesus’ feet, dried them, anointed them (gave Jesus a foot massage), and finally wiped the excess ointment off with her hair.

Mary was capable of great emotional responses. Though she is quiet, she is mighty. Her sacrifice ministered to Jesus, but it also impacted everyone in the house. Jesus’ feet and Mary’s hair were filled with the ointment which perfumed the environment. Also, Martha cooked a large meal and the good smells from the dinner were filling the air. The house smelled wonderful.

The house was full. We learn in John 12:4 that the apostles are also at the dinner. The people in the house were impacted by the faith of Mary and Martha. Everyone could enjoy the fragrances in the house. Mary and Martha’s faith had a positive impact on all those around them. They sacrificed and served, willingly. They shared what they had and ministered to Jesus and the apostles. Because of the willingness of the sisters to sacrifice and serve, Jesus comes to their home.


Lord, please help me be a willing servant. Help me give sacrifices of worship and help me serve with a glad heart. I want you to draw near to me and for my heart to be a place you gladly dwell. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bringing Life

John 5:20-24 WEB

For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. [21] For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires. [22] For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, [23] that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him. [24] “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


It’s interesting to read the Father has given all judgment to Jesus. In another place, Jesus declares he did not come to judge. (John 12:47) Rather, he came to bring life. (John 10:10) In the text scriptures above it says the Father put life in Jesus so people will honor Jesus in the way they honor the Father. (John 5:22-23)  

The Father is leading the world to honor Jesus. In fact, while the Father is seeking the Son’s glory, the Son is seeking the Father’s glory. Part of how Jesus brings glory to the Father is by remaining in the truth. He testified what he saw and heard, even when it would bring derision. Jesus was faithful to the mission God gave him.

It is impossible to know exactly when Jesus realized it was the Father’s will for him to sacrifice his life. Yet, in his perfection, Jesus was willing to die. That may be why he could say delusional-sounding things. He could say he was granted life to pass out by the Father. He could say the Father honored him. Jesus could say all these challenging things because he was willing to exchange his life for the life of others.  


Lord Jesus, thank you for qualifying me for eternal life through your own death. I trust you and believe you. I honor you and I honor the Father. Lord, please help me imitate you and give of myself for the good of others. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Coming Out

John 4:50-54 WEB

Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. [51] As he was now going down, his servants met him and reported, saying “Your child lives!” [52] So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him.” [53] So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” He believed, as did his whole house. [54] This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.


Anyone who is interested in ministry in signs and wonders needs to take note of the last sentence in the above verse, “having come out of Judea into Galilee.” Jesus’ first miracle happened in Galilee when Jesus had come out of Judea (John 2:11). Likewise, his second miracle happens after Jesus comes out of Judea.

If the modern church wants to move in signs and wonders they are going to have to come out of the church and go to the hurting. More importantly, they need to come out of their attitudes of self-sufficiency and return to dependence on God. For some, coming back to dependence will require them to ask God to remove some things.

Take away a bit of security, take away a bit of comfort, and then the believer in the western world can be reintroduced to dependence on the Lord. This is something only a true seeker of the Lord will do. Give up the life and luxury of the world in exchange for life in the spirit.


Lord Jesus, please help me loosen my grip on worldly security and comfort. Help me in truth cry out, “less of me and more of you Lord.” In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Those who will Receive

John 4:39-42 WEB

From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” [40] So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. [41] Many more believed because of his word. [42] They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”


Jesus prophesied over the Samaritan Woman at the Well and she believed. The Samaritan woman took her belief and ran back to her town proclaiming the Lord. And many of the townspeople believed because of her words and many more believed when they heard Jesus speak. Jesus stayed for two days to preach to the city of Samaria, a city that no righteous Jew would even step their foot into.

Isn’t it amazing how the weak and disenfranchised so often respond joyfully to the message of Christ? It is hard to convince a person who has everything that they need Jesus. But go to someone who is outcast and neglected, you will find a receptive group that will receive the gospel message. So, why do we not focus on serving the poor? Probably because it cost money to run any ministry and the poor do not have much to tithe. It’s hard to reach the reachable because people in the middle class do not want to support the work.

Reaching the poor means that those in the middle and upper echelons financially, who are in Christ need to donate and keep donating. Unfortunately, what tends to happen, especially in the USA, is when it turns out the poor are going to continue being poor the wealthy turn away from them. It’s the mentality by the wealthy they are giving the poor a chance and when the poor do not use that opportunity correctly the wealthy turn to other projects.

Many that are poor are going to require years of ministry to overcome the challenges their life of poverty has burdened them with. Yes, a few reach out to Christ and get their situations turned around. But those few are not the majority. Most people in poverty have learned the thinking, habits, and behaviors of the impoverished. They lack money, education, and most significantly the acumen to socialize with the middle class. It is painful for those with mental poverty to interact with people that have a healthier perspective.

The only solution for that mental poverty is time with the Lord, time in church, time reading and learning the Bible, and time with healthier people. The challenge is people with a poverty mindset are hard for healthier people to socialize with. It is an all-out act of love to simply look past the awkward moments and choose to remain in close connection with someone locked in poverty.

However, it is worth remaining in connection with the poor. Ask any minister who is moving in signs and wonders, and they will tell you it is the poor who receive the most supernatural attention from the Lord. Remember, he came to seek the lost. It is the sick who need a physician.


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for struggling to connect with those in poverty. Help me have the grace to remain in connection with the poor. Please help my life bring healing and salvation to those who will receive healing and salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Suffering with Benefits

John 3:22-24 WEB

After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. [23] John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. [24] For John was not yet thrown into prison.   

John was not yet thrown into prison and Jesus was not yet crucified. So, they baptized. They served the Father’s will with humility and truth such that they both died horrific deaths. John was beheaded at the request of the daughter of an evil queen (Matthew 14:8-12 WEB). Jesus was crucified at the hands of the Roman government, at the request of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (John 19:15-18 WEB). Do you regularly see baptisms at your church? Do you ever see baptisms at your church? If people are regularly being saved and baptized, you probably have leadership that has experienced difficulties and has chosen not to draw back from obeying the Lord. On the other hand, if you have a group of leaders that is regularly bringing a message of wealth, health, and joy without the balancing message of suffering and pain in obedience, something is wrong. This group may have salvations, but the saved will probably fall away when the Father begins to discipline the new believer. Discipline will always come (Hebrews 12:7). The Father has an interest in growing people from the new birth in Christ to mature Christian walking and living the Christian life. The Father will convict of sin and will bring challenges to provoke change. He knows how to bend a twig. However, when a church only preaches the benefits of the kingdom and neglects to preach the obligations of the kingdom you will not see lasting fruit.  Attrition will be high. Being in obedience to the Father will bring great joy, with tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:6 WEB.)

Lord Jesus, I want to follow your example. Please help me to be bold and willing to suffer when necessary for the gospel. Let my life bring lasting fruit. Help me to be bold unto suffering while I rejoice in all the goodness that comes from walking with you. Please make me a holy vessel. In Jesus’ name, amen.