Mary the Worshiper

John 11:1-4 WEB

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. [2] It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick. [3] The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.” [4] But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.”


Mary is honored by the Lord for her extravagant act of worship. She had poured out a jar of perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped it with her hair (Luke 7:37-38). This wasn’t an easy act of worship. The jar of perfume was worth a year’s wages. It probably represented all or most of Mary’s savings. But she did not save it. When presented with an opportunity to worship from the overflow of her heart she cracked that jar and poured out all she had.

It was right for her to pour out all she had. It is likely that Mary was a prostitute before her salvation. So, what she gave up, her entire means of support, and the fruit thereof, was a holy offering (Luke 7:50). And it was also a seed. Jesus commemorated her for all time in his Word and it seems the Father wanted to honor the family even more. From this family of extraordinary worshipers comes the most extraordinary miracle of Jesus’ ministry.

In a few more verses we are going to learn Lazarus both died and was restored back to life. He was dead and in his tomb four days before the Lord arrived (John 11:39). This is because the Lord knew what was going to happen. The Father revealed it to him, and he revealed it to his disciples. Jesus knew by revelation that God and his son Jesus were going to be glorified. However, the Father chose to pour this glory out on Mary the worshiper, and her family.


Lord, let my worship be worthy of praise. Let gratitude and love for you rise in my spirit. Lord, I hope the overflow of my heart is a genuine act of devotion that pleases you. You are worthy of praise Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

Spiritual Truth

John 4:24 WEB

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”


God is a spirit, so, why is it hard to believe that he works despite the truth of reality? He is a spirit and the works he does are spiritual. How he works is spiritual. Why he works is spiritual. His goals are all spiritual and point to a life after death. A life with God where he is, in the presence of Jesus and with the whole company of believers.

Have you noticed how hard it is to testify to God’s purely spiritual works? People tend to dismiss these testimonies as fanciful or wishful. There is no boasting in God’s spiritual works. His works refrain us from boasting. The truth is, to testify of His spiritual works can be costly. In fact, according to the truth of the Bible, his works are foolishness to the lost (1 Corinthians 1:18).

The good news regarding this is we have a truth that is founded upon reality. If the spiritual is foolish to the lost, then we need a reality-based tool to use. God is spiritual and he used the spiritual tool of anointing to inspire the writing of the Bible. No word of the Bible is apart from anointing. The Bible is inspired from the first verse of Genesis to the last word of Revelation.

The Bible is truth. We are to worship God in both spirit and truth. We must accept, recognize, and share that which is spiritual. We must also accept, recognize, and share that which is truth. When God changes our circumstances so that we have favorable outcomes, we must share, especially with other believers. When God leads us to share with a lost person we must testify from the Bible. Believers can receive the spiritual and the lost can receive the truth.

To fulfill our purpose in the Lord we must worship in spirit and truth. When we testify of the spiritual, we build up the body of believers. When we share from the Bible, we build up believers and harvest the lost. As people of the Church Age, we are bound by the great commission. Regardless of how or when the Great Commission was inspired and written, we are bound to work in the harvesting of the lost. It is our most significant purpose.

As our primary purpose, it should be our primary pursuit. Instead, many have fallen into the trap of pursuing wealth and prosperity. This is tricky because wealth and prosperity are a part of the blessing of the covenant of salvation. Yet, it is also testing for the spiritual. What you focus on in your witness or ministry is spiritual. The outflow of your spiritual condition becomes the reality of your goals and pursuits.


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for selfish pursuits. You died for me, and I am honored to pursue your direction and commission. Please cause me to become a soul-winner. I want to be a part of your harvest as the Bible commands. Please heal my spiritual health. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

In Spirit and Truth

John 4:19-23 WEB

The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. [20] Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” [21] Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. [22] You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. [23] But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers.


Jesus had just told the woman secrets that He could only know through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (John 4:17-18). She had the spiritual acumen to understand that something supernatural was taking place. Jesus goes on to confirm this when he says, “true worshipers will worship…in spirit and truth.”

Confirmation is great when it happens. However, everything that comes from the Father is not confirmed immediately. When we walk in the Spirit and in the knowledge of Biblical Truth, we are going to encounter the supernatural. God is real. Thus, when we are in a relationship with Him, he will reach across the boundaries of reality and change things for our benefit and the benefit of others.  

When these supernatural circumstances happen, they may slip by if we do not have the spiritual acumen to notice. Often the supernatural can seem like a coincidence or a possible, but natural, outcome. Thus, doubt arises. However, we must believe that God is real and that he is truly participating in our relationship with Him. This foundation of belief will make it possible to receive directly from the Father.

The word says in James 1:6-8 that a doubter will receive nothing from God. This is not a judgment; it is a statement of fact. To receive you must believe God is working. If you do not fully believe, you will not accept what God is doing. Therefore, you will miss what God is doing. You will receive nothing. To receive from God, you cannot doubt. Moreover, you must worship him in Spirit and Truth.

When you accept the spiritual nature of your relationship with God your acumen to perceive the supernatural will rise. You will be able to participate in what God is doing in your life and in the world around you. The relationship you have with God will become real and vibrant. And in that place, just like Jesus, you will both receive and have an abundance to share with the lost.


Lord Jesus, help me to perceive your works in my life and in the world around me. I do not want to miss a single word you whisper. I do not want to miss a single thing you do. Please help me worship in Spirit and Truth so that you and I will have a vibrant relationship. Help me perceive the supernatural so that I will be filled and have an abundance to share with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Cost of Worship

John 2:13-15 WEB

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. [15] He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables.

What is the cost of worship in the House of God? Is it the tithes and offerings? No, those are ordinances. Is it subjection to human authority? Is it having merchandise regularly presented by guest speakers? For Jesus, the cost of worship included going to Jerusalem at the appointed times. The text scripture above says Jesus went to Jerusalem because it was an appointed time. He honored the ordinances of Judaism. However, he did not honor the human authority over the temple. And He clearly did not like merchandising in the temple. So, I ask again, what is the cost of worshipping in the House of God? If that cost includes dishonoring God, then the price is too high. If that cost includes constant bombardment of merchandise, again I would say, the price is too high. It makes sense to offer God’s people material to advance their faith. But it does not make sense to sell merchandise in the House of the Lord. This behavior comes with a scourging by the Lord. The Lord is zealous for the temple according to scripture. It seems many churches would do well to keep that fixed in their minds.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for participating in merchandising in your house. Heal my compromise and set my feet more completely on the narrow path of obedience to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Come, Follow Me

John 1:43 WEB

On the next day, he was determined to go out into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”


What does it mean to follow Jesus? When Jesus was in his role as a rabbi, it meant walking around Israel with Jesus and ministering to people. But, it also meant imitating Jesus and thinking as he does. We follow Jesus in our daily lives by adopting His philosophies and thinking. Then, we listen to the Holy Spirit and read the Bible.

The word says in Isaiah that we should go to the mountain of God. This is where we will learn His ways and walk His paths. (Is 2:3) The mountain is the place where God speaks to His people. If we are going to follow Jesus we must go to the mountain through prayer and worship. In this way, we can learn to hear and distinguish His voice. (Is 30:21)

We are also called to imitate Jesus and adopt His thinking. This is why we read the Bible. In the Old Testament are stories that reveal how God the Father responds to a variety of circumstances. In the Gospels are the thoughts, philosophies, and behaviors of Jesus. And finally, the remainder of the New Testament teaches us the benefits and responsibilities of being a Christian.

We are still called to follow Jesus. The tools we use are Spirit and Truth. The Holy Spirit speaks to us personally to direct our plans. And the Bible gives us the Truth we need to stand for God. With these tools, the Voice of God and the Word of God we can successfully follow Jesus.


Lord Jesus, please teach me to hear your voice and inspire me to read your word. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Giving Birth

John 1:12-13 WEB

But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: [13] who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


Are you trying to give birth to something in your life right now? What goals and dreams are you pursuing? We all have goals. The question is are we striving in our own strength or are we resting in God? (Hebrews 4:11) It’s not hard to see striving. In our own strength, we may try to work too much and our relationships are probably going to suffer as well. On the other hand, we can rest and trust in God.

Resting in God is a spiritual path. Resting enables God to do the work of bringing our dreams alive. When we rest, we do not have to work ourselves into exhaustion or strain our relationships. We may pick up a few hours at our job as God directs, but we don’t have to work 60 or 70 hours a week. Also, we need the support of our family and social groups. But, asking for help occasionally is different from leaning on another person in place of God. (Isaiah 48:2-3)

Depending on the strength of our body or depending on the strength of our relationships should not replace depending on the strength of God. How do you do that? How do you depend on the strength of God? For me, I depend on the strength of God by praying (Eph 3:16), reading the Bible (Rev 3:8), obeying God (Psa 103:20), declaring the truth (2 Cor 6:7), fasting (Acts 13:2), and worshipping (Rom 12:1). These are my personal tools that I use to depend on God. I’m sure there are others but these are the tools I reach for the most.

I use these tools to run to God (Phi 3:13-14). In moments of doubt (Jam 1:6-8), in moments of confusion (1 Cor 14:33), and especially in moments when I feel like I need another person (John 12:43), I run to God. I do believe we all need each other, but we have to have ourselves aligned properly with God if we want God to be the one that births our dreams (Ja 4:16).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for leaning on my own strength. Please cover me with your grace and teach me to lean wholly on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.