“Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume…Jesus replied, ‘He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to lie eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there my servant will be also..’” (John 12:2-3, 25-26)
In John 12 we read the account of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with perfume and wiping it off with her hair. Culturally, this was both an act of honor, and of disdain. But in humility, Mary did the act of the lowest of house servants by anointing Jesus’ feet. How she did that with “very costly perfume” was a token of her gratitude and humility.
To me, this is a good reminder that all of my choices and attitudes leave an ‘aroma’ for others. Regardless of circumstance, I have a choice of who I will be in the story of my life. It is through the choices I make with my attitude and my actions that I show my true character.
In this season of 21 days, I am praying that others would see more of Jesus in me, than they do “me.” A final question I want to ponder: What would be different in my life if people saw more of Jesus, and less of me?
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.