We’re pleased to share an excerpt from an upcoming book for couples entitled New Beginnings: Devotions to Develop the Greatest Romance. This year-long devotional is designed to help husbands and wives strengthen their marriages as they delve into God’s Word each day. Every month will have a specific theme related to key issues couples regularly face – for example, the topic in March is A Servant’s Heart. We hope you enjoy this word of encouragement:
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 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.
During His ministry, Jesus spent a great deal of time reaching out to the masses. It was a rare moment when He rested, and this home was one of the few places we find Him relaxing and enjoying others’ hospitality. The two sisters and their recently risen-from-the-grave brother had the gift of service, and their caring nature was much appreciated by their Lord and Savior.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful acts of service is recorded here as Mary took expensive perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet. Even more unbelievable, she used her own hair instead of a towel as she completed this humble task. When Judas complained about her wastefulness, Jesus rebuked him: “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you,but you will not always have me” (verses 7-8).
As a couple, spend some time talking about ways that you’re already serving the Lord. Ask God for guidance about how you can serve Him more and more in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Examine your attitudes about giving. Are you doing so from a place of gratitude? Most of all, are you willing to go above and beyond for Christ – even if it means dealing with potential criticism?
Lord, the only way we can faithfully serve is with Your assistance. Our efforts are futile unless You’re involved in the process, so please guide as we look for new ways to reach out to others on Your behalf.
Thought of the Month
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.