Text: Mark 14:3-9

“Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:9

Have you ever looked at the way another person invested their life and thought, “That doesn’t make any sense to me”? Perhaps it is a hobby they enjoy, a certain lifestyle they hold to, a business enterprise they pursue, or a ministry they undertake. We may not see the same value that they see. Sometimes we even criticize what we don’t understand.

When Mary of Bethany broke the alabaster flask of very costly oil and poured it over Jesus’ head, it was met with a question of disdain. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.”

As Mary gave her devotion to the Lord, others didn’t value her way of worship. They thought of it as a wasted expenditure and judged the situation in their naivety. Judas may have started the criticism, but he wasn’t alone for long. Mark made it clear that they criticized her sharply. Each one looked at the oil on Jesus’ head and considered it wasted. Perhaps Mary started to wonder if she did something wrong.

The value of our devotion to God can never be measured by the world’s metrics, or by people who don’t understand our heart. God doesn’t call us to a devotion, a service, or expression of worship that others need to understand. He calls us to a life that pleases Him. Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said, “Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Our Lord is filled with overflowing joy whenever He sees any of us doing what Mary did— not being bound by a particular set of rules, but being totally surrendered to Him. God poured out the life of His Son “that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). Are we prepared to pour out our lives for Him?

Now is the time for us to break “the flask” of our lives, to stop seeking our own satisfaction, or the approval of others, and to pour out our lives completely before God. You should never apologize for having a spiritual abandon that others don’t understand. Think about that as you seek to abide in Him this week.


Heavenly Father, help us to live, worship, and serve with spiritual abandon and absolute surrender no matter what it may cost us. Even when it doesn’t make sense to others, may we give ourselves to wholehearted devotion to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen..

Subscribe to “Abiding In Him” and get the latest devotional in your Inbox once a week.

Related Posts

Make Ready for the King: Advent Devotional This season of Advent, may the anticipation of new life, new beginnings, and new possibilities give us hope unimaginable.
How You, THOR, and Bruce Banner Are Alike Like Thor and Bruce Banner, sometimes it feels like we've crash-landed into a world that is intentionally designed to keep us stressed out all the time.
When I Don’t Feel Very ‘Christian’ Justification by Faith Alone: When you need assurance of your identity in Christ and your position in His family, remember that God cannot lie.
The Art of Abandonment What we can learn from the art of abandonment: It's about bringing out a hidden beauty where others only see ruin, decay, or worthlessness.

Jimmy is a speaker, author, and founder of Breakaway Outreach; a missions network aimed at empowering the lives of youth, children, and under-served communities with gospel transformation and social resilience.