Anyone who has set out to do something for God has come up against resistance. Paul said to the Thessalonicans, “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again, BUT Satan hindered us” (I Thes. 2:18). Truly, when we PRESS ON we should expect to PRESS UP against the Devil.
The Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry chose twelve men. These were the men unto whom the passion, precepts and power of Christ were shared. To them was given the great opportunity to bridge the gap from Christ’s ministry among them to the Holy Spirit’s working in the lives of men and women.
Mark chapter three and verse fourteen says, “And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach.” To the original twelve, each of the other eleven were the real deal…true blues. However, in the mind of our Lord He knew from the beginning who should betray Him.
It must have come as a shock to the eleven when in the Upper Room Judas was revealed
for what He truly was. Even the words of Christ to Judas were a mystery to the remaining eleven (John 13:27-30). Talk about rocking the boat! Then, they learn that Peter, the mouth-piece of the group, would deny Christ three times before next dawn. Their worlds in that moment were turned upside-down. No wonder chapter fourteen begins with this comfort: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
Everyone in ministry or faithful in church work has been disappointed with the fall of leaders or faithful members. At times the fall of these leaders send shock-waves through the entire church. You can only imagine what went through the disciple’s minds during this time. In this vein, I asked myself how to remain true when others fail. How do I remain consistent when things around me are volatile? How should I order my ministry when there are discouragements aplenty around me?
This is the first of three thoughts God gave me on Judas-proofing my heart and church:
Pour it on Jesus anyway!
In John chapter twelve Jesus came to Bethany to the home of Mary and Martha. At the table was Lazarus, just raised from the dead in chapter eleven! Love, adoration, marvel and wonder should have been at an all-time high for the person of Jesus Christ! After such an exhibition of love and power, Mary came in with that alabaster box of ointment, called by John, “…very costly…” and could have been sold for “three hundred pence.” If a pence were a day’s wage, Mary’s offering was one of great sacrifice and love. The house was filled with the aroma of her love; some disciples must have been speechless as to her sacrificial spirit. Lazarus no doubt is thinking, “Jesus just raised me from the dead; I should be on my knees honoring Him with such a gift.”
However, as Mary sits there with the ointment dripping from her hair, Judas says, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5).
Have you ever been discouraged at the height of your spiritual surrender? Has anyone ever thrown cold water on your red-hot love for the Saviour? Have the people closest to you been the most destructive concerning your spiritual zeal? How do you handle that?
Pour it on Jesus anyway! Who cares what Judas says! Who cares what Judas thinks! The Bible says of him, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” Had he done this before? Had he padded the ministerial coffers before of that which was to be poured out on Jesus? Had he so frozen fiery passions before as to “steal” affection and offerings to the Saviour?
If you have a desire to love and honour your Saviour, pour it on Him anyway! Long after the skeptic’s smart aleck remarks were forgotten, Mary’s reward remained! Mark chapter fourteen says, “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (14:9). We shall have all eternity to rejoice in pouring it all on Jesus!
So, when the discouragement comes…when the criticism comes…when faithless comments arise…when doubt would seek to determine your destiny…take your alabaster box of love for Jesus, open it up, and pour it all on Him anyway! Judas cannot stop you from doing what God wants you to do. Have an ear only for the Saviour’s approval. Have only an eye that desires His gaze. Have only a heart concerned with what He demands.
Allow me to offer a quick side-note: if I were you and I have been a Judas to people trying to do something for God, I’d get on my knees and ask God to either forgive me or save me, so that Christ can be real to me personally. I would strongly examine myself to see if I be in the faith.
First of all, POUR IT ON JESUS ANYWAY!