THE SWEET SMELL OF SERVICE
Mark 14:3-9

Introduction:    (Ills. of man running for elected office - 365 signed petitions, 147 who said they voted, and 26 who actually did). It is indeed sad, but we have that kind of commitment in the Church today. In the modern day Church we have a lot of folks interested, but few are involved! A lot that are curious, but few that are committed! There are a lot signed- up, but few that are sold-out!  So important is this issue of service and servant-hood, that the word servant or service is recorded over 800 times in the Bible. If we are saved, we are to be servants (Rom.1:1)! “Servant” = Bond-Slave. In this brand new year, we should want our lives to be a sweet smelling service to God. What is a true servant of God? Three words that classify a servant of God:

I.          A SERVANT OF GOD IS A GIVER
A real giver understands 2 things:

            A.        Complete SELFLESSNESS (vv.3; 6; 9)

Her name is not important. (Woman (1), she (6), her (3)

(Mark 10:45 ) "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

This lady was going to anoint the Lord Jesus now matter who got the credit. She wasn’t famous, a great speaker, or talented in many ways, but when Jesus saw her service He took a big whiff and said, “That’s some sweet smelling service!”

            B.        Complete SURRENDER (v.8)

God makes one demand on the life of the believer -- That you do what you can do! The greatest danger in the Church is not that you won’t do what someone else will do, but that you won’t do what you can do!

Two words that are killing the Church -- “I can’t” (Ills. Object lessons in SS class. Candle -light of the world, Bread- Bread of Life, Banta Egg- “she hath done what we could”)

I want to challenge you to do what you can. To say, “I can’t”, is an insult to the God who indwells you.

II.         A SERVANT OF GOD IS A LOVER
A lover loves:

            A.        More Than The COST (v.3; 5)

(1 John 4:19)  "We love him, because he first loved us." -- (Ills. Watchman Nee, “Thank you Jesus, that I can sacrifice my hands to you”). The greatest need in the church today is a revival of our love for Jesus!

Jn.12:3 -- “costly” -- Nard = liquid perfume, Spikenard = PURE, liquid perfume. How costly was it? (V.5), “pence” = denarii (one days wages). 300 pence = a years wages! In spite of the cost she gave it up.

What was the key to this woman’s love for the Lord?  -- Lk.10:38-40, expound. Martha was being distracted by the work. Martha wasn’t handling the work, the work was handling Martha. She was fretful and agitated. If we just work, work, work for the Lord and never sit and worship at His feet, we will become discouraged and distraught and Christianity will become endurance instead of an enjoyment.

We must never become so consumed by the work of the Lord that we forget the Lord of the work! If you’ve become fretful and agitated in your church work there is something wrong with your personal relationship with Jesus.

Grumbling Baptist, (v.40) -- Martha wasn’t concerned that Mary hadn’t done enough to please Jesus; she hadn’t done enough to please her! (V.39) “which also sat at Jesus’ feet” -- “also” suggest she had already done her work and she was know worshipping at the feet of Jesus! -- Worship without work is exhausting, work without worship is exasperating, but worship with work is exciting!

            B.        More Than The CRITICISM (V.4-5)

“murmured” = to snort

You make up your mind that you are going to serve Jesus and you will be criticized. In your own home, by your own family, and sadly, in your own church. When you sell out to Jesus, there are no REVILES and no RETREATS. (Ills. Sam Houston’s defeat of Santa Anna’s army at the San Jacinto River , “burn the bridge, there is no retreat”!)

General Jesus has sounded the march and because we love Him more that the cost and more than the criticism, we say, “yes sir”, the bridge is burned, we will not go back, but will keep on marching!

III.       A SERVANT OF GOD IS A INVESTOR (V.8)

A servant doesn’t only do what they can do, but they do what they can do while they can do it!

Two questions:  (1) Are the things you are living for right now worth Jesus dying for?  (2) When the mountains crumble and the stars fad from the sky what investment will you have made in eternity?

None of us are promised tomorrow. In light of eternity, what are we doing for the cause of Christ? You mean this thing is an investment? Look at verse 9, bless God, 2000 years later in Palatka, Fl. they are still talking about it! Cause she hath done what she could!
 

Conclusion:     “She hath done what she could...” Doing what you can do is all that the Lord asks of you. We have before us a new year, what are we investing