Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 08-30-23

Intro: It is easy to praise the Lord when everything around us is going smoothly and we feel secure. In those times, we have an awareness of the presence of God with us based on our feelings and our positive circumstances. However, it is not near so easy to praise the Lord when we face the storms of uncertainty, pressure, or feel distanced from the Lord due to negative or overwhelming circumstances.

Right now, the residents of much of Florida are scrambling to know what to do to protect themselves and their homes, as well as make the decisions on where to go with the mandatory evacuations imposed. We might be tempted to feel anxious, agitated, or fearful, because that is a natural and human response to our situation. And yet, the same God who was with us in the beautiful day we experienced yesterday, is the same God who is with us in the approaching storm, today.

In our passage from Matthew, we need to take a lesson from a woman of praise; Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus—is a woman devoted in faith to her Lord. Mary pours out spikenard and anoints her King. She does not understand everything Jesus is saying or even why she is inspired to such a place of sacrificial worship, but she is “all in” with her praise. Her actions of praise are so loud it unsettles the other disciples who are present. Therefore, Jesus pours out praise and blessing for his daughter, because he desires for others [into the future] to know the value of her praise and choice to exalt him.

Your praise is important, too. So, wherever you find yourself today, please take time to praise the Lord for his presence with you and look around you to see how your loud acts of praise can be instrumental in touching the lives of others who have yet to meet and praise the King for themselves. May God keep us safe in his Mighty Strength and Righteous Love, today.

Matthew 26:6-13 NLT Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy [considered an outcast]. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume [worth a year’s wages] and poured it over his head.

8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you for inspiring praise within us each day. May your praise be continually on our lips and may our loud acts of praise to exalt you be noticed by the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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