July 17, 2013 – Daytona Beach Shores, FL
Each morning for the past few days I’ve been blessed to take a pre-dawn walk on the beach and watch the sunrise. I’m constantly in awe as I watch the waves, the sun, the birds. For me this is a “How Great Thou Art” moment as I pause to recognize the creator of all things each day.
Something else amazes me too each morning. I’m not alone. There are several other people, even in the early hours, walking up and down the beach, riding bicycles, running. The thing that amazes me is that no one seems to be stopping to breath in the view. This morning my wife remarked that people are listening to music in headphones instead of the symphony of the surf. It reminds me of the significant difference in perspective and worldview.
I’m not saying that these people are bad people, they are just missing out. The longer that they stay here the less the impact of the beauty of the environment in their lives. They begin taking what they have here for granted. While I am singing “Oh, Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.” They are thinking, “Oh Lord, I’m going to be late…I have so much to do…will my marriage survive…where will I get my next fix?” Their lives are so full and marked by chaos that they can’t pause to contemplate the sunrise off the coast. A part of me wants to stand in front of one of the runners and say, “stop for a moment, and look at that.” I want to say to the waitress hurrying to the pier restaurant, “Have you looked around at what God has given you today?” I want to…but they take little notice of us as we stroll along in wonder by the water.
Wherever you are today—right now—please just pause. Whatever day you might be reading this, whatever the weather might be outside, and whatever you have on your list to do today, pause. Look to the sky and see the wonder of all that God has made.
Next time I think I will talk about the order of all the cosmos and the design in what I see around me.
Pastor Dave’s DEVO for this Week:
While we are in Virginia we can’t participate directly with our LifeGroup in Vermont. However, I can pass along my DEVO for this week. This is something we discussed during our family quiet time last night and I continued to ponder today.
Mary therefore took a pound of VERY COSTLY perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH THE FRAGRANCE of the perfume.
John 12:3 (NASB77)
Setting the stage
Jesus has come back to Bethany, to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. This was a place where He often went, and He found a home in a life of homelessness. These were His friends, His family, and they had seen the power and love of Christ engaged in their lives. Lazarus, who had been four days in the grave, was seated at the table. It was a powerful and moving moment, and it was about to get even bigger, better, more profound.
Mary enters the room with a bottle of perfume. Not just any perfume, an extremely expensive perfume. In fact, some describe the cost of such a bottle as being the equivalent of nearly eleven months wages for a middle class worker. I have bought nice perfume before, but never at such an extravagant cost.
We aren’t told how Mary came by this bottle of perfume. We might speculate that she inherited it as a family heirloom. Perhaps it was given as payment for something. Regardless of the source, she knew the value. Her actions tell us, however, that the thing she prized most above all other things was the presence and person of the Lord Jesus.
A Challenging Question
Would I be willing to pay the price of this kind of love and devotion? What do I value most of all in my life? Is my family my greatest prize? Do I place my beloved bride above everything and everyone else? Most would commend me for such great love. Then I remember what I’ve been given in Christ. Is there anything or anyone that can take His place in the center of my heart? Any that I value or prize more than Him? Mary demonstrated a profound love for Jesus, one that she clearly placed above everything else. Why? Because she realized that everything—a brother brought back from the grave…life brought back from the shadows…love brought through heartbreak—is given to her through Christ.
I pray that my love for the Lord would overflow. That it would be visible, tangible, and even costly. I pray that people would be impacted by that love as those in the room were by the fragrance. I pray that I would love even though some might criticize or condemn. I pray that my love for the Lord Jesus would be profound and extravagant, and would eclipse my love for everything and everyone else, because I realize that in placing my love in Him to such a degree will enable me to love those others with even greater passion and depth.
A PowerPoint Created by my Daughter for our Surprise Anniversary Party!