Leviticus 14-15; Matthew 26; Psalm 122
Have you ever been criticized for loving God too much? Have you ever faced disapproval because of your devotion to Jesus?
Perhaps you were just a little too zealous. Maybe you believed too much. Maybe you fasted a little too long, or your prayer or Bible reading was considered “over the top.” We don’t want to be labeled fanatics or zealots, after all.
“You’re just too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”
That’s another familiar critique.
If you’ve ever been criticized for your devotion to God or your love for Jesus, then you know the confusion and shock that accompany such disapproval. Surprisingly, this criticism never comes from the “world.”
“Sinners” don’t make these kinds of accusations.
No! The criticism comes from within the church. The disapproval is given by lukewarm ministry leaders. The accusation is wielded by friends.
The truth is, we aren’t too devoted. Who can be “too” devoted to God? How does that even make sense?
We aren’t too devoted. We are just more devoted than those who reproved us.
Matthew 26: 6 Now, when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] 7 a woman approached him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, pouring it on his head as he reclined at the table. 8 The disciples, upon seeing this, were indignant, asking, “Why this waste? 9 This could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”
It’s alarming to consider who the critics are in this passage. Who is showing indignation? It’s the disciples – the best of the best, those closest to Jesus, who knew better than all the surpassing worth of Jesus, yet they were the ones criticizing.
Certainly, over the years, I’ve been accused of being a bit too intense in my devotion to God. I’m sure you have too, or at least I hope you have. And every time, it’s been a shock to receive the blow.
But if I’m being honest – and I am – I’ve also dampened the fire of those burning hot for God. In long, dry seasons, I’ve offered words of “wisdom” couched in the desire to ensure a young one didn’t “burn out” in their race.
I’ve spoken out of season. I’ve been in hard, dry seasons and wanted to justify my cold heart, my lack of love and devotion.
I’m not proud of it.
I’ve been both the woman breaking her alabaster box and the indignant disciple. Maybe you have too.
Oh God, bring us back to our first love!
Matthew 26: 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
When we lose our way, when our hearts grow cold and dull, how do we find our way back?
Look again at the One who loves you best and most. Really look at the One you’ve walked with all these years.
Psalm 103: 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Remember! Remember the way He has loved you and carried you through every season. Remember the way He opened His arms to you, how He healed and delivered you. Remember His patience with you.
Come back to your first love.
No devotion is too much. On the contrary, our all, our very all, will never be enough!
Deepening Faith: Reflective Journal Prompts
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