Are You Captivated with Purpose?

“The disciples were indignant when they saw this. ‘What a waste!’ they said. ‘It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.’” (Matthew 26:8-9 NLT)

There is a sense in which everything we do as a Jesus follower is, or should be, done as an act of worship, carried out for the purpose of glorifying, and honoring Him. And while, in the hearts and minds of others, what we do can be deemed “extravagant,” it must always be seen in the light of His extravagant display of love for us on the Cross.

Whether it’s our time, money, energy, acts of kindness, or sacrificial gifts to the Lord or others, they should all be given as evidence of our complete surrender to the Lordship of Jesus in and over our lives. As I understand it, that’s essentially what being captivated with purpose is all about. Pleasing Jesus should be the motivating factor behind everything we say, think, or do; otherwise, why are we doing it?

In the verses above, the disciples were unhappy because a woman had poured a very expensive container of perfume over Jesus’ head as an act of worship. We’re not given her identity but can deduce from the response of the disciples and, I’m quite sure, of others around the table, that she was likely an immoral woman whose life Jesus had redirected.

Could this have been the “woman caught in the very act of adultery” we hear about in John 8:4, whose life was literally saved by Jesus’ intervention. We won’t know for sure until we get to heaven, but it’s clear that her intentions were to worship and give expression to her undying love and appreciation she had for Jesus, caring not what anyone thought of her.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

In what ways do we give expression to our love for and devotion to Jesus if not through expressions of extravagant generosity? And please understand, “extravagance” is a relative term. If I’m working 80 hours a week to keep afloat and give a few hours of my time to help someone move, that’s extravagant? Or if I’m a millionaire and give $1,000 to someone in need in an effort to honor Jesus, while that’s a wonderful thing to do for someone, it’s not extravagant, at least not for the one giving the gift.

In Mark 12:44 Jesus, who has been sitting near the collection box in the Temple, says of a poor widow: “For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” Too often we get entangled in the “comparison” game. In our mind we reason that we may not be giving what we should, but we’re giving more than so and so.

Bob Goff wrote: “We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated with purpose.” What purpose has captivated you? Is your purpose to just give a little more or make a little bit better effort than those in your spheres of influence? Or is it to have others think you’re really better than you know you are?

If our all-consuming purpose is anything less than giving our all to the glory and honor of our Savior, we’re being distracted by the enemy. If what we give and do is motivated by anything but love for and devotion to our Lord and Master, we’re falling short in being all we’ve been called to be. Did Jesus leave anything on the Cross?

Did He not give everything of Himself in the payment of the penalty for our sin? Did He not give us His very best in the person of the Holy Spirit as He went to bear intercession for us at the side of His Father in heaven? We cannot and must not seek to justify anything but our best in service to the One to whom we owe everything we are or ever hope to be.

We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by the trinkets of this world as we seek to give our all to the glory and honor of the Treasure of our lives. We must pursue with every ounce of our being the purpose for which we’ve been captivated by Christ.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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