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The Elements of Extravagent Worship


I. Anointing the Lord with Our Worship

"Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume (precious ointment, fragrant oil), and she poured it upon His head as He reclined at table." (Matt 26:6ff)

Here is a powerful example and act of extravagant worship done unto the Lord Jesus while He was here on earth.

Extravagant
Wandering beyond limits or bounds; roving; excessive; exceeding due bounds of reason or moderation, as in the desires, demands, or passions of men called extravagant; lavish or profuse in expenditure, beyond reasonable or necessary, denoting an abundant supply.
Costly
Of a high price, purchased at a great expense; very valuable, magnificence; spending lavishly; extravagant (synonymouse with - choice, gorgeous, precious, expensive)

PRAISE AND WORSHIP IS A CHOICE NOT JUST A FEELING!

PRAISE AND WORSHIP IS A COMMITMENT OF HEART NOT JUST AN EMOTION!

Point: Break open your alabaster box (your heart) on a consistent basis in praise and worship releasing the fragrance and perfume of your spirit to your heavenly Father.

The woman "broke open" her vessel, or broke off the neck of the vial, usually long and narrow, so she could pur the costly perfume on the head of Jesus. Mark 14:5 says, "...the perfume sold for three hundred denarii..." The denarius was equivalent to one day's wages, so costly then was this lady's offering.

An act of extravagent worship is still remembered today whenever the gospel is preached in the world and it was the first act done to Jesus to anoint Him for His death, burial, and resurrection.

Your extravagent act of worship may be just the thing that causes someone to get saved to someone to be healed.

II. Opening Our Treasures

"...behold magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is He who has been born the King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.'" (Matt 2:2)

[worship -- (4352) -- proskuneo, (pros-koo-neh'-o); meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand; to fawn or crouch, to (i.e. literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence, to adore); worship]

And he (Herod) sent them (the magi) to Bethleham and said, 'Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him.'" (Matt 2:8)

(Note: the same Greek word for worship is used here as in Matt 2:2)
"And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great (intense, ecstatic) joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures..." (Matt 2:10-11)

[treasures -- thesauros, (thay-sow-ros'), a deposit, i.e., wealth, treasure]

The magi worshipped out of their deposit, the wealth and treasure of their hearts; for us, out of our innermost being.

III. Giving Off an Aroma -- A Sweet Smelling Savor

The fragrance of the woman's offering in Matthew 26:1-6 must have lingered in the room for hours. Anyone entering that room after the fact would still smell the abundance of the offering bestowed on the Lord Jesus.

In the same way, there is a lasting effect upon us and other people when we praise and worship and spend time in His presence. We have a certain fragrance about our talk and our walk in Christ wherever we go in this life.

II Corinthians 2:14-16

vs 14
"Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph (be in His triumphal procession, that constant pageant of triumph) in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of His knowledge through us" (KJV)
"...diffusing the perfume of His knowledge everywhere by me" (Moffatt)
"...who evidences through us in every place the fragrance that results in knowing Him" (Berkley)
"...and everywhere uses us to reveal and spread abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of Himself" (New English Bible)
vs 15
"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish"
"We are indeed the incense (fragrance) offered by Christ to God, both for those who are on the way to salvation, and for those who are on the way to perdition (complete and irreparable loss and ruin of their soul)." (New English Bible)
vs 16
"To the one we are the savour of death unto death, to the other the savour of life unto life"
"To the one a deadly fragrance that makes for death, to the other a vital fragrance that makes for life" (Moffatt)
"To the latter it seems like the deathly smell of doom; to the former it has the refreshing fragrance of life itself" (Philips)

The relationship of brokenness to fragrance -- What is it? Who could really sum it all up?

Yet there is a fragrance to our worship, an aroma that comes from the overflow of the heart-felt love toward God. But without the breaking open of the vial, there was no anointment. Without the anointment, there is no fragrance. Yield up to the Lord the most precious, costly things of your life especially as you praise and worship Him. The communion will be rich, and He is faithful to fill you alabaster box over and over again.

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