I love this time of year. We always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. The village goes up and all the other Christmas décor begins to fill the house. Then slowly we begin to wrap the gifts and put them under the tree. I love to give, don’t you? The old saying,” it is better to give than to receive,” what does that really mean?

One of my very favorite songs is Alabaster Box. This story is in the book of John, chapter 12. Jesus came to Bethany to the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. While He was there, Mary decided that she was going to give Him all she had. She had an alabaster box of spikenard, which was a very expensive fragrant herb. She made a choice to break this very costly oil and pour it on Jesus. She held nothing back;she poured every drop on Jesus.

1. Mary made a choice that day to give her all to Christ. What is holding you back from giving all you have to Him? Are you carrying un-forgiveness in your heart, resentments, pride? What will it take for us to become fully devoted to Christ and give Him all of us? This has been ringing in my heart for weeks. I want to hold nothing back; I want to give Him my all. When Jesus was talking to the rich young ruler in Matthew he was very clear with him. Jesus knew the young man’s wealth was not his problem, but his heart. So He said, “Go sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have will treasure in heaven, come follow Me.” Yet he couldn’t do this, so he made a choice that day NOT to give his all to Christ. He chose to walk away from Christ. He was only thinking about the here and now, not eternity. Will your possessions cause you to turn your back on Christ? He never gave his heart to Christ, but even as believers , our possessions often take priority. What is holding you back from making the choice to give your all to Christ?

2. Mary gave what she had to show her love for Christ. I often wonder was she sitting listening to Jesus and her heart was so moved that she began to pray and think what can I give my Lord who has given so much for me? So then she got up quietly and looked at her box, then she didn’t even need a minute to think about it. She smiled and picked it up and determined, today I will give Him all I have, I will hold nothing back. Oh, that makes me want to shout! God has given us so much to use in service for Him. We all have different abilities He has equipped us with. Every time I use my hands at a funeral to play the piano, I quietly pray, “God use my hands today to be a blessing to others.” What else do I have that I need to give to Christ? She gave what cost her so much, her very best to Him. A week on the mission field, a day at the mission, what can I give to Christ?

3. Mary gave and the fragrance filled the room; her choice to give spilled over on the others in the room. When others see our love for Christ, they want what we have. Our love for Christ should show in our everyday lives. I want His fragrance to fill every room I walk into. I want my eyes to shine with His light. His spirit abides in me, so He needs to be what others see in me. I want His fragrance to fill the room. Do others want what you have? Can they see Jesus in you?

What alabaster box do you have that has not been broken for Christ? It has to be broken before we can pour our treasure on Him! The greatest gift we can give this Christmas is a gift that cannot be bought. When He is our all in all, His fragrance will fill the room in such a strong aroma that it will spill over on all we come in contact with. When we give God’s best, then we get God’s best for us! He gave us His only begotten Son, so why am I holding back and not giving Him my very best?

Today Lord I want to ask You to use the gifts You have given me for Your service. I want to serve You and You alone. I pour my praise on You my gracious, loving Father. God, accept my life and use it Lord for Your glory. This is my heart’s desire, to be broken and used for You!