Monday, January 7, 2008

For the sake of Christ

“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” — Matthew 26:13.

This is something, my brethren, which I wish you to remember. How much of what we do in the cause of religion, fails to have any excellence in it because we do not perform it for Christ’s sake! We go up to preach, perhaps, and we do not feel that we are preaching for Christ. Perhaps we are preaching with a sincere desire to do good to our fellow-men: so far so good; but even that is not so grand a motive, as the desire to do it for him who loved us, and gave himself for us. Do you not often catch yourself, when you put a coin into the hand of the poor, thinking there is a virtue in it? And so there is, in one sense; but do you not find yourself forgetting, that you should do that for him, and give that as unto Christ, giving unto the poor, and lending unto the Lord? Sabbath-School teachers! I ask you also: do you not find, in teaching your class, that you often forget that you should be teaching for him? Your act is done rather for the church, for the school, for your fellow-men, for the poor, for the children’s sake, than for Christ’s sake.

But the very beauty of this woman’s act lay in this, that she did it all for the Lord Jesus Christ. You could not say she did it for Lazarus, or did it for the disciples; no it was exclusively for him. She felt she owed him all, it was he who had forgiven her sins; it was he who had opened her eyes, and given her to see the light of heavenly day; it was he who was her hope, her joy, her all, her love went out in its common actings to her fellow men — it went out towards the poor, the sick, and the needy. but oh! it went in all its vehemence to him. That man, that blessed man, the God man, she must give something to him. She could not be content to put it in that bag there; she must go and put it right on his head. She could not be content that Peter, or James, or John, should have a part of it; the whole pound must go on his head; and though others might say it was waste, yet she felt it was not, but that whatever she could give unto him was well bestowed, because it went to him to whom she owed her all.

From a sermon entitled "Woman's Memorial." delivered November 27, 1859. Flickr photo by John; some rights reserved.

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