Goals, Jesus

Contentment

Have you noticed that when the unnecessary is swept away it allows the simple powerful truth to become clear? The quote below is a great example of this.

_Christian contentment…is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at His di

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Bible study, Jesus

Martha and Mary Part 2

Be sure to read Martha and Mary Part 1

Part 1 ended with the following question.

What exactly bothered Martha about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus?

I hope you take some time to ponder this and other questions that come to mind in this study. Sometimes we are quick to listen to someone explain when we are actually well equipped to read and learn on our own. If you are a believer you are not alone because Jesus is present with you. The same Jesus that spoke to Martha is with you today. Pray that you will see and understand what Jesus has for you to learn as you dig into the story of Martha and Mary.

Please read the passage again and then share your answer about what was bothering Martha.


Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”     Luke 10:38-42


We already saw in Part 1 that Martha’s upset was no slight irritation but the overflow of a deeper problem. The way she spoke to Jesus suggests the possibility that she was not only disturbed by the many things and what her sister was doing but she may have even been upset with Jesus.

Martha and Mary (2)

Martha was in an agitated state when she observed her sister sitting at the feet of Jesus.


Sitting at the master’s feet was the place of a student

The fact that Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus made it absolutely clear that she was a devoted disciple.

I am well aware that it is not popular in today’s culture to say outright that Martha was wrong. But she was. I’m not sure why so many who write about Martha seem to feel compelled to defend her.

Jesus corrected Martha and heartily approved of Mary’s choice. There was nothing vague about the response that Jesus gave to Martha.

Martha must have been taken by surprise when Jesus answered her. What do you think she might have felt and thought about what Jesus said?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the upset about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.

N. T. Wright on Mary and Martha from Women’s service in the Church: The Biblical Basis

Most of us grew up with the line that Martha was the active type and Mary the passive or contemplative type, and that Jesus is simply affirming the importance of both and even the priority of devotion to him. That devotion is undoubtedly part of the importance of the story, but far more obvious to any first-century reader, and to many readers in Turkey, the Middle East and many other parts of the world to this day would be the fact that Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet within the male part of the house rather than being kept in the back rooms with the other women. This, I am pretty sure, is what really bothered Martha; no doubt she was cross at being left to do all the work, but the real problem behind that was that Mary had cut clean across one of the most basic social conventions. It is as though, in today’s world, you were to invite me to stay in your house and, when it came to bedtime, I were to put up a camp bed in your bedroom. We have our own clear but unstated rules about whose space is which; so did they. And Mary has just flouted them. And Jesus declares that she is right to do so. She is ‘sitting at his feet’; a phrase which doesn’t mean what it would mean today, the adoring student gazing up in admiration and love at the wonderful teacher. As is clear from the use of the phrase elsewhere in the NT (for instance, Paul with Gamaliel), to sit at the teacher’s feet is a way of saying you are being a student, picking up the teacher’s wisdom and learning; and in that very practical world you wouldn’t do this just for the sake of informing your own mind and heart, but in order to be a teacher, a rabbi, yourself. Like much in the gospels, this story is left cryptic as far as we at least are concerned, but I doubt if any first-century reader would have missed the point.   – N. T. Wright

Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel (see Acts 22:3)

Jesus said “Mary has chosen”

Chosen is not difficult for us to understand. It means to choose, select, choose for oneself.

So there was a choice, an option and it was available to Martha as well as Mary.

What did Mary choose?

We have the same choice today. It does not matter what your gifts, talents, interests, personality traits are— it is a choice

This relationship is offered and available to followers of Jesus but not forced upon anyone.

Whole-hearted devotion and a life of discipleship or something less? The choice is yours.

The next time the Bible mentions the sisters is found in John 11:1-11

Don’t skip reading that important portion of scripture! I am not covering it at all in this study. But please don’t miss it!


Let’s close this study by reading another time Jesus comes to visit in John 12:1-8

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”     -John 12:1-8 NKJV

(The anointing at Bethany is a subject worthy of a separate study but we will touch on it briefly here as it is relevant to the current study of Martha and Mary)

Notice that Martha is again serving but perhaps not overwhelmed by the activity like she was before. I like to think that this time she chose to serve something simple prepared in advance allowing undistracted time with Jesus.

Jesus was again approving of Mary and defending her actions.

Mary is again quietly keeping her focus on Jesus. As a devoted disciple, she had listened, learned and believed what Jesus taught. She had followed His teaching so closely that her belief spilled over into this worshipful act of anointing Jesus.

What do you notice about Mary in this portion of scripture?

What is Jesus saying to you through these verses in Luke 10:38-42 and John 12:1-8?

Please share your comments below

Here is a blog post that contains some practical help for living daily as a devoted disciple of Jesus – Constant Prayer

You can live every day with The King!


Martha and Mary 

  • Luke 10:38-42
  • John 11:1-44
  • John 12:1-11

Martha Mary (1)

 

Bible, Jesus

Worth Living

What makes life worth living?

There are so many possible answers to that question.

For many people this question doesn’t have an answer. Some find themselves drifting from one day to the next without a reason or true purpose. Others have something in their life that makes them feel at least for the moment that it’s all worthwhile. But when circumstances change, health fails, friends leave … life disappoints— then what???

If you are depending on yourself, another person, career, activity, possessions or anything else to make life worth living you are going to find yourself devastated one day. Any and all these things are going to fail to provide a life worth living. Like a dream or an illusion what once seemed so real and lasting will simply be memory.

BUT JESUS SAID

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). – John 10:10 AMPC

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
-John 10:27 NKJV

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. – John 14:6 AMPC

Jesus makes life worthwhile!

Life is worth the living because Jesus lives

Do you want to know Jesus? You can start right now. He is waiting for you.

If you have access to a Bible start reading in the gospel of John. Here is a link to read the Bible online – https://www.biblegateway.com/

Matt Maher – Because He Lives (Amen) [Official Lyric Video]

Live your life every day with the King and you will have a life worth living!

Bible, Bible study, Jesus

John 21:22

John 21:22

Sharing this scripture today as a follow up to the recent post – Envy

Please take a moment to read chapter 21 of the gospel of John. After reading the chapter go back to look at verses 21 and 22.

Here is a link to the chapter on the Blue Letter Bible website → John 21  If you take some time to explore the website, you will discover many tools to help you in your study of the Bible. The page I’ve linked to is the chapter in the KJV because it is the easiest place to start for accessing the tools. However, at the top of the page, you will see where you can easily choose another Bible translation.


Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.     John 21:22  KJV

Jesus said to him, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.    NKJV

Jesus said to him, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me!    – AMPC

If I want him to remain until I come, Jesus answered, what is that to you? As for you, follow Me.     -HCSB

If it is my wish, returned Jesus, for him to stay until I come, is that your business, Peter? You must follow me.   – J.B. Phillips

 

If you have read the chapter, you see that Jesus is speaking in response to Peter’s curiosity about John’s future. I don’t know about you, but I can easily follow Peter’s thinking that led him to ask about John in this chapter. I have often found myself wondering about other people’s situations and life story. This is especially likely to happen when things appear to be unfair. This is also the place where wondering and seemingly innocent questions quickly lead to comparison and envy.

John 21 contains the answer for when our focus shifts from following Jesus to wondering about what is going on with other people.

Interesting that this is the last time Jesus speaks in the gospel of John.

 

what is that to thee_ follow thou me.1 (2)

 

Christmas, Jesus

Christmas Carols

Can you imagine the Christmas season without the songs?

If you take the time to focus on the lyrics you’ll find many of the beloved carols are not only beautiful but powerful and rich in theology. So don’t simply sing Christmas carols but take them to heart.

John Wesley gave some helpful instructions concerning the proper attitude to have when singing. Here are a few excerpts from his “Directions on Singing”

…Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep, but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sang the songs of Satan…

Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve…


John Wesley’s brother Charles Wesley wrote – Come Thou Long Expected Jesus


O Come O Come Emmanuel is a 9th-century hymn, originally in Latin


Both of these songs clearly speak of the longing for the arrival of Jesus. For believers today the songs also express our aching anticipation of His Return.

Share your favorite carol in the comments below.

Christmas Carols

Goals, Jesus

Appreciate

 We turned our clocks back one hour this past weekend.

I love it when we Fall back into Standard Time!

I went to bed Sunday night happy about the time change. I fell asleep with the expectation of jumping into Monday feeling great. But, that’s not what happened. Instead on Monday morning, I woke up with an awful headache and nausea which lasted the entire day. So much for expectations…

So apparently I had some type of 24-hour virus.

Once I returned to feeling normal, it didn’t seem like normal anymore. No longer being sick seemed marvelous! Each ordinary day this week, after Monday, there has seemed to be so much to notice and appreciate. I am sure you’ve had this same experience after a bout of sickness or pain. This happens because returning to a life free of sickness, pain or _____causes fresh appreciation and a feeling of true gratitude. When we are living in a state of appreciation and thankfulness we are seeing things clearly. If only we could continue in this attitude but it always seems to wear off quickly.

Take a look at the definitions below.

Appreciate

a. to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance 

b. to value or admire highly 

c. to judge with heightened perception or understanding: be fully aware 

d. to recognize with gratitude


Since we are only two weeks away from Thanksgiving I am hopeful that I might be able to maintain this attitude. I would love to live with thankfulness, wonder, gratitude and fully appreciating every single day.

The only way I believe to make this happen is to ask Jesus to make me more aware of His Presence with me as I read His Word each day. What could inspire more of an attitude of appreciation and joyful thankfulness than knowing I am invited to walk through each and every day with the King! And so are you!

I am praying that this Thanksgiving season we will not be satisfied to be thankful for a day but will pursue a lifestyle of thankfulness and appreciation that spills over wherever we go.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin],  having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.  – Colossians 2:6-7 AMP

Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.   – Colossians 3:16  AMP

Appreciate


Here is a link to a post I wrote two years ago about the time change Redeem the Time

 

 

Bible, Jesus

Ambassadors for Christ

When you became a follower of Jesus, you began a new life in Christ.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  -2 Corinthians 5:17

You know that Jesus is your Lord and you want to truly know and serve Him. You have the Holy Spirit to help and guide you each day.  Even so, you might find that the distractions of this world cause you to lose focus and drift away from acting like who you really are.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of our true identity and the difference it makes in every aspect of life.

We physically live in the same world but now as citizens of the Kingdom of heaven. See Philippians 3:20.

Since becoming a Kingdom citizen, your full allegiance is always due to your King.

In the Bible, we find believers called

  • pilgrims
  • strangers
  • aliens
  • foreigners
  • ambassadors

See  -Hebrews 11:13  -1 Peter 1:17  -1 Peter 2:11  -Ephesians 6:20  -2 Corinthians 5:20


Our concern is to represent the King and His kingdom wherever we are.

Our quest is to know Jesus and make Him known to others.

We should grab every opportunity to promote the kingdom.

Have you thought about the honor and responsibility of being an ambassador for Christ?

Take a moment to watch the short video below.

Tourist or Ambassador?

What an honor to represent Jesus as a kingdom ambassador!

Read a related post  Embassy of the Kingdom

Let us serve with joy

Every day with the King

Untitled design (9)

 

 

 

 

E-Course, Jesus, Quiet time

Design Your Daily Quiet Time E-Course

Design Your Daily Quiet Time E-Course will be available soon!

Sign Up Now!

normal_Design_yourDaily_Quiet_Time1__1_

This course is for those who seek to have a daily quiet time but struggle to make it a habit. If you already enjoy a vibrant quiet time each day, I believe you will also find something here to enrich your experience. Enrollment in the course also includes access to a private Facebook group just for participants.

After becoming a believer I lived with the frustration and disappointment of not being able to maintain a consistent daily quiet time habit. It actually was many years before I finally came to the point where I am today. Now my daily quiet time is the best part of my day.

I believe that the practice of a daily time alone with Jesus is the most important thing you can do each day. It is not a task to check off your to-do list nor should it be a struggle to develop.

Without a consistent daily quiet time, you cannot expect your relationship with Jesus to grow! 

This course combined with the private Facebook group (included with enrollment) will provide you with an abundance of practical help, equipping you to design your daily quiet time.

Regardless of what your quiet time experience has been, it can become something to look forward to each day and enjoy!

Design Your Daily Quiet Time E-Course will soon be available! Sign up now!

Sign Up Here

 Design Your Daily Quiet Time

E-COURSE