“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
-John 15:1-8 NKJV
Recently we came upon this portion of scripture in the 30 day My New Life Scripture Writing Plan. That caused me to remember an old post I’d written. So I took it out and dusted it off because I think we might need a reminder today. Or maybe just I do 🙂
So much in this portion of scripture to study and apply to our lives!
Jesus is speaking to us as much today as He was when He said those words to the disciples.
If, and only if, we are truly abiding in the Vine will there be fruit. Notice we do not make the fruit but we are bearing the fruit. As branches, we are displaying or holding the fruit. Picture anything that has the purpose of displaying something else. When you look at a vine full of fruit you will notice the fruit, not the branch that is holding the fruit.
Keeping this in mind should help us be quick to give all glory to God.
Let’s live each day seeking to bring attention to Jesus, not ourselves!
Are you interested in studying more about vines, branches and fruit? I suggest you get a copy of Beth Moore’s book Chasing Vines. I happened to read it just as the Pandemic started and it was so very timely. The book has a major focus on how we are to thrive even though the circumstances are difficult, details about pruning, and so much more. I did not read it for review but am suggesting it because it’s a good choice for delving deeper into the subject.
If you are participating in the September Scripture Writing Plan, you know that the main scripture focus this week is in Romans. I hope you are able to take the time to meditate on these verses as you go through your day. All the scriptures in this plan are about the new life of the believer = YOU!
There are so many great verses for scripture memory in the My New Life Plan! I have always struggled with memorizing scripture. How about you?
The advice given for scripture memory is usually
Scripture Writing is definitely a help for memorizing scripture!
Do you have any tips for memorizing Bible verses? Please share!
Also are you interested in printable scripture cards? Let me know. Especially if you would like to request a certain verse. I am creating a few that will be available very soon.
The September Scripture Writing Plan starts in a few days. You can download your free printable now. The theme for the month is My New Life. The Bible verses you will be reading are all about the new life of the believer- that’s YOU!
There is a portion of scripture selected for each of the 30 days of September. As always please take the time to read the surrounding verses or entire chapter to understand the verses in context. So many of the verses in this plan are excellent for scripture memory.
If you have never tried the practice of scripture writing, this is the perfect time to start. Reading the scripture for the day and then writing it is a very rewarding practice. It helps you to slow down and focus on a single verse or small portion of scripture. Slowing down gives more opportunity to notice things that might have been missed before. You will find that the practice of writing scripture will help you listen carefully for what God is saying through His word.
Download a PDF below and print out your copy of the September Scripture Writing Plan.
The first download option is for the full color version and the second is better for black and white printing. Please print for yourself and to share with others. This would be a great time to introduce others to scripture writing.
It’s a pleasure to share a post from a favorite blogger today. I was blessed by reading it and I am sure you will be also! So click on the link below, read and perhaps share it with someone you would like to bless. ↓ ↓
Lately, I’ve been starting my mornings by opening the blinds of my second-story bedroom window and then stand there looking out toward the sunrise. Praise and thankfulness naturally happen once my gaze is fixed skyward. This is my brief early morning prayer time. Even if it’s only a very few minutes it seems to get my day going in the right direction. Next, I usually have a short time of Bible reading and scripture writing. Then I head downstairs for coffee!
We don’t seem to take much note of this important day each year. It seems lost between the Resurrection and Pentecost. I do wonder why we don’t put more focus on the Ascension.
What an amazing time the disciples were experiencing with Jesus after His resurrection! They must have eagerly listened as He taught them. Jesus spent time preparing them for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The time was approaching quickly when the disciples would be sent on the mission to share Jesus with all the world.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:9-11
In his book, Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions, Timothy Keller writes “At the ascension, Jesus leaves the space-time continuum and passes into the presence of the Father. He is still human, still our second Adam . . . and still our Advocate—yet now he has been so glorified that everything he does has a cosmic scope . . . any time-space limitation passes away.”
Today Jesus is continuously present with us through the Holy Spirit and He is also present in Heaven. He is King over all always!
Let us be included with all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing and His glorious Return! (see 2 Timothy 4:8)
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. – 1 John 2:28
Some things are common sense like protecting ourselves and others by following the suggested hygiene practices and social distancing.
But what is our response beyond these actions?
First of all, Christians should not be overcome by fear and panic.
It’s helpful to look to history for guidance.
Read this short excerpt from Martin Luther’s clear simple response to the bubonic plague in 1527.
We die at our posts. Christian doctors cannot abandon their hospitals, Christian governors cannot flee their districts, Christian pastors cannot abandon their congregations. The plague does not dissolve our duties: It turns them to crosses, on which we must be prepared to die.
Please read one more portion of Luther’s writing for a great balanced view. This is a handy guide to refer to during these days of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Please don’t let this unusual time come and go without squeezing the good from it. Ask God to open your eyes to what He wants you to see. Know that Jesus is constantly with you. You may be isolated from others but not from Him.
I hope you are finding more time to be with Jesus and read His Word. Have you been spending more time in prayer? Are you unsure of how to pray? Pray by simply expressing your honest thoughts and feelings. Ask questions and then expect God to answer you in some way. I have found a very simple prayer from the Old Testament to be perfect for this time.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You. – 2 Chronicles 20:12
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.Butone 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 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.
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.Forthe 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
Start by reading the passage in your Bible and perhaps in more than one version.
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.Butone thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
-Luke 10:38-42 NKJVNow let’s focus in on verse 40
The NKJV says Martha was distracted. Distracted is a word in common use today but it is not very specific.
Reading the verse in other versions may be helpful in getting a clearer picture.
The best way to dig a little further is to find the original Greek word used in this verse.
Step one is to go to the KJV where we find the word used is cumbered.
Here are verses 40-42 in the KJV
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
The first thing you find is the number in Strong’s which leads to the Greek word. Click on the number and you should find yourself HERE
Greek word – perispaō
Cumber: lit., “to draw around” (peri), “draw away, distract,” is used in the Passive Voice in the sense of being over-occupied about a thing, to be “cumbered,”
Interesting that this word is only used once. We don’t have any other verses with the same word to compare with Luke 10:40. However, there is one instance of a similar word used in Luke 13:7. See this in the Blue Letter Bible Follow the Strong’s number 2673 to the Greek word
Isn’t it great that you can so easily access the original words, their meanings, and additional information? Take advantage often of the free resources at Blue Letter Bible
Read what John Wesley wrote about this portion of scripture
verse 40 – Martha was encumbered – The Greek word properly signifies to be drawn different ways at the same time, and admirably expresses the situation of a mind, surrounded (as Martha’s then was) with so many objects of care, that it hardly knows which to attend to first.
verse 41 – Martha, Martha – There is a peculiar spirit and tenderness in the repetition of the word: thou art careful, inwardly, and hurried, outwardly.
from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
from Matthew Henry’s Commentary
She was cumbered about it; periespato-she was just distracted with it. Note, Whatever cares the providence of God casts upon us we must not be cumbered with them, nor be disquieted and perplexed by them. Care is good and duty; but cumber is sin and folly.
She was then cumbered about much serving when she should have been with her sister, sitting at Christ’s feet to hear his word. Note, Worldly business is then a snare to us when it hinders us from serving God and getting good to our souls.
It seems clear from only a quick study of verse 40 that Martha was not simply concerned about cooking a meal for her guests that day. She was overwhelmed by a number of cares and worries perhaps every day. Seeing her sister sitting at the feet of Jesus instead of joining her in the meal preparation was the tipping point for Martha. She became so upset that she went to Jesus about it. Her question to Jesus clearly revealed her anxious state of mind. Without realizing it, she had done the best thing she could have possibly done in her situation. Anxious, stressed and overwhelmed? Call on Jesus!
Jesus answered Martha by first explaining her true state of mind. He described her as worried and troubled by many things. This revealed the truth of a deeper problem that Martha may not have even realized herself. What Jesus said to Martha removes all possibility that Martha’s irritation that day was simply a little stress caused by the desire to serve a nice meal.
We do not know what all the cares, troubles and worries were that surrounded Martha. Daily responsibilities and financial concerns connected to maintaining her home may have contributed to the load she carried. These alone could have been heavy on her mind.
We may not be able to determine the many things that distracted Martha on that particular day but we can definitely know where her focus should have been.
Martha was distracted from ____________.
What exactly bothered Martha about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus?
To be continued…
Meanwhile please research Luke 10:38-42 yourself and then come back and share your discoveries in the comments below? Love to know your thoughts!
Don’t miss part 2 of Martha and Mary
Sign up with your email address to get the next blog post delivered as soon as it is published 🙂
In John 6:1-15 we read about Jesus, the disciples, and a large crowd of hungry people. Jesus provides a meal for all the people even though the only food available was 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. There is so much in this account to study and savor. However, this post is going to be about what happened next. Jesus invited me to linger with Him recently in John 6:16-21. He gently brought to my mind some points that I hadn’t noticed before.
The disciples had finished gathering 12 baskets full of leftover bread and fish pieces. Don’t you wonder what they must have felt like as they pondered the miracle they had just witnessed? They didn’t just witness the miracle but Jesus had allowed them to actually be a part of what happened. Imagine being one of the crew cleaning up after this picnic. Well, we could easily stay here, but let’s move onto the evening and see what happens next.
We know from John 6:15 that Jesus had gone to the mountain alone. We find the disciples at the sea.
Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles,they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. – John 6:16-21
Do you find it perplexing that the disciples would leave without Jesus? John does not tell us but in Matthew 14 and Mark 6 we read that Jesus had instructed the disciples to leave.
Picture yourself at the scene. Would you quickly jump in the boat with the disciples or desire to stay behind with Jesus?
When I imagine myself at the scene, I am reluctant to leave Jesus. I want to stay and wait for Jesus to return or maybe He even invites me to be with Him on the mountain. I certainly don’t think I would be eager to join the group in the boat. Or would I?
What about me now, today? Do I wait or do I rush ahead? I’m sorry to say that there have been many times that I didn’t wait for Jesus.
Back to the disciples
They ventured out onto the sea after dark, rowed for miles and the wind was blowing hard. The disciples struggled in their own strength when they had to make the trip without Jesus. So different from just a few hours earlier when they were basking in the afterglow of a miracle.
Have you had this kind of experience after proceeding without Jesus? I sure have.
But then Jesus
At first, the disciples are fearful but then they see it is indeed Jesus. Jesus has arrived walking on the water. As soon as Jesus entered the boat they were suddenly at their destination. So much here in verses 19-21 to discover and I hope you will spend some time exploring.
I am so glad that Jesus will come to get me when I have gone out in my boat without Him. But I don’t want to live like that. I want to be where He is always. Jesus is my destination.
Make it your goal to be with Jesus, stay with Jesus and follow Him. It’s not about you fitting Him into your plan. It is His plan for you to follow Him step by step, moment by moment.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.