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Martha – A Busy Hostess With a Heart for Serving

Jesus often went to the home of Martha, who was apparently single, whether by choice or circumstances, and living in Bethany with her sister Mary and their brother Lazarus. John’s comment shows that Jesus and the family from Bethany were close friends – John 11:5 “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” Martha seemed to enjoy her gift of hospitality and her probable position as the older of the two sisters.

Three scenes appear to reveal Martha’s intense personality, which the Lord faced with loving firmness, as recorded by Luke – Luke 10:40 –  42 “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. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Martha’s irritation with her sister led to a confrontation with Jesus, because she blamed Him for Mary’s lack of assistance. As one with a servant’s heart, I can totally understand how Martha must have felt stressed under her heavy workload and also very unappreciated and taken for granted as she did all the work alone. Those who choose to sit and listen do not always consider where their meal will come from nor who it is that is laboring for them. However, Jesus’ response was a loving response, and was not a condemnation of Martha’s servant’s heart nor was it a rejection of her zealous and gracious hospitality. He simply asked her to reconsider her priorities, to make her choices on the basis of eternal values instead of immediate pressures, and He suggested that she allow Mary to make her own choices. I think it would have been better for Martha if she had solicited all the help she could beforehand so that she, too, could enjoy sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His teachings.

Several months later, Lazarus became ill while Jesus was traveling many miles away. Although the sisters sent for Him, by the time the Lord arrived in Bethany, Lazarus was dead, and had been buried for four days. Ignoring the custom of mourners to remain in their homes, Martha took the initiative to meet Jesus as He approached the town and to confront Him about her brother’s untimely death to Jesus’ delay in reaching Bethany – John 11:20, 21 “Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Here we see Mary’s submissive personality by following the custom of the day and staying home to mourn for the traditional time required. Not so with Martha! I like how she threw custom to the wind and followed her heart to seek answers to questions she could not understand in her human mind. And with trusting faith, Martha acknowledged Jesus’ power over death in verse 22 “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” While she could not understand why Jesus did not come right away and heal her brother, she believed there must be some reason for it and that of course Jesus could ask His Heavenly Father, and He would not deny Jesus the power to bring Lazarus back to life. Jesus explained that He Himself was the Resurrection. She agreed and saw an immediate manifestation of her faith in her brother’s resurrection in verse 44 “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”

The third glimpse of Martha was reported by John – John 12:2 “There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.” The simple fact that Martha assumed hostessing duties once more confirms the fact that her uncommon talents were being used. Undoubtedly, she had become a disciple who experienced God’s power in practical service. Jesus, as well as countless others, needed the physical refreshment of Martha’s warm hospitality. She did not consider her homemaking responsibilities as worthless drudgery. She obviously loved her home and she counted it joy to pour her energies into the efficient management of her household. Martha is a touching reminder to every woman of the balance between fellowship with the family and the work necessary to meet their mundane/everyday needs.

I Peter 4:8-10 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Mary of Bethany

Mary of Bethany, a committed follower of Christ, stands as a role model for every dedicated disciple of Christ. She was apparently unmarried, living with her older sister, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. Their home was a friendly retreat for the Lord, who may have been close to them in age.

Mary, more than any other in the New Testament, is associated with sitting at Jesus’ feet, a testimony to her hunger for spiritual truth and understanding.

Luke 10:39 – “And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.”

John 11:32 “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

John 12:3 “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” Yet she not only sat at His feet; she also served Him by anointing Him with costly ointment to show her desire to meet practical needs as well as to seek spiritual blessing.

Mary’s example demonstrates her strong decision-making capabilities. She chose, Jesus said, to listen to Him, and later her gift of ointment poured out in preparation for His burial was a well thought-out act of worship. She was contemplative and sensitive, not one of many words. When Lazarus died, tears and very few words expressed her heart’s grief. Jesus understood and He wept with her – John 11:32-35 “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.”

True to Jesus’ prophecy, Mary has lived in history as one personifying commitment. Three gospels include her significant sacrificial gesture–ten and one-third ounces of pure spikenard ointment was worth a year’s wages. With humility, she lavished it upon her Saviour:

Matthew 26:6-13 “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 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.”

Mark 14:1-9 “After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”

John 11:1-6 “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”

Mary, a woman characterized by spiritual insight and readiness to act upon her faith, was thus commended by Christ – Matthew 26:13 “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.”

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Urgent Prayer Need

An urgent prayer request for all Prayer Warriors!

Just Writing!

Sacrifice

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

***********

There couldn’t have been a more appropriate prompt today.  On my Facebook news feed this morning, I read about a young first-time-mother who had a stroke during labor that was not recognized as it happened.  The baby is fine, but Mom has lost her ability to speak, and her right side is affected.

If you are a praying person, please lift up this new mother and her family in prayer. The mother knew she would sacrifice some hours of discomfort and pain to bring her little girl into the world, but she didn’t know how great that sacrifice would be. And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t regret it. Still, this family  needs prayer.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sacrifice/

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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

“Dear Elders, I’m sorry” by Alexis Bloomer’s

“Dear Elders, I’m sorry” by Alexis Bloomer’s

Wow, well spoken by a very courageous young lady who is grouped in with today’s ‘Millennial Generation.” How embarrassing for her.

alexis bloomer

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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Returning to God

Renewal

The corruption of today’s church is ever increasing. The pattern found in Scripture and throughout church history, however, is this: Again and again God’s people have done what is right in their own eyes – Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” and God must call them back to obedience time and time again. The Law is given and the prophets are sent.

The message of John the Baptist, then Jesus, is delivered to the lost sheep of Israel – Matthew 3:2 “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The New Testament epistles are full of warnings against rejecting God’s laws and principles, disunity, and immorality. Yet, we let our fleshly desires reign and lead us away from the Godly morals that are really for our own good. This country is right there on the verge of God’s allowing the heathen nations to attack and take our great country captive in order to bring us to our knees in repentance, and draw us back to Him.

The prophet Hosea’s long-suffering love for Gomer is a parable of the price God will pay to woo His people back to Him – Hosea 3:1-5 “Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” What a sad state of affairs that our loving God must woo mankind back to a right and good relationship with Him.

The prophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedingly hateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with. Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, is an injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take a stranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had good reasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would form an affecting picture of the Lord’s unmerited goodness and unwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude of Israel. We should be broken and wearied with half that perverseness from others, with which we try the patience and grieve the Spirit of our God. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

One of the key roles of Christ today is to sanctify and cleanse the church – Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Scripture strongly condemns religious leaders who lead others astray – Matthew 23:24, 27, 33Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.; Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness; Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Very strong words there stating how these who are leading astray will be held accountable even be sent to hell.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in God's Truth

 

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Are You Different Since You’ve Been Saved?

Ahhhh, what an excellent song to begin the weekend! I hope you all are “no longer the same” since you’ve been saved! It’s what Jesus wants from each of us.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Are We Preparing for our Service in Heaven?

I have to wonder, with the state of affairs in the U.S., how many of those who claim to be children of the one and only God Jehovah, truly understand that we will give account to Him for what we have or have not done for the cause of Christ after accepting Him as Lord, and that how we live our lives in this short time on earth is to prepare us for eternity in Heaven.

Matthew 25

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2016 in God's Truth

 

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