Being Mary In A Martha World

From day 2 of the 5 day @YouVersion plan ‘Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World‘. Link at bottom.

The text: Luke 10:38‭-‬42 EASY translation

The context: When Jesus and his disciples continued their journey. They arrived at a certain village. There, a woman called Martha asked Jesus to come into her home. Martha had a sister called Mary, and Mary sat down near Jesus. She was listening to the things that he was teaching. But Martha was thinking to herself, ‘I cannot do all this work alone.’ So she went to Jesus. ‘Master,’ she said, ‘my sister is not helping me with the work. She has left me to do it alone. You cannot really believe that this is right! Tell her that she should help me!’

 What Jesus Didn’t Say

I find it interesting that when Jesus corrected Martha, He didn’t say,

“Why can’t you be more like your sister, Mary?”

He knew Martha would never be Mary, and Mary would never be Martha. But when the two were faced with the same choice—to work or to worship—

Jesus said,

“Mary has chosen the better part.” 

To me, this implies the better part was available to both Mary and Martha. And it’s available to each one of us, regardless of our gifting or personality. It’s a choice we each can make. 

The Bible isn’t clear whether or not this was Jesus’ first visit to the home in Bethany. Whatever the case, it isn’t every day God visits your house. So Mary ignores tradition, she breaks social etiquette, and she presses closer. It doesn’t matter that she might be misunderstood. She cares little that the disciples look at her strangely. Somewhere in the distance, she hears her name, but it is drowned by the call of her Master. The call to come. The call to listen. 

Against this Bethany backdrop of unexpected guests, I see the struggle I face every day when work and worship collide.

Part of me is Mary. I want to worship extravagantly. I want to sit at His feet. But part of me is Martha—and there’s just so much to do!

How do we choose the better part and still get done what has to get done? 

Jesus is our supreme example. He was never in a hurry. Someone has said that Jesus went from place of prayer to place of prayer and did miracles in between.

How incredible to be so in tune with God that not one action is wasted, not one word falls to the ground! 

That is the intimacy that Jesus invites us to share. He invites us to know Him, to see Him so clearly that when we look upon Him, we see the face of God as well. 

Just as He welcomed Mary to sit at His feet in the living room, just as He invited Martha to leave the kitchen for a while and share in the better part, Jesus bids us to come. 

Sense Jesus calling you to come sit at His feet.

Insert your name in that passage from Luke 10:41.

“You (insert name here), you have troubles in your mind about many things.”

May we hear God telling us,

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42 NLT). You (insert your name here) you can do the same. Choose the better part.”

It’s your choice on how you respond.


God’s Word:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:1‭-‬2 NIV

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:4‭-‬6 NIV

You have searched me, Lord , and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord , know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you… Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalms 139:1‭-‬24 NIV


I just finished day 2 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World’. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/4gm

Hand Health

No audio to video

I was trying to capture the issues with my hands. Sometimes it is worse than other times but I am coming to grips with the fact that my nerve damage (polyneropothy) is starting to effect my hands as well.

This reminds me of how my legs were giving out on me back in 2014 and 2015. Here is a video from back then:

My plan:

Use it while I can.

The Creator of You

From day 5 of the 5 day @YouVersion plan ‘Chris Tomlin – Good Good Father Devotional’. Link at bottom.

As You Call Me Deeper Still

When you begin to view God as your Father, you start to see Him as not only the Creator of the universe, but the Creator of you. He intimately knows you (Psalm 139).

He did not create us and walk away. He created us, sent His son to die for us and left the Holy Spirit to guide us.

God consistently moves toward His children.

In the Old Testament, He made covenants with His people of Israel. He forgave them when they rebelled and worked to restore His relationship with them (Deut. 7:9).

Then, He sent His son as the ultimate act of restoration.

Now in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit who leads us and teaches us, calling us deeper and deeper into relationship with our Father.

That is the amazing thing about the Christian life. There is always more to learn about God and His character. There is always a new level of intimacy to be reached. We are constantly being transformed, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).

Let us continue to answer His call to draw deeper still.

Written by Andrea Lucado


God’s Word:

You made every part of me. You made me grow inside my mother before I was born. I thank you for the wonderful way that you have made me. Everything that you do is wonderful! I know it is true.
Psalms 139:13‭-‬14 EASY

Remember that the Lord your God is the only God. You can always believe in him. He has made a promise to all those who love him. If they obey him, he will love them and all their children for thousands (1,000s) of years.
Deuteronomy 7:9 EASY

We show the power of the Lord to other people. It is like God has removed a cloth from over our faces. He is changing us so that we become more and more like him. We show how great God is more and more clearly. It is the Lord who does all this, by the work of his Spirit .
2 Corinthians 3:18 EASY

This was day 5 of the 5 day from the @YouVersion plan ‘Chris Tomlin – Good Good Father Devotional’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/gL

Attracted To The Magnetic Messiah (The Manet)

Some things look like metal, sound like metal, but there is nothing in them that has the make up of metal. Nothing in them that is naturally attracted to a magnet.

As a true believer I am attracted to Jesus Christ, The Messiah, just as metal is attracted to a magnet. My spiritual make up is drawn to Him.

ANOTHER SHORT ILLUSTRATION:

A magnet allows this top in the video below to spin and even float in air. We can not see the magnetic field but we can see the effect it has on the objects in that environment.

My prayer is that we will share in this experience of being attracted to The Magnetic Messiah (The Manet).

God’s Word

So, we do not look at the things that we can see in this world. Instead, we look at the things that people cannot see. The things that we can see are only here for a short time. But the things that we cannot see will continue for ever.
2 Corinthians 4:18 EASY

https://bible.com/bible/2079/2co.4.18.EASY

The Casting Club of Courage and Encouragement

Parts taken from the YouVersion app. Reading plan: “Dealing with Uncertainty” link at bottom.

God, thank You for holding on to me. I don’t ever have to fear the future because You go with me at all times. Lord, You know what is on my heart and mind—nothing is hidden from You. But today, I actively choose to cast all of my cares and concerns onto You, because I need You and I know You can handle it. Here I am Lord, please come and rescue me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Holding Psalm 55:22 and 1st Peter 5:7 close to my heart I recognize that
God’s got big shoulders. I’m crying on His shoulders today and my heart and mind are at peace. My prayer is the same for you my friends. Cry on God’s shoulders. Sit at his feet, wet from our tears of worship.

Finding Courage in the Face of Uncertainty

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” – Joshua 1:6  

Think of Joshua as he prepared to lead the Israelites into Canaan—a place overrun by their enemies. Although God promised them this land, the journey to obtain the promise was long, hard, and filled with uncertainty. 

Perhaps that’s why God reminds Joshua: “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous…” God knew Joshua’s secret concerns, and so He spoke to the fear in Joshua’s heart. 

The same God who encouraged Joshua also wants to encourage you.

He understands how easily fear and anxiety can paralyze anyone forced out of their comfort zones and into circumstances beyond their control.  

Thankfully, no matter how uncertain you may feel, the outcome of every situation is known to God. And God promises to never leave or forsake those who draw near to Him. His children are never alone. You are not alone. And your future is held in His hands.

I am acknowledge my limitations, laying down my expectations, and picking up God’s declarations

A Prayer for Facing Uncertainty: 

God, I know that You can work all things together for good. But right now, I’m overwhelmed by what’s going on around me. The future feels uncertain and I want to panic. Please help me. Remind me of Your promises. Fill me with courage and give me strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Over the next few days, use this Plan to speak to my heart and encourage my soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Word:

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:5‭-‬9 NLT

In God we trust, casting our burdens ON HIM, we are able to take courage and encourage others.

Ps. 55:22
1st Peter 5:7

The Club of Uncertainty

Parts taken from the YouVersion app. Reading plan: “Dealing with Uncertainty” link at bottom.

Dealing with doubt and some uncertainty? Join the club. You are human.

Pick Up God’s Declarations & Let Him Pick You Up Today

Joshua summoned all Israel, “…you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” – Joshua 23:14

Joshua spent most of his life enduring adversity, setbacks, and disappointment. And yet, he never stopped believing that God would keep His promises. By the end of his life, Joshua saw God’s faithfulness come to pass, which is why he told the Israelites to recognize and remember God’s promises. 

The thoughts you fill your mind with are crucial because what you cling to influences your worldview

If you choose to dwell on God’s promises, you start to recognize God’s blessings during uncertain times. Plus, trusting that God will redeem your present pain equips you to walk forward in faith and keep on fighting. 

Praying God’s Promises

God, I’m so thankful that the Scriptures are filled with Your promises. Help me to cling to what I know is true. Remind me of Your faithfulness. When I am tempted to forget what You’ve done or how You’ve shown Yourself faithful, cause my heart to remember. Keep me steadfast. Amen.

God’s Word:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:6‭-‬9 NLT

Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:22 NLT

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Psalms 32:8 NLT

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalms 46:1 NLT

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37‭-‬39 NLT

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:18 NLT

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6 NLT

Romans 5:3-5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Romans 5:3‭-‬11 NLT

Certain section for this post come directly from YouVersion Bible app. reading plan, “Dealing with Uncertainty” http://bible.com/r/5XX

Lingering & Loitering Around The Turquoise Table

Inspiration for this thought are from day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Be Present’. Link at bottom.

Consideration of Connection 

Kristin Schell’s book, The Turquoise Table, tells the story of how she moved a picnic table from the backyard to the front yard and painted it turquoise. Soon, she found herself lingering around the turquoise table talking with her neighbors. Wonderful, significant, satisfying things happened in those new connections. 

We don’t all need to paint our picnic table turquoise and drag it to the front yard. But consider this,

Busyness doesn’t equal significance.

Busyness doesn’t even equal importance. So many of us are over scheduled and overstressed. We have little or no margin that would allow us time to connect with a neighbor or linger with friends over a cup of coffee, tea, a meal, or even over a beer or an adult beverage. For those with younger kids consider this,

When was the last time you had a good old fasion tea party with kool aide, or even better, a tea party with…

invisible imagination tea?

When we are connected to other we can find real satisfaction and our life’s purpose.

Jesus told his followers,

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

Matthew 5:13

In the days before refrigeration, salt was essential, not just to enhance the taste of food, but also to preserve it. The only way they could be salt in the lives of others was to touch the lives of others and take time to know them. The faith and hope they brought to a conversation always enhanced the lives of the ones they touched. The love and kindness they showed to others in Jesus’ name often saved a life. 

Don’t lose your saltiness. Don’t lose your flavor. May we taste and see that the Lord is good and give others a taste of how good He is.

One more personal note, Salt can also be used to melt Ice. I hope this encourages you, as it did me, to break the ice with someone today.

Know Christ, know yourself, get to truly know others, and be the salt of the earth.

Jesus says,

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand (on a lighted stage). Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13‭-‬16 MSG


Be Present

Inspiration for this thought were from day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Be Present’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/3ha

Pray Every Day Pray

Day 2 of the @YouVersion plan ‘A 7-Day Guide To Prayer notes’:

Consider Praying like Jesus.

Prayer is the most important conversation of your day. Take it to God before you take it to anyone else. – Anonymous

It is really that important that we spend time daily in prayer with God.

Prayer is simply a two-way conversation that we have with God in order to grow.

It is spending time talking, listening, asking, and thanking Him, among other things. Praying, or having an ongoing conversation with God, is vital to our growth as Christ followers. 

Jesus spent a lot of time praying to God. The Bible says He often got away by Himself to pray. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we read that He prayed over two dozen times, at least! It was a healthy habit he practiced all the time.

He prayed… 

  • …when He was alone and when He was with others. 
  • …before He healed someone and after He healed someone. 
  • …before meals and before important decisions. 
  • …in the morning and in the evening.
  • …after He was nailed to the cross and as He was dying on the cross.

What Jesus’s prayers tell us is that He depended on His Father for everything, and He was the Savior of the world! If He needed time with God in prayer, we most certainly do.

We exist in a world that is constantly throwing new things at us and begging us to divert our attention from walking with God. Prayer allows us to relate to God and be guided by Him.

In these times of prayer, Jesus was getting close to His Heavenly Father. His times of prayer showed how desperate He was for His Heavenly Father. Like Jesus,

Pray in every situation and pray about every situation. 

Consider subsequent steps you will take for the part you will play in this open-ended, prayer relationship you have with God.

Go to Him first.

We shouldn’t be intimidated by prayer. We don’t need to wonder if we are doing it “the right way” or if we are saying “the right thing.” God simply wants us to be in an intimate relationship with Him, and He knows that maintaining an ongoing conversation with Him throughout our days is the best plan. 

Documentation:

Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!
Mark 7:33‭-‬35 NLT

After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
John 17:1‭-‬26 NLT

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.
Hebrews 5:7 NLT


This was from day 2 of the @YouVersion plan ‘A 7-Day Guide To Prayer’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/4BS

Spiritual Health

Spiritual Health: Meditating on God’s Word

This devoted thought comes from day 2 of the 3 day reading plan, “Beating Burnout: Finding Hope And Health” http://bible.com/r/Dx

Studying scripture is fundamental to our spiritual health.

I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and His instructions to us.

B.I.B.L.E

Basic

Instructions

Before

Leaving

Earth

The Holy Spirit illuminates scripture for us. In scripture, we are taught about God’s character and reminded of God’s faithfulness in the past. We are instructed on how to live holy lives of love, and we are convicted of our shortcomings.

Too often we may personally struggled with consistent Bible study. Our life seems to get too busy, and sometimes we just blow it off because we are running around “doing things for God.”

During those seasons of neglecting time in God’s Word, we realize how simple it is to justify sin in our life. We can lose focus on the truth; however, during the times when we faithfully meditate on God’s Word, it’s amazing how scripture overflows from our minds and is applied constantly throughout our day.

Stop to Reflect

We’re always meditating on something, whether it is scripture, a blog, or a conversation we’re mulling over. The key is to shift our focus to scripture and truth as we go about our day.

Try with me to keeping God’s Word on your mind for a day and watch how your perspective changes.

What are three scriptures you can meditate on today, or this week? What do you expect God to do when you turn your focus to Him during your day?

This devoted thought comes from. “Beating Burnout: Finding Hope And Health” http://bible.com/r/Dx

Don’t beat around the burning bush