Monday, April 23, 2018

April 24, 2018

"In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:1-8

Has your life ever seemed like this?

(Note - I am referring to the spinning plates not having people stepping on your head)

Life gets tougher when you try to do too many things. The reason people pay to watch these Chinese acrobats is because of their unusual ability to do several difficult tasks at the same time. They are the exception not the norm.

God wired you and calls you to do just one thing well - obey Him.  You obey Him because you love Him. As you love Him well through obedience other good things happen! You will love others and you will serve Him by serving others.

So, the last thing Jesus told to His followers was one thing to do was one thing: "Wait!" But not just to "wait" but to wait for His promise to be fulfilled. With that in mind you realize the one thing Jesus is actually requiring of them

You know as well as I do that the enemy to doing one thing are the distractions caused by many things! Here is another humorous example of how that feels when you get stretched too many ways:

If your life feels like either the plate spinners or the sprinters with no direction, why not meditate on this Scripture text and let God refocus you on the one thing that will rescue you from the many things?

April 23, 2018

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-41

How do you react to this story?

Do you identify with Mary sitting at Jesus feet? Or do you relate to Martha fixing Him something to eat?

From Jesus' response it sounds as though Martha was the problem and that Mary was preferred example. Was Jesus being harsh with Martha? Was He siding with Mary?

Actually he was helping Martha with her priorities. Do you ever struggle with priorities?

Of course you do! Jesus knew that and understood. He wanted to help these sisters find some balance in their priorities. You can't always sit at Jesus' feet nor do you always need to be serivng. Both of these activities are important. You need to both. But you need to to know what your priorities are and why.

Mary and Martha demonstrate and illustrate the two sides of the struggle for balance - the sitting one and the serving one. The serene one and the stressed one. The worshiping one and the working one. Where is the balance and how does a busy woman find it?

The determining principle for these priorities is simple, "What pleases Jesus the most?"

Obviously, as He told Martha, Mary had chosen the better part. She had balanced her priorities better than Martha had. The better part then, is waiting with Jesus rather than working for Him. Serving Jesus should flow from loving Him and loving Him grows from sitting quietly at His feet.

Busy women, wives, and mothers, learn the lesson of Martha. Adopt the priorities of Mary and the battle for balance will swing in your favor!