Saturday, November 06, 2010

2010 – November 6 – The Imperfect Hostess

Study from God’s Word Luke 9: 51-56 [Matt 19: 1,2 – Mark 10:1]; Luke 17: 11-19; Luke 10: 1-16 [Matt 11: 20-24]; Luke 10: 17-20; Luke 10: 21-24 [Matt 11: 25-27]; Matt 11: 28-30; Luke 10: 25-37; Luke 10: 38-42: Luke 11: 1-13; John 10: 22-42 … Passage for Reflection: Luke 10: 41-42 … NIV 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

My Journal for Today: If you were to go back and study the passages Dr. Smith has edited/extracted for chronological study from the New Testament, listed today above, as I have, you’ll see that Jesus was on His way inexorably to Jerusalem, encountering people, friends and strangers, along the way and trying to do all He could to declare and show His identification as The Messiah, The Christ, … the Son of God. But as in today’s highlight story, many people, even dear friends like Martha in the house of Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, too often let their religious traditions and beliefs stand in the way of total surrender and worship of THE CHRIST.

We see in this scenario from today’s text that Martha’s sister, Mary, somehow got it and was in total surrender and worship to her Lord, even to the point of neglecting what would be considered traditions of hospitality in that middle eastern culture of the day. Martha, on the other hand, was hindered by her need to be “traditional,” even though she had a head-belief that this man, her friend, was THE Messiah.

What Dr. Smith, my devotional shepherd, is trying to illustrate today comes out in what he calls a “worrying question,” which is stated today to challenge those of us reading his devotional. He writes, ”In what subtle ways does my view of religion affect my view of everyday activities?” And I might go further, in self analysis, to ask myself [and any reading here], ”How do I let my social agenda and habits get in the way of being in total surrender and 24/7 worship of my Savior and Lord?”

Do I look down upon someone who might be sitting in the spot in my church pew where I normally sit; or do I worship my Lord by welcoming the person and getting to know them to let the light of Christ shine through me? >>> Do I scowl when I see someone dressing in what I consider inappropriate attire when I see them enter our church sanctuary on Sunday morning? >>> Am I prideful when I put my tithe and offering envelope in the offering plate, wanting others to see me do it. Am I there on Sunday morning as a Mary or a Martha?

What Jesus wanted the people to recognize as He was taking the route the Father led Him upon, on the way to the Cross, was for the people to see Him and to believe in Him to the point of making their lives what Paul later wrote about in Romans 12: 1. You know it [I hope] …
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
When Jesus entered the house of Lazarus, Mary, the one sister was there, at Jesus’ feet, with the type of “living sacrifice” to which the Apostle Paul would later exhort all believers to have; but Martha wasn’t quite there yet.

I think we all need to determine if our lifestyle of worship is characterized by Mary or Martha. We may be believers at the head level; but is our life truly a living sacrifice at the heart level, shining the light of Christ, by the way we live as worship to the One who went to the Cross – as a total living sacrifice – that we might have eternal life?

My Prayer for Today: Lord, may my life be my worship to You. Amen

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