Saturday, February 20, 2010

Choose the Good Portion

I love reading and learning about the women in the bible. I love their absolute devotion and loyalty to Jesus. I can remember reading through the gospel of Luke for the first time and getting to this story. It is one that is probably all too familiar to many, but still meaningful and powerful. This story means so much to me and I often keep it in my heart as a reminder to what should be most important in my life . . . the main thing . . . the good portion.

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42

I love the lesson behind this, and I am again reminded how important it is to sit at the LORD’s feet and listen to His teaching. I have been sick for nearly 3 days, no work, no bible study in the mornings, no running this errand, going to this meeting, preparing this meal, etc. Again, the LORD wastes nothing and reminds me that serving is good, but don’t let it distract you from the main thing-your personal, intimate relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.

I love being a woman, and part of the reason why is because when you need something done, you can call on a woman to do it! We are quick to help, quick to serve, eager to sign up for this ministry, etc. Yet, sometimes in the midst of that, we get lost in the “serving”, or as the passage says “distracted” by the serving, not choosing the good portion. I hope that we’ll remember WHO we serve when we’re serving, that our service is an overflow of our time sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to His teaching. Let’s not let our serving distract us, but merely be an act of obedience, our response of thanksgiving, love, and loyalty to our God. Mary of Bethany is an example for us, a reminder to choose the Good Portion.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Scripture 2

Our Creator & Sustainer

5“Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it,

6"I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

Isaiah 42:5-7

I love this whole chapter! This chapter title is “The Lord’s Chosen Servant”, which Isaiah is sometimes referring to Jesus and other times Israel as a whole. He lays out what His servant will do but also weaving in God’s attributes, as a reminder that He is powerful and thus able to keep His promises!

Verse 5
When we are discouraged, in the midst of suffering or trial, frustrated, whatever it may be . . . let’s cling to the reminder that our God . . .
Created the heavens and stretched them out-Have you looked at the sky during a clear night recently?
Spread out the earth and what comes from it-look at the mountain range in the East or the new blossoms that are growing on the trees as winter comes to an end
Gives breath to the people on it-He is the reason we are alive, why we live, move, and breathe
Gives Spirit to those who walk in it-He is the reason we feel, he gives us our personality, passions, desires.

Verse 6 & 7
He is the LORD-ruler in our lives
He has called us into righteousness-we are now in “right standing” with the LORD, cleansed of sin
He will take us by the hand and keep us-our Guide, our Comfort, our Shepherd
We are a light . . . to open the eyes to the blind-our lives should help people see the gift of salvation in Christ-He is our Deliverer
We can help free captives (prisoners in the dungeon)-you no longer have to be bound by sin, you can be bound to Jesus Christ and be free to live!
We can help lift those who sit in darkness-point people to the Light of the world, the Way out; He will deliver, rescue you, and restore you, call you from darkness into light.

I realize this is a big chunk of scripture . . . but we can’t just stop reading at verse 5! So, memorize what you can. I broke it up into two parts, so start by memorizing verse 5, and if want; go for verses 6-7 too! I encourage you to at least read this chapter this week, let the LORD remind you of His omnipotence and faithfulness to His promises!

The more we realize who God is, the better we can understand who we are and who we are not! Let’s start memorizing scripture that exalts our God, scripture that we can hide in our hearts that reminds of who God is, His attributes, His promises, His power, His love. Let’s cling to the AUTHOR of scripture, so that our roots will grow down deep, increasing our faith, trust, and awe of the LORD!

Where else do we see God as Creator and Sustainer in scripture?
Psalm 90, Psalm 19, Psalm 33, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Hebrews 11:3, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17, Genesis 1, Genesis 2, Revelation 4:11, Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2

P.S. If you are memorizing a different scripture, please leave a comment with the scripture you’ll be memorizing! I love to see where God is leading you and what He is teaching you! Worshiping with you . . . Melissa

Monday, February 1, 2010

Scripture 1

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

We have been reading through Proverbs in our life group, and I thought this was a great scripture to start with! After all, it shows us where the knowledge begins, in fear of LORD. To gain knowledge . . . start with fear.

What does it mean to fear the LORD? According to my ESV commentary, in this context it’s referring to reverence (deep respect or admiration) and humility before the Maker and Redeemer. Before we can go any further in our understanding we must come to a deep place of fear or reverence for the LORD.

We should be in awe of the LORD, worship Him because . . .

He is glorious
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

He created us
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

He chose us
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”
Ephesians 1:4-5

We are saved

"For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

We are adopted
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"” Romans 8:15

Christ lives in us
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

We are justified and glorified
"And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:30

We are blessed
And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." Revelation 19:9

We are women of The Well, He showed us grace and truth-John 4. He had mercy on us; our Creator reached down and pulled us from the pit.

That is how we humble ourselves, worship, stand in awe, and fear our LORD. That kind of fear is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. Thanksgiving and praise for what He did to us, in us, and through us. I hope we bow our hearts today in reverence as we choose our first scripture to meditate on. Let us first be filled with fear, that we would receive knowledge from our King.