Tag Archives: Mary

Take A Break (Video)

40 But Martha, overly occupied and too busy, was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me to lend a hand and do her part along with me!
41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;
42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion, that which is to her advantage, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:40-42

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Mary’s Mindset

When looking into the birth of Jesus, you have to look into Mary. She is the first one to get the news that she would give birth to our Savior. We don’t know how old she was or what she was doing when the Angel Gabriel arrived to give her the news. We do know it frightened her though. Gabriel reassured her and said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!” That words “found favor” can be translated to “brought joy, pleasure or delight to.” The Angel was telling her that she lived a life that brought joy to God and he was there to bring good news.

I wonder what went through Mary’s mind as he began to tell her that she was going to be pregnant with the Messiah. Did she start to wonder what kind of mom she would be? When he said her child would reign over Israel forever, did she grasp what he was saying? He gave her a lot to think about as he laid out God’s plan for her child. I don’t know what all she thought about, but I do know she was concerned about being pregnant. She asked, “How can this happen? I am a virgin.” She wasn’t questioning him. She, like you and I, wanted to know the specifics of God’s plan.

I love Gabriel’s response in Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment (AMP).” When God promises something to us, He will fulfill it. It doesn’t matter how impossible it may sound to us, God has the ability to make it happen. He is not bound by our limitations. He isn’t limited by our income. He is not intimidated by our fears. He is able to do exceedingly above and beyond all we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). The angel’s message to Mary (and us): If God said it, He will do it.

I think Mary’s response to that should be our response to God. It showed who she really was and why God chose her for such a task as to bring His Son into the world. Luke 1:38 says, “Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.'” It didn’t matter how impossible it sounded or how big a task it was, she was ready to do what God asked her to do. She pushed past her fear of the unknown. She looked beyond the possible shame of being pregnant out of wedlock. She agreed to do whatever it was that God asked her to do.

You and I need to learn to trust God’s plan above all else. It may seem impossible, out of reach or even outlandish, but if God said He would do it, our response she be like her’s. We should be willing to endure shame, push past our fears and trust that God knows what He’s doing. If we want our lives to bring joy, pleasure and delight to the King of Kings, then we should be a servant who’s willing to serve in whatever capacity He has for us. God’s looking for us to simply trust Him and say, “May everything you say about me come true.”

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Busy For God

Have you ever been rocked by a single question? There was a question asked last night that I’m still wrestling with the answer to. It was, “Are you just being busy for God or are you fulfilling your calling?” It’s a very humbling question. When you think about it, how much of what we do is just busy work and how much is truly fulfilling our calling? I believe each person has a calling on their life to do something. Each person was created unique for a reason only they can fulfill.

God is not pleased when we’re just being busy for Him. His desire is that each of us fulfill His calling for us. I think of Martha and Mary and how Jesus came to visit them. Luke 10:40 says, “Martha overly occupied and too busy was distracted with much serving. (AMP)” We can get to the point that our business for God becomes a distraction more than it is a help. Martha’s was serving Jesus, but that wasn’t her calling. She was busy, but not productive.

Another story from the Bible that came to mind was from I Samuel 14. Saul was outnumbered by the Philistines and wasn’t sure what to do. His son Jonathan got his armor bearer and decided to go attack the entire Philistine army themselves. While Saul prayed and acted busy for God, Jonathan went to fulfill his call. When Jonathan attacked, Saul and his men didn’t know what was happening. They took a count of everyone and found Jonathan was missing. Saul called decided to pray again while the battle raged. He finally joined his son once the Philistines were running.

We can use prayer to keep us from doing what God called us too. We can use serving in God’s house to be busy for God while running from our calling. There are a number of things we can use to be busy while not fulfilling our calling. Just because we don’t get in a boat and head the opposite direction like Jonah doesn’t mean we aren’t in the same boat as he is when we are busy doing things for God instead of doing what He told us.

I know it’s scary to think about what God called you to do. I know there’s lots of questions you have about how, when and where. Don’t get so scared of your calling that you hide behind being busy instead of following that call. God isn’t pleased with that. That’s not what you were created for. You will never be fulfilled in that role and you will grow weary. Chances are you won’t be very productive either. Martha wasn’t. She wanted Mary to leave her calling to come help her. She was busy serving, but not productive. Saul was busy praying, but not productive. Is serving important? Yes. Is praying important? Yes. But you can’t hide behind them when God said, “Go!”

What things are you using to be busy for God instead of fulfilling your calling? Are you truly fulfilled doing those things or do you feel like there’s more? You can serve in the house of God and still not fulfill what you were called to do. Remember there are others who are waiting on the other side of your obedience. They can’t move forward until you do. Leave those things that you’re using to be busy and start doing what you were made to do. No one else can do it because that’s why you were created. Live a fulfilled life by following your calling.

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Lessons From Joseph

I have always been intrigued with Joseph. In the story of Jesus’ birth, Mary is the one who always gets the attention. I’m not saying she shouldn’t. I’m saying that I think Joseph needs some attention too. Just so you know, I’m also the guy who doesn’t stand and look at the bride in a wedding either. When I hear the notes on the organ and all rise and turn to the back of the auditorium, I turn and face the front. I love the look on a guy’s face as his wife comes out of hiding and he sees her for the first time in her dress. I identify with him because I’ve been there. There’s no feeling like it.

Maybe that’s why I’m concerned with Joseph. As a guy, husband and father, I identify with him. Since I can identify with him, it makes me impressed with what he did. We know that Mary was highly favored among women, but I think Joseph must have been highly favored among men. It took someone special to do what he was asked to do which is to be an earthly father to the Messiah. It was on him to raise a baby into a boy, a boy into a teen and teen into a man.

You know what kind of a person Joseph is right away when you first read about him in Matthew 1. The first thing you know is that his genealogy places him in the tribe of Judah and in the royal family line of King David. The Bible lists out the 28 generations from Abraham to Joseph. God couldn’t just use anyone to be the father of Jesus, he had to be from that tribe and in that lineage according to prophecy. He also had to be devout, willing and obedient.

When Mary told Joseph that she was pregnant, he knew that he was not the father. His reaction impresses me. He decided he wouldn’t marry her, that he’d keep it quiet and let her go into hiding since that was a crime punishable by stoning. If it was me and my fiancé told me she was pregnant, I would have been the first one with a stone in my hand. Joseph wasn’t like that though. Even though he must have been hurt and obviously disbelieving in her story, he decided to show kindness.

God had sent an angel to speak to Mary about the baby, now He sent one to Joseph. Once the angel spoke to Joseph, he believed and kept Mary as his fiancé. Not only that, but he married her and then did not have marital relations with her until after Jesus was born. What?!? They were married for months before he consummated their wedding vows. That’s a stronger man than me.

What he does next is even more impressive. God woke him up in the middle of the night and told him to take his family and flee to Egypt. Without hesitation, they packed up and left. He had already been displaced from his home in Nazareth because of the census, now he had to flee his home in Bethlehem. Through two other dreams Joseph was obedient to what God said in order to protect Jesus. He was a true father to Jesus by putting His safety above his own.

I think there is a lot we can learn from Joseph. Although the Bible doesn’t give us much more than this about him, we can see that God chose the right man for the right job. I think He still chooses the right people to fulfill His purposes. Each of us has been called to do something in particular for Him. He’s needing us to be devout, willing and obedient as Joseph was. So what has He asked you to do? Are you being willing and obedient to do it while remaining devout to Him even when it doesn’t make sense?

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