Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Learning to Be a Mary (When You Are a Martha) Part 4

So what is the key?  How does a "Martha" learn to be a "Mary"?
1.  Salvation
Isaiah 45:22 says, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:  for I am God, and there is none else."  For Martha's testimony, please read John 11:25-27.  It all starts with salvation.  A "Martha" can never be a "Mary" without salvation.
2.  Remember
Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them."  Martha had to be reminded about "that good part." (Luke 10:42)  She had to be reminded of God's promises.
(John 11:40)
3.  Submission
Martha submitted to the Lord's correction.  Luke 10:41-42
Martha submitted to the Lord's salvation.  John 11:25-27
Martha submitted to the Lord's reminder of His Words.  John 11:40

With these three things, Martha learned to be a Silent Servant - busy serving, yes, but even busier being silent and listening to every word her Master had to say.  She went from calling Him "Lord" to calling Him "Master."

Salvation happens one time, but every day we must remember God's promises.  Every day, we must submit and listen carefully to what He has to say.  I want to be like the Martha we see in John 12:1-2. Martha the Brave, Martha the Organizer, Martha the Submitted Servant - always listening to hear what the Master has to say.

Learning to Be a Mary (When You Are a Martha) Part 3

When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary, Christ never said, "Martha, sit down, be quiet, and listen!"  Instead, He gently showed her a picture of herself - as if holding up a mirror for her to gaze into - then reminded her of the One Thing that was needful.  He gently challenged her to accept that needful thing, as Mary had done - salvation, then submission.
I can see Martha now...standing before the Lord - her hands on her hips, perhaps even with a stomp of her foot, like a naughty, little child.  Blurting out the words of hurt and frustration, even hot anger, "Lord, dost thou not care....????  Don't you care, Lord?  I'm over here breaking my back to serve You and Mary's sitting over there doing NOTHING!!!  Selfish thing - why don't You make her get up and help me?!?!?"
Isn't that how we act so many times?  I know I have.  I spit out venomous words to my Saviour - demanding an answer, demanding a solution, demanding that others come down to my level - instead of remembering that times with Jesus cannnot be replaced.  The dishes can wait.  The laundry will be there.  Those lesson plans are not top priority.  My relationship with my Lord must be first!  I must sit at His feet and take all His words into my heart - only then can I serve with the proper humility.  Only then can I call Him "Master."  ONly then can I serve Him quietly and with full submission.  Only then can I be the right example for those around me - my husband, my children, our church family, the Deaf, my friends, and the lost who live all around me.
Martha the Brave, Martha the Doer, Martha the Organizer and House-Keeper Extraordinaire!  How I love Martha!  I may not be the housekeeper extraordinaire, but am just like Martha the Doer - always busy about something.  How grateful I am that God chose to show us Martha's whole story - how she went from Martha the Insulted Servant to Martha the Silent and Submissive Servant.  Still serving, still busy doing, but listening to what the Master had to saay.  That's the Martha I want to be like.

Learning to Be a Mary (When You Are a Martha) Part 2

Martha loved Jesus - of that there is no doubt.  But it was hard for Martha to just sit still and listen.  She listened while doing, but this led to missing valuable lessons from the Lord.  It caused her to be resentful of Mary, who sat and listened to every word Jesus spoke. (Luke 10:39-40)
If you skip ahead to the end of Martha's story, you will find her still serving (John 12:1-2), but here we see a change in her heart's attitude.  By this time, she had witnessed the resurrection from the dead of her beloved brother, Lazarus.  Here in John 12, while she is still serving, we see a softer Martha.  We see her, not as a busy, bustling servant, but as a listening servant.  What changed?  What made that difference in Martha?  The rebuke she had received from Jesus the first time He had ever visited her house?  Maybe.  I believe the real change happened the day Martha met Jesus on the road to her house, after Lazarus had died. (John 11).  She accepted Christ for Who He was.  In other words, I believe Martha got saved.
Oh, she was still the opinionated Martha we saw in Luke 10, but here in John 11, we see her learning to follow the Lord - learning to trust Him completely.  In John 11:40, we see the Lord remind her of His promises - gently and lovingly.  While we don't have a written record of Martha's response, I believe she humbly and sweetly submitted her will to the Saviour.
John 12:2 isi the last mention of Martha that I can find, but she had obviously learned the lesson of sweet submission to the Saviour.  She was still busy serving, but I believe this time she was hearing every word that fell from the Master's lips.
Martha had called Jesus "Lord" in Luke 10.  In John 11, after sh me Jesus on the road, she called him "Master."

Learning to Be a Mary (When You Are a Martha) Part 1

When I started this blog, I made a promise to the Lord.  I promised that I would share with you whatever the Lord gave me to share.  A couple of days ago, God gave me the following post.  It's quite lengthy, so I'll break it up into parts.  I pray that it will be a blessing to you as it has been to me.
Have you ever thought about which Bible person you are most like?  I don't mean the one you wish you were, or the one you hope to be someday.  I mean the one you are right now.    For me, it is Martha.  She reminds me of me - always busy doing, working at something.  Here is how I see Martha....Martha the Brave, the Valiant, the Organizer (I can organize myself right into oblivion!).  Martha the House-Keeper Extraordinaire - however else I might be like Martha, here is where we are definitely different.  A House-Keeper Extraordinaire I am NOT!  I can barely keep all my plates spinning, but not Martha!  She had it all together!
Yes, I admire Martha - her strength of character, that ability of hers to "keep it all together."  It was probably Martha to whom Mary and Lazarus turned in a family crisis.  Perhaps Martha had even raised Mary and Lazarus.  There is no mention of their parents in the Scriptures.  We have no idea how long they had been without parents before they met Jesus.
Then one day, they met Jesus.  We don't know exactly how they had met Jesus.  The Bible only tells us in Luke 10:38, "and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house."  Martha was obviously the oldest.  She carried the burdens of the household.  the Bible says she "was cumbered about much serving."  She couldn't sit still and do nothing.  Modern doctors would say she had RLS - "Restless Leg Syndrome" or maybe even that she had OCD - "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder"!  Whatever it was, Martha was driven - driven to always be doing.  Maybe it had become a habit born out of necessity.  If she had raised Mary and Lazarus, then the full responsibility of getting things done had always fallen to her.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Between the Rain Drops

First let me say that I LOVE living in Iquitos, Peru!  In so many ways it reminds me of General Santos City, Philippines, where I lived for 7 and 1/2 years as a single missionary.  But I love Iquitos most of all because God has brought us here.  I giggle to myself sometimes as we ride down the street in a mototaxi.  I giggle because I get to live where most people only dream of visiting!  So many people all over the world, spend thousands of dollars to come visit here - yet God allows me to LIVE here....WOW!  I pray I will never lose the wonder of living here in Iquitos.
It rains here regularly - sometimes every day, sometimes every couple of days.  I love the sound of the rain on our tin roof!  So what do I do between the rain drops?

Between the raindrops, I hang up laundry on my clothes line.  I love hanging my clothes up on the line - the sun dries them so quickly!  I am enjoying praying for whoever God brings to my mind and heart as I hang up my clothes - between the raindrops.  Thankfully, I am learning exactly how many loads of laundry I can get washed AND dried in one day!  Sometimes, (like in the picture here) I have to hang my clothes under the partial roof because the raindrops come before my clothes are dry!

Between the raindrops, we have school.  We are learning all kinds of interesting things this year - everything from nouns, verbs, and learning to read to tracing our shadows on the ground to see how the sun moves across the sky!  We are studying geography this year (always my favorite topic!) and learning a little about each of our 50 States!  I think later this year, we will dive into World History!  Math and Handwriting are always on the menu for the school year.  And who can forget about Art Class?!?  I can't - Martha and Ian won't let me.  I think they live for Fridays - Art Class Day (plus the end of the school week)!
Between the raindrops, we live.  Just like everyone else.  We live in the place God planned for us.  And we love it - living between the raindrops!