Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fresh Encounter – Consider Mary

The story of Jesus and the house of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus is found in two passages of scripture, Luke 10 and John 12.  Interestingly, Martha is seen doing the same thing in John 12 as she does in Luke 10, she is serving.  However, as previously noted, after the encounter of Luke 10 where she had a “Fresh Encounter” in the words of Jesus she served the crowd in John 12 with no complaining.  This is an important note for us today because we live in a “culture of complaining.”  Last week a Sunday School class was giving a report about their ministry outside of the ‘four-walls-of-the church’ and we heard that people complained.  Certainly, the world teaches us how to complain and we can be good learners!  However, a “Fresh Encounter” could well change you from being a chronic complainer to being focused on serving Jesus with a whole heart.
Also interesting is knowing that Mary is found in the same place doing the same thing as she did during the first encounter.  The only difference is that she raised her worship to another level.  As she knelt as His feet, she held in her hand a jar, a bottle, or a pound of expensive oil.  This container held the key to her future.  For you see a woman (in those days) was only valuable & attractive for marriage as she had assets to bring into a marriage.  This jar was worth almost a year’s wages.  This made her attractive.  When she poured the oil out on Jesus’ feet, she was in essence placing her future in the hands of Jesus.  She trusted Him with all she was and all she would ever be.  She didn’t use a little of the oil, or a half of the oil, or even just a part of the oil; she used it ALL on the feet of Jesus.
We have much to learn from Mary.  She teaches us about giving all to Jesus in our worship.  After Jesus affirmed her in Luke 10, her example in John 12 is nothing shy of stunningly committed, totally sold out, and completely “all in” for our Lord.  A Fresh Encounter causes that kind of devotion and commitment.  Even so, Lord Jesus come.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fresh Encounter - Consider Martha

Walk into the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (we literally did last Sunday).  Each of these three experienced a “Fresh Encounter” with Jesus that ‘changed their lives!’  This is true of EVERYONE who has an “Encounter with Jesus.” 
Today, on this Tuesday before we gather for the weekend where we seek God for a “Fresh Encounter”, consider “Martha.”  She is known as a person of service.  She does much.  Every time the family needs something ‘done’, Martha is the girl.  She puts muscle and action to whatever is needed. 
She is like many today; to see a need or a task that needs doing is to respond, do, work, and act.  Such was the life of Martha in Luke 10. 
However again like so many, there is a dark side of Martha; she demands everyone do ‘like she does’ and if they don’t, she complains!  Martha might fit well in the 21st century culture because it would seem that we live in a “Culture of Complaining.”  Last Sunday evening in the service, as the S.O.S. class shared about their ministry we heard several stories which remind us of the complaining nature of this affluent culture.
As Jesus spoke to Martha in Luke 10, He revealed that the issue she was complaining about was not her real issue & that the greater service that she could give would be in service to him.  What a lesson for us to learn.
From HER “Fresh Encounter”, her service, actions, & life, were all raised to a new level.  Now, she no longer served, while judging others.  She no longer complained about what others ‘didn’t do.’  She no longer focused on the things of this world.  Her “Fresh Encounter” raised her eyes & heart toward Jesus.
What a lesson for each of us.  Let’s pray that as we come to this weekend, that our Lord will grant us a Fresh Encounter with Him that will change our focus, our motivation, our love, our service, and our very life!

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