The One Thing. The Better Part.

“One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:42 msg.

Here Jesus was talking to Martha who was obviously feasting on her troubles and worries instead of worship.

But Mary was different. She knew she wouldn’t always have the ability to sit at his feet like this. She knew there would be other dinner parties that would soon demand her attention. She knew that the call on his life would take him away to somewhere she could never follow. All she had was now. She had to make the most of this moment.

In order to do that she had to come to the realisation that her service wouldn’t impress him. Her housekeeping skills wouldn’t make her anymore special to him. This may have been difficult to accept as she was probably very accomplished in the art of entertaining. But her Saviour did not need to be entertained. He just wanted to be worshiped. That was enough for him.

She had to risk being seen as lazy. She had face up to others’ questions and disapproving looks. She had to learn to sit still in the midst of chaos. It would have been easier to go with the flow. To fit in with the busy crowd in a house where everyone was serving. But she knew this moment was for her and she was going to be selfish. She found calm in the middle of the storm. The storm of busyness and expectation. Of worry and pressure. She found the good part, the main course.

So what was the one thing, the good part?

Jesus. She realised that he was all she needed. She didnt need the approval of the people around her. She didn’t need the comfort blanket of their acceptance. She found her ‘fit’ at his feet. She didn’t need to fit in with anyone else as she was at home in him.

The good part was her ability to just be when everyone around her was busy doing. It was her revelation that she had nothing to offer except herself but amazingly he didnt want anything else that was enough for him because in anything she lacked – he made up the shortfall.

She learnt that he was enough for her and that she was enough for him.

So.

If Mary can do it then I can so I.

If she can surrender control then so can I.

If she can understand the one thing and choose the better part then so can I.

If she can learn that her worship and devotion is enough then so can I.

If she can ignore the pressure around her then so can I.

If she can make the most of her moment then so can I.

If she can sit at Jesus feet and hear his word then so can I.

 

How able are you to just sit there?

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The Father’s House

“I shall arise now and go to my Father’s house.”

This was uttered by the prodigal son after he had come to the end of his money, his friends and himself.

It’s got me wondering how many times through the ages it has been said since then.  Why do people leave the father’s house in the first place? Whatever the reason it’s not for me to judge.  It’s none of my business.

The one thing I do know is that there is always a way back to the Father’s house, to the Father’s love.

The path is paved with love and grace.  There is a sign on the door and it says redemption – your past is non-applicable, over this line there is a completely new beginning.

There’s always a road home

No matter how far you’ve wandered

There’s always an open arm

Ready to embrace

There’s always an open heart

Even if it’s been betrayed

Willing to love again

Willing to restore

 

The welcome mat is laid

Paid with the blood that was shed

That makes a way back to the Father’s house

 

Rise

Why do I keep falling?
I think I’m doing really well
Then
Smack
My face hits the dirt

All within me wants to lie there
Wallow in the shame
The guilt
The confusion of why it happened

But a voice stirs me to rise

“Shake off the dust
Don’t insist on wondering why you fell
Just be determined to rise
Because the longer you lie
The more ground you give your enemy
And he doesn’t deserve and inch

He may be able to trip you up
But he cannot keep you down

Defeat is not falling
Defeat is lying down”

I hear his voice and my own voice declares,
‘Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise’ (micah 7:8)

The Dawn Chorus

The birdsong was so loud this morning – beautiful.

 

The dawn chorus has begun!

 

The birds sing like that at this time of year for two reasons: to mark out territory and to attract a mate.  They sing in order to get the right places and the right people into their world!!

 

We could learn a lot from the birds!

 

The louder they sing the more ground they gain.  So too with us.  The louder our song of praise the more ground we take from the enemy. Israel went to battle with the ‘high praises of God in their mouths and the two-edged sword in their hands.’ So must we. The enemy cannot counteract our praise.

 

Also, birds identify each other by their song, not their image. Each species has their song! What song comes from your life? Is it one of despair bitterness and fear or do you resound with the notes of love and freedom. It matters what you sing as people are drawn to your song.

 

Make your song loud and unashamed and remember the louder you sing the more territory you will gain!

The Kiss of Betrayal

Judas gets a raw deal you know.  Every time he is mentioned it is in conjunction with the betrayal of Jesus.

 

But we forget that Judas was vital to the redemption plan.  Jesus needed a betrayer to place him into the hands of the Roman guards.  Judas’ betrayal of Jesus placed Jesus where he needed to be in order to fulfil God’s plan.

 

Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but just as Jesus needed a betrayer so do you.  There are times when only betrayal can move you to where God needs you to be.  You’ll know where you should be going but it seems too difficult to go there yourself.

 

That’s where betrayal comes in.  It has a way of moving you and getting you to see life from a different angle.

 

It’s not just people who betray you.  Sometimes life can betray you – your health, your finances.  They can all refuse to play the game you mapped out for them.

 

But the kiss of betrayal can take you to a different place – the place where God intended you to be all along.

 

What kisses of betrayal are you thankful for in your life?