Sunday, May 2, 2010

Martha - All Stressed Out!

Have you ever felt nervous... fidgety...  on edge...  cranky?  Sort of like your life was falling apart and you were losing control?  Even though you knew it and you didn't want to act the way you were, did you keep on stomping through your day, lashing out at anybody and everybody who crossed your path such as your parents, your brother or sister, your friends, or someone else?

I have experienced many days like this in my life.  We are not alone.  There are many an example of woman experiencing this feeling in the bible.  One example is Martha.  Martha was a friend of Jesus.and after studying her a little you will realize she too got too worked up.

Let's look at the story of Martha to see what exactly it was that sent her "over the edge".

Now Jesus and his disciples were coming to her house.  When I think about this, sure this is enough to send any woman over the edge.  Imagine Jesus coming to your house.  Just like Martha, I can imagine myself worrying about serving Jesus and having my house in perfect order for his visit.   Through her efforts to serve and work, Martha failed to just stop and enjoy Jesus and worship Him.

We see that Martha's busyness and neglect of her spiritual life showed as she was stomping through her day, stomping through her kitchen, the dining room, and the family room.  She even lashed out at her sister, Mary....sound familiar?  Does to me.  After all this stressed built to a point she couldn't handle it any more she lashed out at Jesus!  Can you believe it?

Martha was definitely out of control.  This led to what many of us see in our daily lives and others lives as well...saying things we shouldn't say, blaming others for our awful condition, bossing everyone around, comparing the amount of work we do to the work of others.

Now let's turn to the scriptures and let God speak to our heart...

Luke 10: 38 - 42

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.   39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.   40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:   42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Both sisters loved Jesus and both served Him.  But we see a stark difference in their behaviors, which reveals something about what was going on in their hearts at the time.

Mary loved serving the Lord, but she loved listening to Him as well.  In the second Jesus started talking. Mary stopped!  Her service came to a halt and she set her serving dishes to the side and took a seat at Jesus' feet so she could listen to Him.  Mary demonstrated a heart devoted to God by hearing His words and worshipping Him.  In a sense, she was obsessed with Jesus.  Mary shows us that she knew when and how to make the choice to stop all the busyness of her life and spend time with God.

So how do we become a woman like Mary...a woman after God's own heart?

1.  Choose to spend time with God.

    say NO to some time watching TV,
    say NO to some time on the telephone
    say NO to some time with friends,
    say NO to some time in the mall, in order to
    say YES to some time with God.

2.  Choose God's ways at every opportunity

3.  Commit yourself to God daily.
     Make a daily, definite, audible dedication of yourself to God.  Say it out loud -- "Lord, today I give myself anew to you"

4.  Cultivate a hot heart -- God has a few things to say to us in Revelation 3:15-16 about our heart condition.

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.   16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

coldhearted - unemotional, unconscious of God
lukewarm - indifferent
hot-hearted - the heat of your heart and emotion reaches a high temperature.  Passion, emotion, excitement!

Now, what is your heart's desire ...  and your heart's temperature toward God?

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