Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Being a Mary in a Martha World

At the church I attend, not only am I the youth pastor's wife, but I'm also the pianist. When I first started playing for the church I would get extremely nervous, cringe over every missed placed note, and just the other night I became completely embarrassed when I started out in the wrong key (in my defense, it was one of those songs that ended in a 'alternate choir ending' in a higher key)! I really want to get it perfect, because I am playing for so many people, oh yes, and for God.
Before I ended the 'back to the basics' series, I felt led to talk about Mary and Martha in this post.
 Luke 10: 38-42 says: 
 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

So, let's delve into this story by looking at these two ladies.

Martha

I think we can all relate to Martha, I mean, wouldn't you want to make sure the house was clean, the best meal prepared, and eaten on the best china, if you knew that Jesus was coming to your house? I get very wrapped up in making sure the house is clean for even my ten year old piano students! There is nothing wrong with Martha wanting her house to look nice and welcoming, but something happened to Martha. She got distracted (v. 40). She got so wrapped up with making sure that things were perfect, that she forgot the reason Jesus came! When I want all my my notes to be perfect, I forget the reason I'm playing them!

But what about Mary? Wasn't she slacking for not being as busy for the Lord as Martha?

Mary

When Mary was first introduced it said that she was sitting at Jesus' feet listening to His teachings. She acknowledged Jesus' wisdom, and understood 'one thing is necessary'. Mary wasn't worried or distracted with all the little things that needed to be done to make everything 'perfect'. She just wanted to be still and know Jesus better.

As Christians we are all about being busy for God, and sometimes we confuse being busy for God for being more mature spiritually. Even though serving on the Sunday School committee, volunteering for community service, and hosting a ladies' Christmas party may be wonderful things to be involved in, don't let it distract you from the most important things, worshiping God, reading His word, and prayer. We need to be still (Psalm 46:10), sit at His feet, and get to know more about our wonderful Savior, Jesus!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to the Basics: Giving

I believe this will be the last post for the Back to the Basics series. If you missed any of them, you can go here: http://ayouthpastorswife.blogspot.com/search/label/Back%20to%20the%20Basics%20Series, and check it out! The reason this series is called back to the basics, is because the topics are a little on the 'no duh' side. We all know to pray, go to church, and we all know to give! There are a few things that are important to realize when giving, like:

Nothing belongs to us!

When you get your paycheck, it's hard to see part of it go, when you can think of all the things you could buy with it. When the church has a work day on Saturday, it's hard to give it up, when you can think of all the things you could do with that day. Why is it so hard? It may be because as humans we love to be in control and in ownership of our own lives, time and money. As Christians we have no reason to worry, since God is in control and knows what's best for our lives, but we do, and I think it's because we are grasping at having control. What we have to realize, is that it's not our life, our time, or our money to begin with (Psalm 24:1, James 1:17), it's God's. When we give up our time and money, we are only giving back what is already His.

Do I have to give money?

One time the missionary at the church I was attending, was teaching on tithes and offerings, and was stressing the importance of giving God at least 10% of what we are paid. A lady that was not very well to do raised her hand and asked that if she didn't have very much money, couldn't she just wait and give when she did have money? His answer was thought provoking, if your employer told you, I don't have enough money for your salary this month, can I just pay you when I have enough money? It may be difficult, but if we are given money, it's God's and the best thing we can do is to give some back to him!(Matt. 6:19-21) Especially in America, money takes prominence in everything. It is our god, our idol, and in the verses in Matthew 6, it shows us that whatever we make our treasure, there our hearts will be(Matt. 6:24). If God is our treasure, then we will give to back to Him to show where our treasure lies. This is why that just giving time, or just giving your talent (although good things to give!) is not enough(Prov. 3:9-10).

God loves a cheerful giver

That phrase comes from this verse: Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
This verse is pretty self explanatory, and when we give cheerfully, God will bless us(Luke 6:38)! It may not be exactly in our time frame, and maybe not even until we get to Heaven, but He will bless us. When I give cheerfully, I see God work in my life, and I have seen him bless me so much. The blessings might not always be immediate, but you will be so glad you obeyed God and gave back to Him.

If you give to your church and missionaries, you can be a part of what God is doing through them! Who knows who might come to know Christ because you decided to give!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to the Basics: Going to Church


Note: Much of this post has been inspired by this article: http://bible-truth.org/whyatten.htm. Even though it may seem long, it is very good and will go into more detail than I will here.

It's Sunday Morning and you look at the alarm and gasp to see that it's already 8:30! You rush around trying to get ready, while you really wish you were back in bed sleeping, or perhaps outside in the beautiful sunshine, or maybe in the living room feet propped and watching TV. You do like the preacher, and the Sunday School class that you have, so you speed out the door and head out to church. After church you grab a lunch and settle on the couch, begin to dose and don't wake up until late in the afternoon. Whoops, you overslept, but that's okay, because Sunday night isn't as big of a thing; people will understand that, besides anyone hardly ever goes.

As you know I am the youth pastor's wife, and on Sunday Mornings we run about 15 students (sometimes up to 20!). On Sunday nights, we have been quite excited to have 4 or 5, since for the longest time, we had only 2 students who were faithful Sunday Night goers. I tell you this to say, that there is a great difference and decline in those who attend Sunday Morning and those who attend Sunday Night. I have this feeling that they feel like Sunday night isn't that big of a priority. Let's delve into this issue by first looking into a well known verse on attending church:
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Church isn't all about me

What! Yes, Church isn't for just sitting on a pew soaking in a message and going home. It's for 'stirring up one another to love and good works...encouraging one another'. When you skip out on church, you are basically saying that you don't care about other believers and their relationship with Christ. I often get caught up in staying in my little sphere, but Christ calls me to be intentional in helping others love and do good works. 
This is why just watching a church service on TV doesn't cut it. Church isn't about the building, the sermon (although, going to a church where the true gospel is preached and sermons are biblically correct is extremely important), or the carpet, it's about fellowship and encouraging fellow believers. 


Sunday and Wednesday Nights are important too!

'Not neglecting to meet together' isn't talking about just Sunday mornings (although Sunday Mornings are very important!). You see, the way you live your life is all about priorities. If you watch TV instead of going to church on Sunday nights, then you are saying that TV is more important than church. You may not think it's a big deal, but remember that people are watching you. What you make as a priority will be watched by the saved and unsaved alike (and I think most importantly, your children). We have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of Christ (Heb. 10:-21) and we should want to 'draw near in assurance of faith...and not neglect to meet together'.
 
If you would like to learn more about the church, and how it functions, 1 Corinthians is a great book to read. My challenge is, will you make a commitment to attend church every time there is a scheduled meeting? This is not something that God calls someone to do, but He commands it! 


Fall Cleaning: Link to Cleaning Printable + Fall Crockpot Recipe!

*links are affiliated. I get a small compensation with any purchase that you make." With this title, I had all sorts of plans. I wa...