SITTING TRUMPS SERVING

Luke 10:38-42
Martha and Mary
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 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.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

S – 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving.

O – Why we think that others should walk with Christ according to our expectations and rituals is beyond me. My dad taught me something years ago and I continue to heed the advice. “Son, mind your own business”.  Even though there is a lesson to be embraced regarding priorities and placing Christ first in your life. There is another lesson here in this passage but not as popular. The fact that Jesus called “much serving” as “anxious and troubled by MANY things” is worth looking into. I don’t know about you but when I get anxious and nervous about life, I tend to get busy. Some get depressed and slow down but others actually get busy with “stuff”, “projects”, “serving” and we miss out on the most important aspect of the moment. A life lesson at the foot fo Jesus. It’s easy to “run and gun” in basketball but it takes discipline, and routine to set the play up, and defend. The pay off is worth it though. You have a higher chance of winning.

Anyways, i have not written in a long time and thought I would begin again. This time I’m using what  I call SOAP. Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  I encourage you to do the same or find your own little routine. It pays off and you will become less distracted as you take the time to put Him first in life.

A – Continue to use SOAP as a means to not only wash me through the water of the Word but to focus on the things that really matter which the primary is MY WALK WITH JESUS.

P – My Father, break me down and continue to teach my Your ways O Lord; Guide me into Your path for Your names sake. …and I shall walk in rest with you and with others!

– in Jesus name

Marcus

Why Wait Till Tomorrow When You Can Do It Today?

In Exodus 8, God sends a plague of frogs on Egypt because Pharaoh has refused to let Israel go. The frogs were everywhere – in the people’s paths, their beds, their homes, their food, and their water. When Pharaoh demands for Moses to pray to God to take away this horrible plague, Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”
Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. – Exodus 8:9-10a

Who decides to spend one more night with a plague of frogs when they can be delivered from them today?

Pharaoh?…yes, as well as everyone reading this post…including myself!

C’mon, you and I know this is true. Be honest with yourself. I know what I’m suppose to do or stop doing yet so often I find myself waking up asking for forgiveness and today I begin with a fresh commitment only to find myself here again sooner than later. I find this so frustrating in my life and yet i know and understand the following passage that reads:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

We are all ONE DECISION away from making our future better. Even though our Future Self values long term rewards, our Present Self absolutely loves immediate gratification. Long term payoff in our brain is…well… too long and far away. So what do we DO?

There are various ways to make adjustments but today, why dont we try this: Find a way to move future rewards and punishments into the present moment. Make the future consequences become present consequences.

One of the best ways to bring future rewards into the present moment is with a strategy known as temptation bundling. Temptation bundling is a concept that came out of behavioral economics research performed by Katy Milkman at The University of Pennsylvania. Simply put, the strategy suggests that you bundle a behavior that is good for you in the long-run with a behavior that feels good in the short-run.

Here are a few common examples of temptation bundling:

  • Only listen to audio books or podcasts you love while exercising.
  • Only get a pedicure while processing overdue work emails.
  • Only watch your favorite show while ironing or doing household chores.
  • Only eat at your favorite restaurant when conducting your monthly meeting with a difficult colleague.

This article covers some specific exercises you can follow to figure out how to create temptation bundling ideas that work for you.

The other way is what i call the “old school” way of doing things. “SUCK IT UP” and get to work. Be responsible and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…

EVERYDAY, MAKE A DECISION AGAINST YOURSELF. As the Apostle Paul says, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Cor. 10:23

FREEDOM motivates me! I want to be free, feel free, think free, and exert freedom into every conversation i have with people. Even more, the freedom that comes in Christ is so absolutely addicting that I cant stand feeling controlled or heavy burdened. The passage above indicates that we have control of this action. SO i leave you with the same statement Moses left Pharaoh:

“I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”

33 YEARS

If I was able to go back in time to the moment I had the opportunity to choose you, I would choose you over and over again…without pause, without doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you for the remainder of my life on this earth.

Sadness is never an EXCUSE.

I was listening to my feelings and began getting more discouraged and sad…even mad as I kept feeding on how I wish it would be different and how much longer would it take and why was I dealt this hand and so forth. Easy to get caught up in the realm of your emotions but the truth is that feelings are sketchy and are not reality. I can "feel" hopeless but that doesn't mean I am. So recently, I have been doing something that is helping me stay out of the rut of sadness, discouragement, or even depression. It's call STOP. STOP stand a for the following:
S – Stop what your doing
T – Take 2 deep breaths
O – Observe (I choose to observe Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, be not dismayed, I am your God. I will help you. I will strengthen you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"
P – Proceed. If I sense I can move forward I do; if not, I go back to Take a deep breath.

Just a little nugget I learned for a dear friend in the faith and it works for me. But here is the reality. Look at scripture. It's even a better reminder of something similar.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Peter is very clear. Our faith in Christ…what's He has done, is doing, is going to do has a far greater impact in your now moment. In other words FAITH TRUMPS FEELINGS every time!

Jesus said it this way in John 16.

This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.

NEW LIFE WIPES OUT PRESENT PAIN. It's a JOY no one can ROB from you! YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT UP IN ORDER TO LOSE IT.

Is this an easy way to live…as politely as I can, "hell no" but it's a HOLY way to live!

AREN'T YOU TIRED OF ALLOWING A THIEF TO COME IN TO ROB YOU OF YOUR JOY? The thief usually comes through the medium of those you love the most and that's unfortunate, just ask Jesus and you will see this truth. It won't be any different with you so here's my final thought.

YOUR SADNESS IS NEVER AN EXCUSE! Life in Christ …FAITH TRUMPS FEELINGS!

Trust Him,