The Mary vs. Martha Mindset

A Daily Leadership Essentials Quote

from Veritas Leadership Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
by David J. Hall

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The difference between Mary & Martha during Jesus’ visit (see Luke 10 & Matthew 7):

🔹Martha was serving Jesus, but Mary was encountering Jesus.

🔹Martha was doing good things, but Mary was doing the PRIMARY thing.

🔹Martha was being hospitable to Jesus in her home, Mary was being hospitable to Jesus in her heart.

🔹Martha was concerned about what her guests might think of her less-than-perfect hospitality, Mary was concerned with what Jesus wanted to do in her own life.

🔹Martha recognized the special influence Jesus had in their social gathering, Mary recognized the special influence Jesus was having in her own heart and soul.

🔹Martha was good at seeing people’s needs and recruiting others to jump-in, Mary was good at seeing the PRIMARY need and personally drawing near to Jesus for fulfillment.

( djh / “Beyond Cultural Christianity” )

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#PastorsTip #DLE

On The Lighter Side…

The Far Side™ cartoon series, if you are not familiar with it, is a wonderful window into the uniquely humorous world of Gary Larson. Sometimes the humor is based upon the impossible, sometimes upon the ironic, and sometimes just deeply philosophical… all shared with a heavy dose of fun.

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To My Muslim Friends

The God of Abraham (Jehovah) is not the same as Allah, even if a Muslim declares it so.

Jesus, whom you revere as a prophet (but not as the crucified and resurrected Son of God) spoke to some Jews who claimed that their God was also Jehovah. Jesus pointed clearly to the fact that just because one claims to follow the God of Abraham does not mean that it is in reality true of them.

“Jesus replied, ‘If I glorify Myself, My glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies Me.

Though you do not know Him, I know Him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and obey His word.

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.’”

~ John‬ ‭8:54-56‬

Following the God of Abraham means more than a religious adherence. It involves a love and an obedience (from the heart) to God’s words, spoken through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is absolutely true for everyone, regardless of their culture or religious heritage.

Even Christians who believe that Jehovah is the God of Abraham, and believe that Jesus Christ is His crucified and resurrected Son, must also obey the word of God. Without obedience to the One True God, there is no hope, there is no forgiveness, there is no salvation, there will be no Heaven after this life.

The Bible clearly states that even demons believe that Jehovah is the God of Abraham, and yet they shudder with fear at the enormity of His true identity, and they have no hope and no future.

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

~ James‬ ‭2:19‬

My Muslim Friends, I do not despise you for any reason, or because of your current religion and participation in Islam. You are my fellow human beings. You know pain like I do, you know sickness like I do, you know the weight of the guilt from sin like I used to. Yes, past tense regarding sin.

Through Jesus Christ and His Father, the God of Abraham, I have experienced the power of God that brings life into the soul. There are many religions in this world, but only a sincere heart-acceptance of Abraham’s God and His Son, Jesus Christ, has the power to break the hold and the guilt of sin.

I know you believe in the practice of prayer. As a Muslim, you have no doubt prayed many, many times. However, if Allah has not responded to your prayers and brought peace into your heart, perhaps it is because you have been addressing your prayers to the wrong god.

Try praying the following out loud:

🔹”I pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I pray to the God that created the universe, and created me.
🔹Please, reveal Yourself to me in a way that I will know it is really You. I want to know the One True God of the universe.
🔹And if Jesus Christ is Your Son (and was crucified and died upon a cross, and resurrected from the dead for the forgiveness of my sins) please, I want to know the truth.
🔹I want to know The True God that will give to me true, eternal life, forgiveness for my sin, and peace.”

Now, look forward to hearing from The One True God!

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#PastorsTip #Muslim #Islam #Jesus #Christ #Forgiveness #Allah #Jehovah #Abraham

Food For Thought Re: WWJD?

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

I was so happy to see this meme!

It means that I’m not the only one who has these kinds of thoughts go through their mind… and perhaps come out in their sermons.

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#PastorsTip #DTP

Sibling Rivalry

Jesus, being conceived in a virgin named Mary by God’s creative power (the same power that created the universe!), had Mary as His birth-mother and Joseph as His step-father. We know from scripture’s record that Jesus, being the first-born into Joseph’s household, had at least 4 half-bothers and 2 or more half-sisters whose birth-parents were Joseph and Mary.

Imagine the Sibling Rivalry there must have been among Jesus’ siblings. Can you imagine being a brother and how unfair it would seem to always have your parents take that one brother’s side in a sibling disagreement? Can you imagine when there was children-chaos in the house and all the kids were grounded… except for that one brother? Talk about feeling like there was favoritism on your parents’ part!

Being Joseph and Mary, parents of the divine Christ Child and of 6 or more un-divine children could not have been easy. Imagine them trying to not show favoritism to any one of their children, but one of them is perfectly sinless. When He was told to take the trash out to the curb (so to speak) He always did it, and on time!

When the other kids would try to bait Him into being sneaky and cheeky, He always declined, leaving the siblings in a state of frustration. Perhaps at one point, within the context of a private family meeting, the parents sat down with all the kids and shared about Jesus’s birth announcement by an Angel, and Who He really was.

Even when Jesus was in His public ministry, His brothers (and maybe even His sisters) still did not believe in who He was:

“For even his own brothers did not believe in him.”

‭‭~ John‬ ‭7:5‬

It appears that His siblings eventually came into the faith after His crucifixion and resurrection. They were significant participants in the early church.

Do you have a sibling who has grown up to be a very effective Man of God or Woman of God? Obviously they are not Jesus, but they are a representative of Christ. As mature adults both in body and in the faith, let us leave our sibling rivalry behind and acknowledge what God is doing in them, through them, and around them.

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#PastorsTip #John7 #SiblingRivalry #Bothers #Sisters #Rivals #Jesus #VirginBirth #Mary #Joseph

Jesus Embraces Medical Doctors

There seems to be several perspectives in The Church as a whole on the subject of healing for the sick or injured body. Some groups teach an exclusivity in their acceptable source for healing, such as (1) healing by miracle alone by faith in Christ alone because [they say] the Cross is now complete and “by His wounds we are healed;” or (2) healing by medical science alone because [they say] God’s miracles ceased with the completion of the New Testament writing.

My personal study and interpretation of the scriptures (and subsequent experiences that seem to confirm what I have concluded in the scriptures) has lead me to believe that God provides healing through various avenues, supernaturally and naturally, while ultimately our faith remains centered in Christ. “Whatever is not of faith is sin” (Ro. 14:23) is not just about a vegetarian or Sabbath issue, it is concerning all issues.

A brief devotional, which this article is, cannot explore [and counter or affirm] every group’s healing doctrine that is within The Church. What we can do in this brief moment is look at a few scriptures that show God’s positive and affirmative comments about doctors (who represent the medical community and medical science).

Jesus compared Himself and His mission to that of a doctor that treats and heals the sick, recorded for us in three of the Gospels:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

~ Mark‬ ‭2:17‬, Matthew 9:12, Luke 5:31

The Apostle Paul, whom we believe was inspired by God in his writings (along with all of those who penned the scriptures) also expressed God’s affirmation of doctors, the representatives of the medical community and medical science, when he wrote:

“Our dear friend Luke, the doctor…”

~ Colossians‬ ‭4:14‬

As we can see in several passages, Doctor Luke was a fellow minister and friend of the Apostle Paul. He was also the author of two books of the Bible: the Book of Acts, and one of the gospels, the Book of Luke. He was a doctor before he entered the ministry, and he continued to be respected as a doctor during his godly ministry.

Again, this is a brief treatment of the topic of doctors and medicine. But, one thing that we can know for sure, those who practice medicine and care for the sick are being like Jesus, just as He was being like them in His ministry.

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#PastorsTip #Mark2 #Doctor #Medicine #Healing #Jesus #Medical #Science

Jesus Saves Meth-Heads!

“Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind.”

‭‭~ Psalm‬ ‭107:17-21

My friend, are you a tweeker, a user, a meth-head, a crack-head, an alcoholic, a cutter, or hostage in one of many other addictions?

Perhaps you have reached the point where you hate your addiction, you hate yourself and your powerlessness to help yourself, you hate life in general because it has become a dark chamber for self-inflicted torture.

Your addiction, which might have started with someone “innocently” and “kindly” sharing a freebie with you, now controls you and drives you to do disgusting and dehumanizing things to buy your next fix.

My friend, I have no condemnation for you. I know that your captivity is bigger than human wisdom and human power can heal. I do, however, know a Guy. He can set you free, clean you up, heal your body, and rebuild your life.

His name is Jesus. He is one heartfelt cry away from leading you into a new, abundant life! Ask Him to intervene… He will! That is why He came into this world.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned… This is the verdict: Light has come into the world…”

‭‭~ John‬ ‭3:17-19‬

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#PastorsTip #Psalm107 #John3 #Meth #Crack #Addiction #Cutting #AA #Alcoholic #Jesus #Healing

Peter’s Courage

Have you been following an invitation that you received from the Lord, yet you find yourself under water in a stormy sea that is too rough in which to stay afloat? Are your swimming skills and strength not enough to keep your nose above water?

Is only your hand visible to the world around you, but the world seems to be preoccupied with their own survival in their own trials of life?

“’Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’”

‭‭~ Matthew‬ ‭14:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This story is fascinating. Let’s look at some of the positive lessons that we can learn from it for application to our own storm-filled lives.

1. Peter Asked Jesus for Guidance

He saw what Jesus was doing, walking on the water, and he inquired of the Lord whether he should or could join Him.

2. Jesus Provided Peter with Guidance

“Come” is the Lord’s invitation to Peter, to come to Him doing the same thing that He was doing, walking on the water.

3. Peter’s Courage and Faith To Leap

The weather was stormy and the waters were choppy with waves from the wind. The atmosphere was difficult even for boats to navigate, much less to go swimming in. Peter’s courage and faith shot up at the invitation of Jesus to join Him, and he took the leap out of the boat onto the water.

4. Peter Walked on the Water!

While we might erroneously focus on Peter’s subsequent sinking, we must not neglect to absorb the truth that Peter did actually walk on the water!

5. Peter Took His Eyes Off of Jesus.

It was when Peter started to look around at the weather, wind, rain, and waves, that his faith and courage faltered. It was when he reconsidered what he was doing (walking on water) and compared it with his natural abilities (the irony here is that his name is Peter, which means Rock!), that he began to sink into the stormy waters.

6. He Cried Out to Jesus for Help.

Though we might say that his dire situation was obvious to Jesus, Peter nonetheless cried out to Him.

7. Jesus Rescued Peter from His Fear-Induced Sinking.

Jesus had invited him to join Him on the water. Peter was in pursuit of being with Jesus, and The Lord was not about to neglect Peter.

8. Jesus Encouraged More Faith!

Jesus did not rebuke Peter for leaping into this situation. He didn’t say, “That will teach you to leap out of a perfectly good boat that My Father has blessed you with.” Instead, Jesus encouraged that which makes a successful mission in life: having faith in Him.

Cry out to the Lord. He will rescue you. He will restore you to your place ON the water instead of UNDER the water. He invited you to join Him where He was working, and His invitation was not to your own funeral.

Jesus encourages your courage and faith that is anchored in Him and in His guidance. If Peter can walk on the stormy water, sink in the stormy water, and then be restored to walking on the stormy water… so can you be restored to the “walking on the stormy water” mission that Jesus has invited you in the past to join Him in doing today.

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#PastorsTip #Matthew14 #Peter #WalkingOnWater
#Jesus #Mission

Holy Spirit Baptism Empowerment

Early in church history the believers began to experience the Baptism with the Holy Spirit that was foretold in the Old Testament by the prophet Joel, and foretold by John The Baptist and by Jesus Himself.

Jesus described the Baptism with the Holy Spirit as a divine empowerment for ministry. Throughout the Book of Acts there is recorded numerous instances of believers receiving the Baptism with the Spirit just as the others did in the Upper Room on The Day of Pentecost.

While worshipping and praying (as they did in Acts 2), “wait for the gift” the Father promised. Jesus still equips His people with Holy Spirit Power for ministry that will impact the world, locally and globally.

 

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You Are His Joy!

A Daily Thought Provoker
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
by David J. Hall

“For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross…”

~ Hebrews 12:2

That joy that was set before Jesus could only be realized if He went through a crucifixion process. What could possibly inspire so much joy as to keep Him fully motivated to endure such pain, suffering, and shame?

You! You are His Joy!

His anticipation of your love for Him today is the joy that kept Jesus motivated through the cross those 2,000 years ago. Now THAT is a powerful Joy!

You are His Joy!

 

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