Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Joy of the Lord

My heart is full, my body has been strengthened and I have been refreshed in the Lord.
The joy of the Lord IS my strength!
My "Time Out" was truly graced by God's goodness.
As women, it is so easy for our plates to become full.
We can get so busy that we forget to just sit,
rest and enjoy the presence of God in our lives.
During my time of rest I followed the example of Mary,
and I allowed my heart to be humble 
and teachable as I positioned myself at the feet of Jesus.
I longed to worship Him with a sensitive heart, 
rather than the business of being occupied for Him,
even, while laid up with knee surgery. :)
As women, don't you find that when we are to be still,
we have a hard time doing it?
God, in His beautiful and gracious way of teaching,
taught me in a deeper way how to appreciate Mary.
Having always been more of a Martha,
I longed to just sit and worship without feeling something needed my attention.
Both Mary and Martha are beautiful in their own way,
but, there has to be a balance.
I believe we can learn much from both ladies correctly.

In (Luke 10:38-42)
Martha received the Lord into her house.
She was preparing Him a meal that was entirely commendable,
but Mary left her and sat at Jesus' feet leaving Martha agitated and troubled.
Martha ( the worker) felt neglected by Mary (the worshiper)
and she complained and felt Mary nor the Lord cared.
"O woe is me" as we would say these days.
Like Martha, we can be so consumed with doing what we think we should
that we miss what God desires of us.
If there is anything more important than serving Jesus,
it is simply being in His presence.
The Lord pointed out that the one thing that was needful
was to give first place to communion with Himself,
by sitting at His feet and hearing His Word.
(Luke 10:41)
"And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things".
We too, can so easily become troubled over many things.
Martha was to learn that worship comes before service.
She had been distracted by her much serving
and became self-centered rather than Christ-centered.
Her words indicate that her service,
which in the first place was motivated by love for Christ,
had by this time become overwhelmed by feelings of being
left to cope and that no one cared.
How many times do we hear other ladies who sound just like Martha?
I am guilty of that myself.
Jesus, speaking here hits the center of the heart,
"Mary has chosen the good part,
which will not be taken from her".
Dear ladies, worship needs to come before service in our lives,
and when it does, real, fruitful ministry (no matter what it is) will follow.
Martha's faith was strengthened when it was revealed to her
that the One in her presence was
"The resurrection, and the life",
and at that point her faith radiates out in such splendour
that it causes her to confess,
"Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God". (John 11:27)
After Lazarus was raised from the dead,
they made the Lord a supper:
noticeably, on this occasion Martha served without
complaining, just content that her Lord was there. (John 12:1-3)
So we see Martha...Beautiful in her own way,
yet the Lord had a lesson for her
that I believe can be a lesson we as well can learn from.
*Then we have the heart of Mary*
* Mary sat at the feet of Jesus to hear His word.
While Martha was busy ~ Mary took the lowly place at Jesus' feet,
and the Lord provided her with Spiritual food.
How important it is to sit at Jesus' feet and learn of Him.
Ladies, we need quiet communion and contemplation
for our Spiritual well-being,
yet, it is many times difficult for us to put into
practice with our busy lives.
Remember the words of Jesus,
"Mary hath chosen that good part".
* Mary fell at the feet of Jesus*
When her brother Lazarus had died she sat at her house,
but was quick to respond when she heard that,
"The Master is come and calleth for thee". (John 11:28)
Mary fell at Jesus' feet when she saw Him,
and poured out her heart and wept.
Our compassionate Savior saw her weeping and was moved in Spirit.
What a Savior!
Jesus is the same compassionate Savior for us today.

*Mary came to Jesus' feet and poured out her worship*
Her devotion to Christ, moved her to take a pound
of very costly spikenard oil and anoint His feet.
She demonstrated that absolutely nothing
was too precious for her to give to her Lord.
Such devotion!
Jesus not only desires to have first place in the affections of His people,
He deserves it!
Here is a quote from Isaac Watts;
"Divine love demands my soul, my life, my all".
This quote makes me think of (Mark 12:30)
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment".
*Mary wiped Jesus' feet with her hair*
What a beautiful picture!
Mary was generous ~ she took the most honored part of her body (her hair)
and used it to clean the lowliest and dirtiest part of Jesus' body (His feet).
Mary's own brother had died, but instead of using
her costly oil for his burial, she had been saving it,
"For the day of Jesus' burial". (John 12:7)
What a picture of worship and sacrificial devotion!
Mary lavished her most precious possession on her Savior,
showing her complete submission and love for Him.
The affection and commitment of Mary,
should challenge us in our lives and in our walk with the Lord.
Mary's example shows us that the secret of a deeper Spiritual life
 is to be found in sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus
 Sitting at the feet of Jesus, O what words I hear Him say.
Happy place so near, so precious, and, when weary, find sweet rest.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, I would look upon the past.
for His love has been so gracious, it has won my heart at last.
(First stanza to this beautiful song) 
Source Unknown
  Our precious Heavenly Father.
What a beautiful lesson in sacrificial devotion
we see in the life of Mary.
May our hearts be humble before you O Lord,
allowing You to teach us, to mold us
and to make us more like Thee.
Thank you for your Word,
 and the characters through out Your Word, that  we can learn from.
May You be glorified in our lives.
~Be Lovely~

I must give honor where honor is due!
Thank you to my dear daughter, Stephanie,
for helping me with my photo's.
I have the vision, but she has the gift that graces her camera.



kitty said...

Ahhh what a wonderful recapture of the story of Martha and Mary, my friend! Yes, it's so hard for us to be like Mary in a Martha world, isn't it? Thank you for your words of wisdom and reminder of this, Debbie.
How sweet of you to mention your sweet daughter as your photographer. Blessings to both of you. xo

Stephanie said...

Oh mom, you do not need to "give credit" for the photos - they are given to you and you can use them how you please with no mention necessary :)

Another beautiful post - they get better each week or maybe I just think that because each post you write is something I need for the day/week. I truly appreciated today's message.

The sun is out and the birds are singing - have a wonderful day! Love you!

Debby Ray said...

Debbie, Welcome back! I'm so to hear you are healing well and have been taking things easy! Sometimes, unfortunately, it takes these "down" times to get us sit still long enough for the Lord to speak to us...and for us to listen, doesn't it? This is truly a beautiful post and thank you for reminding us about the lesson in the story of Mary & Martha. And, yes, the photos are so perfect for this post! Have a glorious day!

Mrs. Smith said...

It is good to read that you are recovering well.

Your post this morning was a blessing to me - I can sure be a Martha sometimes. This is such a wonderful post, and a much needed one!

Your Stephanie is definitely gifted! Very pretty pictures!

Sylvia said...

So glad you are recovering well from your surgery. It's these times that we are forced to "be still" and learn. I too seem to be like Martha but yearn to be a Mary, just to sit and take Him and His love in. As women we are taught early to be helpers and I to find it hard to be still!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back and I am happy the break was refreshing.

Your bird sanctuary by the creek sounds wonderful. I hope you will share more about it in a post.

God bless your night.

Mehrll said...

I just signed up for your blog and have been very inspired by what I have read. I have always been too much of a Martha. It always seems that you have to be to get everything done, but it was Mary that reaped the most from Jesus' visit. I must try to be more of a Mary in the future. Thanks for the inspiration.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Dear Debbie, what a blessing this post is and right when I need reminding. I tend to be a Martha too and have to take a step back and collect myself in better directions with my Lord as the leader and not me!! Your words are so inspiring.
Thank you for sharing this important lesson.
So glad you are refreshed and recovering nicely. God is always so good!!

Your photo is beautiful. Stephanie is a sweetheart and she is just like you in her talents and kindness. So blessed to know you both.

Have a wonderful evening my friend.
Be Blessed~

Sola Scriptura said...

Thank you for this encouragement and wonderful reminder. I often find myself being like Martha when I should be much more like Mary. Thank you for blessing me through this blog! Hugs to you.

Robyn said...

Debbie, you write so beautifully and have such wisdom. Something new is always revealed to me each time I visit.
Thank you for that precious gift, friend, and I'm so very glad you are feeling better!

Cranberry Morning said...

What a beautiful post Debbie! It is very hard for me to not wear the Martha hat. Nothing like surgery to give us that time for reflection. Glad you are healing well.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

A beautiful post, (with lovely photos) and a good reminder to take the time out of our busy lives to remember our spiritual selves. Sometimes we can feel resentful of the time we spend in service to our families, but we must take the time to find that connection with our Lord to show us how valuable every task performed with love can be. No task is too much of a burden if we do it with love and Mary washing the feet of Jesus is a perfect example. Hugs xo Karen

Lady Linda said...

What a thoughtful to ponder most of the day! So happy to hear that you are mending. Take good care.
You are as lovely as your daughter.

Lady Linda said...

What a thoughtful to ponder most of the day! So happy to hear that you are mending. Take good care.
You are as lovely as your daughter.

Ceil said...

Hi Debbie! What a beautiful description of Mary, and how we need to be more like her. Even if I'm busy, I can have that Mary heart resting in my soul.
I think that's the key to peace. Remembering that even in crazy time, I can have that core of Christ living in me.

I'm so glad that you feel better! Hope your knee is behaving and working well for you :)

Joyful said...


It is so true that worship needs to come first. I'm still striving for that balance in my life that you mention.

Sandra said...

I'm so glad your time away was a blessing to you. Many times...well maybe most times, I'm Martha. I forget what's really important because I'm caught up doing something else.

Thank you for your encouraging posts that gentle teach me. This post is great reminder to also sit at the feet of Jesus.

Sunday Blessings!

Mindy Whipple said...

Wonderful reminders of the Mary/Martha attributes. It's easy to get caught up in being a Martha when Jesus is longing for us to take time to be a Mary. Thankful you are healing well.

White Lace and Promises said...

Such a beautiful post. The Lord has spoken to me so many times through this passage and still I am restless. He has not allowed me to find a job and I have been forced to seek Him and sometimes I still fail to do that. Thanks for the reminder.

Deborah Montgomery said...

Debbie, I'm so glad that you are feeling better, but also that you had such a precious time with the Lord as you were laid up. It is a precious gift to be still in this busy world, with our busy hearts.

Denise said...

Praise God that you are feeling better. I love you.

Shoregirl said...

I read the book, "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" not that long ago. I think it's a something we all struggle with, but with God's help we can find the right balance for our lives!
Glad you are feeling better - your blog is a bright spot on the web!

Jazzmin said...

Dear Debbie,
Your blog is a true blessing to read and a ministry to me through the Lord. I'm sure I don't speak alone. Thank you for sharing this! Soaking in the meaning of the accounts you shared and learning from them is a pleasure and a joy and brings me closer to God as I ponder them.

I pray you are feeling well!!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and hugs,

Sandi said...


...needed this today!

JES said...

Hello Debbie,
Thank you for visiting my blog. It was nice to "meet" Stephanie's mother! She is a treasure :) I appreciated this post as I can be a Martha! Your reminder was much appreciated...

I also wanted to invite you to our weekly link up, The Art of Home-Making Mondays. Every Monday we are looking for like-minded ladies to link up godly encouragement, homemaking, homeschooling and homeschooling posts. I hope to see you there :) Have a peaceful Sabbath!

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