A Christian Journey

Archive for February, 2015

“She answered, No one, Lord! And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.” John 8:11

Our woman of the Bible for today is the woman caught in adultery.

This story involves a woman caught in adultery and the Pharisees have brought her to Jesus to see what He says about it. It’s more about Him than her, which is also interesting in that she didn’t commit adultery alone, where’s the man? They tell Jesus that Moses says in the law that she should be stoned. They are referring to Deuteronomy 22:22, which actually states that BOTH the man and the woman are to be stoned. So why just bring the woman to Jesus?

The Jewish faith and the culture of that time was very male oriented. Most women were little more than a possession and men could do what they wanted to with them. It could be that the man she was involved with was a Pharisee. The text says she was caught in the very act of adultery, so they knew who the man was, or at least the man who brought her did. To Jesus the woman was a sinner, the same as all the men who stood around condemning her, and that’s what he told them.

When we catch ourselves looking down on someone for something they did or are doing, we need to be careful with our stones. We need to use Jesus’ gauge, let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone. After hearing what He said all the men left. Then Jesus told the woman He didn’t condemn her, but He also told her to go and sin no more.

Jesus gives us a great example of love to follow, but never forget He also tells us to sin no more.

In Spirit And In Truth

“Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give me a drink-”   John 4:7   Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is the woman at the well.

In reading over this story the first thing that struck me is in this verse, Jesus is asking someone else for something. When you read through the four gospels people are always asking HIM for things – healing, answers, freedom. This woman comes to the well to draw water alone, normally the women of the village draw water early in the day, but we find out later why she’s not with them. Since she is coming alone and at noon Jesus knows there is a problem here, some issues to deal with. If we pay more attention to the people around us, we can spot issues too. The question is, do we want to help them deal with their issues.

Jesus gives us a great example on counseling through conversation. You ask the right questions and you may get some revealing answers. Of course, the first thing the woman does is go on the defense by first telling Him that they’re from different cultures and He should not be talking to her. He urges her to look past the physical realm and into the spiritual one by telling her that she should be asking Him for living water. Still thinking in the physical realm she looks around Him and sees no container for Him to hold water. He tells her further that the water she can see will not last and she will need more, but the water He has she will never thirst again. Now, He’s got her attention, she tells Him to give her some of that water.

First, Jesus delves a little deeper, He tells her to go get her husband and come back. She boldly replies that she has no husband and Jesus agrees with her, then He tells her about her past. She thinks He’s a prophet, I believe we can picture her taking a step toward Him at this point, as she begins to discuss religion with Him. He gives her a nugget of wisdom; true worship of God is in spirit and in truth – your intentions and your actions – not a specific place. At that point she acknowledges that the Messiah is coming and that He will tell the people everything they need to know and make it clear. Jesus then reveals Himself to her, that He is the Christ.

I can only imagine the look on this woman’s face when she realizes what He has said and Who she has been speaking with. It changes her so much that she leaves her water and runs back to the town telling everyone about Jesus and what He said.

This woman, who came to the well alone and probably lonely, left with the greatest joy we can all have. Allow Jesus to bring you that joy each time you meet with Him, He always has something to tell us.

Single Awareness Day

“In the night I dreamed that I sought the one whom I love, I looked for him but could not find him.”  Song of Solomon 3:1

Today is Valentine’s day, but I heard it called Single Awareness Day as well because if you don’t have a special someone then you are very aware of your singleness. My hope today is to encourage everyone to think of those who don’t have a valentine and to do something special for them. It doesn’t have to be much, but just let them know they are being thought of with love.

Persistent Faith

“Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend, protect, and avenge her, lest she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming, or at the last she come and rail on me, assault me, or strangle me.”  Luke 18:5  Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is the persistent widow. This is actually a parable that Jesus used to teach about being persistent in prayer.

This widow went to a judge who neither reverenced and feared God or respected and considered man. Wow, what a guy! This didn’t seem to matter to the widow, for she kept going to him seeking his help to protect, defend and give justice to her against her adversary. For a while he didn’t budge, but then as stated in our verse today, because she was so persistent he finally figured he better help her if HE wanted peace. Jesus tells us that God will do much more for us if we will only be persistent in bringing our requests to Him.

This is one of my favorite parables I suppose because I have a tenacious personality and God says good! It’s not about the nagging, it’s about the faith in believing that God can handle ALL our needs.

Finally, at the end of the parable, in verse 8 Jesus asks a question, “However, when the Son of Man comes will He find persistence in faith on the earth?” Let us have faith and be persistent.

Mary Or Martha

“But Martha, overly occupied and too busy, was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me, to lend a hand and do her part along with me!” Luke 10:40 Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary.

Jesus has stopped at their house to visit and Martha gets busy right away with taking care of the household duties, probably the cooking as well.  The verse today says a lot about her if you read it carefully. First, she’s a type A personality, things had to be done her way, when she wanted them done, and no excuses. The Amplified version of this verse expresses it so well, Martha was overly occupied and too busy. This tells me that she could have waited until after Jesus spoke to take care of these tasks. Sometimes even the most devout christian will “busy” themselves with things that can wait when a sermon is being preached. We typically see that with fellowship meals at church. Our verse today says that Martha was distracted with much serving. She wasn’t paying attention to what she should have, Jesus talking.

Then Martha goes to Jesus and complains about her sister, seeking his sympathy in the matter, even telling Him He needed to rebuke Mary. Martha makes her sister sound like a lazy bum, not wanting to help at all. I’m sure Mary shared in all the household duties, but in this instance she chose the better thing, which is what Jesus told Martha. Mary chose to sit at the Masters feet to hear him speak.

Finally, Jesus calmly replies to Martha, using her name twice, like a parent would. He tells her she is being anxious and troubled about many things, but there is only need for one thing. He tells her that Mary chose the better thing for her. I’d like to think that at that point Martha pulls up a rug and sits down to hear the rest of what our Lord had to say.

How many times do we sit in church listening to the minister or the singing, with our minds many miles away. We may be thinking about all we have going on in our life or even just dinner after the service. We must remember what Jesus said, there is need of only one thing, choose the good portion and what will help you, listen to His word. Lord, put a guard over my mind that when the word is being read or preached that I will be a Mary and not a Martha.

Minister To Him

“And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases; Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled; and Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; and Susanna; and many others who ministered to and provided for Him and them out of their property and personal belongings.” Luke 8:2-3  Amplified

Today we look at several women of the Bible, those listed in our verse above. We see that these people were helped by our Lord, cured of diseases, or rid of evil spirits. In response to that they seek to take care of Him. We see also that these people came from various backgrounds, yet they all saw Him as Savior.

We often think these people gave up their lives to serve and follow Jesus and maybe some of them did. I think though, that some gave of what they had to help Him and had a change of heart to serve. Sometimes people are hesitant to give their hearts and lives completely over to God because they have a fear that the Lord will send them to some foreign country. God wants to use us where we are needed and that might be right in your own backyard. He wants us to offer ourselves to Him trusting Him to do what is best. When we do that He will use us in the best way possible for all. Seek Him by ministering to Him through others and He will lead you. Trust Him to take care of you.

Senior Faith

“And as a widow even for eighty-four years. She did not go out from the temple enclosure, but was worshiping night and day with fasting and prayer.”  Luke 2:37  Amplified

Anna is our woman of the Bible for today. Only three verses describe her to us, but what powerful verses they are.

Jesus is only eight days old and his parents were taking him to the temple to be circumcised by the priest. There they meet Simeon who had been looking for the Consolation of Israel. The scriptures in Luke say that it had been divinely revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before the Messiah came. After seeing and holding Jesus he says in verse 32 of chapter two, “A Light for revelation to the Gentiles and to bring praise, honor and glory to Your people Israel.”

Then they met the prophetess Anna who was at least 91 years old. Our verse today says she made the temple her dwelling place. She saw Jesus and praised and thanked God for the deliverance of Jerusalem.

What do these two old people have to say to us? For me it’s a window to see the path I know lies ahead. A funny thing happens as we get older, we get wiser. Oh not everyone, unfortunately, but generally as we start to see the end of this life on the horizon our eyes begin to look up more. When we are young we only see what is all around us on earth, especially when we’re taking care of a family with little ones at our feet. To me Simeon and Anna should be in the Hall of Faith, as the 12th chapter of Hebrews is often called. They maintained their believe in God that He would send the Redeemer, a Savior. Simeon even prophesied He would be a Light for revelation to the Gentiles.

Oh that I would have the faith that these two seniors had.

Being Used By The Lord

“But they had no child, for Elizabeth was barren; and both were far advanced in years.”  Luke 1:7

The woman of the Bible for today is Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

In the book of Luke the story of Elizabeth, who was Mary’s cousin, is interwoven in the birth of Christ. Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah was a temple priest, they were both righteous in the sight of God and followed Him in all they did. While he was serving in the temple one day an angel appeared to him and told him his wife would conceive. Because he questioned it he was unable to speak until the child was born.

To be barren in that culture was a disgrace, but Elizabeth still loved the Lord and trusted Him. Then her cousin Mary came to visit and upon hearing Mary speak, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumped for joy. Elizabeth was the one to speak the words, Blessed above all other women are you! And blessed is the Fruit of your womb! The two women had many things in common besides their blood relationship. They both dealt with disgrace and favor, they both were partakers in a miracle, they both were now expectant mothers.

Surely it was a great help for the young mother Mary to have an older relative Elizabeth to walk through the pregnancy with her. The Bible says they stayed together for three months.

Elizabeth is a great example of a faithful servant of the Lord being willing to be used however He wanted, and being blessed because of it.

How Much Of You

“And a widow who was poverty-stricken came and put in two copper mites, the smallest of coins, which together make half of a cent.” Mark 12:42  Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is the poverty-stricken widow.

Jesus was discussing with the disciples about those who have a form of religion and those who truly trust and love God. In chapter 12 of Mark, Jesus tells them about a vineyard owner, paying tribute to Caesar, marriage in heaven, and the greatest commandment. All of these show where your heart is, to do what is right, not love money, but love God with all your heart.

Then Jesus went to the porch of the temple to teach, while there He sat and watched as the people came in. He commented to His disciples on the Scribes, He said, who liked to come in wearing their long lavish robes and sit in the front seats. He continued though by saying they devour the widows houses and to cover it up make long prayers. Then He made note of the people putting money in the treasury as they passed. Many of the rich people were throwing in large sums, but a widow came along and put in her two coins. He remarked to His disciples that the widow put more in than all the others had, for they put in of their abundance, but she put in all she had.

In all this Jesus wasn’t talking about how much money you give, but about how much of you, you give.