Thursday, August 25, 2011

Choose the better thing....

This morning I was reading in Acts 6.  I didn't get far before the Lord stopped me. The beginning of this chapter deals with setting up church leadership... but there is a phrase in verse 4 that jumped out at me and applies even not only to church leadership, but also to our day to day lives.

"give attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word."

Isn't this what the Lord wants each of us to do? To give attention... make time... priority time... to pray and be in the Word and pour the Word into others?

I am busy... as most everyone of you are too... and if I am not careful, the busyness of my life takes over and causes me to either not give attention to prayer and the Word or to do so rapidly as if to get it done and off my to-do list for the day... a task, not a delight.  As I pondered this phrase, I was taken back to a familiar story in Luke 10. Jesus has come to the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Martha is rushing about making sure everything is done... not bad things.. things that need to be dealt with, but that don't have to take priority right then.... they will still be there to do once Jesus has left the house.  Mary, on the other hand, has stopped all her activity and is sitting at the feet of Jesus taking in all He says (Luke 10:39).  Martha continues to work and work and get more frazzled as she has a pity party in her mind about all she is doing and all Mary is not.  She decides to make Jesus aware of the injustice of the situation, but is, no doubt, taken back by His reply:

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42)

Today, I want to choose what is better... I want to give attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.  I pray to have ears that hear and a heart that responds to whatever the Lord calls me to.  I want to be a sheep that knows the Shepherd's voice and responds when He calls.

What will you choose today?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To Know God's Love...

I love the book of Ephesians... and the prayer found in chapter 3 is one of my favorite Biblical prayers.  As I was reading The Perfect Love by Ruth Myers this morning I read that lovely prayer from The Living Bible (TLB). Remember The Living Bible? My mother had one. It was shaped like a hardback dictionary, but covered with a dark green padded leathery material on the outside.  She loved that Bible and read it daily.

TLB is a transliteration... like The Message. Both are fine to read, but should not be your main Bible.  Those who wrote these versions took the main thoughts in the Bible and put them down in common day language.  I love to compare verses in various Bibles and The Message is one I look at often, but again.. not as my main source. You need a solid translation and there are many to choose from.... my personal favorites are the New American Standard Bible and the English Standard Version. I read the New Internation Version also as it is what my church uses.

Back to this morning's reading... as I said, I love this prayer and I really love the way it reads in TLB.  I hope you like it too and will pray this for yourselves and others.

Eph. 3:17-21 TLB

"May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is, and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.  And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself.  Now glory be to God who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of -- infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes."