Saturday, November 2, 2013

Uniquely Loved

“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” (John 11:1–6, NASB95)

How do you respond to a big event coming up in your life? Maybe it involves doing something in such a way that you hope others are favorable impressed. Are you one who gets so engrossed in the details of making sure everything is perfect, even to the point of not relaxing until after it is over? Or, are you one who is so focused on feelings that sometimes you might even become immobilized. Both of these are reactions which reflect our weaknesses.

Yesterday, I included a section of Scripture where Jesus visited Martha and Mary. Martha was chastised (though I imagine lovingly) by Jesus for being so focused on the details (the so many things) and not focused on Him, even pointing the fact that Mary choosing to focus on Jesus was indeed the most important thing.

Jumping to John chapter 11 when Jesus arrived after the death of Lazarus, it was again Martha who went out to take care of things while Mary sat quietly alone in mourning. These two sisters are an interesting contrast. Martha recognized that Jesus was important and that He was powerful, and she wanted to serve Him fully, but she also expected great things from Him as well. Mary knew that being with Him was enough to provide comfort and encouragement. Both women knew that Jesus had power over death, both to prevent it and also to give it again. According to Scripture Jesus loved both of these women, as He also loved their brother. And also in the Bible we see how He uniquely treated each woman, recognizing their different wiring. Jesus easily could have saved Lazarus from a distance just as He did the servant of the centurion in Luke chapter 7, but He knew it would be better for Him to go and show them His love for each of them. It is in this account that we read the words of this short verse, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

Jesus loved the woman of courage and He loved the woman of tears, and these women loved Him. Each of them had lessons to learn about how to follow Him, and He was faithful to know their needs and He was present to tend to them as individuals in their own unique ways.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (11/2)

Grow strong in the Light of My Presence. Your weakness does not repel Me. On the contrary, it attracts My Power, which is always available to flow into a yielded heard. Do not condemn yourself for your constant need of help. Instead, come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you.

A yielded heart does not whine or rebel when the going gets rough. It musters the courage to thank Me even during hard times. Yielding yourself to My will is ultimately an act of trust. In quietness and trust is your strength.

“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” (Psalm 116:5–7, NASB95)

“always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Ephesians 5:20, NASB95)

“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing,” (Isaiah 30:15, NASB95)

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