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"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

This Will Be Told Everywhere…

Posted by Emma on April 5, 2012 | Filed under: Christianity,Holidays

“And while He was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask ad poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, ‘Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:3-9

This story took place two days before Jesus’ death. This weekend we remember His death and resurrection. When I read this story yesterday, the words “wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her” stood out to me. Jesus is saying that this action was worthy of being told everywhere that He is preached, everywhere someone tells the gospel. Something significant must have happened at this event. All too often, I read this account and pass it by saying, “That’s nice,” or “Those disciples, can’t they ever learn” or something along those lines. But yesterday, I stopped. I thought what can this story teach us? If it is important enough to be shared everywhere the gospel is preached, we should be able to learn something from it. So I thought about it and examined it and these are the thoughts I had.

The woman was praised by Christ for doing a good deed for Him (ESV says beautiful thing) that was applying oil to his body for His burial. Obviously, doing a good deed for Him was of value. We should also do good deeds for Christ. We cannot do them to His physical body but we can to His spiritual body, the body of believers. (See 2 Cor 12:27) We can do them by taking time to be with Him, doing His work here on earth. There are many ways to do a good deed for Christ when you look for them.

The woman gave something of great value. One denarii was a day’s wage. She poured three hundred day’s worth of wages on Christ. Our deeds should involve some sacrifice, and not just a little. We should give what we can to Christ and beyond what we can. Sacrifice your dearest treasure, your most costly possession, or what you worked for years to acquire. Your sacrifice could be the best years of your life given in service to the Master, time out of your busy schedule to spend with Him or giving up an activity to help someone in the body. It is more worthwhile to give to Jesus than hoard for yourself. And if you really love Him it will be a small sacrifice. Love is what compelled this woman to pour her oil on Jesus. Love should be what compels us to do a good deed for Christ and give things of great value.

The woman did something even though it was ridiculed and likely she knew it would not be looked on with favor. We should be willing to give to Christ, do a good deed for HIm, serve Him no matter what others think or what they will say. People will often ridicule a person for living a life of truly devoted to Christ, a life compelled by love. It is easy to ridicule when someone is different, and giving sacrificially is different. People may ridicule you for giving to much to the Master’s work, for wasting the best years of your life in service to Him, helping someone in the body instead of doing a fun activity, or giving your dearest treasure to Jesus. Ridicule from people is alright when you have praise coming for the Messiah. He will smile at you when you give willing to Him out of love.

As we are in this season of remembering Christ’s death and resurrections, pour out of your time for Christ’s service; give money or other material things to His servants; expend energy to serve Him; make time to study His word and fellowship with Him. Do a good deed for the Master and let your love be so strong that nothing is to much to give Him.

Leap Off a Cliff

Posted by Emma on February 29, 2012 | Filed under: Christianity,Daily Thought,Faith,Holidays

Today is special because it is a leap day, a day that happens only once every four years. So, why not take a leap of faith on this day?

This is a concept I have been pondering for about a week. If you are a Christian most likely you want to grow closer to the Lord. I know I do. Faith is necessary to draw near to Him. In my experience the best way to develop faith is to leap out and start doing something. It is like a little child jumping off a wall into their father’s arms. The child jumps out in faith, believing that their father will catch them. And he does. We also need to jump out of our comfort zones into our heavenly Father’s arms. Sometimes it may seem like you are jumping off the edge of the Grand Canyon, but God will catch you and hold you. The more often you leap, the more sure of His presences you will be and the more faith you will have.

It can be a challenge to decided how to jump out in faith. Here are some options that you could consider. They will not be right for everyone but perhaps they can get you thinking.

  • Give all your money away. What better way to trust God than have to rely on Him for all of your needs. If you seek Him, He promises to provide. (Matt 6:31-33)
  • Share the Gospel with someone. For some of us talking to a stranger, or even someone we know, is scary. Step past that and speak God’s words.
  • Get involved in a new ministry. Maybe a ministry at your church, a rescue mission, a crisis pregnancy center, an after school program, or something else. There are many places you can minister, find one.
  • Be friendly to someone who is different than you. We are all made in God’s image and inside we are similar. You never know the good you can do or the blessing you will receive when you be friend someone who is different than you are. This could be someone at your church, school, work, or grocery store. Maybe it is a homeless person, someone of another nationality, a drug addict, or just an average American who wears a different style than you do. Jesus was friends with Pharisees and tax collectors. He knew no bonds of society and in Him there are no lines of divisions.
  • Go deeper with God. Your leap of faith maybe taking a step God has shown you to take or just taking time to seek Him. If you know you need to spend more time focusing on Him why not start doing that today. You could fast from food for a day to several days or give something up for a while. The amount of time we can free to spend with the Lord if we just give up social media, books, the TV, movies, entertainment, the internet or our downtime is amazing. Give something up and spend the time with God.

Again, these are just suggestions. You may have something you know God is telling you to do but you are not quite ready to do it yet. What better day to start? One of these may be something you want to do. Good, do it! Or you may have another idea for a leap of faith. Go for it!

So what leap are you going to take today?

To Busy! No Room!

Posted by Emma on December 20, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Holidays

On Sunday, I heard a pastor talk about the Innkeeper in Luke 2 and how he was to busy to realize what a miracle happened at his inn and had no room for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. This stood out to be because it is something I have been thinking about throughout this month.

Christmas seems to have become a very busy time of year. There are lots of things to do, many distractions, and tons of focus on earthly things. Relatively little is said about Jesus, the real reason for this season. I think this is just how Satan wants things to be. I could go on about that, but that is not the purpose of this post. This time of year has gotten too busy and we have been distracted.

We are to busy to notice Jesus. 

Seriously, how often have you stopped this month to think about Jesus and what His coming to earth as a baby meant? Have you thought more about Jesus than your to-do list? Have you thought about what you can give to Jesus more than what you are giving to your family/friends/other?

If the answer is yes to these questions, good for you. If the answer is no, maybe it is time to stop.

Not only have we become very busy, but we also do not have room for Jesus.

No room for Jesus! 

This hurts more than being busy. It is usually the little ways that we show that we have no room for Jesus. None of us like to admit that we might not really have much room for Him. We want to think that we are pretty good. But in truth, often we shut Him out. We tell Him there is not room here for Him. We are not willing to boot our pleasures, our desires, ourself so that there is room for Him.

We show that we have no room for Him when we go our way and not His. We show this when we use our pleasure instead of spending time with Him. We show it when we are more focused on our agendas, our friends, our plans, our needs, our holiday than on Him, His plans, His friends, His needs. We show it when we are focused on our side of Christmas and not on Him and what He did. And perhaps the biggest way we show it is when we are not willing to surrender all of ourselves to Him. If we do not let Him into our lives and give Him control of every area, we are saying, “Jesus, I have no room for you.”

I want to challenge you. Stop during this final week before Christmas. Take time to notice Jesus and think about what He has done for you. Make sure you have room in your heart for Jesus and you are not shutting the door in His facing. Celebrate with Jesus.

It Is Indeed

Posted by Emma on November 27, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Daily Thought,Holidays

Hark the glad sound! The Savior comes,
The Savior promised long;
Let every heart prepare a throne
And every voice a song.

He comes the prisoners to release,
In Satan’s bondage held.
The gates of brass before Him burst,
The iron fetters yield.

He comes from thickest films of vice
To clear the mental ray
And on the eyeballs of the blind
To pour celestial day.

He comes the broken heart to bind,
The bleeding soul to cure,
And with the treasures of His grace
To enrich the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim
And heaven’s eternal arches ring
With Thy beloved name.

by Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751