Week of May 15

Encountering Jesus

Free To Be Yourself

Day 1: Read Luke 10:38-42. Martha is a woman who lost sight of what was important, and Jesus rebuked her. This is the story of Martha that is the most well known. We remember her and perceive her based upon what we think was a weakness and a mistake which was being more concerned about the task at hand and less concerned about her relationship with Jesus. She failed once and ever since we won’t let her off the hook or give her grace. We can miss the other qualities and the person of Martha. Her life was more than that one encounter with Jesus. Have you written off someone based on one interaction or your discovery of a less than desirable personal attribute? Is there someone in your life who gave a bad first impression and you have not let them off the hook? Or do you need to set a friend, family member or co-worker free from your judgment? 

Day 2: Read John 11:5-6, John 11:20-24, John 12:2-3. Martha is a woman we can come to respect, appreciate and desire to emulate. She opened her home to Jesus. She was teachable. She was a servant. She continued to be who God called her to be and gifted her to be even after receiving a rebuke. Jesus was calling Martha to become the woman God had created her to be. He was calling her to follow, be teachable and be the best person she could be. How do you see yourself? Do you only see the mistakes, failures, and inadequacies? It takes great courage to see that you are more than your shortcomings. Ask God to show you how He sees you and refrain from interjecting your own self-judgments. 

Day 3: Read Luke 10:40. This verse helps us understand the issues that led to Martha’s meltdown. When we compare ourselves with other people we will lose our contentment and become critical. Second, when we project ourselves upon other people it makes a mess out of things. The one thing that was needed was to be present and open to Jesus. When we lose our steadfast mind and lose our Jesus-centered focus, we will also lose our joy. Selfishness or our pride comes out. Jesus will not tolerate his kids picking on each other. He does not play favorites. Have you compared yourself to someone else this week? Where was your last meltdown? Take a few moments and consider the person Jesus wants you to be. Confess a selfish attitude, harsh word or out of control action. Turn to Jesus. Ask Him to help change your behavior and regain a centeredness on Jesus. 

Day 4: Read Hebrews 12:5-7. Jesus was not disciplining Martha for where she was in her home but for where she was in her heart/mind. Jesus’ rebuke was not without the presence of His love. We can learn from Isaiah 26:3. God will not keep us in perfect peace when we are somewhere we are not supposed to be. Jesus disciplined Martha. He seeks to shape and guide us to produce goodness, maturity, and love. Through this encounter, Jesus is inviting Martha to know and become like Him. What about you? Based on the reflection from yesterday, reconsider a time when Jesus needed to redirect you. How are you going to respond to that discipline/correction? What lesson is God trying to teach you? 

Day 5: Read Hebrews 12: 1-2. Character grows through time and experience: day after day, month after month, year after year. Martha was a person of character as she remains in relationship with Jesus and with others. Specifically, we see Martha’s character and heart through her thoughtfulness, service and her faith. The days are passing us by. How are you running the race? How diligent are you in pursuing Christ-likeness? Are you in small group relationships where you are encouraging one another’s faith? Rewind to the beginning of the year. How have you been intentional in 2017? Use this time to refresh your commitment or desire to resolve yourself to rejoin the race that is marked out specifically for you.

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