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Mary of Bethany

Mary of Bethany, a committed follower of Christ, stands as a role model for every dedicated disciple of Christ. She was apparently unmarried, living with her older sister, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. Their home was a friendly retreat for the Lord, who may have been close to them in age.

Mary, more than any other in the New Testament, is associated with sitting at Jesus’ feet, a testimony to her hunger for spiritual truth and understanding.

Luke 10:39 – “And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.”

John 11:32 “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

John 12:3 “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” Yet she not only sat at His feet; she also served Him by anointing Him with costly ointment to show her desire to meet practical needs as well as to seek spiritual blessing.

Mary’s example demonstrates her strong decision-making capabilities. She chose, Jesus said, to listen to Him, and later her gift of ointment poured out in preparation for His burial was a well thought-out act of worship. She was contemplative and sensitive, not one of many words. When Lazarus died, tears and very few words expressed her heart’s grief. Jesus understood and He wept with her – John 11:32-35 “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.”

True to Jesus’ prophecy, Mary has lived in history as one personifying commitment. Three gospels include her significant sacrificial gesture–ten and one-third ounces of pure spikenard ointment was worth a year’s wages. With humility, she lavished it upon her Saviour:

Matthew 26:6-13 “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.”

Mark 14:1-9 “After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”

John 11:1-6 “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”

Mary, a woman characterized by spiritual insight and readiness to act upon her faith, was thus commended by Christ – Matthew 26:13 “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.”

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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God is not a Respecter of Persons

Acts Chapter 10 tells us the story of the first Gentile convert to Christianity, the centurion Cornelius, and his vision from an angel of God. It was 60 + years after Christ’s death and resurrection, and Christ had confronted Saul on the Damascus road. Cornelius was a “devout” man who feared God and prayed to Him “alway.” He just did not know of his need for Salvation through Christ. Peter also received a vision, as he went to pray on the rooftop. Both men received messages from God and both men obeyed immediately. This led to Peter’s Gospel Presentation to Cornelius and his house and many others with them. See it below in Acts 10:34-48.

Acts 10:1-8

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

Acts 10:9-33

9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

Acts 10:34-48

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

I thank my Heavenly Father that Salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ is available to ALL mankind, not just to the Jews.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in God's Love

 

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Age to Age You’re Still the Same “El Shaddai”

I am blessed every time I “listen” to this beautiful adoration of our LORD. I must say, the absolute best rendition I have ever heard was when my oldest daughter and her then best friend sang it as a special at our church youth camp in 1989. Such sweet and loving voices they had.

Please enjoy Amy Grant singing it:

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“Every Man, Woman, and Child!”

Today’s devotional is one that speaks truth about our world today. Thank you man of God, Dr. Tim Green-Revival in Our Time, for speaking God-breathed truth. I pray that today’s itching ears have not become deaf to it.

I am so thankful for God’s hand in leading my family and I to Pastor Brockman, also a true Man of God who is not afraid to speak from God’s Word on our sinful natures and our need for Jesus Christ as the only Saviour, as well as the great love God has for mankind. True men of God who do stick to God’s standards are very hard to find these days. I am also very blessed to have a strong Godly man in my husband who leads our family according to God’s standards, not man’s.

Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

“These closing words of the Book of Judges are a sad epitaph of the spiritual condition in Israel at the time, but also a contemporary headline of America, our churches and many of God’s people. It is fair to say that no man did that which was right in God’s eyes, if every man was doing his “own thing!” This contemptible commentary is being lived out in men’s lives, even by those who call themselves–Christians!

The problem arose partially due to the fact that there was no leadership; no king on the throne to guide and direct the people. Our problem today is that most folk will not recognize that the Lord should be the KING sitting on the throne of the heart. We have usurped His authority or just failed to realize, revere or respect His eternal right to rule over the affairs of our lives. We cry like the rabble in the story of the nobleman, “…We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14)

This problem is emphasized in our churches when pastors bow to the laity; it is exaggerated in our homes when wives are un-submissive, husbands unloving, and children are disobedient; and it is excused in our lives when we fail to yield to the One who bought and paid for us with His own life’s blood on Calvary. (Emphasis mine.)

May God help every one of us to endeavor to only do that which is right in the eyes of the God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

   

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in God's Truth

 

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