Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mary of Bethany

Scripture reading: John 12:1-11

Scripture focus: 
                            “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume me; she poured it                             on Jesus’ feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. The fragrance of the perfume filled                              the house But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who would later betray him,                                      objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was  worth a year’s wages.”

                       “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always  have me.”  John 12: 3-5, 7-8 (NIV)
               My name is Mary; I live in Bethany. The Master brought my brother back to life. My brother Lazarus hosted a dinner to honor Jesus as a way to thank him for this miracle. My sister Martha served the meal. I wanted to honor the Teacher in a special way for his wonderful deed to our family.

               I had this alabaster jar of pure nard, a gift from a suitor. As I opened the container, the wonderful scent filled the house. I carefully poured the nard onto Jesus’ feet, not wanting to waste any of it. Then, I wiped his feet with my hair, being certain to cover all of them.

               One of his disciples objected to what I had done. He muttered something about the nard could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus spoke up in my behalf. He told that disciple I had been saving this perfume for when He was buried. What he did not say was that the perfume was the most precious thing I possessed. The Teacher could have chided me for doing this but, instead, he spoke words of kindness on my behalf.
               I never forgot what Jesus did for our family when he brought our brother back to us. I will also remember how He stood for me that night when that disciple ridiculed me for my act of love for the Master.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: 40 Days of Decrease

Author: Alicia Britt Chole

               Mrs. Chole investigates the season of Lent in a very well researched book. She takes the 40 days of Lent and explores various aspects of the season.

               In each days reading, she has a section relating to Jesus’ actions during His last week on earth. She continues with a reflection of what we have read. Next, she tells us what we need to fast (give up) for that day. Mrs. Chole then gives us information about Lent and its history. She ends each daily section with our reading the book of John, chapters 12 through 21,          one section at a time, she has also included a place for us to journal our thoughts about each day’s passage. Those who faithfully read and journal about the book of John will gain intimate knowledge about the last week of Christ’s life.
               I would recommend this book for any individual or group who wants to learn more about Lent, the process of fasting, and the ways of Christ in the face of His path to Golgotha. I would also recommend this book to anyone who feels the need to grow in the Lord. I intend to use this study as my Lenten devotional.

               I received this book from Thomas Nelson free of charge. All they asked of me was that I read it and give an impartial review.

I am posting this on Ash Wednesday as a way to be true to my intention about letting others know about this marvelous book. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Great is God’s Love

“Praise the Lord, all you nations;
Extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
And the faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord.”
Psalm 117:1-2 (NIV)

               The psalmist makes it clear to his readers; all the nations are to praise the Lord. The people in those nations are to lift their voices, giving thanks for Who He is.

               God’s love for us is immeasurable. He loves us when we come to Him and confess our wrongdoing, take our emotional bruises and hurts to Him, or just go to His Throne to tell Him that we love Him. Let me say it this way: We cannot quantify God’s love for His children; it is so vast.

               God’s faithfulness never ends. He is as true to His word today as He was to the patriarchs and prophets in the Old Testament.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:7 (NIV)

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...