Friday, May 12, 2017

Mothers of the Bible

 Image result for biblical mothers

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Due to the ravages of time both my mother and stepmother are no longer with us. I have been thinking about those mothers we read about in the Bible.

EVE: Eve is the first mother in the Bible. She and her husband, Adam, lived in paradise. God provided created them and gave them the Garden of Eden for their home. He gave them full access to the products of the garden, except the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now, in the garden was a serpent that played on Eve’s curiosity. He twisted the truth and beguiled her into sampling that fruit. She shared it with her husband. Because of her curiosity, they had to leave paradise. Because of Eve’s curiosity, sin and its consequences entered our world.

SARAH: Sarah was married to Abraham, a patriarch of the faith. She became the mother of a nation. 1. However, she became impatient as she waited for God to give Abraham a son. She took things into her own hands and concocted a plan to speed things along. She gave Abraham her maidservant. That servant produced a son. Because of Sarah’s impatience, our world experiences the consequences today.

Now, please don’t get the idea that all the mothers in the Bible are flawed. There are some who I find admirable.

HANNAH: When we first meet Hannah, she endures taunting from Peninnah, her husband’s other wife. Hannah was childless. In that time, this causes people to look on one without children as a failure. 2. Hannah endured the harsh comments until she had to pray to God about her desire for a child. She told Him, if He would grant her request, she would give that child back to Him. God heard and honored her heartfelt plea. Hannah Kept her promise to God and, after Samuel was weaned, she presented her son to Eli the priest. Hanna’s fervency in worship, effectiveness in prayer and willingness to follow through on a commitment gives us the reward of having her and her son, Samuel’s story as a part of our heritage. God rewarded her with three other sons and two daughters. 3.

ELIZABETH: Elizabeth, a relative of Mary’s, was the first one recognize the Lordship of Jesus. Elizabeth was of advanced age and was childless. Her husband Zechariah was a priest. During one of his tours of duty at the Temple, he ‘was chosen by lot’, went into the holiest part of the temple. While there, he heard God speak to him. Their baby was to be a Nazarite—one set apart for God’s service. He pointed the way to Jesus. She reminds me of steadfastness and obedience.

Mothers are not perfect. But they are mothers. I know one who is a new mother who had difficulty with her pregnancy, then some difficulty with getting back to health after the birth. She is new to all the things mothers do to care for their child or children. I know another mother who did not really know how to be a mother. However, her children are well behaved and wonderful to be around. One mother I know will turn 100 years old this fall, Lord willing. She is a joy to be around. She doesn’t talk much unless you talk to her. But I know she has wisdom about many different areas of life.

1.      Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Publisher, Wheaton, IL 60189, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. © 1991 page 39

2.      IBID page 434  

3.      IBID page 437

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Interview with Martha

Mary Martha at home

Quiet Spirit: Today, we have our last interview of this series. Martha of Bethany is with us today. Thank you for coming today.

Martha: It is a pleasure to be here, thank you for having me.

Q.S.: Tell us about yourself.

Martha: I lived in Bethany on the eastern slope of Mount Olivet, near the Jericho road. Bethpage and Bethlehem are nearby. We could walk the short distance walk to Jerusalem.

Q.S.: How did you meet Jesus?

Martha: My brother Lazarus, my sister Mary, and I heard of the miracles He performed. Those who witnessed these miracles and heard His preaching were either pleased with Him or were angry about His ways. We decided to go hear for ourselves. What he said made sense to us. We embraced Him.
After that, whenever Jesus came through our town, we opened our home to Him. He became like one of the family. We had him stay in our home.
We permitted Him to use our home as a central base for His disciples when they returned. I always prepared a meal and gave them a place to rest.

Q.S.: Was there a time that you learned something from Jesus that was especially for you?

Martha: Whenever He came to our home, I always served a big meal, almost a banquet, as a welcome. One time, my sister Mary just sat and listened to Jesus. She didn’t help me do anything. Her behavior got under my skin. I was frustrated! I spoke my mind. I asked Jesus to tell my sister to help me with the meal.
He told me I was anxious and troubled about many things. He let me know, nicely, that Mary chose what He called the better way. I let up on Mary that day. I vowed to have simpler meals in the future. I realized no one would remember what I served them. However, those who listened to Jesus could tell many others what he said.

Q.S.: Are you thankful for what He did for you? Please explain why.

Martha: Yes, I am very thankful for what Jesus did for me. Because I was able to relax more. I heard the stories Jesus shared with the people who flocked to our home and listened to Him. I began to better appreciate those around me. Also, I will always be thankful for the miracle He performed when he raised my dear brother Lazarus from the dead, but I have taken too much of your time. Maybe, I can tell that story at another time.

Q.S.: Thank you for sharing your personal story with us.

During this series, we have heard stories of thankfulness from those who encountered Jesus and received health and life-giving counsel. They each expressed that they were thankful. My questions to you are this: Has Jesus performed a miracle in your life that you are thankful for? Has He done something today that makes you thankful? Have you taken the time to express your thanks to Him?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Interview with Malchus

Image result for Malchus

Quiet Spirit: Today, we have Malchus with us. 
                       Thank you for coming to see us.

Malchus: Thank you for having me today.

Q.S.: You have a very interesting story to share with
             us. Let’s  get started. Can you tell us a little 
              bit about yourself?

Malchus: I am a servant in Caiaphas’ household. I 
             started in service as a young boy, about eight
            or nine. My duties at that time were working
            with the animals. As I got older, those duties changed.

Q.S.:  How did you meet Jesus?

Malchus: The year I was 20, on the night of Passover, I found myself going in a group of 200 men, some assigned to Caiaphas, who went with Priests and Roman soldiers. It was dark; we carried torches to illumine our way through Jerusalem, up the Mount of Olives, and into the garden Gethsemane.

              As we approached this man Jesus, the one we followed there gave the sign to identify him. Jesus asked who we were looking for. The priest answered. Jesus asked another question and again the priest answered. One of the men with Jesus asked yet another question and suddenly I felt something hit the side of my head. I reached up with my free hand and felt something warm on my skin. Someone near me held his torch closer to me and shouted, “This man is bleeding; his ear has been cut off.”

Jesus chided one who was with him “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” He took my severed ear in his hand, placed it against my head; said a few words, and removed his hand. This itinerant preacher, who everyone wanted to die, healed me!

My fellow servants told me which one of the men with Jesus did this to me. Later, after they brought Jesus to my master’s house, I recognized that man. A couple of my friends asked him if he was with the Galilean. Both times, he denied it.

Q.S.: How has your encounter with Jesus affected your life?

Malchus: All I knew about Jesus was what I overheard from Caiaphas, Annas, and the other priests. I really didn’t care for him. That’s why I didn’t mind going in that group to find him that night.

After he healed me, I thought about how he showed compassion to me by taking the time to heal me, someone unworthy. If Jesus had not healed me, I don’t know what my life would have been like. I could have been reduced to a life of begging.  He will always have my thanks.

Q.S.: Thank you, Malchus. It has been nice hearing from you. 

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 ...