It would be so much easier if our choices in life were between one good thing and another. It's good to sit at the feet of the Lord and listen. It's good to cook him a nice, big dinner. To choose between the two is hard. Mary did it. And so did Martha. And in the end, all Jesus said was that Mary had chosen the better part, to love the Lord her God, with all her heart, and mind, and soul, and strength.
Some of you may feel a little bit like Scrooge or the Grinch when you hear about Christmas in July. If you know me, then you know that I am all about it! I love Christmas so much I'm down to decorate and celebrate anytime! My type-A mind has figured out we're halfway to Christmas and oh, we have ten more paychecks before the big day. I hope it doesn't stress you out as stores roll out their Christmas in July sales. We tend to associate Christmas with a fluffy man in a red suit, some magical reindeer and lots and lots of presents. My question is, why do we limit Christmas to just December? We truly don't know when Jesus was born. Shouldn't we celebrate Him all year long? Shouldn't we always have that special feeling we get around Christmas and Jesus' coming?
The Israelites stood on the verge of entering the Promised Land. They made the long journey from Egypt to the land God had promised to them and their ancestors. God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt where abuse and inhumanity were regular occurrences. Though the journey out of slavery was treacherous and uncertain, they had none other than God on their side. Though they at times were ready to turn back because the journey had proven difficult, God remained steadfast and faithful to the people. And now they stood poised to enter the land flowing with milk and honey.
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Marie Curie was the first woman to receive the Nobel prize for her work in physics. George Washington Carver was an innovator of agricultural science. Just like them, God gave you talents you can't imagine. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. Dig like a gold miner the unique-to-you nuggets, talents, and gifts from your life.
This past Sunday, Pastor Nathan preached on prayer becoming second nature to us. As I pondered his words, I wondered why I did not feel it came as second nature to me. I have always heard prayer defined as a conversation with God. We are taught that we ought to pray in a certain manner. I once heard a pastor share a mnemonic device on how to properly pray-ACTS: Adoration Confession Thanksgiving Supplication. Didn't really sound like a good flow of conversation to me. We are taught by Christ to follow His example, and pray as He taught in Matthew chapter 6...go into a closet (room), shut the door and pray in secret. Have some time with just you and Jesus. You don't need to use "showy" words or even a lot of words. Christ knows what we're asking for before we even get to it.