Just wanted to take time to focus on a particular woman of the Bible…Mary of Bethany!
Her story is absolutely one of the most beautiful ones in Scriptures. Parts of her story are featured in all four of the gospel accounts: Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:1-9, Luke 10:38-40 and John 11:1-12:3.
Mary was the sister of Martha and Lazarus(whom Jesus raised from the dead), and she and Martha welcomed Jesus and His disciples into their home. They were well known for their hospitality. While Martha was busy with getting everything ready for the guests, Mary sat down at the feet of Jesus, listening to what He had to say. It was very out of place for Mary to sit around and listen instead of getting the house in shape for the guests which was something women were accustomed to doing, and needless to say, Martha became very upset. She demanded that Jesus tell Mary to help her. But instead, Jesus gently rebuked Martha for being stressed out about everything while her sister Mary had chosen what was best; spending quality time with her Lord and soaking in everything He says.
How often do we find ourselves busy with everyday tasks? From school, work, preparing our meals, finding time to socialize with friends and spend time with our family. None of these things are bad. But when we allow them to take our focus away from our Heavenly Father, who wants us to seek Him first and in everything we do(Proverbs 3:6; Matthew 6:33), they become our “idols” or better yet “gods”.
What stood out to me from Mary is that she was a quiet, contemplative, and singled-minded woman. Mary understood the importance of finding rest in the Lord and meditating on what He said. She was very observant of the pain and anxiety of Jesus during the week leading to His crucifixion. As Jesus was dining at Simon’s home in Bethany, Mary came in with an expensive jar of perfume and anointed Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. Some of the apostles criticized her for breaking in while they were eating(which was considered very inappropriate for women to do) and wasting expensive perfume. But Jesus defended her again saying that she was anointing His body for burial. Mary did not care in the least that she wasn’t complying to the traditions of her custom, instead, her focus was wholeheartedly set on her Lord and Savior. Not once did she explain her actions when criticized. All that mattered to her was pleasing and obeying Him.
This following week, what are some habits you can develop to align your focus on Jesus?
• Turning off your phone, tablets, laptop and start soaking in God’s Word. Set a time(preferably morning) as that is when you have a fresh start of the day to study and ponder on His Word.
• Play worship music in the background and start thanking Him and praising Him for who He is
• Ask Him what He wants to reveal to your heart throughout the day
• Start a gratitude journal,(I wrote a post about that here)
• While cooking, cleaning, or walking outside or to class, listen to a sermon, podcast, or instrumental worship music
• Journal your prayers to the Lord, like writing a letter to Him. Writing helps to slow the brain down and focus better. (That’s my personal opinion)
• Paint or sketch for Him in a journaling art Bible.
What are some of your ideas?? I'd love to hear your thoughts? :)