Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Season of Giving Thanks

Is your heart ready?

Luke 10:38-42

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'  'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"

In less than four weeks we will celebrate the day of Thanksgiving. Many of us, especially women, barely slow down enough to taste the wonderful food we have prepared for our families, much less to consider the blessings that have come to us from God's gracious hand. The story of Mary and Martha illustrates the busyness that we often substitute for righteousness, forgetting that our own works do not make us so. 

God often requires action, but he never sees a full-to-overflowing appointment book as a sign of righteousness or rightness with him. There are many good and right causes and activities to choose from and we can fill our lives to the brim with good things. 

Our challenge today and in this season of Thanksgiving is not to choose the good things, but to choose "what is better". 

That always starts with choosing God first. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33.

Thanksgiving is a mere few weeks away, followed closely by the madness that is Christmas in our society. It is so easy to get caught up in good things - even doing things for others - that we fail to acknowledge or even think about the true giver of blessings. 

Take a moment to consider your typical family drama during the holidays. How can you help your family refocus on the giver of all good things and find rest and renewal during this time? How can you find it yourself? Do you cringe at the thought of something not getting done? Are you like Martha, wondering why no one sees how hard you are working, why no one cares? Are you already simmering with frustration and resentment at being the 'worker bee' and missing the sweet moments of learning at the Master's feet?

It doesn't have to be that way. Pray this prayer today and pray it everyday until God answers:

Lord, I want to honor you this year, first in my heart, and then in my family and my home. Please give me your thoughts as I plan. Help me to have your perspective on what is right for us, and help me to create a place of peace, refuge and worship for my family. Take away my anxiety about getting things done and replace it with excitement as you speak to me and show me more of yourself. Let my attitude this holiday season reflect the peace and joy you have placed in my heart and let that be my legacy this year. Help me to be truly thankful to you as I count my blessings every day. I ask in the patient, loving name of Jesus. Amen. 

I am thankful for your visit here today and hope that God blesses you abundantly in this season of grace. 

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