One of our favorite songs by the Gaither Quartette is "Sitting At The Feet of Jesus":
'Sitting at the feet of Jesus
Oh, what words I hear Him say!
Happy place, so near, so precious!
May it find me there each day.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
I would look upon the past;
For His love has been so gracious,
It has won my heart at last.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Where can mortal be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows
And, when weary, find sweet rest.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus
There I love to weep and pray,
While I from His fulness gather
Grace and comfort every day.
Bless me, oh my Savior, bless me...
As I sit low at Thy feet.
Oh, look down in love upon me
Let me see Thy face so sweet.
Give me Lord, the mind of Jesus,
Make me holy as He is.
May I prove I've been with Jesus,
Who is all my righteousness.'
We put up an outdoor manger scene each Christmas.
Along with others on our street, we seek to identify ourselves as Believers.
We know that it takes much more to identify with Christ and be His Disciples!
This kind of acknowledgment of Christ, like Sunday or private worship,
must issue into works of service and ministries.
Christmas cards are good, but living out what they say is 'where the rubber hits the road'.
We must put the good spirits of Christmas into Christ-like actions
with the power of the Holy Spirit.
God cared enough to give His Best....and WE must care enough to give OUR best!
I like the words of one card we received:
"Jesus is the undying hope that is in the dawn of each day,
the undying love that brings light to the soul.
The caring comfort that heals and makes whole".
All of this begins at the feet of Jesus, not physically, but spiritually and devotionally.
As the old song says:
'Moment by moment, I'm kept in His love.
Moment by moment, I've life from above.
Looking to Jesus, 'till glory doth shine.
Moment by moment, oh Lord, I am Thine.'
La Moyne and I really love each other and a good sign of that, is we never get tired of spending time together.
Likewise, a good sign that you're Christ's is that you enjoy spending time with Him.
Keep in mind that the word 'Christian' is only used 3 times in the New Testament whereas 'Disciple' is used often.
The trademark of Discipleship is Love.
The test of Discipleship is Obedience.
The task of Discipleship is Commitment.
We shall see all of this in Mary of Bethany who spent time at the feet of Jesus at least 4 different times.
1) MARY SAT AT THE FEET OF JESUS TO LEARN: (Luke 10:38-42)
As far as we know, Jesus had no home of His own for 3 years.
Matthew 8:20 records His words:
'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'
It meant so much to Jesus to be able to visit in the home of Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus.
In this incident, Mary stayed at Jesus' feet and heard His words.
We must do the same in our devotional times.
Her sister Martha, was working in the kitchen and was critical of Mary for not helping her.
Sometimes Martha seems to get a 'bum rap' but the emphasis is
the need for balance between work and worship.
Charles Spurgeon believed that: "Martha's mistake was not her serving, but rather that she allowed it to distract her attention from Jesus. We should do much service and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace, for it is easier to 'serve' than to 'commune'."
We need our 'Marthas' who are using their God-given talents to work and serve.
Mary overcame obstacles, including her sister's criticism, to spend time with Jesus.
So must we, as obstacles CAN become opportunities
and make us better instead of bitter.
The mind is a precious possession....don't waste it.
(See Matt. 11:28-30 for a great challenge from Jesus!)
2) MARY TOOK HER GRIEF TO JESUS' FEET: (John 11:32-36)
Mary's brother, Lazarus had died and it was a time of deep grief.
The shortest verse in the Bible tells us how Jesus feels when we grieve....'Jesus wept'. (vs. 35)
This is a profound teaching for it shows that Jesus' heart hurts when we hurt.
Grief is very real, but so is the solace of our Lord!
Truly 'our tears are a language God understands'.
Don't let anyone (but Jesus) take your tears/grief from you.
Job's friends were present during his time of grief,
but Job didn't need explanations...or criticism.
What he needed was loving support and a shoulder to cry on.
Just BE THERE for your someone who is grieving.
La Moyne was talking with her Mother one time about how very difficult it was as a pastor's wife, to WANT to comfort and help people who were in deep sorrow, but sometimes, didn't know just 'what' to say. One particular time was when we were called in the middle of the night to go be with a couple whose son and baby grandson had just died in a house fire. As La Moyne was sharing with her Mom and seeking advice, her Mom (who had experienced the death of a baby boy herself) gave La Moyne great 'first hand' advice, "You don't have to SAY anything.....just BE there and listen!"
C.S. Lewis' good book, 'A Grief Observed' speaks of his wife, Joy's death in 1956.
"Grief is like a long winding valley where any bend in the road may reveal a totally new landscape."
Out of his sorrow, he has become a blessing to the world via his writings...even to this day.
He surely, as we must, practiced I Peter 5:7:
"Casting all your burdens upon the Lord for He cares for you".
However, be sure to 'learn' from your burdens!.
You cannot delay grieving.
Mary committed 'all' to Jesus and experienced the resurrection of her brother.
We must do the same thing with our loved ones and friends who die in the Lord,
for there WILL be a resurrection!
In all of our acts of commitment, we sometimes forget to commit our emotions and times of grief, to the Lord.
In Romans 9:1f and 10:1f, the Apostle Paul never got over his own salvation experience and in these Scriptures, he is weeping for those who were still lost.
We know that God uses broken things and a broken heart is one of His primary requirements for Discipleship.
Consider these statements:
'There may be no revival if Mr. and Mrs. Wet Eyes are missing in the congregation.'
'We love Jesus, but we want Him to do all of the dying.'
'Has the church halted somewhere between Calvary and Pentecost?'
Luke 15 is a great study of the 'Tears of a Father' rewarded by the 'Tears of a Repentant Son'.
3) MARY GAVE HER BEST AT JESUS' FEET: (Mark 14:3-9)
Many believe that this was Mary of Bethany. She was criticized for giving the best of her material possessions. These included many hours of labor, but they were given from a heart of love.
II Corinthians 5:14 tells us that the only true motive for giving is our Love for our Lord!
Jesus responded to the opposition by saying, 'Let her alone, why trouble her? She has done a good work on me, to anoint my body for burial. This act shall be proclaimed throughout the world, as a memorial of her."
We must pray that our lives will be a good work for Jesus, plus being a witness to others.
Mary's motive for giving, was pure...and so should our's be pure!
The Cross is our best example, for God gave His best and Christ gave His all.
(See also Romans 8:32)
We should not 'give' to 'get', but God is so faithful and He rewards faithfulness in different ways!
The new movie, 'The End of The Spear' deals with the love, witness and martyrdom of 5 young missionaries in Ecuador.
One of those, Jim Elliott, said,
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, for that which he cannot lose."
Nate Saint's son went back to live among the very people who had murdered his father. He later moved his family there and his children call one of the men, 'Grandfather'....the very man who murdered their biological Grandfather! This shows the love and transformation that can occur when Jesus comes into the lives of people, to make a difference!!
4) MARY SAT AT JESUS' FEET AS A SUPPORT FOR HIM....AND A WITNESS TO OTHERS: (John 12:1-10)
This family was Jesus' family and the fellowship with them meant so much to Jesus.
They really were Jesus' earthly family and a great means of support.
I recently read where someone asked, 'What did we used to call a support group?'
The answer came, 'I think that we called it 'family'.
Oh how Americans need good family support!
In Verse 3, Mary took costly ointment and anointed Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. Judas was present and criticized her.
The religious opposition condemned the act, but moreso, they wanted to kill the evidence (Lazarus).
Are you spending time at the feet of Jesus?
I see the following in Mary:
COMMITTED MIND.....SHE SAT AT HIS FEET TO LEARN
COMMITTED EMOTIONS.....SHE BROUGHT HER GRIEFS TO HIM
COMMITTED POSSESSIONS....SHE GAVE HER BEST TO HIM
COMMITTED WITNESS......ARE YOU HIS WITNESS?
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Another wonderful and thought provoking article Travis. You asked, "Are you spending time at the feet of Jesus? And you wrote: ("MARY SAT AT THE FEET OF JESUS TO LEARN:") I too spend much time at the feet of Jesus, and I have learned this! Rom. 10:15-HOW BEAUTIFUL are THE FEET of those who PREACH THE GOSPEL of PEACE, who BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS. Heb.9:11-But Christ came as High Priest of THE GOOD THINGS TO COME. There is MUCH to be learned at the feet of Jesus, and you are helping us to discover that! Blessings, Sharon