Martha, the “Doer” & Mary, the “Hearer”

By admin On November 6th, 2012

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Martha, the “Doer” & Mary, the “Hearer”

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GOD PROMISED “A SIGN…IN THE HEIGHT ABOVE”

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.woman of Revelation 12 In Travail-www.signsofheaven.org

Long ago, God made a promise in the Book of Isaiah, Ch. 7… “Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.”

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Now just what sign could this be, that was either in the depth or in the height above?

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Well, Isaiah continues… “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

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Oh, OK, so we know this sign was fulfilled in the depth, with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. But God also promised this very same sign in the “height above”. So where is the fulfillment of this sign, in the “height above”?

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Nativity-Carl Bloch- www.wikigallery.com Public domain

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SIGN “IN HEIGHT ABOVE” NOW BEING REVEALED

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woman of Revelation 12 In Travail-www.signsofheaven.org

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You see, God has placed in the heavens, the symbol of His bride, the Church-Faithful. In the summer night-sky, she appears as the woman-in-travail. But in the winter, she flips upside down, to appear as the fleeing woman of Revelation 12. But whether this Virtuous Woman is in labor pains, or fleeing to the mountains, she is the heavenly icon of God’s bride, His Church!

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But no discussion of God’s bride would be complete, without discussing two sisters, Mary of Magdala and her sister, Martha. These two sisters lived in Bethany, just a Sabbath Day’s journey from Jerusalem. And they both had a special relationship with the Lord. But Mary had a closer relationship with Jesus. And this article will discuss the reason why she did.

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So please read this short account of how Mary excelled in her relationship with her Lord, above her sister, Martha.

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MARY, THE “HEARER” & MARTHA, THE “DOER”

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One of the most well-known and beloved stories of the Bible is the account in Luke Chapter 10, of Mary and her sister Martha, on the day when Jesus was a guest at their home for dinner. As the story goes, Martha was slaving in the kitchen, while her sister, Mary, was, “sitting at Jesus’ feet, hearing His Word”.

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This made Martha angry. Listen… “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” 

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Now the Bible makes it very clear, that, “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, Mary…” John 11:5.

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But Mary was definitely a Hearer, while Martha was more of a Doer. Martha, today, might be called a “multi-tasker”, or perhaps a “Type-A personality”, or even a “workaholic”. 

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“THE LORD LOOKETH UPON THE HEART”

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“…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1st Samuel 16:7

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Now for most of us it would be Martha we would commend, for her business, and Mary we would scold, for her laziness. This is because our human nature is not so nearly concerned about the spiritual condition of the heart, as we are with good works. Everyone loves an industrious person. 

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But surprise, surprise! It was not Martha, the Doer, which Jesus commended, but it was Mary, the Hearer “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art care-filled and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Matthew 10:40-42

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Martha and Mary-Joachim_Beuckelaer Wikipedia US public domain 

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NOT TO STOP GOOD WORKS

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Holy_bible.jpgIn this little story, the Bible is not condemning good works. The big point of this story is, that the Lord places a higher value on His people spending much time, listening to the life-giving words of the Bible, than in the performance of good works. 

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Listen… “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in Thy word.”  Psalm 119:105, 148.

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Now God is not calling for Christians to cease from good works. Good works are not necessarily bad, unless of course, they begin to eclipse a Christian’s relationship with the Lord. But God is saying that, what Mary was doing was the best work. And let’s face it, Martha’s bad attitude showed that her good works were mingled with anger, jealousy and pride. Yes, Martha’s bad behavior was proof-positive that she needed a change of heart. 

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Holy Bible – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Lic.

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MARY’S FAITH SHOWS

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Martha’s heart was not right with the Lord, to the degree that Mary’s heart was right. Martha’s anger and judging made clear that her heart was not so right with her Lord.

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But Mary’s desire to hear Jesus, eventually proved to be a blessing for Mary, as later Biblical events showed. It was Mary, ahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Johannes_(Jan)_Vermeer_-_Christ_in_the_House_of_Martha_and_Mary_-_Google_Art_Project.jpgnd not Martha who showed  faithfulness to Jesus, during and after Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection. And it was Mary, not Martha, who sought for Jesus at His tomb on Resurrection Morning. It was Mary’s faith which beautified her life, above her sister Martha.

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Just as it is written… “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.

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It is the words of the Bible which beautify the life of the Christian, causing faith to grow and flourish, within the heart of the Believer.

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And beside this, Mary knew the depths from which she came. She knew her unworthiness. And this self-awareness was the catalyst which finally caused Mary’s deep gratitude for the One who came to this sin-cursed Earth to save its lost inhabitants. 

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Johannes (Jan) Vermeer – Christ in the House of Martha and Mary – Google Art Project – Public Domain.

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THE BEAUTIFICATION OF THE SOUL

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OUR HIGHEST PRIVILEGE & DUTY

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The Christian has no higher privilege and duty, than to be immersed in God’s Word, throughout the hours of the day and night, allowing that Word to fill even to the deepest recesses of his or http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braet_von_%C3%9Cberfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866.jpgher heart.

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And of all the different aspects of Bible study, the day and night meditation on the Bible is perhaps, the most important part of all. For this is where the words of God become permanently embedded within the heart and mind and life of the Christian!

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Just as it is written of Mary… “and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  

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Virtuous Woman with Bible – Braet von Überfeldt – 1866 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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OVERCHARGED HEARTS

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“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with…cares of this life” Luke 21:34

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But too often, we get caught up in many religious aspirations and duties, to the detriment of the Soul. And the Devil doesn’t care how he entangles the Christian: religious or non-religious duties; it’s all the same to Lucifer; the Devil considers anything far better than to have a Christian who actually meditates on God’s life-giving words, through the day and into the night.

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And let’s face it, good works are often applauded by the world; and so it’s a real temptation for people to perform good works for the praises of Men. Listen… “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” John 12:43.

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But God takes no greater delight than to rejoice over a Believer who fills his or her Soul-Temple with God’s Word. Let’s repeat this statement: God takes more delight over one Believer who fills his or her heart with God’s Word, than ninety-and-nine who are busy, busy, to the disregard of this duty.

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Multitask – Wikimedia – C.C. Share-alike License

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“THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES”

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And so, the Devil works overtime to deceive the child of God into a lifestyle which eclipses a rich communion between that Believer and his or her Lord. And for those who have become so entangled in the affairs of life, and overwhelmed by their own busy-ness, this will most likely take nothing less than unceasing prayer and a daily crying out to God for deliverance from such bondage.

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Listen to Jesus, as He explains this excerpt from the “Parable of the Sower”, found in Matthew’s Gospel…

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“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower….He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the Word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:18, 22.

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All too often, those who begin to attend church, eventually get sidetracked in some earthly enterprise, only to by-and-by lose their love for spiritual things! Oh yes, the Gospel-Seed was planted in their heart. But the cares and pleasures of this world, just like noxious weeds, choked that good seed, making them unfruitful!

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“HEARING HIS WORD”

(see Luke 10:39)

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“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

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As this above verse proclaims, the Bible is a powerful book. And those who seek to become changed into the image of Christ, will find that life-transforming power.

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Listen… “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2nd Corinthians 3:18.

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If our purpose for reading God’s Word, is to get to know Jesus, and make Him our divine Role-Model, then God’s Spirit will open our eyes to behold wondrous things out of the Bible. By hiding that Word in our hearts, and by shutting out the vain words of Man, we will be changed, imperceptibly, into Christ’s Image, by-and-by.

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Listen… “O how I love Thy Law (Word). It is my meditation all the day” Psalm 119:11.

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This should be our daily mantra: to go about our day, meditating on God’s life-giving Word, as we work, as we sit down, as we engage in recreation. This kind of a life can only be achieved by the grace of God, and not by mere human effort. And we must seek this as our goal, as though we are seeking for lost treasure!

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Chaplain reads Bible – Wikimedia – US Govt. Public Domain

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BUSY, BUSY, BUSY

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the accusing finger share-alike license www.signsofheaven.org

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“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 

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This above passage stands as a warning against getting busy with various church duties to the neglect of one’s own Salvation. Such people quite often will be the first to volunteer for various ministries, parties, fundraisers, etc., but have little time for prayer, and the study and meditation upon God’s Word.

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“THE MULTITUDE OF BUSINESS”

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“For a dream comes through the multitude of busy-ness;” Ecclesiastes 5:3.

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This above passage from the wise man, Solomon warns us that when we get too busy with the affairs of life, we can become worldly-minded, worldly-oriented.

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Yes, and when a Christian becomes over-entangled with duties, it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit, to the poverty of the Soul.

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These should take a lesson from Daniel’s example. Daniel, when involved in the business of his office, maintained a rigid habit of kneeling three times daily in prayer. Such a habit would be a great safeguard for all who are overwhelmed with duties. However, many of us get so busy, that we couldn’t stop to kneel and pray thrice-daily, even if we wanted! We must humble ourselves before God, daily, and not stop until this great gift is achieved.

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Daniel’s thrice-daily prayers. Wikipedia public domain

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“THE WORDS OF THE WISE

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ARE HEARD MORE IN QUIET…”

Ecclesiastes 9:17

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Most “workaholics” fall into the deception that their many good works are the evidence of their Salvation. And it becomes all but impossible for them to see the poverty of their own soul. And while we are not to sit upon the Judgment Throne against these; it is often difficult not to notice their impatience, judging, coarse conversation, or a host of other fleshly sins, which they are not even aware of; all because they are too busy for self-examination.

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Listen to what God says through Paul… “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2nd Corinthians 13:5

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And if only they would just slow down, and begin to redirect their focus upon their own undone condition, they just might eventually find their way out of the jungle of Satan’s deceptions.

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Multitask – Wikimedia – C.C. Share-alike License

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“JUDGE NOT!”

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The child of God should be very sympathetic and prayerful for anyone caught in Satan’s prison-house, remembering the words of God, in 2nd Timothy…

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Listen… ”And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2nd Tim. 2:24-26.

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When a person is held fast in chains of darkness, it is very difficult to make them see the error of their ways. Prayer and gentle nudging may be all that one can do, on their behalf. As the above passage says, it’s only God who can open a person’s eyes to their undone condition. And we must also be very humble, because we too might likewise be caught in our own web, not even aware that we too are Satan’s “house-guest”. Sin is very deceitful! 

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“THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE”

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3.9.134

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“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2nd Timothy 2:3, 4

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The Bible warns Christians not to get entangled in the affairs of this life, as the above passage says. And if ever there was a time in history when Christians should maintain a double vigilance against letting ourselves become entangled, it is now! We are standing at the very threshold of eternity.

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Just listen to Jesus, as He warns all Christians against becoming engrossed with the affairs of this world…

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“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34-36. 

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THE FLOODWATERS OF SATAN

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Satan knows how close we are to that Day, and he is just now flooding the world with all sorts of diversions, hoping to keep everybody busy, just long enough for us to enter that Day of the Lord totally unprepared.

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Television, computer games, sports, hobbies, careers, romance, vacations, expensive vehicles, needlessly expensive insurance premiums, expensive lifestyles, expensive toys, expensive homes and upkeep, and even many so-called “Revelation seminars”, and a host of other earthly Mammon, are all designed by Satan to keep the world and the Church over-committed as long as he can. And among Satan’s chief targets in this assault, are those who profess to love Jesus.

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New York Times Square – terabass – Wikipedia – Share-alike License

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“WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG”

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“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:10

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Those of us who are low-energy type individuals, or are in a bed-fashttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Munch_Det_Syke_Barn_1896.jpgt condition, or in confinement, often look with envy at those who are industrious. But as that popular saying goes, “Careful what you wish for!”

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Quite often, those who are considered high-energy people, have little time nor inclination for sitting at the feet of Jesus, and hearing His Word. They are frequently so busy with the affairs of life, that it is all but impossible for them to spend quiet-time with Jesus.

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Listen to God’s assessment… He delights not in the strength of the horse: He takes not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:10, 11.

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So such verses as this reveal to us, that God is not all that impressed by good works.

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Just listen to this next passage… “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not…done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you…” Matthew 7:22, 23

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Munch Det Syke Barn – 1896 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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“BE STILL…”

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On the other hand, we who have little strength, may use our “handicap” to our advantage. In the quiet hours of our infirmity we can fulfill God’s desire for us… “Be still, and know that I am God:” Psalm 46:10.

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We can sit at Jesus feet, and spend quiet time in His Word, using our disability or confinement to good account.

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And so, in that sense, our low-energy and our disability can actually become our greatest asset to our spiritual pilgrimage, as we fill up our heart with the words of life. 

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Listen… “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” Psalm 4:4

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Brooklyn Museum-La_Roche Guyon by Theodore Robinson wikipedia US public domain

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LETTING OUR LIGHT SHINE

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braet_von_%C3%9Cberfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866.jpg“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16

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As the above passage says, when the heart and mind is totally focused upon Jesus, there is a certain holy light which shines forth from the Believer. The following passage from James is not only how God deals with humanity, but likewise is how the Christian should deal with others…

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“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:17, 18.

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When Christians become engrossed with the cares and pleasures of the world, it is our Christ-like behavior which suffers. And then, because we have lost the true witness of Jesus, shining out from us, we then want to fulfill our obligation to evangelize others with vain words. We then become like a, “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1st Corinthians 13:1).

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Braet von Überfeldt – Woman with Bible – 1866 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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“REPENT AND DO THE 1ST WORKS”

Revelation 2:5

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But what is truly needed is that we once again return to our, “first love” (Revelation 2:4): to keep Jesus with us every moment of our day, through unceasing prayer and unceasing meditation upon His Word.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%22However_pressing_his_duties_STM2-c_James_Lee_Frazer_always_finds_time_to_read_a_few_chapters_from_his_Bible_each_day._I_-_NARA_-_520675.jpg

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Listen… “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;” Revelation 2:4, 5

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Then and only then will the world behold and take notice, that of a truth, we have been with Jesus! And yes, God knows that the Christian must work and provide for his family. But like busy Daniel, we too can set aside specific times for daily Bible study, meditation and prayer. The secret is to not allow ourselves to take on unnecessary burdens or pleasures, to the detriment of our study-time and prayer-time. 

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However pressing his duties STM2-c James Lee Frazer always finds time to read a few chapters from his Bible each day. I – NARA – 520675 – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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JUST LIKE MARY,

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THIS REVELATION 12 WOMAN ALSO EXCELS

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And so we now have a greater understanding of this heavenly symbol of God’s bride, the Church-Faithful. And though she is best represented by Mary Magdalene, she also is represented by busy Martha. We just need to keep in mind what is our greatest priority as Christians. And to hide God’s Word in our heart is the greatest work that a Christian can do.

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But whether we are sitting at the feet of Jesus, just like Mary; or we are busy in service to the Lord, like Martha, we should never become so busy that we do not meditate upon God’s Word, as it says in David… “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2

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THE END

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A HEAVENLY HOBBY

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“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things; that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:26

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vermont night stargazing panorama 2009 wikipedia share-alike lic.

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The above verse is a plea from God to look up at the Heavens and behold Who has created these things.

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In this busy work-a-day world, there are many very interesting things which can occupy one’s time and energy: hobbies, and careers, and entertainments and worries, and habits, to name just a few.

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But as the child of God devotes his or her life to God, there should be a jealous guarding of one’s own heart… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

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The Christian wants nothing to get in the way of running that Christian Race.

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 New York Times Square – terabass – Wikipedia – Share-alike License

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“AND WHEN YE SEE THESE THINGS…

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LOOK UP, LIFT UP YOUR HEAD”

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But having said this, there is one hobby which every ‘Noble Berean’ may take up, which only compliments the pursuit of the heavenly Prize.

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Yes, Signs Of Heaven becomes a wonderfully rewarding hobby which, unlike many less meaningful hobbies, pays off with rich, heavenly rewards. Everlasting rewards!

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And unlike these people in this photo with equipment, all you need is fairly good vision, and a dark, starry night.

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And once a person really gets to know these heavenly messengers, it will become very apparent that the message connected with these signs is truly a message to be heeded.

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Thus will the Christian be able to share this message with others. And there are perhaps many nuances and hidden biblical truths to these signs which have yet to be discovered.

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Astronomy Amateur Wikipedia share-alike license

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“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25

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ABOVE STAR-CHART – Summer Constellations with Two Turtledoves (Sagittarius) & Flower of the Field (aka: Scorpio) & The 12-Star Crown (aka: Corona Borealis) & The Cross-Scepter (aka: Ophiochus & Serpens) & Revelation 12 Woman (Ursa Major) & Arcturus Star – www.theheavensdeclare.net

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FIRST FIND ORION & 7 STARS

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The very first step in finding these many constellations, should be to find the two main constellations: Orion, and the 7 Stars (aka, The Big Dipper).

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These two constellations represent Christ (Orion), and His Church (7 Stars).

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And just as these are the easiest constellations to find, so too, the first place to begin studying the Bible is the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

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These four books present Christ and His Church, when He walked the earth, just as Orion and the 7 Stars represent Christ and His Church, as seen up in the heavens.

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Then, once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

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ABOVE PICTURE – winter constellations – Orion & Revelation 12 Dragon (Hyades, Pleiades, etc…) seen at Eagle Ridge – Signs Of Heaven.org – Not for profit use!once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

ABOVE PICTURE – 7 Stars Constellation as the Cross (aka Big Dipper) – winter – signsofheaven.org – not for commercial uses

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ANOTHER HEAVENLY HOBBY: PRAYER-WALKS

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Now if you’re fortunate enough to be able to go on nightly walks, and you live in an area where you can safely view the stars, here is another Heavenly Hobby which Signs Of Heaven endorses…

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Why not combine star-watching with prayer, as you walk? What a great way to draw closer to God!

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It cannot be over-stressed, just how wonderful it is to walk under the dark canopy of Heaven, while lifting up one’s heart to our Heavenly Father! There is a closeness to God that cannot be described with words!

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(And even if you cannot safely do this, you can always do such prayer-walks in the daytime, in a safe place, such as a mall, which is every bit as effective, prayer-wise.

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And for those who are in confinement, one can view these starry signs on the Internet, or simply listen to Scripture on audio.

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Either way, all such may enjoy God’s richest blessings at this very time in which God is pouring out all Heaven’s treasures upon anyone willing to forsake all, and follow Jesus!)

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Starry Night at La Silla Wikipedia share-alike license

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THRICE-DAILY PRAYERS

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marines_at_Prayer_by_Alex_Raymond.jpg.

Now of course, the Bible commands us to, “pray without ceasing“. The Christian is to constantly talk with our Heavenly Father throughout the day.

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But the Bible also holds up the godly life of Daniel, who, when captive in Babylon, still set aside three times daily, in which he knelt for special prayer.

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And furthermore the Bible also says… “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17.

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Even those who are bed-fast or in a prison cell can begin to imitate Daniel in this way. And if one is fortunate to be able to walk, then this thrice-daily prayer regimen can be combined with three walks daily and even nightly.

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Marines at Prayer by Alex Raymond wikimedia public domain

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