Thursday, April 13, 2017

Women in the Life of Jesus: The High Priest's Servant Girl

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.  When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.
“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.
 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it.
After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”
 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.-Mark 14:66-72 (NIV)

When writing the series about Women in the Life of Jesus, I came across this girl's story many times. Because tomorrow is Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified, I started thinking about these women again.  I never finished writing the series, and there were quite a few women involved in the days that surround Good Friday and Resurrection Day.  The high priest's servants girl was one of them.  
 I didn't really want to write about this girl because she wasn't one of Jesus' followers. Her story always bothered me.  What could she have to contribute to the series I was writing?  Today this thought crossed my mind, and is a message for others- Don't be like her.  But hidden in this story is also a message for the Church.
If we look closely at the passage of scripture in Mark 14, we can see a few telling details about her.  She was the high priests servant girl.  It doesn't say she was a woman, but a girl.  When I looked up the definition for "girl" in Strong's concordance, it gave me the definition for servant girl as being, "female slave, maidservant, maid, young girl."  That tells us even more.  
The high priest was part of the group of people who were getting ready to convict Jesus and sentence Him to death.  They represent the Law and religion.  The girl was a slave to that.  She was most like influenced by their opinions, being in their presence much of the time.
But notice in Mark 14 verse 67 it says , "she looked closely" at Peter.  And then she identifies him.  How would she know who Peter was, unless she had seen him before?  Now the Bible doesn't say this, but if she had seen him before, she had most likely already been around Jesus. This girl breaks my heart.
Here we have a young girl, who probably had been around Jesus, but because of religion and the Law chose to reject Him!  What does that say to us?
We, as the Church, should closely inspect our message.  Are we preaching the grace, goodness, mercy, love and forgiveness of God?  Or are preaching it, get it all right, do the right thing and you will be accepted?  
I think I used to be like her. I was afraid of God much of the time because I didn't know Him.  I didn't know Jesus.  I still have to watch my thought life, because of my history, and make sure my thoughts stay on the truth of who Jesus is.  
So, don't be like her.  Don't let religion keep you from the one who loves you so much.  Don't let religious people keep you from the one who loves you so much.  

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.-John 1:17


To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

When You Are Set Free, Others Will Be Too!!


Last night I was reading about Paul and Silas in Acts 16.  There are lots of good things in this passage, but I want to focus on just one for now. It says,


 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.-Acts 16:25-26



The earthquake was not just some random event that took place. It was a result of Paul and Silas praying and praising God. When they did that, something happened. God moved. And they were freed from what bound them. They were literally freed from the prison they were in. And it was quite dramatic. 

The scripture says that the "foundations of the prison were shaken...And everyone's bands came loose." Whoa! Not only were Paul and Silas set free, but also  all those in the prison that were there to witness it,  eventually including the jailer, who was was the one who puy them in the chains to begin with. 

So, in the midst of a troublesome situation, keep praying and praising God. Don't listen to the enemy tell you nothing is happening! God is as close as your next breath and He hears you! You will be set free, along with others around you! When you are released from your prison, it will set others free too!

Friday, March 17, 2017

31 Days of Healing: Peter's Mother-in-Law



Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. –Luke 4:38-41 (NKJV)

The writer of this Gospel is Luke.  Luke was a doctor.  I like to remember that when I am reading about healing in the Gospel he authored.  He would have been familiar with natural healing practices, but was not present during the accounts.  They were later relayed to him.
The healing of Peter’s mother in law takes place in Capernaum.  Jesus had just left the synagogue. So, it was the Sabbath.  Jesus repeatedly healed people on the Sabbath, even though it was a source of contention for the religious leaders, and I believe there is a reason for that.  But that is another post.
He goes to Simon Peter’s house and his wife’s mother was sick with a high fever.  We don’t really know what was causing the fever.  Modern medicine will usually say there is a cause for the fever.  The fever in and of itself is not the disease.  The author of this Gospel was a physician, and I assume as such, he would have been thorough and told us the cause, but he doesn’t.
Some also say that fever is a good thing, that is shows the body is working. But I think we should look at what the Bible says, and how Jesus felt about it.  The Gospel says he “rebuked the fever.” I looked up the word “rebuke” in the Greek and it is the word “epitimao.”  It means “ I rebuke, chide, admonish, warn.”  So, rebuking doesn’t seem to be favorable, right?  When he rebukes the fever-this means he was speaking to it-it leaves.  It, the fever, leaves.  Does that mean that Believers can speak to illness and it will leave too? Hmmm….
Instantly the woman was relieved and her body was restored to its normal state, so much so that she was able to serve them.  And she immediately did so.
Healings and miracles in the Gospels often precede other healings and miracles.  In the next passage of scripture it says,
When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
Key phrases to notice in this passage are “all those who had any that were sick”, “various diseases” and “He laid His hands on every one of them.” All the people that came to him and that were sick were healed.  They all didn’t have the same thing like Peter’s mother-in-law, a fever.  They had different diseases.  He laid his hands on every one.  Every one.  And healed them.  All of them. 

He is still healing.  He is the same yesterday today and forever.  And He still wants to heal them all.


To read more in the series go here:




Friday, March 3, 2017

Reba McEntire, Sing it Now: Songs of Faith and Hope

Country superstar Reba McEntire returns to her musical roots with a two-CD collection of cherished hymns and classic songs of faith. Sing It Now finds Reba in top form on twenty timeless favorites, including "Softly and Tenderly" (featuring Kelly Clarkson & Trisha Yearwood), "In The Garden/Wonderful Peace" (ft. The Isaacs), "Angels Singin'," and others.-Product Description, Christianbook.com


Reba McEntire's new CD project contain two CDs.  One is made up of old hymns, and the second is made up of more contemporary songs.  I was very familiar with the hymns.  They remind me of being a little girl, singing from a hymn book in church. My favorite is probably the song "Softly and Tenderly."  


Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
  • Refrain:
    Come home, come home,
    You who are weary, come home;
    Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
    Calling, O sinner, come home!

My favorite song  on the second CD is "God and My Girlfriends." It is very upbeat, fun song.  It is important for women to have friends they can turn to when experiencing happy moments as well as tough times and that is what this song is about.

I recommend this CD to anybody who likes Gospel music.  If you are a fan of old hymns or Reba McEntire, you will enjoy this CD!


Capitol Christian Music Group sent me two copies of this CD, one to review, and one to giveaway!

To enter to win a copy of this CD, simply comment below.  I will randomly choose a winner from the comments and announce the winner on the blog on Friday, March 10!

Many blessings on your journey with Jesus!

Beth

Congratulations Jen!  You are the winner of Reba McEntire's new CD!  Please message me your address to bethlisteningtohim@gmail.com.  Blessings!!!


To learn more about the artist, you can visit her website at reba.com.

To listen to songs from this album, go to Christianbook.com, or her YouTube channel.



Disclosure Statement:  I received the music free from Capitol Christian Music Group.  I was not required to give a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own.




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