A Study of Differences
(Please read Luke 10:38-42, John 12 1-3 & Mark 14:3-9)If at all possible, read it in at least two different translations for a beter understanding.
1. Next to each word, place an 'a' for Mary, a 'b' for Martha, or a 'c' for both:
Active ________ Meditative ________ Impulsive ________ Loving ________ Attentive ________
Guilty of complaint ________ Grateful Giver ________ Spiritual Scholar ________ Hospitable ________
Rebuked by Jesus ________ Gave Freely of Her Gifts ______
"Though their tempermants were poles apart, after the passing of their brother, they were one in spirit, and Jesus understood and loved them both." (Deen)
2. Even in their grief, they were different. Describe, in your own words, how you believe each one felt. How they reacted and why:
Jesus looks at each of us, individually. He sees our hearts, understands our motives, delights in our love and devotion to Him. Although we are all different from one another, we can serve Him, love Him, and learn of Him in the midst of our differences.
3. I find that I identify most with Mary [ ] Martha [ ]. Explain:
4. What touched my heart most about Mary's life/example is (and explain why):
5. What touched my heart most about Martha's life/example is (and explain why):
6. If you had to choose one specific trait from each sister, what would you choose for yourself and why:
7. If there is anything I don't want from their personality trait(s), it's:
HONEST REFLECTION: After these last two questions, am I serious enough about my answers to share them with others and to truly pray for the Lord to help show me how to rid myself of the negative and focus on obtaining the positive?
Of Martha, Lockyer says that "He (Jesus) recognized that she was working for Him, but reminded her that she was permitting her outward activities to hinder her spirituality. Because of wrong emphasis regarding her necessary labor, her inner communion with her Lord was being hindered."
AFTERTHOUGHT: (notes from Lockyer, pgs 91 & 106)
"Some are all Martha, and no Mary. Others are all Mary and no Martha. The happy combination is that of Martha and Mary, the practical and the spiritual making possible the glory of the commonplace. The church requires both Marys and Marthas for both are necessary to complete the Christian character (1 Timothy 4:13-16; James 1:25-27)
"From their examples we can surely learn:
1. To sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him.
2. To keep so-called secular service in its right place, conscious that both serving and learning are duties, and in both we should honor God.
3. To trust the Lord with our cares, responsibilities and sorrows knowing that He is able to undertake for us. If His help appears to be delayed we must remember that He is never before His time, and that He never lags behind.
4. To offer our best to Him who broke the alabaster box of His own body that heavenly forgiveness and fragrance might be ours."
"Mary gave to the limit of her love and ointment. Will the Lord say of us when we see Him face to face - You have done what you could? Do we constantly anoint Him as the Chosen of our hearts? Are His feet perfumed with our richest gifts?"
(Please read Genesis 11:29-31; 12:5-17; 16:1-8; 17:15-21; 18: 20:2-18; 23:1-19)
If at all possible, read it in at least two different translations for a better understanding.
TRUE OR FALSE: (Questions 1-4 are from Genesis 11:29-31 & 12:5-17)
1. Sarai was Abram's half sister.
2. Sarai was very beautiful.
3. Sarai was taken into Pharaoh's palace.
4. Sarai shared Pharaoh's bed.
5. Sarai and Abram were punished because of their falseness before Pharaoh. (Genesis 20:2-18)
6. Sarai rebelled against Abram's request to hide the fact that she was his wife a second time.
7. Explain what Genesis 17:15 & 16 means to you.
8. Describe Sarai's plan for a son and the life long consequences.
9. What was Sarah's reaction to overhearing that she would bear a child? (Genesis 18:9-15)
- excerpt from The Full Life Study Bible (Gen 16:2, page 30) " it was customary among the people of Mesopotamia for a barren wife to have her handmaid bear children. Such children were considered as belonging to the wife. (1) Regardless of this custom, Abram and Sarai's attempt to provide a way for God to bring a child into the family through Abram's union with Hagar was not God's way. (2) The NT likens Hagar's son to the product of human effort - "in the ordinary way" and not "by the power of the Spirit" (Gal 4:29). In other words, it is never right to attempt to accomplish God's purpose in ways not according to the Spirit, patient hope and fervent prayers."
Do I cling to the Lord's promises and seek His will diligently? Or do I tend to try and "push the promise" along?
10. (Genesis 17:17) How old was Sarah when she gave birth to Isaac?
11. (Genesis 23:1) How old was Sarah when she died?
The Scriptures never tell us about Sara's reaction to Abraham & Isaac's trip up to Mt. Moriah, and the sacrifice that was required (although God intervened); yet we know that she lived 27-28 years after Isaac was born, so she must have been at least aware of the trip and all that transpired. We do not know what her part was, if any, nor how she felt about this promise child (except for the overwhelming joy when he was born).
12. Please share your questions / comments / thoughts that you would like to discuss further with us here in the 'comments' and we can have a discussion about them.
Peter 3:1-6 tells us about the kind of woman/wife Sarah was, and how she is an example for us to follow. Please read this and fully ponder how learning about Sarah will help you in your own role as a wife.
What about when the road traveled is too hard? (What did Sarah do?)
What about when he asks me to lie on his behalf? (What did Sarah do?)
What about when I can not meet his needs? (What did Sarah do, and what can I learn by her mistakes)
What has the Lord shown me, specifically, through this study as a guide to my own life?
(Please read 1 Samuel 25:1-42, 27:3, 30:5; 2 Samuel 2:2, 3:3 & 1 Chronicles 3:1)
(be specific; good/bad/for her husband/against her husband, etc.)
How would I have responded if my spouse continued to do things that endangered our lives?
The following are excerpts from All the Women of the Bible, by Edith Deen:
"Only a capable and affluent woman could have made ready so much food in such haste. Only a women of good understanding could have left so quietly, without informing her husband of her actions. If she had, she knew he would demand that she not give away his food to strangers. She knew, too, that the safety of their entire household was at stake." (page 104)
"Added to her charm and wisdom was that of piety. She knew God, and although she lived in such an unhappy home, she remained a saint." (page 23)
Also quoted here is Eugena Price, writer of A Woman With God's Own Poise, "only God can give a woman poise like Abigail possessed, and God can only do it when a woman is willing to cooperate as Abigail cooperated with Him on every point."
Then, Lockyer continues: "True to the significance of her own name she experienced that in God her Father there was a great source of joy enabling her to be independent of the adverse, trying circumstances of her miserable home life."
Am I in circumstances that are other than favorable? What are my feelings towards God in these circumstances? Can I be as Abigail, fully trusting and obedient, and full of the Lord's strength and wisdom?
As we see the Lord honors her faithfulness to Himself, and brings her out of her unfavorable circumstances, and into David's home. There she becomes one of his wives, and also a much trusted confidant as he recognized her wisdom!
What can I take to heart from this lesson, and apply it to my daily life?
4-Given Ministries Prays
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