Martha's Bad Rap
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26).
Martha has been unfairly criticized in the history of the Church. Mary and Martha were entertaining Jesus in their home when Martha complained to Jesus about Mary simply sitting at the feet of Jesus rather than assisting her with the needs of the meal. Many a preacher has condemned Martha for her focus on doing rather than sitting at the feet of Jesus as Mary did. However, let me ask you an important question. Who would you rather hire Mary or Martha?
I can tell you I would rather hire Martha in my business. There are times in the body of Christ where we simply come and worship and fail to activate our faith lives in practical expression. The truth is we need to model both Mary and Martha in our Christian lives. There are times when we are called to sit at the feet of Jesus and worship Him. But we must always have an outlet of expressing the love of God through practical deeds. This is the point of contact to the world for the gospel.
My friends Dennis and Megan Doyle are committed believers who own one of the largest commercial real estate companies in Minnesota. After noticing that many corporations had overstocks and overruns of merchandise and food that could be used to help the poor, they began to collaborate with corporations to get the excess goods for distribution through various ministries in the Minneapolis area, the nation and the world. The ministry, called Hope for the City, became very successful and has given more than $300 million in the past three years.
We all need to model both aspects of the lives of Mary and Martha. And we all need a point of expression of our faith that the world can see. What type of expression might He call you to have?
The Upside of Adversity
Can God actually use prolonged difficulty in our lives for good? Os Hillman says yes! After a seven-year journey filled with adversity in his personal and work life, Os went from the pit of despair to operating an international speaking and teaching organization for workplace leaders that has taken him to more than 25 countries. Like the Joseph of the Bible, Os let God use a long string of personal calamities-what he terms his "Joseph Pit"-to form him for leadership, influence and service.