Read the Excerpt
The Perfect House
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset
over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about.
Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42 NLT
Hospitality was an important part of the biblical world, even as it is today. Jesus mentions it often, in such stories as that of the Good Samaritan. We need to remember that in this passage, Jesus isn’t criticizing Martha for her work in making the disciples welcome. Instead, He’s pointing out that she’s being distracted at that moment from what’s more vital—hearing His words and treasuring His presence.
In today’s world, we often feel a crushing pressure to make our homes “perfect.” Spotless. Uncluttered. Tastefully decorated. And there’s certainly nothing “wrong” with keeping a house tidy.
But hospitality is more than a clean house. It’s providing a welcome place for people to gather and enjoy each other’s company. It’s sharing your love of God as well as a good meal. It’s an open heart as well as an open hearth.
If your spirit is welcoming, if you cherish those around you, the dust bunnies can wait.
Lord, show me how to share your love. Open my heart to those around me, so I can welcome into my home. Amen.
The Overwhelming Life
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge.
Psalm 61:2-3 NLT
Feeling crushed by responsibilities and duties is common to most of us. The pressures of work, family, church, and other commitments weigh down on us, threating to overwhelm us. When we look at all we have to take care of, a sense of panic sets in, making us desire nothing more than a long nap and a chair on a beach. Yet finding time to breathe, to find a few moments of peace feels impossible. There’s just too much to do!
These are the times that turning to God for help is more important than ever. In Him our refuge, we can find a clear path. He will provide the peace, the hope, and the guidance to get through each task one-by-one and to maintain our sense of calm direction.
By focusing on Him, we gain perspective. As we remember what’s important to Him, we can prioritize with more clarity…and we may even learn to say, “No,” more often, whenever someone starts a sentence, “Can you—?”
Lord, help us turn to you when we are overwhelmed. Grant us a sense of peace, an open heart, and a clear vision to deal with all we’ve been handed. You are our only refuge. Amen.
The Perfect Storm
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
Psalm 94:19 NIV
The busier our lives become, the more out of control our thoughts and worries can be. As we rush from one task to another, concerns about our families, our work, our communities abound. Thoughts swirl about in our minds, unfocused and jumbled, stirring up our worries and anxieties like a great wind.
This struggle isn’t new. Psalm 39 describes the struggle to control our words and thoughts, how the storms of emotion can overwhelm us. The whirl of thoughts is the very enemy of peace, an obstacle to trusting God with every aspect of our lives. Jesus also cautioned us about giving in to worry (Matthew 6:25-34).
Surrendering your worries to God isn’t always easy. Some of us have to start over every day! But Psalm 94 is a reminder that we can indeed relinquish our anxieties to God, rely on Him, and take comfort in His promises. He offers consolation in all things. Take a deep breath and say a quick prayer each to give your cares to God and ask for His peace. He will deliver.
Lord, I offer up to you all my worries. Lift them from my heart and grant me your peace. I know your care for me will prevail. Amen.