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Worship, Learn, Serve

Daily Reading: John 12

Scripture Focus: Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12.2b-3)

Devotional Thought: I have seen the local church defined as "a group of believers who join together regularly for worship, learning and mission." In today's story of Martha, Lazarus and Mary, we find the three roles of the church.

Martha served. She made sure that Jesus received what he needed to nourish his body and enjoy the meal in comfort. Sometimes Martha gets a ‘bad rap’ based on the story in Luke 10, where she complains about her sister not helping her. But, just as Christ served his disciples by washing their feet, so we in the church are called to serve. The church needs servants, those who busy themselves seeing to the needs of the body of Christ.

Lazarus reclined with Jesus at the table. He was there listening and learning. This practice was established early on in the first church in Jerusalem, where the disciples "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching." We also see it in Paul's ministry where he gathered the disciples together daily for 2 years in the lecture hall of Tyrannus in order to teach them in a group setting. Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos - a skilled preacher - and explained to him the way of God in individual discipling sessions. The church is always a place of learning.

Mary anointed Jesus. Her show of love filled the house with a beautiful fragrance. She didn't care what anyone else thought or said. She simply wanted to show Jesus how much she loved him. And, through that fragrance of worship, everyone there received benefit. I love to see people lavish their love and adoration on Jesus. What an encouragement!

Worship... Learning... Serving... How is your church doing? How are you doing?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are worthy of my love, my learning, and my labors. Help me to be a faithful member of your Church as I worship, grow and serve. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. 10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! 11 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12 There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise. (Psalms 36:7-12)

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