Mary from Magadala
Easter is over. You are back at your job or
whatever you do on a daily basis - dealing with work, relationships and life
in general. Turn the clock back 2000 years and try to imagine what it
must have been like on that Monday.
Jesus' body was gone, then He was seen alive. Can you
imagine the confusion, disappointment, fear and all of the emotions that those
who followed him closely must have felt?
To me, one of His most fascinating followers is Mary
Magdalene - from Magadala. You can read about her in Matt. 27 55-61,
28:1 Mark 15 40-47, 16 1-11 Luke 8:2 23:55, 56 24 1-11
John 19:25, 20 1-8
John mentions the women who followed Jesus and were His
personal friends. Among these women, Mary Magdalene, next to the mother
of Jesus, stands out the most prominently. Out of the nine times she is
mentioned along with the other women, she is named first, with one exception.
John mentions her alone and by name four times in his
account of the resurrection and this makes her the leading character in this
great event. She not only was brave enough to stay standing at the
cross, but she also has the distinction of being the first one to see the
risen and glorified Lord.
You cannot confuse this Mary with the four other Mary's
mentioned in the gospels, because this Mary is called Mary of Magdalene to
distinguish her from the others.
This is the Mary that the scriptures mentioned above tell
us had 7 devils cast out of her by Jesus Christ. How does a woman who
was released from 7 devils come to such a high place of honor in history to be
the first to see the risen Christ, and to be given the commission to go and
tell the news to the others?
She followed Christ closely. She met Jesus Christ and
her life changed drastically. This brings me to the point of this
devotion. I believe that we Americans are almost over ex-posed to the
Word of God. We can watch church services and preaching on T.V., listen
to them on the radio, listen to tapes, C.D.'s and go to a service about any
day of the week. There are hundreds of devotions to choose from to read
daily. We can do all this and remain unchanged.
If we do not take in and meditate and chew up and digest
and assimilate and apply the Word into our beings, we get more and more
knowledge and less and less action. We become hearers and not doers.
We do not have a drastic change in our every day life. The fact that we
read devotions or go to church or pray can become our crutch...sort of an
excuse to remain the way we are and not put away things we know we need to put
out of our lives. We can still feel O.K. because we are going through
the motions of religious activities.
I hope to challenge you to concentrate this week on one
thing that you want to change in your life. When we train horses, we
cannot keep taking them to the next level until they completely understand and
perform on the first level. If we do, we will wind up with a horse that
is not solid and does not do his job with confidence and assurance. He
will have a hole in his performance. He will not have a solid foundation
built upon solid basics. We, like the horse, need to get our basics down
pat and be able to do them and THEN continue on to the next step.
Pick only ONE thing that you want to overcome
this week and pick ONE scripture to help you overcome. A good one is,
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil.
4:13 Follow Jesus closely, boldly and unafraid this week.
Experience a CHANGE !
Let us become as Mary of Magdalene - a most vivid example
of what Jesus Christ can do for a human soul. The story that began
with the human misery of devil possession and ends with the most glorious day
in the history of the world. A story of a woman who put Christ first in
her heart and experienced the joy of a changed life.
Thank you for the encouraging responses to the last
devotion. Pass them on to anyone you wish to and Praise the Lord!!