Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Work as Worship- Amy Lively (How to Love Your Neighbor)- Book Giveaway!

Work as Worship
Guest post by Amy Lively

Martha was a working girl, just like you. When Jesus stopped at her house with His entourage, she stepped up to serve them.
You can read her story in Luke 10:38-41:
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

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.”

I can relate to a woman who bosses Jesus around! I know exactly how Martha feels when I’m working my tail off, whether it’s in the office or in the kitchen.
Martha was distracted by her work. The Greek word translated “distracted” is perispaō, and it is used only here in the entire Bible. It means to be drawn away and distracted, to be over-occupied or too busy. If Luke was telling the tale of a twenty-first century woman, he would use this word a lot more . . . a whole lot more! We are distracted by our responsibilities at home and at work, our duties at church, endless activities for our children, our dogged pursuit of fitness and financial stability, and family obligations. We are distracted by texts, tweets and notifications, friend requests and followers.

We are rarely distracted or over-occupied with loving God or loving our neighbor.
Yet there’s no exception to Christ’s #2 Command to love our neighbor, and this command is too important to wait until our work is done. And let’s be honest, our work is never done! Martha chose work over a chance to worship Jesus. No one remembers what Martha served for dinner that night, but Sunday school classrooms around the world still teach about Martha, the frazzled worker.

Martha chose work over a chance to worship Jesus.
Martha’s work was important, just like yours. One of the Greek words for “serve” is diakoneō.  This word means to supply life’s necessities, which is your goal for your career—it’s why you work. This word means to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests, like Martha did—and it also means to take care of the needs of others, like Jesus did. Jesus used the same word of himself:

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:43–45

The happiest working mamas are the ones who serve Jesus first, then serve others. Your heavenly paycheck will be sweet, and your daily reward is priceless!
From Liz:

Mama's! Isn't this an amazing message! Our work IS important, just like Martha's was- we supply for life's necessities for our family and we take care of the needs of others, just like Jesus. This is encouraging! Martha is no the BAD guy in the story- BUT, she did make the wrong choice and Jesus does not condemn her for it but gently reminds her of where her focus needs to be. I know I can easily get distracted with what needs to be DONE versus taking the time to love Jesus and my neighbor.

Amy's book has been transformational for me. I have shared a few times over the past week about Loving my Neighbor and how Community and Neighborhood Connections are absolutely essential to us working Mama's and not as hard as we might think with the bonus of SO MUCH BLESSING IN RETURN.

Amy has graciously offered to give away a signed book!

My challenge is to you- leave a comment stating ONE THING you can do today or sometime this week to love your neighbor. I will pick a winner!

Amy Lively is a speaker and the author of How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird (Bethany House, May 2015). She provides tips and tools for Christ’s #2 command drawing from her own experience knocking on her neighbors’ doors and leading a women’s neighborhood Bible study called The Neighborhood Cafe. Amy lives in Lancaster, Ohio (for the time being) with her husband, their daughter, a holy dog and an unsaintly cat. Learn more at

Lots of Love!



Pauline said...

Mary and Martha is one of my favorite events in the Bible. We learn so much from both of these righteous women. I have a cake that I am taking to my neighbor today and I think I will add a little extra service by writing a couple of stanza’s of a poem by John Newton to go with it.

How oft are we like Martha vexed,

Encumbered, hurried, and perplexed!

While trifles so engross our thought,
The one thing needful is forgot. 

Lord teach us this one thing to choose,

Which they who gain can never lose;

Sufficient in itself alone,

And needful, were the world our own.
John Newton

My hope is that I can be a bit Martha and a lot Mary!

Lissette O'Neal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lissette O'Neal said...

I also love the story of Mary and Martha! It is such a vivid example of how sometimes God wants us to serve Him, with our time vs our work. Either you are a working mom outside the home or a working stay home mom we can easily lost focus on what is important!! isn't it! I believe that it's all about where your heart is. Sometimes being at home i feel like laundry can't wait cleaning after my children cannot wait - i just "have to" do it before i can spend time with God. God is the creator of time , strength ... We (I) need to seek Him first and the rest will fall into place!! Its easier said than done,but God is so gracious to remind us that ultimately He is the only one that matters! God wants us to work for His glory not our own. May everything that we do be filtered through the lense of His love for others.. Much love to you moms!

Becky said...

I love the story of Mary and Martha because it reminds me to refocus when I get off track. I'm a SAHM now, but as a working mom, I tried to remember to move my neighbor while I was at work. Teaching is a tough profession, so providing a listening ear or encouraging word was one way I could show Jesus' love to others. Bringing coffee to a friend or writing a note to someone who needs encouragement are a couple of simple, yet powerful ways to love our neighbors. :)

Laura said...

Love the gentle reminder to Martha by Jesus to go easy on Mary. As women, it sometimes seems that we have responsibilities that can overshadow what is more important. Just getting to know our neighbors - asking them for help ( we have gotten to know neighbors by asking them to get our mail when we are away). It is a simple thing, but can lead to good conversations and maybe a good friendship!

Elizabeth Jones said...

This is from my friend Loretta from my FB page:

One thing I can do to love my neighbor this week is to cut my neighbors grass. My neighbor moved out and other neighbors have been complaining. So that can be the neighborly thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I want to concentrate on the most important thing too. Jesus is the most important, but he did challenge us to love others so I have been trying to share the love of the Lord by giving away veggies from my garden. Black seeded simpson lettuce has been fun to share.

Mrs Poe said...

I think the one thing I'd like to do for my neighbor this week is to pick a basket of blueberries for her when I go to pick my own. I know she loves fresh berries, but does not have much time to go pick her own. :)