Gratitude, thankful, perseverance, God’s Kingdom, serve, serving, trials, work, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Serving God’s Kingdom: Persevering Exhaustion and Unfulfillment

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God’s Kingdom.



Don’t grow tired of doing good… I know it’s easier said than done. I know because I’m exhausted with it.

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God's Kingdom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #GodsKingdom #serve #hospitality #perseverance

Exhausted

I’m exhausted from homeschooling my children so they will be trained in righteousness and the truth of God’s Word. I feel the weariness of changing diapers from my two youngest sons, and the foster children I had the years before them.

I’m so tired of giving my husband my full attention at the end of a long day. Not just physically -if that’s what you’re thinking- but the full attention he needs from me to listen to his stories. He loves to share his work with me and let me tell you, it wears me out to be fully attentive.

However, these are the good works I was made to do. The Lord knew he would be my husband, He called me to homeschool my children, and to be a foster/adoptive mother. When I’m singing songs and explaining history and wiping bottoms and making dinner, I’m doing it for Christ! I am serving God’s Kingdom.

Enthusiasm

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:11-13, NLT

I think sometimes we forget that our husbands and children are God’s people. We serve others outside our home with such enthusiasm and generosity but can have a begrudging attitude about the people we claim to love most in this world.

Our tendency to this, I believe, is because we don’t get any recognition for doing our work day in and day out. We do what we have to do because we have to do it. When others outside our homes need help, we do it because we love Christ, yes, but there’s also an element of feeling good about ourselves. Often, I tend to do better for near-strangers than my own household.

Sacrifice

I realized this ugliness in myself just a week ago. A neighbor, also a believer, needed help after a surgery. So, I went and cleaned her bathrooms with more detail and fervor than I’d given any task in my own home in months.

As I was cleaning, I felt very convicted. Why was I so willing to do her bathrooms when just wiping down my own countertops and mirrors made me feel like an unappreciated servant? I think the root issue in my life is laziness and pride. I want to do the things that make me happy and bring me joy and have forgotten that’s not what life is.

A life lived for others is full of sacrifice and self-denial. If I say I want to love God and serve others but only mean it when I’m enjoying myself, then I don’t have the right attitude.

A life lived for others is full of sacrifice and self-denial. If we say we want to love God and serve others but only mean it when it's convenient, then we don't have the right attitude. Click To Tweet

Mundane Work

My family deserves my service to them with a heart full of joy. I am serving my King because I’m obeying His call on my life. He wants me where I am and I don’t want to serve Him begrudgingly. My life verse is a great motivator for me when I feel like I can’t find the point in the mundane and repetitive tasks in my life.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12, NIV

Am I wrong for comparing my housework and vocation to a trial? Perhaps, but I’m only being honest about how it can feel.

I’ve been through many terrible and hard circumstances in my life, and I know that what I’m experiencing now is nothing like it. I need to have an attitude of gratitude and persevere in serving God’s Kingdom; in the work our loving Father has given me. I pray that my story will encourage some of you struggling in this area to persevere as well.

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God's Kingdom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #GodsKingdom #serve #hospitality #perseverance

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Sisterhood, emotion, serving, redeemed, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Sisters: Learning Priorities and Redemption through Mary and Martha

We can often become defensive when others point out our shortcomings. Jesus used both Mary and Martha to teach a powerful lesson. Our walk with God strengthens through the encouragement and example of our fellow sisters! 



And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’

Luke 10:39-42, ESV

Jesus used both Mary and Martha to teach a powerful lesson. Our walk with God strengthens through the encouragement and examples of our fellow sisters! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #sisters #scripture #emotion #redemption #serve

Sisters

My older sister and I joke that I am Mary and she is Martha. To understand what we mean by this, you need to understand who Mary and Martha are in the Bible. These two women are best known for being the sisters of Lazarus, the dead man that Jesus called out from the grave. Many people can easily recall the story in which Jesus resurrects Lazarus from the grave, but few seem to know who Mary and Martha were.

Martha gets a bad rap for this verse in the Bible. It seems that Martha is doing everything wrong and Mary is doing everything right. Though this may be true, it should never discount Jesus’ love for both sisters. Though Martha possessed the ability to poorly prioritize, Jesus makes her aware of this and offers redemption.

We can learn a valuable lesson from the redeemed Martha, Ladies. Today, Beloved, consider these questions as you read: “Am I more like Mary or Martha?” and “What lesson did Jesus teach Martha that will help us in our lives today?” 

Mary’s God Given Characteristics

Any Marys out there?

ME! ME! ME!

Mary is best described as the prayer warrior, deep thinker, and more often than not, an overly emotional woman. Mary LOVES Jesus deeply, with a sincere heart. I think it is safe to say that Mary’s heart was “smitten” with Jesus. She is the one that hears another woman’s troubles and weeps WITH her. Mary has the ability to connect with people on a personal level because she meets them where they are.

Mary is found sitting at the feet of Jesus quite a bit, (John 11:2, vs. 32; John 12:3). She was SO intrigued by Him, that she became blind and deaf to everything and everyone around her. Including her sister, Martha. Some might say she was, oblivious to the obvious.

I am like this all the time! Once I enter my time with Jesus, I have an extremely hard time stopping. I think things like:

“I should probably stop reading and go feed my kids their lunch. It’s like 1:30 pm!” -((cough cough)) not joking ((cough cough))-

The struggle is real! I seriously have NO problem neglecting my house chores to sit at the feet of Jesus. Nope, no guilt at all!

Mary’s Emotional Side

Mary’s relationship with Jesus is evident to all who know her. She is the woman that is constantly talking about Him. Her ability to pray and love from a heart that is captivated by God is authentic and contagious.

Mary is more than likely the overdramatic and sensitive woman. She wears her heart on her sleeve; so when someone gives her a taste of their mind, it doesn’t usually go well for her. She doesn’t often fight back. She cries. Okay. Okay. I cry! Her sensitivity is what draws crowds to her though, (John 11:31).

Not to mention, Mary’s emotions brought Jesus himself to tears. John 11:35 “Jesus Wept.” The shortest verse in the entire Bible. Pretty powerful, Mary Ladies!

Truthfully though, Mary wanted nothing more than for people everywhere to feel the height, depth, and width of God’s love for them. She has felt that kind of love and hopes all will experience it in life. Mary demonstrates her love for Jesus by having a deep, personal relationship with Him. Mary’s Spirit is MOVED to simply sit and bask in the presence of Him whenever He enters the room.

Does Jesus have that effect on you, Dear Sister?

Martha’s God Given Characteristics

I view Martha as your typical type A woman that clearly has a gift of hospitality and a heart to serve those around her. Martha is naturally task oriented and probably prone to being the person who thrives on hearing “That a girl!” Her top love language would easily be Words of Affirmation!

Martha LOVES Jesus and lives her life dedicated to following Him and all His commandments. She is naturally a rule follower, so for her, keeping Jesus’ commandments is a challenge that she enjoys pursuing. This girl seems to NEVER miss a beat. She prioritizes and uses her time efficiently and effectively every day.

She is also the one that pampers you with such love and kindness when you enter her home that leaves you thinking “is this girl even real!?”.

Martha’s Serving Side

My older sister has a knack for this! She will leave welcome baskets for anyone that stays in her home filled with such love and attention to detail. I remember staying over at her house one night and seeing this sweet basket all done up with rolled up washcloths, fresh clean soap, face mask, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste and a sweet note telling me to relax and enjoy. Oh, and FRESH flowers by my bedside!

This kind of hospitality, in my opinion, is VARSITY level. We need more on the Varsity team of hospitality if you ask me. Martha cares for people because she recognizes how much Jesus cares for her. She displays how to serve God’s people with ACTS of kindness and love. She naturally puts her love for Jesus into action. Her spirit was literally MOVED to ACT on her love for Jesus.

By doing this, she misses the point of Jesus’ visit though. To listen in close relationship with Him. Basically, It’s hard to listen to Jesus when we’re moving around and have our minds preoccupied, Sisters.

Prioritize According To Jesus

Clearly, we can see that these two sisters are vastly different from one another. Yet they share something in common; They both love Jesus. They show their love for Him in different ways, which we see played out in these few verses.

Mary shows her love for Jesus by sitting at his feet and soaking in His every word. Martha shows her love for Jesus by preparing the meal and cleaning her house so He is comfortable. Jesus appreciated both sisters. Yet, he chooses to acknowledge Mary here. He does this is to point out how to prioritize correctly according to God’s will. God says to Put. Him. First. PERIOD.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Matthew 6:33, CSB

Our Lord, Jesus, was never upset with Martha for serving and showing hospitality. He simply didn’t want her focus to be primarily on her tasks. This is the same for us as well. Even if our motives are good, if we aren’t careful, those tasks have a way of keeping us from a relationship with Christ.

Mary chose to prioritize Jesus first. Because Jesus loves Martha, He acknowledges this to her, gently. With compassion, He calmly makes her aware of her sin. He then offers her redemption through this newfound awareness. He does this for us too, Sisters!

How Does This Lesson Apply To Us?

This is an excellent lesson for all of us women to learn. We should never assume that our sisters in Christ are doing something wrong by not doing what WE think they should be doing instead. This type of toxic thinking only leads us to resent our sisters instead of cherishing them.

To understand our sisters in Christ well, we need to intentionally note how they love Jesus well. By doing this, we save ourselves from falling into the trap of distractions and false motives. You see, Martha may have been distracted with her tasks, but she also thought her sister was being inconsiderate.

Mary, on the other hand, never intended to ignore her sister. Her motive was simply to love Jesus well. For her, this meant spending time with Him.

And when Jesus makes us aware of our sin, by pointing out what’s right through another sister in Christ, we would be wise to imitate her good example. Doing this, we become a force to be reckoned with. Looking at each other this way will help us grow deeper in our faith.

Today, Sisters in Christ, let’s acknowledge the sins in our own lives and let’s receive Jesus’ redeeming love. Together, with Jesus, we are stronger!

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12, ESV

To understand our sisters in Christ well, we need to intentionally note how they love Jesus well. This saves us from falling into the trap of distractions and false motives. Click To Tweet

Jesus used both Mary and Martha to teach a powerful lesson. Our walk with God strengthens through the encouragement and examples of our fellow sisters! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #sisters #scripture #emotion #redemption #serve

Daiga Ellaby

community, help, serving, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Helping: Sharing God’s Love Through Actions and Generosity

God calls all of us to provide helping hands whether it be in our schools, churches, or neighborhoods. We must all take part in providing for the needs of those around us.



A couple of weeks ago, two members of my church family, my community, helped me in a time of need. I previously wrote all about how 3 trees made their way on top of my house during a snow storm.

One person in my community of people graciously got them off my roof. And this week, 2 more dear friends helped me get them chopped up and cleared away. They were living, breathing examples of helping our siblings in Christ when they need it.God calls us to provide helping hands in our spheres of influence. We must all take part in providing for the needs of those around us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #community #love #help #serve #encouragement

Acting in Freedom

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Galatians 5:13, NLT

We have freedom from sin through Christ’s death and resurrection. We are called to use that freedom to serve one another. That doesn’t mean when it is convenient or easy, it means helping where there is a need.

We must be self-sacrificing like our Savior. He surrendered Himself for us. We cannot satisfy ourselves and be susceptible to our sinful nature, but use our time, freedom, and resources to love each other.

Share What You Have

Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.

Hebrews 13:16, CEB

This verse does not say to share when you are in a time of abundance. It did not say to only share certain things. It clearly states to share what you have. Whatever that may be.

Some people only have time and energy. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, we have been implored to share. The act of helping is what is important. And why? Because it pleases God.

We are not just to share during times of abundance or only certain things. God's word tells us to share what we have. It doesn't matter how much or how little, the act of helping is what is important because it pleases God. Click To Tweet

Faith Without Action

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:14-17, NIV

When we claim to have faith, our faith must be backed by our actions. If we ignore the needs of those around us and refuse to offer help, we are not acting in acceptance of our Savior. Scripture says that when our actions don’t support our faith, then our faith is dead (James 2).

It is not enough to wish someone well, tell them that you are thinking of them, or even that you are praying for them. We do need to pray for each other, of course. But if we have the means to help someone and turn our back, only providing words of comfort, our actions are not reflecting what we believe.

Jesus did not simply wish us well when He came to Earth. He saw our need and He acted taking our place on the cross and dying for us. He acted in obedience to the Father. We have to follow His example.

Abide in Love

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

1 John 3:17, ESV

If we want to abide in God’s love, we need to help each other in times of need. This proves God’s love and sets an example for those who witness our actions. Let’s take time out of our schedules to bring a meal, help with yard work, donate unwanted items… Let’s abide in love.

How can you lend a helping hand today?

God calls us to provide helping hands in our spheres of influence. We must all take part in providing for the needs of those around us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #community #help #serve # love #encouragement

lent, prayer, fasting, service

Lent: Focusing On the Lord Through Fasting, Prayer, and Service

During this season of Lent, let us focus on the Lord, and His truth. Through fasting, prayer, and service, we align our hearts with His.



Dear God,

Help me share Your good news with others. Let Your light be reflected in me, and through me to others. Give me the right words and stories to touch the hearts of those You know need it most. Help me make unexpected miracles for You.

Love,
me

This post started with the basic idea to write about Lent, and then I got lost in a sea of research about what Lent is and its history. I am really good at research, but I can easily go down a rabbit hole of questions and answers that lead to more questions. Next thing I know it’s been two days and I haven’t written the first word for this post.

So I stopped and centered myself with the opening prayer.

I started with the question…

What is Lent?

It is a high holy time in the life of the church that lasts 40 days (not counting Sundays). There are 3 major components to the days of Lent: fasting, prayer, and service. The Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday and ends either the Thursday, Friday or Saturday before Easter (depending on the denomination). Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, is the day before Lent begins. Historically, Christians used up their extra food, especially sugar, yeasted flour, and fruits that they had in their pantries in preparation for a time of fasting.

Fasting

Why fasting? Jesus gave His life for us. The ultimate sacrifice. We Christians try, through fasting, to pay homage to that sacrifice and acknowledge that we are all unworthy and fall short of the glory of God. During periods of fasting we should focus on this truth.

In the bible people fasted from food, but today many Christians give up something that they enjoy as a fast – technology, one kind of food or drink, secular music or something that they love to do for example. Last year, I didn’t give up anything, I added something – written prayer.  Everyday during Lent and most days since, I have written my prayers down.

Prayer

Then my small group read Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker. That study poured gasoline on the fire God had started burning in my heart, just a few months beforehand.

It has literally changed everything about my life. I am happier, more whole, and more in love with this life God has graced me with. God laid a road before me and all I had to do was walk it. No, it’s not always easy, but talking with God isn’t always hard either. I don’t like writing down my sins. That is a really hard thing to do, because you have to take responsibility for it when you write it down. On the other hand I always feel better once I lay my burdens down.

I also started writing my prayers every so often on Facebook – when the Spirit lead me. That simple act encouraged many of my family and friends, who in turn encouraged me. Then my friend Rachael, who started this wonderful blogging ministry, offered me the opportunity to write here on Oh Lord Help Us. I see all of these experiences as God’s hand working in and through my life right now. It is why I say I am having a love affair with my savior!

During this season of Lent, let us focus on the Lord, and His truth. Through fasting, prayer, and service, we align our hearts with His.

Service

So this year for Lent I want to take this love to the next level. Which brings me to the idea of service. I want to pray for you and with you. God has blessed me immeasurably this year. Let me share that with you and encourage you in your life.

Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matthew 18:19-20

I am feeling led by God to work toward being a prayer warrior. If you have a burden to share or a shame to lay down and want someone to pray for you and with you, consider leaving a message in the new Prayer section. Also think about sharing your joys and triumphs so we can rejoice with you.

…rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Romans 12:12

During this season of Lent, let us focus on the Lord, and His truth. Through fasting, prayer, and service, we align our hearts with His.

Finally…

There is a favor I want to ask of you. Pray for us at the blog. We could use your love and support as we reach others for God’s glory.

And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

God’s guiding light is sure to shine through this Lent season.

All bible verses come from The American Standard Version.

If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

I see all of these experiences as God's hand working in and through my life right now. Click To Tweet

During this season of Lent, let us focus on the Lord, and His truth. Through fasting, prayer, and service, we align our hearts with His.

eberhard grossgasteiger