Read an Excerpt
A Note from Joanna…
At the feet of Jesus.
I don’t know what those words do to your heart, but they stir something deep within me. My spirit longs for time with the Lord, but life often interferes. So many responsibilities to take care of. So many duties to be done.
Sitting at Jesus’s feet was a choice Mary had to make the day He came to her family’s home in Bethany (Luke 10:38–42). It is a choice you and I must make as well. Laying aside our busyness—even our busyness for God—so that we might focus our hearts on spending time alone with Him.
I hope you will find this devotional a helpful companion on your journey into God’s presence. I’ve interwoven excerpts from my three Bethany books: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit, and Lazarus Awakening. I’ve also included previously unpublished material that didn’t make it into my original books, each of which I’ve labeled “outtake.” A “Read and Reflect” section will help you dig into the life-changing Word of God for yourself, giving you opportunity to find the “better part” Mary enjoyed and the “one thing” I believe her sister Martha discovered as she received the rebuke of the Lord and found life for her soul.
Sprinkled throughout the year are “Going Deeper” sidebars to help you develop a daily quiet time, and in the back of the book you’ll find a unique one-year Bible reading guide that takes you back and forth between the Old Testament and the New (check out the downloadable format at www.becominghis.com). It is my prayer that you’ll fall in love with God’s Word in a brandnew way as you discover the message of grace woven throughout the Bible from beginning to end.
Down at the feet of Jesus. That’s where it all begins.
Lord Jesus, I give You my life.
I invite You to have Your way in me.
Take me and break me. Shake me and make me.
Fill me and spill me. Change me and rearrange me.
But whatever You do, Lord, don’t leave me the same.
Spirit of wisdom and revelation, I welcome Your work.
Open my eyes so I can see… my ears so I can hear…
I choose truth over comfort, challenge over complacency.
Lord, make me forever Yours.
And most of all, make me like You.
I’ve always dreamed of being much more than I am. More organized, more disciplined, more loving…much more “much more,” if you know what I mean! Each January I set out on a new self-improvement program.
This year I’ll get in shape.
This year I’ll keep my house clean.
This year I’ll send out birthday cards. On time.
This year—really—I’ll be the loving, forgiving, obedient woman of God
I long to be instead of the willful, stubborn, disobedient Christian I sometimes see staring back at me in the mirror.
All noble goals. Truth be told, I am much more at peace when my house is clean. And I believe that if you really love people, you ought to care enough to send the very best—or at least one of those ninety-nine-cent cards from Wal-
Mart! And I know that genuine happiness only comes from living close to God and obeying Him.
I really do want to be different. I want to be changed.
As the saying goes, “There’s a skinny woman inside me just struggling to get out.” Unfortunately—as the saying continues—“I can usually sedate her with four or five cupcakes.”
Maybe you’ve discovered, as I have, that most New Year’s resolutions have little effect on day-to-day life except to add a burden of guilt and a feeling of failure. Continually striving, yet never arriving.
I’m so glad we have a Savior who loves us just as we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way. Jesus will do whatever it takes to return to us the glory of God that we were meant to reflect in the world. So that, through our lives, people might see who God really is.
—Having a Mary Spirit
Read: Hebrews 4:14–16
Reflect: What does it mean to know that you have a high priest who understands your weakness?