Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mary Magdalene - Woman of Priority

(Continuing a series of studies from Proverbs 31. I wrote this article several years ago and it was published in Keepers at Home magazine in December 2017. It blends well with the topic this week.)

Mary Magdalene - A Woman of Priority

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Proverbs 31:15

Her head ached as she tried to pull her thoughts together. What would life be like without Jesus? She shuddered at the memory of his horrific death. What should she do now? Return to the home that contained memories of her bondage to evil spirits?

She wouldn't think about the future, not yet. Salome and the other Mary were preparing spices to place on Jesus' body. She'd join them. They could leave early, before it was light, and get back before they were missed.

We can only guess the details of Mary Magdalene's past and why she chose to serve Christ. She may have been from the town of Magdala and become known as Mary Magdalene to distinguish her from several other women in Scripture named Mary. Mark 16:9 says that Jesus healed her from seven demons. Mary Magdalene is listed with several other women who served Christ and his disciples and it is implied that they were women of wealth.

Mary Magdalene's name is mentioned in all four gospels as one of the women who visited Christ's grave before dawn and found it empty. These women planned one last act of service to Jesus, but the empty tomb caused confusion and fear. Mary Magdalene lingered alone in the garden of the tomb after the others left, seeking solitude in her deep grief. There she mistook Jesus for a gardener until he called her by name.

Mary Magdalene woke early that morning with no hope of hearing Jesus speak to her. Yet He did. I have the privilege of listening to Christ's words every morning. But often I choose to trade the opportunity for a few more minutes of sleep.

Of course I always have a good excuse. What mother doesn't? The demands of a busy household and many children mean that I'm nearly always tired and rarely have a quiet minute. I think God understands that a mother will not have a serene hour for prayer and Bible reading every morning.

But if I go days without any time spent reading God's Word, what does that say about my priorities? I find time to eat, but Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) I find time to take a shower, but the Scripture says I need “the washing of water by the word.” (Ephesians 5:26) I put aside my tasks to answer the phone, but God says “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

I want to teach my children the Scripture and be worthy of imitation. But if I am still feeding on milk instead of meat, how can I be a teacher and example to my children? (Hebrews 5:12-14) I can't give what I have not first received.

I never regret when I push myself out of bed to spend time in the Word. But sometimes it seems no matter how early I get up, one of the little ones demands my attention. Then I try to keep a New Testament next to the chair where I nurse the baby or tape a passage of Scripture next to the kitchen sink. Even reading a Bible story to my children, singing a hymn while rocking the baby, or reviewing a Bible memory verse with a child can be an opportunity to think on God's words.

It takes sacrifice. Choosing to jump out of bed instead of pull up the covers. Picking up the Bible instead of a book or magazine. Setting aside my projects and hobbies for what is truly important.

Mary Magdalene never regretted rising early to be the first to see her risen Savior. She was given good news that she in turn shared with others. Never will I regret placing God's Word as priority so I can serve my family true nourishment.


  1. Wonderful words of wisdom today. Thank you again for sharing so freely with us. You admit and confess to the struggles that many of us won't. I no longer have small children demanding my attention, but like a lot of women of a certain age, I have trouble falling asleep at night and then don't want to get up in the morning because of fatigue. This year it is my very real goal to read the Bible every morning before I do any of my daily chores. You have been a great encouragement to me in this and I thank you.

  2. Thank you for the last two posts...though I am from a very different background than you, it is encouraging and inspiring that you (and others) are struggling with the very same problem as me. How to make time for studying scripture every day, elevating ourselves and those around us, bringing that focus on holiness into our lives. I can tell you one thing that doesn't work...pushing off Bible study time until the end of the day before bed. While it is wonderful to end the day by refocusing on holiness, I usually don't get very far before falling asleep. But perhaps this would work for some people to reserve an hour before bed for scripture. Maybe it would help people like Betsy fall asleep in peace? Again, thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  3. Dear Gina, this is why I have followed your blog for years. You are so real and have so much wisdom. Thank you for such a great perspective as always! Continuing to pray for Ed and his complete healing.

  4. Thats such a wonderful blessing to your children how you are raising them with the Word of God. I didn`t become a believer until my daughter was already a teenager. I am sure thatyou are giving your children more than you could imagine, even those times you are not able to quite get to as much reading as you would like!! Blessings and `Shalom` and a Happy New Year!!

  5. Dear Gina

    That was a lovely study. It took me a few attempts to read it due to tha daily busy ness. I try to do my Bible study first thing as for me I have learnt it won't happen in my day otherwise. My day always seems to flow better and I deal with all the medical interruptions of my boys with a lot less stress when I have rested in the Lord. Praying you will find your balance in the season you are in.

    Prayers and hugs
    Shelley p
    From over the pond

  6. Have heard a couple Bible teachers lately on this same subject: if you are too busy for God, you are too busy. All agree, that having young children does make for a real challenge. We can all ask God to help us find the time, and place, and method that works for us individually. I suggest people not try to use someone else's formula...let God lead the way and He will. I made it a point to simply wake up praising God,( as opposed to moaning and fretting over what the day may bring ) and that has expanded to days walking, talking, listening, singing (and reading) with Him. Blessings, all!

  7. I, actually, am such a grump if I have to get out of bed and "hit it" into action immediately. I love getting that first cup of coffee and going to my favorite chair, visiting with the Lord, reading some of His Truth and writing some comments in my devotional journal. That slow time early in the morning is so dear. Of course, I have an empty nest, so this is much easier to do.


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