DATE POSTED: Monday, 2023-02-27
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 10:38-42
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 38 Jesus continued from there toward Jerusalem and came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, went and sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him teach. 40 Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.
Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.
Jesus: 41 Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, 42 but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.
OBSERVATION: If asked by a peer what the most important thing of your day might be, I hope that the Christian’s response might differ between that of the one without Christ. However, I hope that today’s Scripture will cause us to think about what is most important in our busy lives, vs what should be most important. Let me encourage you to take time to reflect on this, because it might help to show you what your priorities are, and give you incentive to make any changes you feel God is leading you to.
APPLICATION: It is said that a pastor should look for the busiest person in his church to get something done properly that he is looking at! Unfortunate, isn’t it? For there are many who will slip in the backdoor for a worship service and never get involved in the ministry to reach the unsaved of the community. However, as we look at the main two characters in today’s story, we can see some qualities we wish we had, and some that we might be misplaced. There are several examples in Paul’s letters to the churches he started, where Paul asks for help with living accommodations for his coworkers/missionaries planning to visit and minister. In today’s churches, that’s not a problem, because we tend to book a hotel for them, so we don’t upset our homes with a stranger hanging around all day and sitting at our tables. This is most unfortunate, I feel, for we miss opportunities to minister to these workers who have sacrificed so much time with their families in order to be with us and share in our ministry. It appears like Martha welcomed Jesus into her home and became excessively busy to make sure that everything was just right for His visit. But here’s where we see the difference, and here’s where God might speak to many workers in today’s churches. Martha was so worked up in everything she wanted to get done around the house for her special guest, that she started looking around to see who else had different goals to hers. I believe that Mary realized that meals were important, and that a clean and comfortable place for the house guest was important, but I am convinced that she felt more of a need for time at the feet of Jesus, than anything else that could possibly need doing. What if we applied this same urgency of Mary’s to our own lives? Might we find that we are allowing every obstacle to pull us away from our time alone with God each morning? You know the stuff – can’t get out of bed early enough; television news casters are way more interesting that anything you could read for yourself, even if it is the Bible; You have unfinished homework, on a project at work that you need to prepare for; Physical exercise is of super importance to you, and you only have time for it; the kids need to eat before heading out the door, so surely God understands that feeding them takes priority over everything else; etc. etc. Unfortunately, churches suffer from the same thing. So many programs and ministries, and so few to see them administered properly. Workers busy themselves ‘doing ministry’, but often leave out time to draw close to God so that He could work through them. Perhaps you might benefit from something that a fellow church leader told me when I went on with my excuses on why I wasn’t having quality time alone with God. He said, “it’s because you have not chosen to make that a priority in your life”. That stung, but God soon helped me to realize that I was given the answer to my dilemma. So, I evaluated my schedule, and not seeing anything that I could eliminate or change, God helped me to get up 90 minutes earlier so I could make my time alone with Him a priority. Not everyone needs, or could handle, 90 minutes in devotional time with God, but because of my desire to continue ‘Nuggets’, I wanted 90 minutes. Friends, this may not be your solution, but I am convinced that God will direct you to the answer for your particular situation, whether it’s daily devotional time; prayer; church attendance; setting an example for your children; being a godly leader in your home; etc. As you work towards these goals, Satan will be upset, and he will do everything possible to upset your applecart. I’m not sure if Martha was jealous of the time Mary spent with Jesus, but she definitely wanted to make sure that Jesus got on her case about helping her sister! But notice how diplomatically Jesus dealt with Martha – it seems like Jesus responded from a heart of love for this well-meaning lady. In my words, Jesus said ‘Martha, you are letting the little, or insignificant things impair your judgment. There is nothing more important than spending one-on-one time with the Master. I was hoping you would consider joining Mary and I, instead of trying to break up our fellowship and ministry’. Now friends, please, please note that I cannot impose priorities on you. But let me remind you that there is One who will help you decide on what should be important in your life, and how to prioritize the things that you should accomplish each day, vs the things that could wait for more available time. I trust that you will never face the challenge of apologizing to God at the end of your day for not making Him a priority in your life that day, while seeing Him in agony on the cross for the forgiveness of your sin. Jesus told Martha that her sister chose the ‘one thing that really matters‘. What about you, my friend?
BLESSING(S) NOTED: There was undoubtedly many things more pleasant that Jesus could have done, instead of allowing the soldiers to beat Him and lead Him to Calvary, but He chose to satisfy the will of His Father as a demonstration of the priority He knew we needed to ever get to heaven. Will you join with me in making our time alone with God the greatest priority of our day?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You had two wonderful ladies that wanted to serve You in their own way. However, You saw the distractions that would affect one, and You showed us that the other one sought after the most important thing – time with You. I am convinced that this is still ‘the most important thing’ that we could do today also, but like Martha, there are many things that will distract the mind of one who is not fully committed and always determined to get alone in prayer, Bible study and meditation with You. We therefore need Your help big time, both in our heart, so that we might be totally devoted to You, and in our setting of priorities. Always remind us of what You saw as a priority when You accepted the cruelty of the cross at Calvary, even though You could have called thousands of angels to rescue You from evil men. I am convinced that only that ‘one thing’, mentioned in today’s scripture, should still be our top priority. For those reading this devotional who may not know You personally, please convince them of their top priority – a need to know the Savior of the world who died for them. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!