Busy, busy, busy, “Life is for the living,” they say. “Live life to the fullest,” “You only live once,” “Life is what you make it.” These are popular sayings in the world, describing how we are to live our lives: TO THE FULLEST!
It is true, a person can decide to live life to the fullest, and engage every available resource to do so. However, there is a story in the Bible (Luke 10:38-42) that teaches and directs us otherwise.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about so many things…”
Martha was a woman so caught up in food preparation for the Lord that she missed the whole purpose of His coming. As soon as Jesus started to preach, Mary, her sister, stopped everything she was doing, and sat at Jesus feet. Martha became very upset about this and complained to Jesus about Mary not helping in the kitchen. Martha must have been very surprised when Jesus gently rebuked her. According to Jesus, Mary had done the right thing, while she hadn’t.
There was nothing wrong in Martha preparing food for Jesus. However, the problem came when she decided to continue cooking instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus. The food could have waited or have been prepared earlier. Every day we are presented with choices that will either steer us towards the flesh or push us towards the Spirit. Mary made the better choice of leaving the works of the flesh to listen and learn by sitting at Jesus feet. While Martha was pre-occupied with the external (show), Mary was immersed in the eternal.
“Few things are needed – or indeed only one.”
It appears Martha tried to outdo herself in preparing this great feast for Jesus and His disciples. It meant more to Jesus to see her sitting at His feet, receiving His Word, than any amount of food she could have prepared.
Are we engaged so much in daily life, activities, that we have no time to study the Word, listen to the Word or even sit down and listen to the Word preached? A career, marriage, sports, family, education, financial investments, just to mention a few, are things that can stand in the way of spending time with Jesus. All these things are legitimate in themselves, but it all goes wrong when we place them above spiritual concerns. They will all come to an end one day. They are temporary concerns.
“Mary has chosen what is better…”
Careers will end, marriages will not continue in Heaven (Matt. 22:30), sports activities will fizzle out, family will leave home and go their own way, education will lead to retirement, financial investments will eventually be used up, but one thing will remain: God’s Word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Mary chose “what is better.” Jesus said the Word of God would never be taken away from her.
Making Christ our PRIORITY.
Every believer should make Jesus Christ their priority. Those things that steal our time and take us away from hearing God’s Word should be noted and dealt with. We all have choices to make, we have been given the power of free will, to make free choices. It is within our power to spend time with God and listen to His Word. We can determine that nothing will take away from what will give us eternal value: God’s Word. We must give PRIORITY to the Word of God.
Let us think carefully about what takes precedence over Spiritual matters in our lives. What equates to Martha’s kitchen in your life? Do you have so much going on in your life that you are in danger of hearing those dreaded words, “ Depart from me, I never knew you.” (Mark 7:21-23). We are to come out of Martha’s kitchen and sit down at Jesus feet. When the frivolous, superficial, and meaningless aspects of life take so much of our time that it cuts into the time we should spend with God, we know we have become like Martha in Martha’s Kitchen.
Mary chose “that good part.” Let God’s Word be your PRIORITY today. Let God’s Word be exalted above everything else in your life forever (Psalm 138:2).
By Ruth Dickson.
©Ruth E.A. Dickson Author UK Ruth Dickson Christian Author
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