“But one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”
~Luke 10:42, NET
Which matters most? What you do for Jesus or what He has done for you?
I cease to be amazed at the depth of God’s word. How many times have I blogged on this passage of scripture? At least three times and perhaps more. The other day I listened to a Ron Dunn sermon on this text and he pointed out things that had never crossed my feeble mind. Preachers and teachers use this story to talk about temperaments and spiritual gifts. Martha was choleric, a lion, a temperamental take charge, get her done type while Mary was a phlegmatic who was easy going, contemplative and peaceful. Martha had the gift of serving and Mary the gift of hospitality and on and on we could go but this is not really what the story is about. The story is about priorities and putting first things first. Jesus said, “Only one thing is needed.” He didn’t say, there are three things or four things…He said there is “Only one thing.”
What is that one thing? The answer is obvious, the one thing needed is Jesus. If you have Jesus, you have all you need. When you discover that Jesus is all you have: you will realize Jesus is all you need. Jesus did not need a supper or dinner. All this busy activity of Martha’s was not necessary. Jesus neither asks or expected her to prepare dinner. Dinner was Martha’s idea all together. We get so caught up in serving Jesus that we lose sight of what He really desires us to do. Serving Him in our way is no substitute for sitting quietly at His feet. No amount of service on our part has any effect on our atonement. In a sense, Jesus doesn’t need us–we need Jesus. When I came to understand this truth some years ago, it liberated me; it set me free of the anxiety that I might foul up the entire kingdom. Nothing depends on me: everything depends on Jesus. This is not a license to be irresponsible but it is a reminder that my service to Him is not nearly as important as what He has done for me. Our service doesn’t make us spiritual and it certainly doesn’t make us right with God.
The second thing I want you to notice is that Mary made a choice. This doesn’t have anything to do with temperament or spiritual gifts–she simple made a choice and Martha could have made the same choice. Everyone has the freedom to make this choice. If you are busy, busy, busy like Martha, that is your choice. If you take the time to sit at Jesus feet in quietness and contemplation, that is your choice. Listen, I was well over 40 years old before I developed any kind of quality quiet time. I am ashamed to confess such a thing but in truth I am a type A personality like Martha. It is genetic; it is in the Bailey genes. Being still or quiet is not easy or natural for me. I do admit that the older I get, the easy it gets to be still and quiet. Just remember, it is not a gift or temperament, it is a conscious choice.
Note also that Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the best and it will not be taken away from her.” Slowly but surely, the dems will get my 401-K but that cannot get what matters most. They cannot get that ONE THING that is more important than all other things. Life on earth is a series of loses.The first thing we lose is our innocence and then comes our youth. I have lost a great deal of my strength. My grandkids have to open bottle caps for me. I am losing my sight gradually and also my hearing. We may as well throw in the mind in because I am losing it also. June has to remind me daily to take my BP meds. My balance and agility are gone. My mother and daddy and two brothers have been promoted and now I am attending the COLS of cousins. Unless the LORD takes us both at the same time, June or I one will lose a spouse. This is life folks…it is one loss after another. The one thing that I cannot lose; the one thing that no one can take from me is JESUS.
I owe my dear friends at Grace Point and apology. I did a little life history last night. I took advantage of them and it is a liberty that I do not want to abuse. I was upset with myself by the time I got home. Rarely, do I feel good after a sermon. It could be the accuser working on me, I don’t know. We are getting plenty of rain here in Rocky Ford but the folks on the East side are still dry in spots. I am praying for everyone to get the rain needed. It is amazing how quickly the week passes and the month. Time literally flies.
I want to ask you to pray for Troy’s son Charlie. Charlie has a staff infection we think and they have not been able to come up with an antibiotic that we slow the infection down. He is in Decatur Morgan Hospital. Please pray for Charlie, Hannah and Troy. Granny Turrentine is not at Summerford 334. She will be there for 21 days so shower her with cards, letters or visits. Everyone love GRANNY. Peggy Murphy had a knee repaired yesterday and she is doing well.
Have a great Thursday and thanks for reading the blog.