Martha StewardsJanuary 11, 2009
The condition of allowing activities to consume us to the point that we neglect our first love is an ever-present danger as this is, without a doubt, a very busy generation. It would appear that Daniel 12:4 is being fulfilled on a daily basis as our lives become increasingly cluttered with obligations; appointments, training, divers social functions, keeping our perimeter in order, and perhaps, as the economy deteriorates, trying to hang on to all that we’ve accumulated. It’s this “hanging on to it all and maintaining that which we’ve become accustomed to, that can lead to some disasterous complications. This also can take place in spiritual situations and in Revelation 2:5 we read of the treacherous situation that developed in Ephesus; a church that was so busy about the Lords business that they left out the Lord and were even in danger of their candlestick being removed.
Several times last summer, I was guilty of jumping at opportunities to get into the streets and spread the gospel without first taking time to come before the Lord and bring forth the matter. We know that faith without works is dead (James 2:26 was on my mind much tonight) but it’s also true that allowing activity (spiritual or otherwise) to infringe upon our fellowship with Jesus is a recipe for certain calamity. A treacherous situation that, if allowed to continue, can lead to a mechanical form of godliness; dry and hemmed in by traditions. Any activity, even if it’s needful and the intentions are pure, has the potential to cause drifting. It can be an office of ministry or something mundane like trying to keep the house so spotless that it becomes a compulsive disorder. Which leads to a story that we all know, but warrants a revisiting.
Luke 10:38 “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
My perception of Martha is that of a sweet lady who would do anything for anyone. While scripture doesn’t go into the intricate details, it would appear that she ran a tight ship as it were and kept things flowing smoothly. This is not a bad trait; in fact it’s admirable. My wife tends to be a Martha; she wants everything to be perfect, while I simply don’t get worked up by imperfections in the stubble or glitches in the plan. Although one can imagine how this plays out on a daily basis, it’s a necessary contrast in this family. I need Kimberly to keep me from over-slacking on domestic issues while I try to prevent her from taking issues of temporal standing too seriously. (blowing things out of proportion. lol) In short, Martha was probably a very reliable neighbor, friend, sister, and what have you.
Luke 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word.
To be honest, I imagine that all of us would like to think that our attitude is like that of Mary, but far too often we take the Martha approach. The thing that set me to thinking about this is that we are so busy these days that when we have to be in three places at once and juggle responsibilities, our prayer life (or life line) often becomes the first casualty. This is quickly followed by less time spent in the word of God. We try to set our minds at ease by telling ourselves “I’ll just cram tonight before I go to sleep” however, we know from experience that this usually ends with “zzzzzzzzzz.”I’m guilty of allowing this to happen on several occasions in the recent past. The devil tries feverishly to sever our lifeline and he uses anything at his disposal to distract us. Oftentimes those distractions will seem necessary.
Luke 10:40 “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”
Once again employing the imagination, I picture Martha juggling four tasks at the same time and Mary is just sitting. While Martha is running around frantically, Mary was relaxed, comfortable, and listening to the words of life that Jesus was giving. She may have been aware of her sisters perdicament, but this was just too good to pass up and she didn’t want to miss a word. (Job 23:12 came to mind as I was typing this.) Martha was engaged in activities that otherwise wouldn’t have been completed. Jesus commends Martha on her work ethic, and then reveals that something has greater importance. This thought should challenge us to consider how much value we place on the word of God.
Luke 10:41-42 “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken from her.”
This just came to mind and was a topic in a previous post. In talking to Martha, Jesus uses the same pattern that he employs when instructing the seven chruches in Asia. (Revelation chapters 2 and 3) Acknowledge their strengths, point out the areas lacking, and instruct them on how to correct it. Through his words and actions, Jesus relays the importance of listening to his words. Fast forward to 2009 and it’s every bit as true. We’re in a time of incredible deception and falling away. The word of the Lord is precious and will be a light unto our path. When the hour of temptation comes upon us, whther or not we changed the oil in the Windstar, cleared the 8 inches of snow out of the driveway, cleaned the basement, received a promotion at work, or remembered to have the propane tank filled will be irrelevant. (note for Monday; our tank is nearing empty and an arctic blast is forecast for next week) We will need the word of God hidden in our heart.
Well, it’s after 3:30 am and time to close this up. The single thing that continues to be on my heart is the need for us to draw close to the Lord Jesus as events unfold upon the earth. To seek him wholeheartedly and let go of every distraction. Too often the cares of this world; even the tasks that must be tended to, can carry us away, until we’re drifting off course. None of us know how much time remains; either as individuals or as concerning the time of the end, and as such we must keep our hearts with all diligence. As we place Jesus first in everything and make him truly Lord in our life, the priorities will fall into place.
I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.