Right Prioritizing

August 25, 2015

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, But few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Martha is a good woman. She is very generous. She is responsible. She is assertive. She takes initiative. She is a successful home owner! This is no small thing for a woman in this day.

Martha is dependable and willing to work hard. She is a busy host–hosting King Jesus, no less. She is the kind of person who gets things done–something she takes great pride in.

Martha is a very busy lady. There are a lot of preparations to be made. But out of the corner of her eye, Martha spots her sister Mary, “Is that Mary sitting down over there?” You can imagine the type of conversation that floods Martha’s thinking:

“Wait! Mary shouldn’t be sitting at His feet, she should be helping me cook His dinner.”

“Why is Mary relaxing while I’m working?”

“Mary never helps me. She’s so irresponsible. She is so lazy”

“She better not think I’m going to serve her too!”

“Mary deserves a piece of my mind…”

Martha, distracted by all the preparations, let her thinking run so wild she marches out and explodes at Jesus. Martha tells Jesus, the King of Heaven, what He should do about the situation:

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Luke 10:40.

This is a very fractured and legalistic approach to following Jesus. All of us can fall into this trap of wrong thinking and wrong doing…

  • working out of a false sense of what it means to be a follower
  • wrongly valuing work and busyness
  • thinking we carry the weight because no-one else can, no-one else is good enough, nor are they willing
  • accusing Jesus–or others–of not caring, “Lord, don’t you care… Luke 10:40
  • looking at our own efforts and successes to justify our warped thinking
  • measuring and comparing ourselves to others, my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Luke 10:40
  • complaining and gossiping about others as a means to get sympathy, or to get our way
  • wrongly believe Jesus validates our self-centered and warped thinking
  • wrongly believe Jesus is on our side
  • tell Jesus what He should do to fix something, Tell her to help me! Luke 10:40
  • strive at serving, and then suppose everyone around is wrong for not striving also

Martha allowed the worries of her task to frustrate her thinking and dictate her actions. Jesus finally said, “Martha, Martha… you are worried and upset about many things, Luke 10:41. Can you imagine what Martha must have felt at Jesus’ words? Maybe, shocked that he didn’t agree with her? Unappreciated? Offended? “Does Jesus see what I’m doing?” Until that moment, I’m sure Martha thought she would get the complete support of Jesus.

It’s not that Jesus didn’t see the work Martha was doing and appreciate it. Jesus saw all her hard work. He saw her willingness and generosity. John 11:5 says, Jesus loved Martha. It’s just that Martha placed value on the wrong thing.

Jesus followed up His comment to Martha with, “…few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,” Luke 10:42.

Jesus was saying rightly value and prioritize time with Me. Jesus says to every one of us, Come away with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest, Mark 6:31.

In life there is no shortage of work. Life requires work. Martha had become so busy with the work, over-valuing it, she missed what mattered most: sitting at the feet of Jesus.

How many times have we done this same thing? It’s too easy to be alone in our thinking and begin down a track of self-justifying, while simultaneously blaming other people for things–fully believing Jesus validates our every thought!

If we would hear the voice of Jesus, if we were open enough to hearing, attuned to Him, we would hear our own name… “Martha, Martha…” 

When we make time everyday to sit at the feet of Jesus, praying, reading the Word, worshipping, that’s when we start to know Him. He changes our perspective. Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said, had the right perspective, Luke 10:39.

A relationship only grows as we spend time with a person. Jesus wants desperately for us to spend time with Him daily so we can know Him personally. If we don’t spend time with Him, we only know about Him.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus we learn to rightly prioritize and seek Him before all other things only then do we grow spiritually. We learn to hear His voice.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus is seeking first the Kingdom, Matthew 6:33. Then God promises everything else in life will fall into place. We get His supernatural strength, His peace, His energy working in us–empowering us to do all the busy work life requires. It’s here we discover His heart for our life, and the lives of people around us.

When do you make time to sit at the feet of Jesus?

The religious people of Jesus’ day were after Him all the time. They attempted to undermine and limit Him, to make Him look small and insignificant, and even ruin His reputation in the eyes of other people. Some times it was overt, at other times it was sly manipulation; and what seemed benign was full of agenda. This kind of behaviour always comes from a place in a person’s heart that seeks to control, seeking power or glory for itself.

In the Church today, we can be guilty of the exact same thing. All it ends up doing is limiting the power of God in our personal lives and in our churches and it limits relationships. 

By what authority do you say these things? Luke 20:2

By what authority are you doing these things? Matthew 21:23

Who gave you this authority? Matthew 21:23

Who sent you? Exodus 3:13

Who is your covering?

What are your credentials?

Where did you get your education?

How did you get such learning? John 7:15

You are not a scholar, why do you think you have an opinion?

Trust us we’re the experts…

What is your title?

Where is your ordination from?

Prove your authority… John 2:18

We want to see a sign… Matthew 12:38

No need to listen to him… He is out of His mind… Mark 3:21

What’s this wisdom? He’s just a carpenter’s son… Mark 5:2,3

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch him in something… Luke 20:20. This is the same as suspiciously or curiously listening to gossip…

Related post: Fear is a bully

Can soap get dirty?

July 22, 2015

Can soap get dirty?
Soap doesn’t really get dirty.
But it does lose its potency.

Christians can treat sin the same way. The blood of Jesus cleans away the dirty stain of sin. But if the Christian stays steeped in sin, they lose their potency.