Modern-day Martha

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 MSG)

Are there any modern-day Martha’s among us? I’d say so. Take time out to answer this honestly before you read on. I’ll answer it as well. I have to watch myself with this one. If I’m not too careful I can quickly become wrapped up in the service and forget Who I’m serving. I end up serving myself. I can easily sit for several hours a day writing and typing before I realise that I haven’t sat at His feet awhile. I’m sure I’m not the only one?

Ask yourself?

Do you ever find that you’re serving yourself instead of God?  Do you ever get so wrapped up in the service that you forget the reason why?  Why should we serve?

I’ll re-jog your memory for you. Martha opened her home to Jesus and welcomed Him in with open arms as He passed by the way. She busied herself in the kitchen while her sister, Mary, simply “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said” (Luke 10:39 NIV). Mary never moved a muscle; she was so absorbed in Jesus. I can just imagine Martha throwing her a look of disgust as she’s slaving away at the stove, banging pots and pans about in the kitchen. In a way you can understand why.  Can you see it from Martha’s point of view? She had a good heart. She just side-tracked somewhere along the way. From first glance you must admit that it looks like Mary is pure lazy. However when you take a closer look you can see that Mary isn’t lazy; she’s in love. She can’t get enough of God.

Bible-bones

Take a closer look, read Luke 10:38-42.  Do a bit of a character study on both sisters. Use the space to scribble down your thoughts.  Where did Martha go wrong and where did Mary get it right?

In the end Martha cracked. She couldn’t stand it any longer so she exploded, “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 NIV). Jesus answered, “Martha, Martha… you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV). Isn’t it gorgeous? I love this passage. It makes everything so simple anyone can grasp it. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t care about Martha; the opposite was in fact true. He wanted her to sit at His feet and soak in His Presence. Martha was far too busy rushing around to focus in on what truly mattered.

We too can do the same. We can be consumed with the service and forget about Who we’re serving.  God doesn’t dish out brownie points for being ‘a busy-bee’ so we should stop fussing and fretting so much. I do this all the time. I absolutely adore serving God; I get such a buzz out of it. I love leading Bible studies, reading and writing, and preaching to name but a few things. However I have to stop and ask myself my motive? I suggest you do the same. When you realise that your focus has shifted off your Sovereign and onto the service make it right. Take time out in His Presence and gaze upon God once again, or otherwise you could make the same slip-up as Martha did.  She made Jesus feel at home in her house, but not in her heart. Open your heart; don’t just offer your hands.

Think upon these things…

Are you a Mary, or a Martha? Sit at His feet and soak in His Presence awhile. Go grab your Bible and steal a few minutes away with Jesus, just the two of you. Sit still; stop rushing around!

Heart-cry…

Heavenly Father I admit that I allow my focus to shift sometimes.  Sometimes I serve myself instead of You. I’m sorry for being preoccupied. I want You to be my focus once more!

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The Price He Paid

In that death, by God’s grace, He fully experienced death in every person’s place” (Hebrews 2:9 MSG)

The price that Jesus paid is too much to take in.  The sacrifice that He suffered was, is and always will be indescribable.  The weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders is indefinable.  The agony that He felt is inexpressible.  Death demanded His life. He surrendered Himself, “He suffered death for us… Jesus tasted death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9 NLT). Jesus died, for one and all.  That includes you.  The cost of the cross didn’t come cheap.  It’s invaluable, incomparable and incalculable.  Every drop of blood He shed for us was precious; His love for us is without measure.  He bought our freedom with His blood, sweat, and tears.

Jesus gave up everything. “He endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV). He left Heaven for little more than nothing. “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Luke 9:58 NKJV). He left His Throne for a footstool. He could have had so much more but He chose to be a pauper instead of a prince. Not only that; our King gave up His crown for a cross. He could have been the ruler of the world if He had wanted. He knew that “the people planned to come and take Him by force and make Him their king, so He left and went into the hills alone” (John 6:15 NCV). When all eyes were on Him, expectant, His eyes were firmly fixed on the cross.

So often we only ever think that our sin cost Him His life, far from it. It asked a lot more of Him. Jesus didn’t just give up His last breath; He gave up every ounce of Himself. Every day that He ever lived spoke of suffering.  The destiny of the Divinity was to carry the cross.  He not only carried our cross but He carried our sin and shame as well. He not only bore the burdens of the world but our sin sat on His shoulders. It wasn’t the cross that weighed Him down; it was our sin. The blood that should have been on our heads was on His hands. Our sinless Saviour was shamed with our sin.

Just listen to this, Hebrews 7:24-28 (NIV) “because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.  Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.  Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens… he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day… He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.  For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

Bible-bones

Read Hebrews 7:11-28, focus on what our Great High Priest has done for us.

Thank the Lord that the cross speaks of a covenant, a covenant with the King. It reminds us that the cross doesn’t speak of death but it speaks of new life in Christ. If only we will accept it. It’s written in Jesus’ blood, and promises that we don’t have to bear the burden of our sin. He’s a man of His word. When He promises that Jesus’ death has covered the cost He means it. Jesus has already been there and done that so there’s no need for anyone else to suffer. But there is a need to repent and get right with God. Right now, why don’t you come before the cross and confess? Praise Him for the price He paid! Thank God that He lived and breathed to intercede for us.  Until His dying breath Jesus held Himself to that promise, and to this very day it still stands.

Heart-cry…

He took our place and He paid our price. Our freedom was bought by His blood…

Thank Him for the cost of the cross…

Thank the Lord that the cross has brought us close.

Thank Him that His love for us is ‘OTT‘. It’s not only over the top but it’s over our heads. We can’t possibly take it all in.

Thank Him that His love for us is never lacking, always abounding…

Finally, thank Jesus that He stands to intercede for us…

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