Making A Better Choice

by Pastor Mark
October 17, 2019

The challenge of serving the Lord

It is a good thing for us to commit ourselves to serve the Lord. It is to fulfil that which the Lord has called us to do. But serving the Lord has its concerns too. We must learn to be careful not to allow ourselves to serve with the wrong approach.

Two contrasting choices

When Jesus was welcomed into the house of Mary and Martha, they made two different choices in how they responded to the presence of the Lord Jesus in their home.

1. The choice of Mary

“And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” (Luke 10:39) Mary chose to do what a disciple would do. She sat at the feet of the Lord Jesus. He was the great Teacher and Lord, and it was an excellent opportunity for her to learn from Him. She was focused on listening to the words of the Lord Jesus. His words were spirit and life. Nothing could be more important than to listen to the precious words of the Lord Jesus, words that were deep and enlightening.

2. The choice of Martha

What Martha chose to do was in contrast to what Mary did. Martha was more concerned about being hospitable to Jesus and focused on meeting the physical needs of Jesus, “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”” (Luke 10:40) There is nothing wrong with wanting to serve a good meal to Jesus. But she became so busy with it that it became an overwhelming concern.

The word “distracted” is Greek is “perispao” which means to “draw around or away”. Martha was being drawn away by her busyness. She was so upset that Mary was not helping her that she grumbled to the Lord Jesus about it. The Lord gently chided her that she was “worried and troubled about many things.” (Luke 10:41) The Greek word for “worried” is “merimnao” which can be mean positively as “caring” for others but also negatively as “anxiety”. She had become anxious in her caring and was disturbed over the many things that she was doing.

Making the better choice

The Lord Jesus had to help Martha to rethink her approach to Him…in being so caught up with service. He said, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42) Martha needed to learn that there are many things that she could choose to do. But there was only one thing that she needed to choose to do that was truly vital for her spiritual need, rather than to attend to the physical needs of the Lord Jesus. Mary made the better choice, the good part of giving priority to seeking spiritual nourishment from the Lord. It was something that would not be taken away from her.

Finding time to be with the Lord

Amid the busyness of life, trying to balance many things like work, family and service for the Lord, we must find the time each day to be with the Lord and to listen to His word. We do not want to be so caught up with many things that we become anxious, distracted and even grumble about it. Let us choose to keep learning and growing in our knowledge and understanding of the Lord’s word. Let us find time to sit at the feet of Jesus and enjoy listening to Him speak to us through His word.

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