Sunday, July 13, 2008

MARY vs. MARTHA...July 13, 2008 weekly devotion

Thank you for joining us for this week's devotion. It is my prayer that you will be challenged by the Word of God today!

LUKE 10:38-42
"While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. (39) She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord's feet and was listening to what He said. (40) But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, 'Lord, don't You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.' (41) The Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, (42) but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.' "

This story often times tends to send people into a "pro-Mary" camp or a "pro-Martha" camp. Those who have had a life history of having the work dumped in their laps often feel quite defensive of Martha, while those who have felt themselves to be victims of "workaholic naggers" tend to rally to Mary's side.

Today, I would like to ask each of us to avoid taking one side or the other. Most of us have at least a little of Mary in us as well as a little bit of Martha. Learning the timing of when to let the "Mary" come out and when to let "Martha" come out is the challenge for us to consider. This means understanding that Jesus was NOT saying that being like Mary was right in every situation! Mary was just taking the right course of action in this particular situation.

SETTING THE RIGHT PRIORITIES

If our priority is to please people, we will have a hard time to slow down! There is always someone around we want to please, and oftentimes, the more we do, the more we have to do to please them.

Perhaps Martha was this kind of person. We can only imagine the situation...

The Master had chosen her house as the place for His disciples to gather and eat. What a social gathering! The person many of them had become convinced was the long-awaited Messiah was going to eat at her home! She would put out her best table service. The entire house would be spotless. The meal would be the one that people talked about for years. This would be her moment to shine!

But Martha had chosen to please people, to shine in the eyes of others instead of following Christ. When we are unable to choose between priorities we lose control. Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People realized this when he gave us habit #3 -"Put first things first!" Wow...isn't that what Christ also tells us to do?

Many times we cannot put first things first because we get distracted. In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question "What are you most likely to be distracted from?" The top 3 results were:

  1. 38% of those polled said they are distracted by noisy children.
  2. 23% voted and said the thought of an unfinished task distracts them.
  3. 19% said that ticking clocks, music on the radio, nearby traffic throws them off of track.

What kind of things distract you from making priorities in your life?

In your worship? In your prayer time?

When we put Jesus Christ first as our top priority, we must take time to sit and listen at His feet! How else would we receive our marching orders?

Martha had evidently not consulted Christ about time priorities when she was getting things ready. Did He want to eat right away? or delay it until after He had time to teach? Martha's error or distraction may have been setting up the evening according to her own time schedule.

Isn't that we do? Instead of taking matters to Christ for His direction, we get distracted with our own agenda and our own schedule.

It is my prayer and desire that I will be like Mary and Martha all wrapped into one. Both of them had desirable qualities and a heart for God. I am much like Martha, working out all of the important details. The OCD in Martha (and me!!) is not the mistake...preparation and timing is the key so that when the time to be with the guest (the Master) - all the details can be put aside.

Oh, how I want to be like Mary - who desired to sit at the feet of Jesus to listen. Praying is a time of talking to God and LISTENING to God.

MATTHEW 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

It is my prayer that we will purpose in our hearts to sit at the feet of Jesus on a regular basis. A servant leader who does so on a regular basis will also be the one who is ready when it comes time to serve.

ARE YOU A MARY and A MARTHA?



YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please take time to vote in this week's poll located on the side bar of the blog. You will find the results in next weeks devotion. THANK YOU.

1 comment:

Deanna Shrodes said...

Good thoughts here Laurie...

I want to be both...Mary & Martha - the perfect balance, but it often eludes me... lol

Love,
me :-)