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I hate to miss a good time, don’t you? When I was a young girl, I would sit at the top of the stairs listening to the conversation coming from the kitchen when my parents had company. Occasionally, I would hear, “Penny, get in bed!” But I didn’t want to miss anything.
I wonder if that’s how Martha felt as she labored in the kitchen for her guests. I wonder if she tried to eavesdrop as she juggled watching the bread in the oven and stirring the soup on the fire. She must have realized what she was missing as she heard the mingling in the next room. Perhaps she felt envy or frustration as she missed out on the most special guest, Jesus. She couldn’t just call Door Dash to have something delivered, and she couldn’t simply join them because no one would eat. And if you’ve heard the story, you know Mary was no help (Luke 10:38-42).
Mary wasn’t concerned with dinner. She didn’t even care if she ate. She didn’t care if anyone ate. Daily bread was no match for the Bread of Life sitting right there in her living room. So she continued to ignore Martha and sit at Jesus’ feet. Listening. Adoring. Gleaning.
I wonder, which do you identify with today, Mary or Martha? I think it’s safe to say most of us are Martha’s in today’s overly busy, gotta-do-it-all world. We have Martha responsibilities and Martha time; Martha families and Martha jobs; Martha thoughts and Martha priorities. Most times our Martha responsibilities are not self-serving, but things we need to do for others, for our loved ones, our jobs, our church – for Jesus!
Jesus didn’t mean we shouldn’t do those things, but He did say there is something better (Luke 10:42). Perhaps He knew Martha could have come out of the kitchen if she really wanted to. Maybe dinner didn’t have to be right at six and could have waited til 6:30 or 7:00. Or maybe it didn’t have to be as elaborate. Whatever the case, Jesus honored Mary’s devotion to Him while Martha’s devotion seemed to be to her duties.
The bottom line is, Jesus knew feeding our soul is much more important and satisfying than feeding our stomach.
“Man does not live by bread alone…” Matthew 4:4
Martha invested her deeds. Mary invested her devotion. Martha invested her talents. Mary invested her time. Martha was overcome with worry, while Mary was overcome with worship. As much as Martha chose a good thing, Mary chose the better thing. Martha’s invested was temporary. Mary’s investment was eternal.
Mary did what I talked about last time: she sought Jesus earnestly; she dwelled with Him richly; she loved him fervently. Martha missed out.
When we put our Martha lives on hold for just a short time each day to devote ourselves to the Lord in Mary-like fashion, He fills us with His satisfying spiritual bread.
Just as we need food and water for our physical bodies, we need God’s spiritual water and nourishment for our spiritual life (1 Peter 2:2, John 4:14). We simply cannot live the Christian life and experience His peace and strength without them. When we invest a portion of our day in prayer and Bible reading, we will experience dividends that are supernatural.
What are some of the dividends to this kind of investment?
- Life in Him name – abundant life now and eternal life later (John 20:31)
- Fulfillment of our deepest desires (Jeremiah 31.3)
- Faith for what God can do in our circumstances (Romans 10:17)
- Wisdom about our circumstances (James 1:5)
- Help (Psalm 121:1-2)
- Hope (Romans 15:13)
- Guidance for how to handle life’s situations (Isaiah 58:11)
- Strength to endure the hard times (Psalm 46:1)
- Comfort for our hurts (2 Corinthians 1:3)
- Peace in the midst of our storms (Galatians 5:22)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6
We are living in unsettling times. We need The Bread of Life more than ever. So let’s not miss out on the best and most important thing we can do each day – taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
How about you? Have you ever felt like you didn’t want to miss a thing? When was it?
When have you been a Mary and when have you been a Martha? What was the result?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments here or on social media.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I pray this encouraged you.
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