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Is Jesus your First Love Today?

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me."

And Jesus answered and said unto her, 'Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.' "
Luke 10:38-10:42

Martha was busy one day.
Busy cooking for a Royal Guest: the Messiah Himself!
Martha watched as her sister Mary, "idly" engaged Him in conversation leaving her to sweat it out all alone in the kitchen.
Perhaps, Martha thought within her heart that she had better wait a few moments and see whether Mary would come to her senses and realize her own selfishness in leaving her sister to prepare the meal by herself. In between stirring the pot and looking in the direction where Jesus and Mary were and then back to stirring and looking etc., she must have finally exploded in frustration! She then stormed into the presence of the Master and said, "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me."

However, our Compassionate and Merciful Jesus did not give the reply that she had expected.  What did He say to Martha about herself and about Mary and about priorities in the Christian's life?  The answer to these questions would keep us on the right track today, dear friend.

The Lord said, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

He told her that while she was anxious about things that don't matter eternally, Mary had her priorities right.  No, Mary was not lazy or the Lord would have surely rebuked her but, Mary made it clear that she wouldn't miss hearing Divine teaching from the Savior's lips for the whole world!

The main thing is that Jesus saw the hearts of these two sisters.  One had an honest desire for the Word of the Lord unlike her sister's attitude which was more along the lines of, "Ok, yeah the Word is great, now let's get on with the more important, practical work here!" 

A clear contradiction, indeed!

Dear reader, we must come to realize that outwardly we may run here and there and do this and that for the Lord, but can we sit quietly and honestly at His feet for any appreciable amount of time?  Are we willing to keep His commandments?  Are His commands precious to you dear friend? Are they precious enough to give priority to them and do them?  You cannot say you love God without obeying Him. They go together.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." - John 14:15

You see, Martha's words and her actions betrayed her.  But the loving Lord gave a loving rebuke to set her heart attitude straight.  He would do the same for us today if we are in error and are willing to be corrected.

Here then is the critical question we have to face squarely today, dear reader:

What things are in my life today that are quite legitimate in and of themselves but, which may be taking away time from being with the Master?

You see, even service for the Master becomes a snare when it robs us of the necessary, quiet time we need to spend with the Master in listening and learning of His Will for us. We must worship the Creator of all things with great awe in deep gratitude.

Please don't misunderstand this or allow the Devil to twist the Truth presented here.   This doesn't mean that one can read the Bible all day long or go to meetings here and there and neglect their other obligations.  It is a question of priority that's all.

Now, perhaps it is your family activity or your job or hobby or even (as stated above), "Christian service" that becomes the culprit, taking away vital fellowship time with God each day.  Actually, we must realize that we are the ones who are the poorer and leaner spiritually, when we skip or hurry or miss our devotions with the Lord. 

Corporate worship is good and family prayers are essential, butnothing should take the place of personal prayer and the reading of His Word daily as a priority.  Let this take the first claim on our time daily.

When we come and sit at the Master's feet like Mary did, He will take care of all of our burdens and give us a quality of Peace that nothing in this world can take away!  You may be much encumbered with many things like Martha today, dear friend.   We must realize that our ultimate sense of satisfaction and security in this life and beyond lies not in keeping ourselves busy with many activities, even if they are, "legitimate" and "good" in and of themselves.  No, the Peace and Comfort and Success we so desperately need depends upon us listening to the Lord and obeying Him. Shall we humble ourselves and receive this godly counsel into our hearts? We need His Blessed Presence in our lives.

Seek Him first thing every morning in prayer and in reading His Word, with a heart to obey.  Then, His Presence will go with you wherever you go.  As with His faithful disciple, Mary (and later her sister Martha), we will come to know that giving priority to that, "chosen good part", will make all else fall into its proper place in our lives.

Praise the Lord!

© 2002 Pastor Pradeep Emmanuel Stephen

[Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end.]