buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Martha and Mary”

Pursuing the best life

I got a notice a couple of weeks ago that AT&T will be coming through my neighborhood to install a fiber optic line. A couple of days later, there were multiple colored lines spray painted in my yard and on the street. Then the real work began yesterday. Men were digging and drilling holes across the front of my yard. As I was watching them (for at least a few minutes at a time), I noticed there was a particular hard place for them to dig and drill. The place was near another hard place that I found a year or two after I moved into my house. The hard place was really a very large rock that extends from the front of my house to the back of the house; I assume the same rock. I didn’t know though that the rock extended to where they were digging. And apparently under my driveway. They were having a tough time making a trench under the driveway. They had to stop and readjust multiple times. They eventually got around the obstacle, but it took a couple of hours in the hot sun to get the job done.

All this was happening while I was preparing to write this blog. Before the men showed up, I had all the best intentions to write all day. I had several things to get done, but I got very distracted. I get easily distracted when it comes to my writing times. Over the last few months, it’s been a real struggle to sit down and write. It’s been very discouraging. Usually the words would flow before I sat down to write, but it’s not like that right now. However, when I sit down to write and focus on what God puts before me, the words come. The trouble isn’t writing, it’s sitting down to write.

My pastor spoke about focus this past Sunday. We are bombarded with distractions all around us. Everything can get us off track. The enemy uses the world to get our attention. The worldly things draw us away from God. Dr. Tony Evans said in a message last month that God doesn’t want us to love the world because it’s run by Satan. The world leaves God out. God will not compete with Satan. When we focus on worldly things, we worry. We place too much emphasis on things that do not matter; they are temporary and unimportant in the long run. We should look at things through an eternal lens. Will this thing matter to us in 100 years? We are after all eternal beings and will be somewhere in 100 years.

It reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus came to visit. Martha was upset that Mary wasn’t helping in the kitchen. Mary had chosen to sit at the feet of Jesus, but Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was needed in the kitchen. But Jesus said, My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NLT) Mary was focused on the most important thing in that moment – Jesus. Martha was distracted by her work, and she failed to see the things that truly mattered.

Jesus is the solution for our worry. When we focus on Him, He gives us a different perspective on our circumstances. Only Jesus is bigger than our worries. We should focus on the One who can fix our circumstances; who controls all things.

Jesus told us through Scripture that the most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength (Deut 6:5). In other words, seek Him first and everything else falls into place. The Israelites were instructed to repeat this commandment over and over; to tell their children, to tie this commandment to their wrists and foreheads, and to write the commandment on their doorposts. This commandment was essential to keep God’s people focused on what mattered. When Israel forgot, they were lost and exiled. There were removed from their Promised Land because they chose idols instead of God. They lost their focus on what really mattered.

When our lives are centered on Jesus, He will lead us to the Promised Land; the best place. He doesn’t remove our circumstances, but He gives us peace in it. Jesus is our Shepherd who protects us against the enemy. He leads us to the green pastures and the cool living water to refresh our souls. Jesus said there’s only one thing worth being concerned about. Like Mary, have you found it? Sit with Jesus for a while before you do anything else and let Him be your guiding light. Find eternal value that will matter in the long run.

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Colossians 3:1-2 (MSG)

Distractions

For a while now, I have been saying I am in the process of writing my story. I don’t know how many times I have said this in my blog but it’s been a lot! I wish I could say it’s getting done. I wish I could say I have it all wrapped up. It is Christmas time after all. I am a bit perplexed though why it’s not done. Why am I procrastinating about finishing it? It’s aggravating to say the least. I want it to be done but I don’t want to sit down to actually write. Every time I think this is going to be the day that I write, I get distracted with other things. Oh, the things I am distracted with are all pretty good excuses. There’s been a Bible study I have been involved with. There’s been works of service that have come along. Many things get me distracted.

I am reminded of Mary and Martha on the day Jesus came to visit. Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing for the feast for Jesus. Mary was at the feet of Jesus listening to His every word. Martha was upset because Mary wasn’t helping. (I’ve had those thoughts recently.) Jesus tells Martha:  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Maybe the distractions are better at the time they are presented to me. Maybe I need to make sure I am choosing what’s better. But as Christmas is approaching, I need to make sure I don’t get distracted with shopping, parties and all the festivities that I forget to remember what I am celebrating. This is a joyous occasion. Jesus is coming for a visit. I don’t need to be distracted by all the preparations. I need to stay focused on the reason for the season. I need to be at the feet of Jesus listening to His every word. This is the reason He came so that we could know Him and know His Father. If I miss this important message, then all the preparations mean nothing. It’s just another holiday party. Yes, I will be socializing with friends and family. But I want to make sure Jesus is in the honor seat at the table.

Jesus maybe visiting now, but He’s here for an extended stay. When He is finished telling me all He has to tell me, then I can sit down and finish what I have started. The book will be finished when it’s time to finish. I just need to be sure that the obstacles coming are from Jesus, not Satan. Jesus may be delaying me for the right timing. Or Satan might be distracting me because he doesn’t want me to tell what Jesus has done for me. Is the distraction helping or hurting? Is it for my benefit or for others? I will choose the best for the kingdom for preparations both for Christmas and my heart to tell the right story that gives God all the glory.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17

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