The One Thing

Posted: November 9, 2015 in TLCC
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A man who pursues a woman would go out of his way in the time of courtship. He would spend time with her, and he would have a hard time leaving her alone. Picture that out. Imagine that scenario. That is something worth looking at, over and over again.

Look at our relationship with God. All relationships on earth are but a shadow of our relationship with Him. Romance? A shadow of God’s love with us. Parental love? A shadow of the Father’s love to His children. Love among friends? A shadow of the love we should have in the body of Christ as well as the love of Jesus towards each of us. So picture this…

how do we see a man pursuing a woman by doing acts of service, professing of love to her, declaring how much he would want to be with her but doesn’t spend time with her? He doesn’t even talk to her at all. How about that?

Look at Mary and Martha. Two different individuals. Very opposite. But we would learn from the two as we examine Scriptures and study carefully.

(Read Luke 10:38-42)

If there is one thing we need to realize in this story, it is this…
God values our relationship with Him more than what we do for Him.

Martha was an extrovert. A worker. Someone who craves for action. She was the one who invited Jesus into her home. She would prepare a meal and it isn’t easy if Jesus is the guest. He always carry with him, plus twelve, that means inviting the 12 disciples, as well as others who are following Him. So Martha preparing for Jesus would also mean preparing for the 12 disciples that came with Him.

Mary, on the other hand, is an introvert. Contemplative. Reflective. She sat at the Lord’s feet, listened to what the Lord has to say.

In John 11:20-32, we can see the contrast in the temperaments. When their brother, Lazarus, died, Martha ran out to meet Jesus while Mary stayed at home. Martha was the talker, Mary the thinker. Martha was the worker, Mary was the worshiper.

Jesus was there for them both. He accepted the invitation of Martha as well as talked to Mary. God values both the introvert and the extrovert. He loves both of them. He was, after all, their friend.

Martha felt the heat of the kitchen. She felt the pressure. She got distracted with much serving. Troubled. Anxious. She then went to Jesus and notice her words…

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

First, she blames Jesus…”Lord, don’t YOU not care…”

Then, she compares herself to her sister…”that my sister has left ME to serve alone?

Afterwards, she tells Jesus what to do…”TELL HER then to help me.

It’s a cycle. We blame God when we’re anxious or troubled, we get stressed out when we compare ourselves with other people, and worse, we tell God how to fix the scenario. The problem with serving is that sometimes, we’re doing things for God but forgetting who we are doing it for. We can be so overwhelmed with the work that we forget why we’re doing it in the first place.

Look at the reply of Jesus. This is really a very valuable lesson to all of us.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,

but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

God was more concerned about the relationship with Him rather than the service. Think about it, back in Genesis…

#1 God was in a relationship with Adam before Adam was given the garden to take care of. Before giving man the work, God and Adam were already in sync.

#2 Our world was created to be a “Mary-world” with “Martha-moments”. Think about it. How does the day end in Genesis?

there was evening and there was morning…

Jews measure their days from Sundown to Sundown. They would measure their day with sundown. Imagine their culture back then, no electricity, no social media, no tv, no distractions. As they go home, they can focus on family, on relationships, hug their kids, hold hands with their spouse. Reflective.

The point of the Sabbath is rest, connect with God, connect with people.

We have filled our days but we have not planned our nights. We let our work be our world, when truth is, God designed us to have communion with Him more than filing ourselves with things that keeps us busy. The lesson is quite simple.

Service matters, but God is more concerned with our relationship with Him.

We have made our world a “Martha-world” with “Mary-moments”. We run into a fast pace world that we forgot that it wasn’t designed that way. God wants the relationship more than what we do. We can’t outlove God. We can’t outwork what He has done for us. We can’t outdo Him. God wants that we be like Mary.

Have the heart of Mary. Contemplative. Diligently listening to Him. Have the hands of Martha. Serving with excellence. Willing to go the extra mile.

Service is important. But God values our relationship more than our service to Him.

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