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One Thing is Needed!
Luke 10:38–42 “As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Verse 42 caught my attention when it said, “few things are needed.” Then Jesus continued: “only one thing is needed.”This week, I want us to consider what that one thing is. God has been dealing with me for some time now concerning how we go about the work of God, why we do what we do, what we might want to re-consider doing, and how much easier it is to be a Martha than a Mary. Martha-ism is really easy. Most of us live there. Mary-ism is much more difficult and very few live there. Many times, those who consider themselves to be Mary-types are really Martha’s who merely have a prayer life.
This really relates to the priorities of our life and how our spiritual depth determines our priorities. Martha was worried about many things so Jesus tried to help her by comparing her focus on many things to Mary’s focus on just one thing. I don’t think Jesus is putting Martha down as much as He is trying to get her to see her relationship with the material world vs. Mary’s relationship with the spiritual world.
Now I want to tie in a portion of the Sermon on the Mount to the thought that only one thing is needed. Look here, with me, at Matthew 6: 25-33 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘Whatshall we eat?’ or ‘Whatshall we drink?' or ‘Whatshall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
This little portion of Scripture, given by Jesus Himself, during the Sermon on the Mount, puts life into perspective. When our lives are dedicated to Him, why worry about them? Why worry about what we are going to eat or drink, or what we will wear? These issues have become so overwhelming in our society that we have become hopeless neurotics. We are now starting to worry about whether or not we are worrying enough – and that worries me. Watching or listening to the news is just depressing. Most of our morals are deteriorating before our eyes. Things are not looking good – from the world’s perspective. However, we are not supposed to come from the world’s perspective but rather from God’s.
Martha’s problem was that she was coming from the world’s perspective. So Jesus’ advice to Martha, as well as to us today, is; “relax there is only one thing you need to do…” – “… seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…”
Medication: A Merry Heart
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
However, in modern business, because of the heavy investment factors to be taken into consideration, often other strategies have to be tried with dead horses, including the following:
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Threatening the horse with termination.
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
7. Appointing an intervention team to reanimate the dead horse.
8. Creating a training session to increase the riders load share.
9. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
10. Change the form so that it reads: "This horse is not dead."
11. Hire outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
12. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
13. Donate the dead horse to a recognized charity, thereby deducting its full original cost.
14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.
15. Do a time management study to see if the lighter riders would improve productivity.
16. Purchase an after-market product to make dead horses run faster.
17. Declare that a dead horse has lower overhead and therefore performs better.
18. Form a quality focus group to find profitable uses for dead horses.
19. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for horses.
20. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.
God Bless, Press On!
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Galatians 4:4–5 ESV
Today’s readings: Matthew 12:1-21, Luke 6 & Mark 4