It is estimated that the average human makes 35,000 “remotely conscious” decisions each day! It would be impossible to say yes to every one of those 35,000 choices that bombard us, so we must be saying no to something. There are a lot of distractions vying for our attention in this world. However, God has given each one of us a finite amount of time, and he expects us to manage it wisely. We need to say yes to those things that are worthy of our concern and no to those that are not.
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Let’s simply focus on today’s Scripture passage. There are two women in this story: Mary and Martha. Martha has welcomed Jesus into her home, and Jesus didn’t travel lightly. He had at least 12 other people with him. That is quite a houseful, especially on short notice. Martha went about making dinner for her guests. No small task. Her sister Mary, however, sat in the other room with Jesus listening to him teach.
We can understand how Martha would be a little peeved at her sister for not helping her with the preparations for their guests. There must have been a ton to do. Martha finally got fed up and expressed her frustration to Jesus, asking him to order her sister to get up and help her. But Jesus told Martha that there was only one thing worth giving her attention to and Mary had figured it out. What Martha was doing was good. Very good. Even gracious. But, her sister Mary had chosen what was great!
There are many good options that come along in this life that we can choose to learn about, be passionate about, and give our time to. But there is only one thing that is great in this life, and our eventual destiny depends on what we do with it. A pastor once said that God loves that we want to learn about him and serve him, but he also craves simply being with us. Perhaps we need to say no to a few good things today to free us up for something spontaneous and great tomorrow!
Verse 40 in today’s scripture says that Martha was “distracted.” What was she distracted by?
What does the rest of verse 40 and verse 41 tell us about how Martha felt about her choice of how to spend her time and energy?
What had Mary “discovered”?
What does Jesus mean in verse 42 when he says, “it will not be taken away from [Mary]”?
Look at one or two items on your schedule today. Label them as “good” or “great.” Then, as manager of your time, make the executive decision to focus your time and energy on the great item(s).
Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of time you have so graciously given to me. I have no idea how much I have left, but teach me to value it and manage it in a way that honors and glorifies you. I want to devote my time to the “great” things you have in store for me. Show me what to say “yes” and “no” to from this day forward. Amen.
This post was written by David Vernier. David enjoys the opportunity to encourage others in their walk with Jesus as a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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