PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Sit or Serve?Justin Smith
Luke 10:40-42 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.” But the Lord said to her, “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.
How do you show your love for God? As a leader who likes to get things accomplished, I often get caught in the same trap as Martha, and I can hear God’s gentle rebuke through this passage. Jesus was at Mary and Martha’s house to enjoy a nice dinner, and Martha wanted everything to be just right. The food had to be prepared to perfection, the table had to be set with the plates, utensils, and napkins in place, the living room and bathroom had to be cleaned, and the list of things to do to ensure the night a success seemed endless. Martha’s love for Jesus motivated her to work hard, and when her efforts weren’t matched by Mary, she asked Jesus to rebuke Mary. While Martha was busy in preparation, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to His teaching, and Martha did not appreciate Mary’s apparent laziness. Jesus gently shared with Martha that true love and service was not only evidenced in a perfect meal but in time spent with the Perfect Messiah. Jesus did not rebuke Martha for caring so deeply about the preparations; rather, He asked her to not neglect His presence. Martha believed that her service to God was superior, when, in fact, her priorities needed a stirring.
God does not desire sacrifices or burnt offerings, He doesn’t seek out religious busywork, but He searches for a heart that seeks intimacy and surrender. Don’t get me wrong, both acts of love, the serving and the sitting, are critical, but my doing must always come from the overflow of my devotion. Today I must ask myself, “Am I so busy serving Him, that I am neglecting sitting with Him? Have I been leading at the expense of loving? Have I been so distracted by the tasks that I have disregarded the Teacher? As I do my best to serve Him today, I must remember to first do my best to spend time at His feet.
Lord, please forgive me for the times that I put “doing” work for you before my devotion to you. I will choose to put you first in all I do, and I ask that you would anoint the work of my hands for your glory. May my actions today be pleasing in your sight.