One Thing Necessary… During a Pandemic

Hello Church Family:
Have you ever noticed how quickly our delightful duty in the Lord can turn into bitter frustration with Him? In Luke 10, Martha shows us that life-altering frustrated self-pity can happen in about the time it takes to prepare and cook a meal.
Can you imagine the Son of God physically coming to your home? What would you do? What would you think Jesus, Himself, would expect you to do? Well, we know that Martha’s expectations were not Jesus’ expectations, but Mary did get it right. And by Mary choosing the correct response, she did not help Martha with all that Martha considered priority. And guess what happened?
Martha’s delight in the Lord and others turned to self-pity, frustration, bitterness, resentfulness, and manipulation. I am sure we have all been in this situation. Martha’s heart became so self-centered that she even accused Jesus of not caring and ordered Him to do something about Mary not helping. What!!? Martha had lost it, bossing Jesus around and accusing Him of not caring. What was she thinking? Well, the purpose of this story is to show us clearly how quickly we can all get to this spot when we fail to do “the One thing necessary” (Luke 10:42) spending time at the feet of Jesus, learning (10:49).
When the Son of God comes to your house you don’t get busy getting busy. You fall at His feet and listen to Him. You submit yourself to His teaching, you receive encouragement, you seek understanding of His will and His ways, you praise Him, you worship Him, you have your life-reordered, you repent of Sin and receive assurance of pardon from that sin. This is where we belong when Jesus comes over.
While Mary was receiving life-giving instruction by Jesus, feasting on His presence, Martha was self-focused cooking a feast of one meat, three vegetables and a bread. She was not concerned with a relationship with Jesus, just acceptance through her works. She could only think, Why isn’t Mary serving like me? Everybody should have the same priorities as me! Why don’t people notice what I am doing? Doesn’t anybody care about what I am doing? I have so many other things to do, I am so busy, my calendar cannot afford this distraction, I need help! And then she orders Jesus, tell Mary to do what I am doing! Martha’s heart was exposed. And Jesus said, No Martha, actually Mary is doing what you should be doing.
Through Jesus’ answer of “No” to Martha, He clearly tells her, If you have more things to do in a day than a person can humanly do and you are neglecting spending time at my feet listening to me, I did not give those things to you to do. You have given those things to yourself. And you making them non-negotiables are not only affecting your relationship with Me, but they are also destroying your relationship with others.
During this pandemic we must be about the “One thing necessary” so that we will know what the Lord is doing. So that we will submit to His will. So that we will not be led away by false teachings or fear-mongering. So that we will move forward with God-given wisdom and discernment not making decisions based upon fear but of love and power and a sound mind. So that we will be encouraged and not forget our calling as the church to be Jesus on this earth to our neighbor. And because Jesus tells us to and we trust He knows best. And there are a million other reasons why this is the “One thing necessary” for us today at this moment.
Every day, we as believers have the same temptation. And the temptations are the same, whether we are living in a pandemic or not. Are we going to do the “One thing necessary” or will we be distracted by the urgent but less important? Will we make the “One thing necessary” a priority? This is not a new struggle. Our natural tendency in life is to get distracted from sitting and listening at the feet of Jesus. Jesus clearly says to us, I am at your house today and I would love for you to be doing the “One thing necessary”.
This Sunday we will be looking at the great story of Mary and Martha, finishing up Luke 10. We will be meeting in person at the church building, respecting NC Executive Order #138, if you would like to join us in person. And for those who will be staying at home, we will be live-streaming on our Grace Community Church Topsail YouTube Channel. 
Luke 10:42 …but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.
Love in Christ, Steve

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