Friday, October 10, 2014

Back to Martha Again

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:40-42)

Distractions Distort Our Focus
Life is full of distractions that cause us to lose focus.  As Christians, when we allow ourselves to be distracted from fulfilling the desired intentions of God for our lives, we lose focus just as Martha did.
Distraction Focuses On the Project Instead Of the Person
Mary and Martha had invited Jesus to their home. Jesus had been in and out of villages preaching to multitudes, healing the sick, and dealing with the constant criticism of the religious leaders. Jesus was here for a break and to be ministered to.  Martha got caught up in the "Project of Hospitality" to the point that she forgot about who she was trying to be hospitable to. Martha's focus was to minister to Jesus. She had lost sight of Him because she was focusing on the project, not the person.

The projects of our lives are not more important than the people we are called to minister to. Our main focus as individual believers and as a church is Jesus.  If we're caught up in the project to the neglect of the person, then we're focusing on our own service rather than ministering to the needs of others.  If our Sunday School program is more important than Jesus, we are distracted.

Distraction Focuses On The Problem Instead Of the Privilege
The project of hospitality had become a distracting problem for Martha.  She had forgotten the privilege of who she was serving.  Problems are readily available when we focus on ourselves rather than the privilege of serving.  Bible study teachers complain about the students rather than seeing the privilege of serving Jesus in ministry to their classes.  Pastors complain about the problem of unfaithfulness to the point they become unfaithful to the privilege of serving Jesus. 

The point being that we can all become so distracted that the good we are supposed to be doing becomes a burden and problem.  Many become “weary in well-doing” because they only see the problem and not the privilege.  Remember the precious privilege of serving Jesus.

Distraction Focuses On The Pain Instead Of the Pleasure
Martha's joy soon became her pain. Listen to her words, "Why am I doing this all alone? Why isn't Mary helping me?"  She was not enjoying the moment.  The privilege and pleasure of serving Jesus had become painful.  Martha in the midst of her company felt all alone.  How many servants of God look around as Peter did at John and ask "Lord, and what about this man?"  Jesus answer to Peter was, “What is that to you? You follow Me!" (John 21:21-22)  When the pain of ministry steals our focus and places it on others, we have been distracted. 

Martha found herself in a bit of a pity party. Here she was running here and there and she looked around her and everyone else was sitting down! Martha's words of, "Lord, do you not care ..." ring ever so close to self-pity. Probably if we are honest, we have muttered the same words in the same self-pity.  Self-pity leads to criticizing others, and eventually criticizing God. We must stop and see where our focus is.

Focus on the person, privilege and pleasure of serving Jesus.

Scripture to Claim:

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Galatians 6:9)

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