Matthew 22:34-37-35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.
The past month or so has been a whirlwind for me. I got sick, really sick for the first time in 3 years. But after 3 weeks, 2 dr appointments, 2 antibiotics and 1 round of steroids later, I was finally back to my old self. Work has been extremely busy as we rolled out a new website and online system for our Bible School, a new church database,and a new church website all within weeks of each other. All projects which required a lot of my attention. Add to that the regular challenges of being a pastor, a wife and a mommy, and I was stretched pretty thin.
For a little bit there, I felt like I was just running on empty.
I was so busy doing the work OF the ministry, I wasn’t taking the time I needed to just minister to the Lord. The Lord kept speaking to my heart “Mary and Martha. you are being Martha right now, take the time to be like Mary.”
If you don’t understand what that means you can find the story here in Luke10:38-42. Basically in a nut shell, Jesus went to visit His friends Mary and Martha and Lazarus at their home. Martha was really busy with all of the preparations for Him to be there. I can see her now, cleaning, cooking, making sure the table was set just right. fussing and fretting and worrying that the meal she was preparing would not go perfectly. Meanwhile, her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus feet, just being in His presence, soaking up every Word He spoke.
Martha got upset and told Jesus to have Mary get up and help her since she was doing all the work. Jesus responded, “Martha, don’t you understand that Mary has chosen the best part”
Can you imagine Martha’s response? “The best part? What do you mean by that? Someone has to make sure everything gets done. Don’t you care that I’ve ben up since 3:00am preparing for your your time here? She hasn’t done anything but spend time with you!”
Poor Martha, she just didn’t get it. Yes, she was busy and she probably prepared a lovely feast to honor Jesus, but in the midst of the busyness she forgot to just simply spend time in His presence.
How often is that you and me? We get so busy preparing things FOR God, that we forget to spend time WITH God. In our passage today, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
You might argue that “I do love God, that’s why I work so hard for Him.” Think about it like this. A husband that works hard for his family, but never spends any time with his wife and kids. While they appreciate how he provides, they are longing for fellowship, for relationship, for him just to pay a little attention to them. God is the same way.
It’s not that He doesn’t appreciate all that we do, it’s just that He is saying, “Hey, where are you? I just want to fellowship with you. I just want a relationship with you. I just want you to pay a little attention to me.”
In the busyness of life, make sure that you are loving Him first. That you are putting your relationship with him even before your labor of love for Him.
PS. The minute you start loving Him first, no longer will you feel like you are running on empty. Because in His presence is fulness of joy, of peace, of love of strength and of everything you need! The byproduct of spending time with Him, is that He fills you up!