The One Essential Thing: Abiding in Christ – Meditation 1

This is from my booklet "The One Essential Thing" which you can get by asking for one at norm@revealfellowship.comAlso read Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray https://www.peacechurch-cr.org/editoruploads/files/GROW/Spiritual%20Development%20files/Andrew_Murray_-_Abide_in_Christ.pdfIntroduction38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. 40 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." 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but [only] one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." [Luke 10:38-42 NASB] We live in a world that evaluates us by our performance. Doing things in our Western culture is more important than “being”. If we perform well, then people don’t really care about the state of our soul. Hard work is its own reward as long as it produced profit. Now we can be sympathetic to Martha in this story. The Messiah Jesus had come to their house. No greater honor could come to anyone. Everyone should do all they could to prepare a great meal and make everything perfect. There was much to do for the Lord. Yet, in the midst of all this need to work to do thing for the Lord, Mary simply stopped to sit at his feet and listen to HIS words. How could she do this, didn’t she see how much had to be done?Martha of course even doubted the Lord at this point. She felt he did not care that an injustice was occurring. That Mary was treating her in an unfair way, making her do all the work. So, while working for the Lord, she started to doubt the fairness of the Lord. Yet, here the Lord gives her a reality check. There will always be things to do, but only one thing is necessary, vital, and supremely important. That is simply “being” with the LORD Jesus. Abiding with HIM. Listening to HIM. To simply be with Messiah Jesus was vital. Gaining from HIM life, light, wisdom, and HIS presence. This is the only thing that really matters in the end. This fellowship with Messiah Jesus no amount of being busy for the LORD could ever replace. This same lesson is hard for us to learn. The LORD Jesus reinforces this truth in John 15 and we are going to spend some time now meditating on this reality. That the one thing that is necessary, vital, and of ultimate importance; is simply being in a focused, friendly, and firmly loyal relationship with Messiah Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is so easy for me to be like Martha. There are so many things that need to be done for YOU. How can I spend time just being with YOU when so many tasks need to be done? They are important, practical, and needed. Yet, Lord, you tell me no there is one truly necessary thing that must be done. I must stop, sit, and be with YOU for without YOU I can do nothing. This is much harder than working hard for YOU. Stopping is not easy. Help me to know that without pausing to be with YOU, nothing I do will really matter. Amen• Note for Martha: What you do is vital. It would have to be done. But learning to first spend time with the LORD and then while enjoying the fruit of that fellowship taking up the tasks is a better approach. I think that in the context there would have been a time for Mary to help Martha, but first she wanted to soak in as much time with the Lord as she would. But, yes there is work to be done in the strength of the LORD and it flows from the fellowship with Jesus. Journaling Questions1. Why does Martha seem right in this story?2. What makes Mary look selfish?3. How could you in your life stop and simply spend time with the Lord Jesus? 4. What hinders you from doing this more often?

Posted by Norman Wise on Tuesday, March 31, 2020