As Jesus and His disciples were traveling along, they entered the little village of Bethany where they were welcomed into the home of Martha (Lk. 10:38 cf. Jn. 11:1). The ensuing conversation between Jesus and Martha provides interesting insight into how we might provide better service to the Lord and others. Mary, Martha’s sister, was sitting at the Lord’s feet, “listening to His word”, while Martha was “distracted with all her preparations” (Lk. 10:39-40). Martha approached Jesus with her complaint, saying, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me” (vs. 40). Jesus identifies true, spiritual priorities as He responds to Martha’s request, saying, “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” (vss. 41-42).

There are so many things in life to which we give undue concern. Martha was worried about serving. Serving is good. But, Martha was distracted from something even more important—learning from the Master. How can we learn to how to be a servant without sitting at the feet of Jesus? Mary had chosen the good part and it would not be taken away from her. The best thing we can do in life and the one thing that is essential to all Christian service is to hear the word of the Lord. Otherwise, our service is misdirected and self-serving.

The one who would sing, “Lord, make me a servant”, must commit the word of Christ to his heart, mind, and soul. Nearly all the recorded words of Jesus are contained in the four gospels. A full ten percent of these words are quotations from the Old Testament. Jesus knew the Scriptures. And, if He needed to know God’s word, we ought to be all the more diligent to study the Bible for ourselves!

David was a great servant of the Lord and a man who sought after the heart of God. He enjoyed great spiritual victories; but, also suffered humiliating personal defeats. Through it all, David never lost his love for God’s word. He exclaimed, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97). In verse 103, he wrote, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” This is how God’s servant should feel about the Bible. It is sweeter than honey. Commit your heart to God’s word and mold your life around its precepts. Make sure that, when your life on earth is over, you will have chosen the good part.

–Glen Elliott–