Our 18-month-old granddaughter has a delightful habit. If I’m sitting on the floor, she will either walk backwards toward me or sit on the floor and slide herself backward to me. I then put my arms around her to give her a hug. She seems to savor the moment then she slips away. I’m not sure how this developed but she seems to know if she can just get in the right place; I will give her a hug.

In this story, Mary also seems to know how to be in the right place to receive from Jesus. What’s the difference between Mary and Martha? Martha is concerned about what she can do for Jesus. Mary was focused on being with Jesus. Martha came to Jesus questioning, blaming and asking Jesus to solve her problem. Mary sat and listened to Jesus. Jesus indicated that each of them had made a choice. Martha chose to be worried and upset about many things which Jesus identified as nonessential. Mary chose something better, something that, in Jesus’ eyes, was essential.

Service should be the overflow of my relationship with God. Was Martha doing a good thing? Yes! Was she doing what Jesus wanted? No. The invitation to Christ’s disciples was that they should be with him and then he would send them out to preach (Mark 3:14).

The order is important. Being with Jesus and listening to him is the first priority of someone who identifies as a follower of Christ. Come close, feel his embrace and THEN slip away to serve him.

Jesus, I identify with this story of Mary and Martha. You know me. I want to serve you, but I also need to be in the place to sit and listen. I need your embrace. Help me to keep this perspective in focus so that my service is the overflow of my relationship with you. Thank you for your love. I’m ready for a hug.

Thought for Today: Being worried and upset can be an indicator of wrong choices, or wrong priorities. Take a few minutes to ask God if your priorities are what he desires them to be.

Tags: Daily Devotional Luke 10
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