Summary: what do we focus our time on - Mary vs. Martha

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Living a focused life – Part 3

Video clip from “hook” - first 5 minutes. beginning with daughters play...ending when he answers his cell phone at the ballfield.

Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we don’t seem to focus our time on the things that are most important.

At the beginning of each year we promise ourselves that we will spend our time more wisely this year. For example we will spend more time exercising, and less time eating junk food. More time reading our Bible and less time watching TV. More time with our children and less time working overtime at our job.

As we near the end of another year, we ask ourselves “how are we doing”? Have we made ourselves (and others) promises again this year that we haven’t kept? Is the focus of our time still not on the best things?

This morning we are continuing our series “Living a focused life” and today we will be looking at the lives of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42

Before we read these verses, let’s take a little quiz…

1. When life gets busy, does your time with God tend to get pushed aside?

2. When you try to focus on something, do you find that you are easily distracted?

3. Overall, would you (or others) say that you tend to be a worrier?

4. Do you ever feel sorry for yourself?

5. In your opinion, do you think you do more than your fair share of work?

6. Do you find at times that you are easily angered by others?

7. Would you say that it’s easy for you to see others faults?

8. At times, do you find yourself questioning if God really cares about you?

If you are like me, and you find that you answered yes to 4 or more of these questions, than you will probably find that you are more like Martha. If you answered yes to fewer than 4 of these questions, you will most likely relate more to Mary.

Read verses

If you really think about it, many times we set our time with the Lord aside to take care of other business that we think is really important. Have you ever considered that what we think is important, God often considers a distraction.

Here are some common myths that we have come to believe:

1. Busy equals important. (God will not ask you on judgement day, “how busy were you?”

2. Someone wins the rat race. (God is not as interested in “what you do” as “who you are”

3. Hurrying will buy us more time. (we just fill the extra time with more work)

4. “Down time” is wasted time. (God instituted the Sabbath for rest)

The ultimate tragedy of the busy life is that same tragedy that Martha faced – offered the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet, we can’t spare Jesus any time.

What was Martha’s problem? Was her desire to serve Jesus the problem? No…

1. She was distracted

Her preoccupation with serving, distracted her from what was most important.

Vs. 40…Martha was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing…

Facts on stress and worry.

2. She was depressed

She began to feel sorry for herself

Vs. 40…Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you…

3. She was disapproving

She became critical of Mary for not doing her part.

4. She was demanding

She tells the Lord what she wants Him to do, instead of letting the Lord tell her what she should do.

Vs. 40…Tell her to come and help me…

So, how do we focus our time?

Vs. 41-42

We must find a balance between “go and do” and “sit and listen”

Luke 10:27:

1. Love the Lord your God (sit and listen)

2. Love your neighbor (go and do)

This is the right order. Love God (sit and listen) first. Love your neighbor (go and do) second.

Prepare and prevent is better than repair and repent.

“Are you at that corner of life where you do not know which way to turn? Then, for goodness sake, sit down. Sit as Jesus’ feet. Look in His word and see what He has to say. It will help you with your housework. It will make you a better dishwasher. It will help you sweep the floors cleaner. You will dig a better ditch, mow a better lawn, and study your lesson better. Your work at the office will be easier, and you will be able to drive your car better. Just take time to sit at the feet of Jesus.” J. Vernon McGee

Psalm 37:7 says “be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.”

Psalm 47:10 says “be still and know that I am God.”

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Phillip Wright

commented on Sep 23, 2006

Great message and illustration.

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