Stressed Or Blessed?
Contributed by Mark Roper on Nov 20, 2007 (message contributor)
Summary: In life we are often distracted by small disappointments, and we forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the Lord.
Stressed or Blessed?
Stressed or Blessed?
As a minister was addressing a group of men, he took a large piece of paper and made a black spot in the center of it with a marking pen. Then he held the paper up before the group and asked them what they saw. One person quickly replied, "I see a black mark."
"Right," the preacher replied. "What else do you see?" Complete silence prevailed. "Don’t you see anything other than the black spot?" he asked. A chorus of "No" came from the audience. "I’m surprised," the speaker commented. "You have overlooked the most important thing of all - the sheet of paper."
Then he made the application.
a) In life we are often distracted by small disappointments, and we forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the Lord.
b) But, like the sheet of paper, the good things in life are overwhelmed by the adversities that monopolize our attention
Luke 10:38-42 NIV
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41 "Martha, Martha ," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
A. Life has many distractions that can overwhelm us, even divert us from fully sensing Jesus’ peace and presence.
B. Our scripture gives us a good example for facing life’s obstacles. We can either be blessed or stressed.
1. That was the difference between Mary and Martha:
a) Mary was occupied with Jesus and was blessed
b) Martha was preoccupied with her situation and was stressed.
Let examine the scripture to apply it to our lives.
I. Martha was distracted
a) We can fill our time with activities and our homes with noise so that we can shut God out
b) Our relationship with Christ cannot grow properly or fully if we are living with constant distractions.
c) Life is so full of distractions that people end up living for no higher purpose than to get through another day.
II. Martha, Martha,
a) On several occasions, according to Luke’s account, Jesus repeated a name when he wanted to make some unusually impressive statement
b) Understand the spiritual implications
1. You are worried and upset about many things
a) Worry accomplishes little
b) Proverbs 12:25 - "An anxious heart weighs a man down."
That’s all worry accomplishes. It’s like sitting in a rocking chair. Lot’s of energy expended and no forward progress.
2. But only one thing is needed
a) No matter what our circumstances, we CAN be set free! We may need to adjust our priorities and eliminate some things, which consume our time and clutter our thoughts; but true worship at His feet is worth it ALL
b) What one thing is needed Matt 6:33 NIV
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
c) Our primary concern in this life should not be pleasing and serving ourselves.
d) It should be knowing and serving God. His "kingdom" is His rule over the earth, His authority over us as His creation.
e) Our first concern should be understanding who God is and how we can be right with him.
3. Mary has chosen what is better
a) She was listening to Jesus teach God’s Word.
That precious Word was more important than anything Martha might be busy doing.
Being busy is OK. But as you realize the good news of God’s Word you can find room for it in your busy day
b) The secret for success
If you want to be distressed -- look within.
If you want to be defeated -- look back.
If you want to be distracted -- look around.
If you want to be dismayed -- look ahead.
If you want to be delivered -- look up too Jesus!
III. Mary’s blessings will not be taken away from her."
A. Our Choices make all the difference
1) A trusting believer has the assurance of the supply of every need throughout his life.
2) The personal care of the lord for each individual believer inspires great confidence
3) Contemplation upon the lord’s personal concern for each Christian produces a blessed assurance
From our scripture we have learned that we have a great responsibility to ourselves.
The Veracity Project