The Most Precious Thing

I just came across a little “sermon” I wrote a few years ago for a group of ladies, and it was a good refresher course for me. I thought this might be helpful/encouraging/challenging to a soul or two out there:

An ancient Scottish legend tells the story of a shepherd boy tending a few straggling sheep on the side of a mountain. One day he saw at his feet a beautiful flower–one that was more beautiful than any he had ever seen before. The boy knelt down on his knees, scooped the flower in his hands, and held it close to his eyes, drinking in its beauty. The boy then heard a noise, and looked up before him. There he saw a great stone mountain opening up right before his eyes. The sun began to shine on the inside of the mountain, and his eyes widened as he saw the sparkling of the beautiful gems and precious metals that it contained.

With the flower in his hands, the shepherd boy rushed inside. Laying the flower down, he began to gather gold, silver and precious gems in his arms. Finally, with all that his arms could carry, the boy turned and started to leave the great cavern. Suddenly a voice said to him, “Don’t forget the best.”

Thinking that perhaps he had overlooked some choice piece of treasure, the boy turned around and quickly picked up additional pieces of priceless treasure. As his arms literally overflowed with wealth, he began to run out of the great mountainous vault. Again the voice said, “Don’t forget the best.”

But the boy’s arms were filled, and he hurried outside. All of a sudden, the precious metals and stones turned to dust. The boy looked around and saw the great stone mountain closing its doors.

A third time the shepherd boy heard the voice, and this time it said, “You forgot the best. For the beautiful flower is the key to the treasure vault of the mountain.”

Ladies, we will not be able to truly grasp any precious thing in this lifetime, unless we can grasp the unsurpassing beauty of the MOST precious thing in this lifetime.

Scripture: Luke 10: 38-42
38.“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home,
39. And she had a sister named Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet
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 a few things are really necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’”

POINTS
#1) Mary had a perfectly legitimate reason to be busy and distracted!
Have you ever “bitten off more than you could chew” when you invited people over for a meal or a party, and then found yourself acting like a monster (at least on the inside) or not even getting to enjoy your guests?
Look back to v. 38, “Now as THEY were traveling along…” Who do you think the THEY are??? Jesus and his 12 disciples at LEAST, possibly even more people. They didn’t exactly have Bethany Pizza Hut Delivery or Stouffer’s Frozen Lasagnas in the freezer back then! This poor woman probably had to grind up some flour to make homemade bread, kill a few chickens (or maybe even a goat!) and serve them up, milk a cow, gather and crush some grapes, and who knows what else! And not to mention clean the house—after all, this is possibly the Messiah coming to her home!!

Verse 40 says it all: “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” The Greek word translated as distracted literally means “to be pulled, dragged away.” Something was pulling her, dragging her attention away from the Messiah! And there were over a dozen hungry people in her house, needing to be fed, to be entertained. You see, it wasn’t her fault! Or was it?

#2) We have too often falsely dichotomized Mary and Martha, and have perhaps consequently falsely categorized ourselves (perhaps in self-fulfilling prophesy) as a Martha or a Mary.
Martha and Mary are not on opposite ends of the spectrum, with Martha doing all the serving and Mary doing all the adoring. You don’t have to choose which one you will be.

In v. 40, when Martha complains to Jesus that Mary “hath left me to do all the serving alone,” we learn from the original verb tense hath left that indeed Mary had been helping Martha with the preparations and serving, but had stopped at Jesus’ arrival.

There comes a point and time, a holy moment, LADIES, when it is no longer appropriate for us to be hostess/servant/helper: when we MUST ascend (or descend, depending on your persepctive), in the midst of all that still needs to be done, to STOP OURSELVES AMIDST all the activity in our life and heart, and become simply, beautifully:

lover of God
listener
worshipper
adoring child,
quiet
at the beautiful, pierced feet of
Jesus.

Because ladies, He IS the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh, the Living Water, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Resurrection. And if we really believe that, not just lip service, but REALLY believe that—we MUST, we WILL sit in that place. But Martha didn’t believe it quite yet. Do you? Will you be “about serving” or will you be “about Him?”

What do I want my legacy to be—that I was a busy, busy, busy mom? Or that I was the kind of Mom who served God with all her heart, yet always made time for the most important things, and especially the ONE important thing, my Savior.

#3) There is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING more urgent in your life than sitting at the feet of Jesus each and every day, drinking in His Word, His beauty, His love.

41. But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;42. but only a few things are really necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’”

MEMORIZE WITH ME THIS WEEK: Matthew 16:26 (NLT):
26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?[a] Is anything worth more than your soul?

About cashclan

Lisa is a grateful, born-again follower of Jesus Christ who has spent her adult life on the Gospel in several global contexts. She is the wife of one wonderful, jungle-gym of a man, who is to her the single most ravishing piece of flesh on planet earth (stolen good-heartedly from Christine Caine). She is a dedicated home educator to their four beautiful children, ages 6 to 12, whom she would be happy to gush over any time. She is an avid reader and a storyteller, an aspiring writer, a missionary to the nations and a singer of His praises, a loyal friend, an obsessive-compulsive Googler, and comedienne extraordinaire on her best days. She would also like to think that she is a loyal and loving, truth-telling friend.
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