Today’s Scripture: And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind… Luke 10:27a

Through the story of Mary and Martha, I believe the Lord is trying to show us a blessed balance. Charles Wesley writes of this profound balance in one of his hymns: “Faithful to the Lord’s command I still would choose the better part. Serve with careful Martha hands and loving Mary’s heart.”

The Lord wants us to imitate Mary in our worship and Martha in our work. Martha was not wrong for wanting to feed the Lord a wonderful meal, and Mary was not wrong for wanting to sit at His feet. We can learn a great deal from both. Martha was right that the meal was important, but it should not have been the focus. Mary was right to sit at His feet because what we do with Christ is more meaningful than what we do for Christ.

Serving the Lord is very important, but it should not make us irritable and hard to live with. The first thing I ask when someone comes to me for counseling over life issues is, “Tell me about your devotional life. How much time are you spending everyday with Jesus in His Word and in prayer?” I know the answer right away based on their red face.

If you are not doing it out of love, your work will not be sustainable. And you cannot know the love of God if you are not spending time with Him. If you focus on what is eternal at least once a day and concentrate on it, it can never be taken away from you. Take time to find the blessed balance between having careful Martha hands and loving Mary’s heart. Work hard for the Lord, but out of love and from a heart of worship.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.