Jesus and some of His disciples were visiting in the home of His good friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus. It was the custom for the men to gather around Jesus to listen to His words of life. The women were expected to cook and serve the food. Martha rushed around the kitchen. She was chopping, mixing and stirring.
But Mary was not helping her sister. She sat at the feet of Jesus. She listened intently to His words. Martha was upset and told Jesus so.
“Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” she complained. “Tell her to help me.”
Jesus answered her very gently.
“Martha, Martha,” He said, “you are worried and troubled about many things. Mary has chosen the good part which will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus was not scolding Martha for cooking dinner. The family and visitors were hungry. She was following the laws of hospitality. But she was more concerned with serving just the right food with exactly the right place settings than she was with learning the truths of God from her Guest. Jesus wanted Martha to realize that the kingdom of God is more important than the everyday things of this world. He wanted Martha and Mary and all His followers to know they have a right to seek the kingdom of God.
They have a right to search for His truth everywhere and at all times. No one has the right to stop someone from learning about God. Just as Mary made a choice, each of us must choose. We must choose to follow God or Satan. We must choose between heavenly things or earthly cares and desires.
When making money is more important than going to church, when winning an award at school is more important than praying and studying the Bible, when having fun is more important than helping others, then we have chosen the world of Satan.
God wants us to choose His way, but He will not force us. He tells us what the results of our choice will be. Then He leaves the choice up to us.
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life,” the Bible tells us in Romans 6:23. “Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die? I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”
That is God’s invitation to us. That is the plea He has made to every man, woman and child since Adam and Eve sinned in Eden.
He chose us first. Before the world was ever made, the Father and the Son made a plan to save anyone who might sin. People lived for thousands of years in sinful rebellion against Him. Then God the Son came to this earth to die for us. That’s how much He loved us.
That’s how much He wanted us to live.
When we have chosen Him, He will come live in our hearts. He will guide our footsteps on the path to the heavenly kingdom. We don’t have to fight Satan by ourselves. God will help us, for He has already won the battle over sin and Satan.
But we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. The disciple Peter learned this lesson one evening when the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee.
They saw Jesus walking toward them on the water. Peter left the boat and began walking on the water, too. He was looking toward Jesus.
But the wind was strong and the waves were high, and Peter looked down at the water. The moment he took his eyes off Jesus, Peter began to sink. “Lord, save me!” he cried. Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter. He lifted him up out of the water. Together, they walked to the boat.
Peter had forgotten for a moment that he needed Jesus. But Jesus was there, waiting to help him.
We, too, must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must keep choosing to come to Him. When we study His word, when we meet with Him in prayer, we are choosing again to be led by Him. When we fall into sin, He will answer our call of “Lord, save me!” He will give us the victory over sin and Satan.
The younger we are when we choose Jesus, the more time we have to get to know Him. Every day we will be more like Him, as we keep our eyes on Him.
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,” said Solomon, the world’s wisest man.
The prophet Jeremiah gave his heart to God when he was very young.
His prayer was, “My Father, You are the Guide of my youth.”
When Israel entered the Promised Land, many began to forget the God who had led and protected them. They began to worship the idols of the heathen nations around them. Joshua, their leader, called the people together and told them they must choose.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” Joshua said. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
What did the people answer? As one person they cried out, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey.”
“I am the way,” says Jesus. He is our only safe guide in this troubled world. He wants you to choose Him and His way. Why not tell Him just now that you are doing that?
Find the answers to these questions in the texts given. When did God choose us? Romans 5.8 What does God plan for us? John 3:16 Where will He lead us? John 16:13. Psalm 23:3. How well can we fight Satan on our own 2 John 15:5 (last part). Jeremiah 10:23. How can we keep our eyes on Jesus? John 5:39 (1st part). 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Philippians 4:8. What are the results of choosing God? Psalm 119:165. Romans 6:23. John 10:10.
Learn this verse and repeat it often substituting “I” for “we.” This will help you resist temptation.
“The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey.”