WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 08, 2023
TOPIC: GIVE PRIORITY TO THE WORD OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 New King James Version).
What is your attitude to the Word of God? Do you have time to study and listen attentively to the Word of God? Do you meditate upon the word of God and obey it? Or are you so busy with activities, including religious activities, that you have relegated the Word of God to the background in your life?
Other things are more important to some people than the Word of God. Such people are like Martha, who welcomed Jesus to her home but was busy in the kitchen trying to fix a meal to entertain Jesus. “Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach” (Luke 10:39 New Century Version). The New King James Version says, “And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.”
Showing hospitality is good and proper. The Bible says in Romans 12:13b that believers should be “given to hospitality.” The Bible also says we should not forget to entertain strangers, for, by so doing, some people have unwittingly entertained angels (Hebrews 13:2).
Nevertheless, there is a time for everything. There is a time to be in the kitchen and a time to sit down and hear the Word of God. The time for the Word of God should not be diverted to doing something else, no matter how important it seems to be.
Martha was distracted from being with her guest. She should have given priority to the Word that Jesus would speak or teach in her house. She didn’t get her priority right and didn’t understand the priority of Jesus! Cooking distracted her and worse still, she wanted Mary, who was hearing Jesus’ teaching, to be distracted too. She sought Jesus’ assistance to make Mary get up and join her in the kitchen! In other words, she wanted Jesus to stop His ministration!
Luke 10:40 says, “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (New King James Version). Martha believed Mary was wrong and she was right!
However, Jesus corrected Martha and said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (verses 41-42 New King James Version). Mary chose the good part! She chose to listen to the Word of Jesus above everything else. She had the right priority.
You must not be like Martha, who was worried and troubled about many things and couldn’t sit at the feet of Jesus to listen to His Word. As I have said, cooking in the kitchen for Jesus was not bad, but Martha was doing the right thing at the wrong time.
In His ministry, Jesus wasn’t against showing hospitality or courtesy. For instance, He corrected Simon, a Pharisee, who had invited Him to his house to eat with him, for not showing proper courtesy to Him but, instead, Simon condemned the immoral woman who had washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed His feet, and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil” (Luke 7:44-46 New King James Version).
Note that it wasn’t Jesus that exposed Martha’s wrong priority; she exposed herself by asking Jesus to tell her sister to come to help her in the kitchen. “But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me’” (Luke 10:40 New Living Translation). Jesus only seized the opportunity to show her the right priority.
Are you a Martha or a Mary? Martha was distracted by so much serving. What is distracting you from the Word of God? Some Christians go to church but, when the Word of God is being taught or preached, they are distracted by other activities, which may even be good. Some people are distracted by their phones. They are so addicted to the phone that they are chatting while the preaching of the Word of God is going on in the church or going outside to make or answer phone calls that could wait until after the service.
Some people are habitually browsing or surfing while the sermon is on. Another person could think that they are reading the Bible on their phones but that’s not the case. Even at home, the phone won’t allow some people to do quiet time or quality Bible study. They are either answering calls or checking their phones for incoming messages. Many other things distract people from the Word of God.
Your attitude to the Word of God shows how much regard you have for God. The time for the Word of God, whether the sermon, Bible study, or quiet time should not be a time anyone should spend doing other things. Nobody should allow himself to be distracted from the Word of God, as it affects everything in our lives. As important as prayer is, we cannot pray effectively if we are ignorant about the Word of God. Some people spend their invaluable time praying contrary to the Word of God and wonder why their prayers are not answered.
1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (New King James Version).
Give priority to the Word of God. Study it, listen to it, meditate upon it, memorize it, confess it, and obey it. Jesus says man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). He was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. Value the Word of God.
Don’t be a hearer alone, deceiving yourself; be a doer of the Word (James 1:22). As the Apostle James says, anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like (verse 23).
In Luke 6:47, Jesus says whoever hears His words and puts them into practice is like a man who was building a house, dug down deep, and laid the foundation on the rock. He says when a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well-built (verse 48). Conversely, He says anyone who hears His words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. According to Jesus, the moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete (verse 49).
Build your life on the foundation of the Word of God. Obey the Word of God; treasure it more than your necessary food (Job 23:12). Avoid distractions. Choose the good part. Give priority to the Word of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for being distracted from Your Word. Holy Spirit, deliver me from everything that is distracting me from the Word of God. Help me to give priority to the Word of God. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall, henceforth, study, listen to, meditate upon, memorize, confess, and obey the Word of God in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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