Busy But Not Blessed

Busy But Not Blessed

The Word of God never encourages idleness or laziness because it will not do us any good. Rather, it exhorts us to work hard and we will reap the blessings. See Proverbs 10:4-5; 12:11, 24; 14:23; 18:9; 19:15 and Romans 12:11.

But if working hard results in abundance, why are there so many hardworking people who are not living in comfort? No matter how many hours they spend working their butts off, they still seem to be living in “lack.” In other words, they are very busy but not blessed.

Unfortunately, many Christians are in the same boat. They have known the Lord for many years and are serving Him in their ministry. Yet, they are not living in abundance and victory.

Ready to Serve God

How long have you been born again? 5, 10, 15, or 20 years? I supposed that’s the same number of years that you have been serving the Lord. I am pretty sure you were very excited when you first came to know the Lord. You wanted to serve Him in any church ministry that He would put you in.

And you did not want to be stuck where you first began. But you wanted to take your service to God to another level. After all, isn’t that what Peter said about growing in the grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18)? Spiritual growth does involve growing in service to the Lord and His people.

Serving God with Gladness
Photo Credits: WhatDoesitMeantoServegod.com

Perhaps you started in the utility ministry – you know, arranging chairs and helping set up the worship hall. You were very eager to help in any way you could and never wanted to miss any church activity. In every Bible study, prayer and fasting, worship symposium, and worship service, you are always present. You read your Bible every day and meditate on it.

How do I know all this? It’s because I’ve been there too. Every new believer has this experience. I remember very well when I was first ushered in – the thought of being a child of God was overwhelming! Me? Yes; a sinner undeserving of God’s love and mercy. But God accepted me for who I am and wanted me to become the person He intended me to be.

That goes the same for you and everyone for whom God died to redeem from the power of sin and darkness.

A Balanced Christian Life

How far have you come in your service to God? Perhaps you are now a worship leader, which is a huge contrast to arranging chairs. You may be very occupied learning everything you can about worship leading. Or listening and mastering new praise and worship songs that you will include in your lineup.

I encourage you to keep growing in your ministry and equipping yourself to be a better worship leader. Praise be to God for the work He has done and still doing in your life.

But can you honestly say that you have maintained a balanced Christian life? Do you still attend small gatherings and cell groupings? How is your prayer life? Do you still have time to read and meditate on the Word of God the way you used to?

Or you don’t have time for other things anymore because you are busy learning new songs and practicing your lineup.

Isn’t it amazing that when we were new believers, we had all the time to pray, read the Bible, attend Bible studies, etc? Why is it that we almost do not have the time for the things we used to love and enjoy? We are so busy doing things we think are for the Lord but neglect the others that are of the same importance.

Contrasting Martha and Mary

The story of Martha and Mary is often used by preachers to point out the difference between a worshiper and a worker. In Luke 10:38-42, we read the contrast between the priorities of these two sisters.

When Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem, Martha welcomed them into her home. While Martha was busy preparing dinner, her sister Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to Him. Martha must have had so many things to do that she got irritated when her sister Mary did not bother to help her.

When she could not take it any longer, Martha approached Jesus and complained about Mary not helping her. To which Jesus replied, 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.”

In this case, Martha was busy but not blessed. This is because it is more blessed to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him.

Who is Mary?

A little background about Martha’s sister Mary; she is from Bethany and is seen three times in the Gospel record. On each occasion, she is in the same place: at the feet of Jesus.

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His Word in Luke 10:39. In John 11:32, she fell at His feet and shared her woe. But the most striking story of Mary was when she anointed His feet with a very costly oil of spikenard and wiped it with her hair (John 12:3).

It is interesting to note that in each of these instances, there is some kind of fragrance. In Luke 10:39, it is food; in John 11:39, it is death, and in John 12:3, it is perfume. You see, the way we worship God and show appreciation to Him can take many forms. And take note that it can be expressed in many different circumstances.

Martha and Mary

Worshiper or Worker

What can we learn from Martha and Mary? These two sisters are often contrasted as though each believer must make a choice. Be a worker like Martha or be a worshiper like Mary.

Certainly, our personalities and gifts are different. But that does not mean the Christian life is an either/or situation. Just because you are a worship leader does not mean you do not need to study the Bible.

To be an effective worship leader, you need to know the right way to exhort and encourage the congregation. You do this by meditating on the book of Psalms as it is filled with so many “call to worship” exhortations. Many verses of the Bible also directly speak to the heart of the congregation to give to God their problems and worship Him.

On the other hand, if you are a pastor or a preacher, you should set aside time for personal worship. You don’t use up all your time reading the word and preparing your sermon and do not have time for personal worship.

So you see, we can be a worker and a worshiper at the same time. But when we have to choose between the two, Jesus said we have to choose the “good part.”

The key is to have the right priorities: Jesus Christ first, then others, then ourselves.

Conclusion

We can take a warning from the account of Martha and Mary. Perhaps in all our busyness, we have been ignoring the Lord. Martha’s problem was not that she had too much work to do. But she allowed her work to distract her and pull her apart. She was trying to serve two masters.

If serving Christ makes us difficult to live with, then something is terribly wrong with our service. It is vitally important that we spend time “at the feet of Jesus” every single day, letting Him share His Word with us.


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Recommended Resource:

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg A rare chance to know Jesus as His first disciples knew Him.

What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of His Jewish disciples?

How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived?

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus.

It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith.

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith.

Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg paint powerful scenes from Jesus’ ministry, immersing you in the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed him.

 

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