The Good Portion

Luke 10:38-42 ESV

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’”

All About Priorities

Now, before we get into what this is teaching us, I want to talk a little about what this is not teaching. This is not teaching us that we can be derelict of duty, lazy, slothful, and idle. If we don’t work, we don’t eat, unless we are independently wealthy, or unless we are living on retirement savings. But, even there, we should be working full-time for the Lord who provided for us.

I believe this lesson is more about priorities, putting first things first and last things last, not neglecting the necessities of this life here on earth, but not letting them be our god and consuming our time and attention in place of time we should be spending with the Lord, focusing on him and on his word and doing what it says.

Martha wasn’t doing a bad thing. What she was doing was good. She was being a good hostess. But she wasn’t doing what was best, which is what Mary had chosen, to sit at Jesus’ feet and to hear him speak his words to her heart so that she could then do what he taught her – so she could apply his words to her daily life.

Martha was distracted by the cares of this world, more concerned with the physical than she was with the spiritual. I’m certain she meant well by her actions. She thought she was doing a good thing for the Lord, but it wasn’t what he required, at least not at that moment. He had something more important in mind for her if she would just be still and listen to him.

And you know what? He is saying the same thing to us today. Yes, we need to take care of what has been entrusted to us, but not to the neglect of what is most important. We are not to be more concerned about the cares of this world than we care about spending time with our Lord in his word, listening to what he has to tell us, and then doing what his word says to do.

Our All in All

And this is not about taking 5 to 15 minutes a day out of our busy schedules to read a short devotional and to say our prayers and then to go about our normal days’ routines. For, we are to be constant in prayer. We are to be abiding in Christ and him in us 24/7. Our ears and hearts should be attentive to hear him speaking to us any time of the day or night.

Jesus is not just our “get-out-of-jail-free-card.” He is not just our Savior from sin so that we can go to heaven when we die. He is to be our life. He is to be our all. And our lives are to be surrendered to him, to doing his will for our lives all throughout the day, every day of the week. So, our ears must be attentive to hearing him throughout the day, too.

But for us to have ears to hear him, we need to bathe our minds with the word of God and we need to be those who are putting the word of God into practice in our daily lives. We can’t set aside a certain amount of time for God each day and then feel the rest of the day is ours to do whatever it is we want to do or to do what is required of us to feed our families, etc.

The Lord needs to be in everything that we do, and he needs to be the one who is guiding our steps each day. This doesn’t mean that we have to ask him permission to do normal everyday things, but that we should always have open communication with him to where we are seeking his counsel throughout the day and to where we are following him in where he leads us.

So, we also need to guard against those things which distract us from our purity of devotion to Christ or which end up consuming the time which should be dedicated to our Lord, which is all our time, in reality. We need to guard our minds and our hearts against taking in the garbage of the world, too, and against it having an influence in our lives.

Because of what I do (writing/posting devotions), I am on social media every day. I like to hear/read Scripture which people post. I like to read people’s original (decent) thoughts, or to hear what God is teaching them, or to read about their lives and experiences (in decency).

But I don’t care much for memes. They seem so artificial. And I believe they have much power to influence people’s thinking and opinions. Yet not all memes are bad. But I think there is a danger in their overuse. For, they can begin to mold our thinking to conform to the thinking of the meme creators. Yet, as Christians, our thinking needs to be conformed to the mind of Christ, which comes through studying and obeying the Word of God.

Songs in the Night

An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!

5 thoughts on “The Good Portion

    • Thank you, Annie. I think it is a challenge for us all. I am easily distracted by many things, so I must daily discipline myself to stay on course. Sometimes, though, the distractions are intended by God to teach me something or to give me an illustration to go with today’s lesson or they are a ministry opportunity, so I must be open to those, too.


  1. I’m so glad I’m saved by what Jesus did , because I fail every day to hold perfect attention to priorities. I think this story also shows that Martha was resenting her work because if she was truly serving she would not be tattling in Mary . I’m sure Jesus appreciated her efforts but he probably would have been fine with Martha taking a break to sit at his feet . I’ve been guilty of that too often , feeling like I’m the only one doing anything when really I should have stopped and joined the others .

    Liked by 1 person

    • PK, not one of us has reached perfection, and we won’t in this life, but we should be walking in obedience to our Lord and daily by the Spirit we should be putting to death the deeds of the flesh. And as the Holy Spirit speaks to us about our attitudes or actions we should be submitting to him and to his will and we should be allowing him to make those necessary corrections in our lives. Daily we die to sin and to self and daily we walk in obedience to our Lord. Every day we must choose to obey or to disobey. We are all a work in progress, but the important thing is that we are progressing forward and not backwards.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s