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February 8, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Gary Reimers begins the series entitled “New Testament Servants,” from Luke 10.
Welcome to The Daily Platform program feature sermons from Chapel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, whether it's the general travel service for the whole student body or services for those in the ministerial class or seminary.
Everyone at the school is blessed by the preaching of the word each day from the travel platform today on The Daily Platform were beginning a four-part seminary series entitled New Testament servants which studies how God shows and equipped particular servants in the Bible to minister his word. Today's message is Mary a servant, chosen and equipped from Luke 10 seminary professor Dr. Gary Reamer's will bring the message Mary of Bethany shows up and actually three different passages were going to look at two of those this morning first one and Luke chapter 10, but I like to start with the question if Chapel was not required. Would you be here right now. Careful you come up with anything stronger than maybe I'm skeptical. I know what it's like to be in school. I know what second semester is like work or a week and 1/2 into it and already Christmas seems like a distant memory. How long ago was that you're already fully aware of all that is expected of you this semester and if somebody said I've got about 45 minutes extra that you get in your day today and you can do whatever you want with it and Chapel was one of those options and the question is, would you be here today. How full disclosure, I'm going to acknowledge that is not exactly a fair question at a fair question as a judge of whether or not you love the Lord.
I think there is some other aspects of that we could explore in your personal routine that would maybe give us more insight about that and the disclosure part of that is that this is the first time I've been in Chapel this year and I don't mean 2000 I mean this school year day. I don't need to go to chapel anymore because the University no longer tells me I have to be here my my level of responsibility here is to teach a class and that is all. And so I have a choice and ordinarily I choose to be doing other thing.
Generally that's serving the Lord in some other way, but I just thought I'd better be honest about that. What makes it challenging, though for us to give an honest straight answer. Oh yes I be here or absolutely God has first place in my life and I demonstrate that by and you can point areas in your life reason were only going to consider two of the three passages is that the other one doesn't exactly give us much insight about Mary on the topic of a heart for the Lord and what's odd is that that's the passage where she actually says something when she think we get the greatest insight there. That's, that's John chapter 11. She has a few things to say in the two passages were going to look at. She doesn't speak, but she acts.
I think that's the key point in selecting these two passages is that we learn more about our priorities and where Christ fits in, not by what we say how often and passionately. We tell the Lord. We love him, but by what we do so is take a look at Mary Mary. You also had pressures in life, competing vigorously for her attention as we do. That's what makes it hard to put Christ first. Other things can seem to be also very urgent, but the daily choices that that you make in your life will reveal, whom you love the actual choices that you made. That's what really demonstrates where your heart is so in Luke chapter 10 how you spend your time reveals your heart for the Lord. And there's attention here that we face in our lives every single day, multiple times a day. The tension is between what is urgent and what is important.
That shows up already beginning in verses 38 and 39 Al Qaeda pass as they went. This is Jesus and his disciples that he entered into a certain village and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house doesn't even tell us what village this is how we know from other stories about this family. But Luke doesn't tell us because is not important. This could be any village. This could be any day.
This could be anybody on this occasion, it's special because Christ is walking in but for us it's like any day because every single day you live you have the opportunity to put Christ first.
That's the opportunity that came to this family and so are already introduced the Martha who received him into her house, but 3039 tells us she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word.
Mary just made a choice.
I was nonexclusive. Many modern translations choose to leave out the word.
Also but it's in the text. Mary also sat at Jesus feet means the sitting at his feet was in addition to something else. She was doing but it doesn't tell us what that is explicitly I think the context would tell us. Martha welcomed him into their house. Mary also welcomed him into the house and that is she was also doing the things that you would do as a host, welcoming him were going to find late.
Later the next verse. What Martha is doing and I think the assumption we have to I have here is that Mary was doing those things to but she's doing something else as well. As she recognize that there was a need to make some preparations for dinner and she was helping it to a certain extent.
She also recognize there's something else I could do that is listen to Jesus and Mary made a decision. She chose her priority besides taking care of the other things that life would demand.
She also sat at Jesus, why would she do that because Jesus always has something to say wake up in the morning, you got a decision to make. One of my going to do first. I got some work to do. Have I got some responsibilities I haven't fulfilled that I need to get done before things get rolling today and I wonder Jesus has anything to say to me today from his word. Are you and scratch out that second question, the answer is always, of course he does. Spending some time then in his word is choosing your priority. Putting that as the most important thing you have to do all among other things that are also important maybe, but also necessary.
But here's the challenge.
Sometimes those things can seem more urgent, urgent is not the same as important to establish her priority by what you actually think is most important. Mary said, as his feet. She's a learner sitting there. That's a position of humility. She was listening, that is, she is focused at that time.
My guess think this is legitimate is that Christ was probably speaking loudly enough that Mary that Martha, as she carried on her responsibilities, was able to hear and is she interested in what Christ has to say because she is so she's catching a snippet here and she passes into the next part of the house and comes back again and here is that all that was good and and so she's also hearing Mary this there is a focus of attention. There that tells us something about Mary's heart.
She has chosen her priority and you have that same option every single day.
You can choose to focus on Christ. But there's also also another alternative you can also focus on other things, those of the things that can seem important and can seem more urgent. That's where we find Martha verse 40 Martha was cumbered about much serving, came to him and said, Lord just now not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone, bid her therefore that she help me that Martha is cumbered about much serving implies that she is going out of her way. This is not just going to be meat, potatoes and a vegetable. This is going to be good. After all, it's for the Lord and see how we can excuse our priorities by saying I'm serving the Lord in what in these other things that I'm doing she's cumbered about much serving she's going into details about things that don't have to be done. This is more than what is needful. This is going beyond what is required but she wants to do her best. Is that commendable course. It is, what if it's distracting from what's more important, I guess, is that Martha got caught up in these and this much serving, without ever stopping to think.
Now if I do that I will be able to spend time here.
We could probably do without that on the menu that gives me some time to focus on Christ. I don't think she ever made that calculation she just sees the urgency and she gets involved in it all and I can also do this and I can do that too and that ought to take place first.
She just never gets to sit Christ never gets around to this, to what he has to say what she does next than is remarkable.
She's cumbered about much serving, she sees Mary sitting there and so she walks up as you got something to say to Christ. First of all, she's interrupting him he's teaching and now she's got something to teach Lord does not not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone question is that McCarthy does edgy things he does she think she's sitting there thinking Mary Kaman will just see that there's work to be done, what are you doing sitting here I know you care about that Lord is her implication. So now she has some instruction for the Lord.
So let me tell you what to do, Lord, that will alleviate the situation in case you hadn't noticed, there is something you could do tell her therefore that she help me and everything is going to be fine think there's probably some pride at work here in Martha's heart. This is going to be a dinner to remember all the way, I can do all this myself and so now she becomes critical of her sister. She's become irritated and I think also irritated with Christ he ever get irritated with the Lord like Lord. I think I've got too much to do. I know you're in control of all things, but didn't you know that these professors were all going to assign more work than is reasonable to put up with one or two of those, but Lord, don't you get your work in their hearts that she takes it upon herself to instruct him. But where the real point here is that where's her focus is on me the wrong place you choose your priority. Christ wants your attention that Martha is expecting some help from Mary.
Instead what she gets is a rebuke from Jesus.
Now it's a gentle, but it's firm and the message is clear in verse 41.
Martha is wrong.
She has changed her priorities are wrong. Yes, life can be stressful and Jesus acknowledges that he is a realist. He says Martha Martha, the repeated name there is is like slow down Martha, let's assess the situation accurately, thou art careful and troubled about many things and I know you really want to do your best. Martha, you missed the most important thing one thing is needful. Verse 41. Yes, life can be stressful but he must be central. No matter how much is going on in your life. One thing is needful. We have to have God's help to discern what is nice from what is necessary now. Christ identifies what is that one thing, it's the thing that Mary has chosen, she is now a points to her as an example, that one thing is time with Christ and our day.
Not physically sitting in front of him, but opening his word and asking him what did you have for me today.
What do I need to know what do I need to change in my life and he always has something to say, price final words than invite Martha to change her priority right thing for Martha to do at that moment would have been Lord, you're right that you forgive me. I don't have to be doing these other things right now. This will be good enough and she should've plopped right down on the floor and looked up and said what do you have to say to me today change your priority, it's an invitation to Martha the way his phrase this it shall not be taken away from the one who is chosen the right don't you want to join Mary. I think it's an invitation for all of us. Martha's Lord, you're right.
I've gotten off track. I've gotten off balance may relieve some anxiety a few minutes ago.
I've already decided when I couldn't get to the second passage and I disappointed Al schooled myself all the way home I should've move through this faster, but we can't do justice to Mark 14. Although there is a similar lesson.
There was a little different point point there is how you use your thing reveals your heart so I'll let you explore that herself and instead I want to come back to how you use your time saw something remarkable.
One year when I was a an undergrad student in the dormitory. There was a roommate that was nothing special and he just decided that that year, every afternoon in his schedule worked out most of his classes in the morning in his study time was in the afternoon is like Everett whatever he was gonna schedule everybody wanted he actually got it. That semester, and so every afternoon. He's got all this work to do for all the classes that are coming up again tomorrow morning and he decided that that year he was going to spend an extra hour in God's word… On top of already devoting himself to the Lord and spending time in his word first thing in the morning you never miss that. He just decided it wasn't was motivating him is that he was getting acquainted with the new American Standard, and he always use the King James and so he was they wanted to compare the two and he was part of his study as he compared passage by passage is writing in and do is King James Bible. Those pay places where he thought the new American Standard gave them good insight is quite a few places this is kinda tedious but he is working through Anita subsided this year.
That's what I have to do both for I start my homework seemed crazy take an hour out of your available study time. What's going to do to your GPA far as I know he didn't. Did you ever did this before and never did it again. You don't have to do that exercise one time and I asked him one time server any day where you thought I don't think I can do it today. I think I need to just get rated I got too much to do so yeah there are those days and I'm really tempted but he said I found that by God's grace I made this commitment by God's grace. If I put him first. Somehow he can help me to get everything else pay the key there is by God's grace. What you going to survive this semester. Anyway, you had all the time in the world that you wanted to prepare for every class you'd still need God's grace, yet it to understand everything that you need to know from your classes get the promise of God's great, put him first, like Martha, I would expect you might have something to confess to the Lord. Now maybe you did okay this morning. Maybe you spent your time with the Lord and it was the first significant thing you did today.
Maybe you not establish that pack. Maybe you that boy. Sometimes you can get talked out of it.
I think I'm too busy today. Christ is telling us in this passage that's wrong understand I'm not saying you gotta take an hour in the afternoon as well that I was special that was him. That was then, for whatever opportunity you have and you decide that is the most important thing that is what I have to do for nothing ever get in the way of that is a high standard.
How you going to do that though forgive you for the past how you going to make a change. That's actually going to last a lifetime going to need his help transition to the prayer time now, I'd like to take just a couple of moments of quiet and just let you tell the Lord what he needs to hear from you right now in response to what we've seen in this passage of the grace he gave Mary he has that same grace available for you both about for prayer. You tell the Lord what he needs to hear from you right now. Father, we are thankful that you are long-suffering with us is nothing in this passage that we didn't already know and yet father we can look at our daily choices and they tell us our priorities are not yet in line. Father, we asked for forgiveness asked for grace to trust you that if we put you first, you will enable us to get everything else done that needs to be done to help us in assessing and then and then demonstrating what is most important bother me that be you.
We pray in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by seminary professor Dr. Gary Rivers, which is part of the seminary chapel series entitled New Testament servants chosen and equipped.
I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform, the Bob Jones University school for continuing online and professional education offers convenient and affordable online programs.
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Listen again tomorrow as we continue the seminary series New Testament servants chosen and equipped here on The Daily Platform