Article 45

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What we Believe







"Seeking or Service?"

Luke 10:38-42

We live in an age quite different from that of our Lord and the apostles, yet many things remain the same. Many of the Jews in Paul’s day were ignorant of God’s righteousness and being so busy "going about to establish their own righteousness" they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God in Christ. Even so it is with many people today who are religiously zealous toward God. Herein we see the worst of human blindness and spiritual death. It is a religious deception that damns the soul when zeal has nothing more than spiritual ignorance as its impetus, especially when there is ignorance of God’s righteousness. This fact is known and recognized by those who believe Christ by God’s grace. However, there is another fact, probably not quite so known and recognized as the other, which, although not necessarily damning it can be stifling to the soul. It is the fact that being cumbered with much service can cause one to miss truth, which vitally sustains the regenerated heart and mind.

With the hustle and bustle of our day it is quite easy for believers to become far too one sided, even as did Martha in the account of the text. It is true that we live in an age which seems to have all but lost common hospitality and a desire for the well being, comfort, and need of others. This self-centered attitude can, sadly, find its way into the life of believers and great care should be taken to avoid it. No believer in Christ would deny or reject the need for good hospitality. Being given to hospitality and being a lover of it is a must in a bishop or pastor (I Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8) and is a part of the reasonable service of every believer (Rom. 12:13) to actually be put in use without grudge among believers (I Pet. 4:9). The hospitality of strangers can be far more than helping a weary soul for one never knows whom God might cause to cross their path (Heb. 13:2). This does not mean we are to take into our home every traveler coming down the pike. In this age certain safeguards must be taken for the sake of the safety of the family. Nevertheless, hospitality is only one small part of the life of the believer.

In Martha’s case, she had become cumbered [dragged frantically about and distracted] about providing plenty of hospitality. It is one thing to be so, and one might understand this, especially with a rather large crowd of at least thirteen or more people to feed showing up on her doorstep. Her true trouble arose, however, as she even unwittingly attempted to deny her sister an unhampered hearing of the words of our Lord. She even attempted to accuse our Lord Himself of somehow taking part in what she considered to be Mary’s slothfulness and would demand of God that He fulfill her wants. Oh what a sad state when we speak before we truly contemplate the situation. What a glorious thing indeed it should be to see one’s family member caught up with God’s own word, even if it means extra work for me at the moment. In fact, it should have been seen a great privilege to so serve the Lord and His disciples. Do we sometimes forget whom we serve and privilege becomes chore? Do we not also sometimes chose service over seeking when seeking would enrich our souls and inform us of proper service. One thing is indeed needful and that is the hearing of the word of God, which birthed us and delivers us (Js. 1:18-21). Mary chose to learn at the feet of Christ and she would not be denied that benefit. Let us so chose and not be denied. All else will find its proper place, time and importance there, hearing Christ at His feet.

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