Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Luke 10:38-42, where the Bible says,    

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “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.”


The reading today seems to be straightforward, right? When it comes to what really matters and endures in life, there is one thing that supersedes them all. And, in our text, Mary received it. In the translation above it says she chose “the good portion.” I like that. “Portion” is a word that often relates to dinner, to eating. Did you take the good portion of the prepared meal? Jesus uses the word amidst Martha’s efforts at preparing dinner; he contrasts her good food with the food of His teaching for her and for all. He’s gently sharing with Martha, as well as with you and me, that WHEN THIS SAVIOR IS IN YOUR MIDST AND HIS SUPERLATIVE FOOD IS AVAILABLE, WE SHOULD SET EVERYTHING ELSE ASIDE. There’s nothing like being with Him, hearing His life-giving Word, and receiving His love as a gift of grace. NOTHING. DON’T MISS IT because nothing else compares.

What must it have been like to sit in Jesus’ presence? That was the place of blessing. Those were life and salvation moments that would last a lifetime and more.  So, today, we too should assume the position. Take time to sit at the feet of Jesus in personal devotion and worship.  Like Mary, choose the good portion of Jesus’ teaching and hear of His love for you. It’s the only thing that lasts! It’s not that Jesus was devaluing Martha’s work. He was just putting it into proper perspective. We do the same when we pray to be strengthened in faith toward God AND fervent love toward one another. We pray, first and foremost, for a faith that sits at the feet of the Savior and receives His mercy, forgiveness, life, and salvation as the gifts that they are. Then we get to work, not to solidify that relationship, but to express His love through us to others.

So, think about it this way today: Did you notice how Martha’s “good stuff” was taking place in the kitchen? But Jesus BEST GIFT was there in the living room. It’s as if one room has priority over the other. Now, I remember the joys of both rooms in our home when I was growing up. It was great to eat mom’s cooking in the kitchen. It was great to talk with my parents over a cup of coffee. But it was even better to sing Christmas and Easter songs by the piano in the living room with my family, our friends, and our guests. It was great to have a devotion from God’s Word about life’s ultimate matters as we gathered around the fire place, cozy on the sofa amidst those who loved us. Maybe our text is suggesting that being alive in Christ calls us to prioritize the things of the “LIVING ROOM,” the place where we sit at the feet of the Savior, receiving His words and gifts, and engaging in prayer time with Him. After receiving the best portion first, we then move out to “the kitchen” where we practice hospitality IN HIM for others.

But, no matter how you envision it, the point is this: One thing matters, it’s not a good, better, best thing at all. It’s an “only thing,” and it’s the ONE thing that only Jesus can provide for you, and for all, himself as your savior. One thing is needed. Why? Because it empowers everything else. It sustains everything else. It then directs everything else. That one thing starts with being a receiver of all the things that God has done for you in Christ Jesus by grace through faith. That’s what gives courage and strength to venture out into this world with a real gusto to serve those whom He brings into your life.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, above all else, give me a greater sense of the importance of Your great work for me and for all through Your cross and resurrection. By it, empower me to put that grace and love to work in my life for others. AMEN.

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