The Samuel Project (Day 17): God Speaks to Martha

Mothering, homeschooling, housekeeping, writing – all good things. They are ways in which I serve. And, just when I’m expecting a pat on the back, I get a step on the toes. Not everything good is best and sometimes priorities get all out of whack. Sometimes, a person needs to be reminded.

Christ followers are called to more than acts of service. We are called to be servants. Yes, there is a difference. Being a servant has to do with attitude more than actions. In order to have the proper attitude, we must spend time with the master.

What I Read:

Luke 10:38-42

What He Said:

We have all done it. We have grumbled because someone did not adequately acknowledge our acts of service. We follow the letter, but not the spirit, of the command to serve others. During this conversation with Martha, we find that we cannot serve properly until we have spent time with the Lord. A true servant is, first and foremost, a worshiper.

If we do not put worship ahead of service, two things will happen:

  1. We will become distracted. 
  2. We will become bitter.

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” – Luke 10:40 HCSB

Do you see it? The ESV translation says that Martha was distracted with much serving. If we are not people of worship, our acts of service distract us from the savior. We become distracted and then we become bitter. I’ll admit to having a little Martha in me. I’m not proud of it. Lord, don’t you see all that I’m doing? Lord, why doesn’t so-and-so have to take care of these things? Blah, blah, blah. Trust me, it’s not pretty. So, without worship, servants become distracted and bitter.

Why worship?

  1. It is the only thing necessary.
  2. It will not be taken away.

The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

Worship is necessary. The Lord said that Mary, the worshiper, made the right choice. The NIV states that Mary made the better choice. Worship ensures that our hearts are right and that the motives behind our acts of service are pure.

Let’s make sure we are making the better choice. The goal is not to be servants, but to be worshipers who serve.


This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

4 thoughts on “The Samuel Project (Day 17): God Speaks to Martha

  1. Every time I read this story, I feel Martha’s frustration. I always think if Martha hadn’t been preparing the meal, who would have. I have often been known as the responsible person in a group. People expect me to be prepared to have things done on time or provide needed things. They expect that because I usually am that person. I struggle with knowing I should have a desire to be Mary, when I am Martha. How do I become Mary? How do I change who I am?

    • I totally get that. Someone has to clean the toilet, right? I think, for me, it’s a heart issue. I don’t know that Mary never helped but, in that moment, she chose to spend time with The Lord. I think sometimes we choose our responsibilities or tasks over Him. The key is not to stop being responsible. The key is to recognize when our hearts are becoming distracted or bitter. When that happens, we know we have not been making the better choice.

  2. So true, sometimes being a missionary, worship leader, a blogger, a follower of Christ, a mom, a teacher, a cook, oh goodness! You know the list just goes on and on, but I think it’s so important to remember that God wants us to spend that time with Him, especially in worship. And I love that thought of being a WORSHIPPER who SERVES. What a way to put it into perspective. Thanks for the reminder!

Leave a Reply