Dost Thou Not Care?

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said,

Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?

bid her therefore that she help me.

Luke 10:40

 

“Dost thou not care?” The words still ring in my ear!

“Dost thou not care?” How could I have said such a thing

To the Holy Son of God; my Savior and Friend, so dear?

“Dost thou not care?” To the One who bore my sting!

 

“Dost thou not care?” It played over and over

Every time we met, I can hear them still:

“Dost thou not care?” Till my heart can bear it no more!

“Dost thou not care?” There on Calvary’s hill!

 

Oh, how He cares! Even in the rebuke He made,

His love showed clear, in His voice, in His eyes.

When He came once again, and we stood near the grave,

And we talked of my loss, of a brother’s last goodbye,

 

And I saw it afresh, as He stood there and wept.

How could I ever have thought less?

Oh, how He cared for each soul that He met.

Every word, look, and touch was love’s caress.

 

Oh, how He cares, and cares, and cares!

He cares with a perfect will and way,

His purpose for coming was to show that He cares!

Though I did not see it on that horrible day.

 

“Dost thou not care?” Though it plagues me still,

It serves as a goad to prod my sinful heart,

And turns my thoughts, my way, and my will:

To show His loving kindness and to do my part.

 

Dost thou not care–Oh yes! He cares!

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That Good Part

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,

which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42

That good part always involves people, not things. That good part stops to talk with the elderly church member who lives alone and craves fellowship more than you are craving food because the preacher went longer than usual.

That good part calls the stay-at-home mom who is overwhelmed with those active little tykes, instead of spending more time on facebook.

That good part stops to talk with the cashier and show concern for her day even, though your day is out-of-control crazy, running way behind schedule.

That good part takes a meal to a shut-in, joins the choir, cleans the church, sends a note a fellow follower, offers a hand at the next church gathering, takes a turn in the nursery.

And what is it that we are so busy about?  I am such an expert at this because I am guilty of all of the above!  Our lives are so jam-packed with activity!  Why do we even put porches on our houses anymore? Certainly not to sit out there and relax!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  This Monday morning, I have purposed to STOP after a wonderful, wild, weekend full of great, memory making activities, and read the Bible for ME!  As a pastor’s wife, it’s easy to fall into the trap of reading the Bible for others: preparing for the children’s church, or the Ladies’ Sunday school class, or the Wednesday evening Master Club class, or a blog! But this morning was for ME!  It wasn’t much because I need to get busy :), but my time in God’s Word was just enough to keep my perspective on this coming holiday season. I need that good part more than the others who may benefit from it.  My heart is filled with joy for serving my Master, and once again I revel at my spot at His feet.

It isn’t by accident that Chapter Ten of Luke begins with Jesus sending out the seventy, and includes the words: Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.(20)  How our hearts should, first of all, rejoice in that fact that we are God’s blood-washed children!

Scene Two in the chapter is the story of the Good Samaritan.  What a wonderful follow-up to the previous account of the seventy, lest we get too proud in thinking that we have the corner on the market of serving! the seventy did amazing things–the Samaritan chose that good part.

And then God, the Heavenly Author of this Wonderful Book, concludes the chapter with the story of Mary and Martha!  I love these two women! I always find myself coming to Martha’s defense; however, Jesus’ final words in the chapter are certainly the capstones of the entire chapter:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

May you fill this entire holiday season with all those needful things, choosing that good part, and you will find that the joy, and understanding, and personal relationship with the God of the Universe and His Precious Son, shall not be taken away from YOU! Blessing to you all, and may your home and heart be filled with thankfulness!

It’s not WHAT you do, but WHO you are

Mary and Martha – Mary is the well known “sit at Jesus’ feet and anoint them with spikenard” girl.  As I study her life, I see the qualities of a sanguine personality: sociable, charismatic, a people-pleaser.  She has great spiritual insights and is immortalized by Christ for her actions; she understands and seeks “that one needful thing.”  Luke 10:42)

And then there’s Martha.  Dear Martha, the worried housekeeper, “cumbered about” and complaining to her Lord. Unfortunately, she is remembered for those fourteen infamous words:  “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?” (Luke 10: 40)

But if we will take a closer look at Martha, we find a lesson we all need to learn about heart service.

Three main incidences include both Mary and Martha:

  1. Martha’s cumbered about serving and Mary’s sitting at Jesus’ feet learning. (Luke 10:38-42)
  2. Martha’s conversation with Jesus before He raises her brother Lazarus from the dead.  It is here that we find those beautiful words: “Now Jesus loved Martha…” (John 11:1-53)
  3. Martha’s changed heart about serving just days before Jesus’ crucifixion  (12;1-8)

When she is first seen serving Jesus (and who knows how many others), she is serving a man – a good man, perhaps even a great man; certainly a prophet, but just a man.  Her later conversation with Jesus reveals that she believes that God will do whatever Jesus asks: “… I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee” (John 12:22)  She believes that God can do anything, but she has no idea of what the God-man is going to do for her TODAY!  Even when Jesus asks for the stone to be rolled away, practical Martha tells Jesus that Lazarus surely stinks, being dead for four days !

Aren’t we so often like Martha?  Yes, Lord, I know you saved me.  I know You created the world, but Who is going to help me get through today’s problem?  Martha was definitely NOT thinking that Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead, but He does and Martha is a different servant.

The last time Martha is mentioned, she is again serving.  There are no complaints this time, even though the crowd was probably bigger than ever.  Her risen brother is seated with Jesus at the table,  Mary is anointing Jesus’ feet, AND Martha is serving!!!   I can imagine the knowing look that passed between Jesus and Martha; He’s again saying, “I love you Martha!  Thank you for serving Me in YOUR way.” She now understands HOW to serve!!! What made the difference?  She knows her Savior and that He is worth serving even if it means serving alone!

Do you doubt why you are serving, or have you lost sight of Who you are serving?  Do you feel that your service isn’t as worthy as a more flamboyant server?  Take heart, dear friend!  He LOVES you! He sees your service and your heart! Remember all that He has already done in your life, and you will find the purpose and strength you need to serve with sacrifice.

Ps 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: