By Yang Zi
The Bible records: “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was encumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
After reading these verses, I had a deep feeling and kept thinking: If I were born in the age of the work of the Lord Jesus, when meeting the Lord, I would be busy giving Him hospitality just like Martha did. But why did the Lord Jesus not approve Martha’s practice, but said Mary had chosen that good part which could not be taken away from her? I didn’t understand these questions all along. Only after reading a passage of God’s word did I have some enlightenment.
God’s word said: “Does a person who has not yet obtained the truth possess the truth in his or her heart? What do people without the truth rely on in their actions? How can the positive deeds they do when fulfilling their duty be categorized? Are they practicing the truth? (No.) Then what are they doing? Are they putting forth effort or not? This is equivalent to God hiring a worker to exert effort for Him. If you are not pursuing the truth and have not entered the reality of the truth, then you are simply exerting effort! Does God wish to see the people whom He wants to save merely exert effort for Him, rather than practice in accordance with His utterances and satisfy His requirements and achieve salvation? Does God wish to see such a scenario? (No.) Why does He not want to? (God created humans so that He would gain them.) These words are correct; God created humans so that He would gain them. God created all things to be enjoyed by humans, not so that people would put forth their efforts.”
From these words I saw that what God values is that we could heed and love His words, pursue the truth and obey His work, practice the truth to satisfy Him and achieve His salvation in the end. He doesn’t care how many outward good behaviors and practices we have before Him. No matter how well we practice on the outside, if we don’t have the truth, we are just exerting strength and God will not approve us. Because we have been corrupted profoundly by Satan, before getting the truth, we are all hostile to God and what we live out and reveal is simply the corrupt disposition of Satan. We often have intents and impurity in the impetus of what we do, acting for the sake of fame, fortune and status or getting God’s grace and blessings, instead of truly revering and obeying God. Therefore, even though we run around exerting ourselves for God and bustle on the outside, God will be displeased. Just like Martha, she was just busy doing things, but she did not pay attention to listening to the Lord Jesus preach and His words. Thus, no matter how much effort she put, she still couldn’t be beloved by God. As for Mary, it was because she thirsted for God’s word, always focused on listening to the Lord preach and kept His word in her heart that she did one thing which made the Lord Jesus most satisfied before He was crucified—anointing the Lord’s head with the most precious ointment to His burying. Only Mary grasped the Lord’s will, and gained His approval. So the Lord Jesus said: “Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Later I saw God’s words: “When you’re together with Christ, perhaps you can serve Him three meals a day, perhaps serve Him tea, attend to His life’s needs, seemingly treating Christ as God. Whenever something happens, people’s viewpoints are always contrary to God’s. They always fail to understand God’s viewpoint, fail to accept it. Though people might get along with God on the surface, this doesn’t mean that they are compatible with Him. As soon as something happens, the truth of man’s disobedience emerges, confirming the hostility that exists between man and God.” Checking my service against God’s words, I saw that I had been satisfied with just preaching and working for the Lord, and only paid attention to such external actions as sacrificing, and donating and helping others. But I had not paid attention to reading more of God’s words, grasping His will, and knowing God’s work from His words to achieve an understanding of God. As a result, when encountering something unfavorable or something that was in conflict with self-interest in real life, as I didn’t understand God’s will or requirements, nor seek His will, I often involuntarily complained against God, misunderstood Him, and even said that what God did was not righteous, with the result that I committed sins and resisted God but was not aware. At this moment, I understood that suffering and sacrificing outwardly didn’t equate to practicing the truth, much less did it equate to obeying God. The sacrifices that I made in this way couldn’t attain God’s approval, and even more seriously, because of my producing notions about God, I would offend and resist God at any time and in any place, and be rejected by Him, losing His promises and blessings.
The Lord said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Clearly, God comes to earth to work chiefly in order to bestow truth on us, watering and supplying us. He expects us to heed His words, understand His will and requirements from His words, and at last, we can practice His words to accord with God’s intentions. When receiving the life bestowed by God, we will never be deceived and tempted by Satan, but can discern its deceitful scheme, be loyal to God absolutely, worship and obey Him fully. I thought back to when God created Adam and Eve in the very beginning. God instructed them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because they would surely die if they ate. However, when Satan came to tempt them, as they did not listen to God and did not have His words as life, they followed Satan and betrayed God. At last, they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, living a life cursed by God. It is clear that a person not having gotten the truth isn’t the one who belongs to God, much less the overcomer triumphing over Satan. How could such ones receive God’s blessings and be taken up to the kingdom of heaven?
Therefore, if we want to choose the best blessings, we must listen to God’s words and practice His words. This is the most important. The Lord Jesus said: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister….” (Matthew 20:28). It confirms that when God comes to earth to work, He comes not to enjoy the service of us, but express words to supply and save us, and at last works His truth inside us to be our life. This is God’s will, and much more His great grace and uplifting for us.
The Lord Jesus prophesied: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12-13). We can know from the Lord’s words that when the Lord returns, He will speak and utter His words to lead us to understand more truth. Thus, we should listen to God’s voice carefully, seek and investigate His work, receive the salvation of God’s word and gain the truth as life, becoming the ones who truly worship and obey God. Only then could we truly enjoy the best blessings bestowed by God and be raptured into the kingdom of heaven.
Thank you for your reading! That’s all for today’s sharing. I hope every brother and sister can get the best blessings from God soon. Let’s get together next time!