Choose Jesus First

Have you read the story in scripture of Jesus, Martha and Mary? Martha is busy taking care of Jesus and His disciples while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus. Martha, most likely with a tone of frustration, asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her.

Jesus answered, ‘Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:41-42 NKJV

For the longest time, this story really rubbed me the wrong way.

I could completely understand Martha’s position. After all, someone has to make sure there’s food on the table or we’d all be hungry. When guests arrive, someone has to see to their needs. If we all just sit around talking, nothing will get done. It’s just not fair to call out Martha when Mary is not pulling her fair share of the workload. Poor Martha.

Then one day God opened my eyes. Jesus didn’t say ‘Martha, you are fussing with serving dinner and setting a pretty table’. He said “Martha you are worried and troubled about many things…”

Jesus was speaking into her life, not just the moment.

Maybe God was addressing an issue of the heart that only He could see.  Could it be that Martha was busy proving her worth, controlling the situation, desiring to impress so she could feel valued?

Can you relate? I sure can.

  • If I throw the perfect dinner party and set the perfect table, people will value me. 
  • If I keep a perfect house, people will value me.
  • If I volunteer, people will value me.
  • If I join this organization, people will value me. 
  • If I raise perfect children, people will value me.
  • If I stand out at work, people will value me.

It’s not that doing well, serving well, being excellent at what we do is a bad thing. It’s that it can become our focus, our idol – pulling us away from time at the table with God. It becomes the junk food we consume masking the hunger of our soul that’s truly craving a healing meal with God.

Or maybe the issue of her heart was that Martha was keeping herself busy to avoid having to look Jesus in the eye and face the truths of deeper things she was worried about.

When we’re wrestling with conviction, we might use distractions as excuses to not have time to sit with God because we aren’t ready to get real and raw with Him about it.

Examples of excuses might look like…

  • Grabbing your phone or tablet for a quick run through email or a few minutes to scroll through social media that ends up consuming our available time in the morning.
  • Lingering in bed as long as you can to avoid the pain or hurt you don’t want to face or deal with.

Eventually we all, like Martha, come to a breaking point and ask God to fix it! That’s when He says, “I’m here. Are you ready to come sit with Me? I have much to pour into you.”

Imagine if Martha had chosen time with Jesus first, along with Mary. They would have welcomed Him into their home and immediately sat with Him, talking about things of God; gleaning wisdom, receiving a healing word, and gaining eternal value.

At some point Jesus would have said, “I’m getting hungry, are you?”.  The meal would have been served with everyone pitching in. The table wouldn’t have been magazine worthy, but it would have been all God desired the table to be. The meal may not have been Food Network worthy, but it would have been soul satisfying.

Choosing to grab the hand of Jesus so He can walk us to God’s table first, sets us up to be ready to take the extended hand of Jesus for the rest of the day.

Let’s choose to sit with Him today.


Use these questions to chat with God. Let Him bring you into a closer relationship with Him.

  • What are you tempted to choose before taking time to sit and be with God?
  • Maybe you start the day at the table with Him, but do you ask Him to direct your day or just consume a daily scripture like a lukewarm cup of coffee you down as you run out the door.
    • Ask God to show you what He wants you to see.
  • The last time you missed your time at His table, or cut your time short, did you recognize the unsatisfied hunger of your soul and the subsequent default of choosing junk food to satisfy the hunger later in the day?
    • Journal how that day or experience went.
This is an excerpt from Tami’s book “Feeding a Hungry Soul – Conversations at a Table for Two”

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