Hi, this is Noel. Today Denise is going to contrast the Desire-led and Discipline-led motivations in the story of Martha and Mary. I am going to give you more practice with the 1st step in Bible study by going over Example 3.
You can either read the Lesson or watch the video. To take notes either print out the Lesson, follow along in the book, or use a separate piece of paper to write out the answers to the questions below.
Example: Martha and Mary
The story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10 contrasts the Desire-led and Discipline-led approaches to devotion.
For a long time I [D] did not like the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible. Especially around the holidays when I would spend extra time and effort baking, cooking special meals, decorating, and cleaning. I would do these things in service of the family, but it seemed like this Bible passage minimized my efforts. Then God gave me a better understanding of the story. The story is in Luke 10:38-42.
Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 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!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (NIV)
You can imagine how Martha and Mary were excited! Jesus was going to be a guest in their home. Martha thought, "Jesus is coming to my home, how can I please Him? I know, I'll make Him a beautiful meal. Then He will know how much I love Him."
On the other hand Mary thought, "Jesus is going to be a guest in our home, how can I please Him? I know. I'll just be with Him. I'll sit at His feet and dote on Him. I'll hang on His every word then He will know how much I love Him."
Martha had more of a Discipline-led focus. She was focused on herself--how she could serve and what she could give. Mary was more Desire-led with her focus more on Jesus and what she could learn from Him. As we see from the story, Mary had her fingers on Jesus' pulse.
The Discipline-led approach to devotion is sort of like a husband who buys his wife tires for her birthday. He is being generous but he probably does not have his fingers on her pulse. Instead, if he were to say, "Your birthday is coming up and I would just love to spend time with you. How about if I take you to a beautiful hotel and just treat you?" Most women would love that gift.
I think the reason the Martha and Mary story made it into the Bible, is that Jesus is a guest in our hearts. How are we going to please Him? Are we going to focus on ourselves and what we can do for Him, or are we going to focus on Him and what we can learn from Him? We will certainly do things for Him but where is our focus?
Don't you know that if Martha had gone to Jesus and said, "I'm not sure what to do. I want to make you a beautiful meal, but I also want to be with you. What should I do?" Jesus could have helped her. If He fed 5,000, don't you know He could have handled 12 or so? Martha missed the chance to be with Him.
Skill Time: Seeing the Facts, Example 3
There are four steps in devotional Bible study. We are focusing on the 1st step--Seeing the Facts of the passage. Look at the Bible passage below and write down what you see. There are no wrong answers. If you see something, write it down.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. (NASB)
What do you see in the Bible passage?
Watch the video or check the answers below to compare what you see in the passage with what we get.
Next time, Denise will talk about the example of Jesus and the Father and I'll talk about Seeing Facts in the Bible, Example 4.
If you are stuck, reply to this email and ask a question.
Skill Time: Bible Passage (Your list can be different and shorter. More are presented here to help you get the idea.)
He is talking about the Name of the Lord
The name of the Lord is compared to a strong tower