Reading: Martha was cumbered about much serving. Luke 10:40–41

The home of Mary and Martha in Bethany was a special place for Christ. He was always welcomed there as a special guest and an honoured friend. Mary sat at His feet and listened to Him, valuing the personal fellowship, whereas Martha was ready to serve in a practical and tangible way. 

Martha is to be commended for her willingness to serve the Lord, but her service had particular dangers. Due to her constant work she had become cumbered or distracted. She felt that the Lord did not care about her situation and that she was isolated and forsaken. She became filled with unnecessary care and troubles and neglected to put first things first. As Martha served the Lord she missed out with the Lord. Her sister Mary had chosen the good part, but Martha had become so distracted by her work for the Master that she failed in her fellowship with Him.

Personal fellowship with Christ remains vital for every servant of the Lord. The call of Psalm 46:10—“Be still, and know that I am God”—must always be heeded. Private prayer and personal reading of the word of God are indispensable aspects of effective and enjoyable Christian service. The happy man is the one who meditates in the law day and night, and it follows that “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). It was Christ who said to His disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Such time is time well spent. It is possible to be so busy, even in Christian work, that we have not time with Christ. If we are that busy, we are too busy. Our service for Christ should never take the place of our fellowship with Christ. We must choose the good part which shall not be taken from us.

“To be too little with God is to be too little for God.” E. M. Bounds

Taken from A Word in Season edited by Alan Cairns, 2010. Used by permission.