Written by Danielle Gamble
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’”
Every day we have to make decisions about how to spend our time. Will you finish that assignment or will you go out with your friends? Will you go for a run or will you get a little more sleep? In answering any of these questions, we establish priorities. We decide that friendships are more important than school or sleep is more important than exercise.
Now, another question:
Will you focus on your earthly life or the Lord and Giver of eternal life?
If something gets cut from your busy day, what is it? Are you more likely to skip a gathering of friends or time spent in God’s Word? Are you more likely to stay out late on a Saturday night or get some sleep to better apply yourself to listening and worshiping in the service on Sunday morning? If a book goes unread, is it your new favorite novel or the Bible? Giving in to our sinful nature we often make wrong decisions when it comes to questions such as these, failing to put our love for God above all else.
Thankfully, this error never occurs the other way around. Never does the Lord get too busy or too distracted to pay attention to us. He prioritized our salvation, sending His Son to suffer in order to save all people, and our well-being, welcoming us to cast all of our anxieties on Him.
The Lord prioritizes us because He loves us. It is written in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” Let us also then prioritize Him because He has prioritized us, being comforted in knowing that the Lord will continue to prioritize us, even when we fail to do the same for Him.
While juggling a busy schedule, how are we to make time to devote to the worship and the study of His Word? Surely there are things on this earth that should not be neglected. In going to school we nurture gifts God has given us; in going to work we provide for ourselves, our families, our public ministers, and those in need; in exercising we care for the bodies the Lord has given us; in maintaining friendships we live in Christian love, encouraging each other. These are all good things that can be done to the glory of God, and I am not suggesting they should be forgotten.
Certainly, we can encourage one another by studying God’s Word together with friends and family. What better time together could there be than that spent in the Word? Find a group of friends with whom you can gather to study the Bible and sing hymns, or create a habit of reading a devotion together with your family or roommates each day. Matthew 18:20 assures, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Each of us surely can devote half an hour to study God’s Word, fifteen minutes to read a devotion, or moments to approach the Lord in prayer. Most of us have God’s Word in our pockets all day – all it takes to spend time in His Word is downloading a Bible app on our phones. We can choose to spend our bus rides reading Scripture rather than scrolling through Instagram or we can choose to open our Bible app instead of Snapchat during our lunch breaks. We can leave a devotion book on our bedside table, reading it each morning or night. Sermons, chapels, and podcasts by CLC pastors are available through Youtube and Spotify. Many other resources for personal devotion and time in God’s Word are available to us online and in print (list at the end of this article). Let us take every opportunity to glorify the Lord and build up our faith through worship and the study of His Word, keeping Him at the forefront of our minds and reflecting His love in how we live our lives.
“BeneathTheTreesAtGethsemane” – Audio of “Daily Rest” Devotions (provided by Gethsemane, Spokane Valley, WA)
“Morning Chapels at ILC” – Audio recording of daily chapels at Immanuel Lutheran College, Eau Claire
“Burdens and Blessings Podcast” – discussing culture and current events in the light of God’s Word of Truth
“Twin Steeples” – a weekly podcast with devotion and announcements produced by Immanuel, Mankato
Video of Daily Chapels at ILC: search “ilcvideos” on YouTube
Walt Schaller’s “Minute Meditations” – www.minutemeditations.net
Print, Online, and Email:
The Lutheran Spokesman (monthly magazine) – www.lutheranspokesman.org
Ministry by Mail – weekly sermons by CLC pastors by mail, email, and online www.lutheransermons.org
Daily Rest – daily devotions written by CLC pastors, professors, and teachers
E-Devotions – daily devotions by CLC pastors and professors, sent to your email www.redeemerclc.info/ministries/
The Branches – quarterly magazine produced by women of the CLC