Women • Devo #6 • “Worship and Service Modeled”

The holidays are a time of year that should be cherished; however, oftentimes we end up dreading them instead. Our minds are so preoccupied with stress, that we forget to enjoy the little time we have together with our whole family. We may spend our day preparing the perfect meal or spending weeks of our time and a plethora of our money attempting to find the perfect gift for each of our loved ones. For each of us, the holidays look slightly different but overall, whether we like to admit it or not, we spend too much time and energy on the superficial things that we miss out on the things that carry more importance. By the time the holiday season is over and we finally get a chance to stop and reflect, we realize that we never stopped to take a second and enjoy it. Our priorities are way out of line. 

The same can be said of our spiritual lives. We spend so much time doing, that we fail to remember what we are doing it for, or more importantly Who we are doing it all for. We are called to serve and worship the Lord but if our minds are focused on the what and not the why then we have missed the whole point. The driving force behind our worship of the Lord and our service for the Kingdom must come directly from our love for God. Our mindset must be because we love Him we want to serve Him well and because we love Him we want to worship Him for all that He is. He gave it all for us so therefore we should be inspired to serve and worship Him with joy and fervency.

In 1 Samuel 12:24, the Bible tells us, “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” 

In Luke chapter 10, we see two sisters, Mary and Martha, who love Jesus with all of their hearts but the way they go about serving and worshiping Him differs greatly. Luke 10:38-40 (NIV) records, “[Jesus] 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.”

Martha served the Lord practically. She prioritized cooking Jesus the perfect meal and ensuring that her home was presentable when He arrived. Mary simply sat at Jesus’ feet and marveled at all He told her. Ultimately, Jesus clarified where both of the sisters’ priorities should lie. 

In Luke 10:41-42, Jesus informs the sisters of His observation, “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

It is imperative that we note Jesus’ distinction. He did not condemn Martha for her diligent work but showed her that sometimes there are more important things than physical labor or preparation. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and learned more about Him and the Scriptures. She had a more clear understanding of the Gospel due to what she prioritized. Martha’s heart was in the right place but she allowed herself to get caught up in what she was doing, instead of why or Who she was doing it for. 

Some of the best advice I ever received was from a mandatory chapel in college. A guest speaker, Stacey Foster, said, “Do not allow your doing to validate your being. Allow your being with God to validate your doing for God.” That message changed the way I looked at service and worship. It was then that it became clear to me that my identity as a recipient of the free gift of salvation by the grace of God needed to be my motivation behind any act of service or worship in my life. From that day forward I approached service and worship very differently and my hope is that today can be that day for you!

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