As we said last week, we want #LiveFully to be part of a Kingdom movement that makes communities stronger. We want to live as Kingdom ambassadors by loving others, spreading peace, and putting broken things back together.
We need to be careful, however, not to forget the one thing that really matters if we hope to bring God’s Kingdom to our neighborhoods, the nations, and the next generation. Many Christians today are passionate about things like feeding the hungry, setting captives free, and rebuilding homes. These are all great and worthwhile Kingdom causes, and by no means am I wanting to discourage you from those things.
The problem, however, is that I’ve heard many Christians say, “all that really matters is that we love people.” Again, loving people is important, but it is only the second greatest commandment. Jesus gives us the first and greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
You want to experience Kingdom living in your community? Then start by loving the King. Unfortunately, many of us focus so much on work and service (both good things!) that we forget about Jesus. In Luke 10:38-42, we see this happening inside the home of Mary and Martha.
“One thing is necessary”
“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 and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Most of us know how Martha felt. As a teenager, I remember my mother telling my sister, brother, and me to clean the kitchen. It was anarchy, a constant battle of pointing fingers. “I’ve already done the dishes, Lindsey hasn’t done anything!” and “How come Evan doesn’t have to sweep the floor?” and “Why is Taylor playing video games already?”
Martha is busy serving. She is working to feed people, create a comfortable home, and make people happier. Her sister, on the other hand, is doing nothing but sit at the feet of Jesus. When I first read this story, I was surprised that Jesus did not take Martha’s side. I expected him to tell Mary, “you need to help your sister.”
Instead, he responded with something completely revolutionary, “one thing is necessary.”
If we hope to represent God’s Kingdom well, if we want to make our communities stronger, if we want to love people with the love of Christ then there is only one thing that is necessary: we must sit at the feet of Jesus.
Some will argue that service is more important, but Jesus is clear. We are to seek the King above all other things.
Life at the Feet of Jesus
When we choose to sit at his feet, several amazing things happen.
- Our relationship with him grows stronger: Relationships are built upon the bricks of respect and quality time. The better we know Jesus, the better we’ll be able to represent him to the world.
- We become more like Jesus: The more time I spend around someone, the more I become like them. I have found this to be true of good people and bad – we are influenced by those we draw near to. The more time we spend at Christ’s feet, the more his Spirit can work in our hearts to transform us into his image. As we become more like Jesus, it will become impossible not to represent the Kingdom well.
- Our hearts for others will grow: Jesus is the perfect example of love. He is love. Sitting at his feet will only increase our capacity to love others.
We may be tempted to think, “if I focus all my energies on Jesus, then I won’t ever spend time loving people.” But this is clearly not the case. By focusing on Jesus, our capacity to help and love others can only increase. It is impossible to love Jesus and not love people. When we put him first, serving others will cease to be a chore, and start to become one of our greatest joys.
This can actually be rather comforting. I want to help make the world a better place, but I often get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. But Jesus makes it simple: we start with Him. He will take care of the calling, the details, the gifting, and the passion. We need to focus on Him.
In the future, as we get practical about building communities and living fully, don’t forget the foundation. It starts with seeking Jesus with your whole heart. If you do that, you’ll be enabled beyond belief to change the world.
Leave a comment: What is your favorite way to connect with Jesus?