DayBreaks for 4/21/16 – Finding the One Needful Thing
From the DayBreaks archive, 4/21/2006:
Luke 10:41-42 (NLT) – But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! 42 There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won’t take it away from her.
As I write this, it is Easter Sunday afternoon. As was true of churches all over America, we had more people in church today than on almost any other day of the year. It happens that way every year. It is at one and the same time both a delight to every preacher and a frustration. It’s a delight to see people that you’ve not seen come for some time when they come through the door. It’s great to meet new people who may need to know about Jesus. And it’s great to get to preach the Word at any time.
But it’s also frustrating because it points out how frivolously some people take their faith. They will show up for Easter and Christmas…and other than a funeral or wedding throughout the year, that’s about it. Why? I’m sure there are a lot of reasons, and while I know that in the verse above, Jesus rebuked Martha for being “upset” over many details, I think he would criticize many of us for being “obsessed” by so many things. Perhaps distracted is more accurate.
I look at families who are extremely irregular in their church attendance. They often have kids who are involved with soccer, football, baseball, gymnastics, cheerleading and other things. It used to be that sports leagues had the decency to not have such things on Sunday because there was a respect for Sunday as a day of worship. No longer. And so many of these parents yield their God-given responsibility to raise their kids in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” so that their kids can participate in sports or hobbies. The parents often believe that they’re just being supportive of their kids, and, in a way, they are. But are they being supportive in the things that really matter? What’s more important – God and worshipping him, learning about Christ and the faith, or kicking one more goal? I fear greatly for many of these kids. They are learning from their folks many wrong lessons – such as, “There are many wonderful things in life you can do, and church is just one of them. But if you decide you’d rather participate in some organized activity rather than going to church, I’ll support your decision.” For most of those kids, the day will come when their parents wonder why their children have no faith – certainly not a faith that will sustain them when life gets hard and the enemy spreads his lies. The answer will be simple: it will be because their parents failed in their God-given responsibility to model the Christian life and to insist that their children attend church and participate in spiritual things as a priority over earthly pursuits.
Jesus told Martha that there was only one thing worth being concerned about…and that Mary, by sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning and worshipping, had chosen that one thing. The one thing that is needful for each generation is not to play organized sports or be part of some club, but to know Christ and Him crucified and risen from the dead. I fear a dreadful judgment for parents who fail in this most sacred of responsibilities, and for the children whose parents didn’t have the spiritual insight to see how their “support” for what their children wanted to do could cost them in eternity. If children haven’t established a faith in Christ by the time they are 18, the odds are that they never will come to know Him.
What are you teaching your children is the one needful thing in life?
PRAYER: We are so easily distracted, Lord, from being with you. We find and use every excuse to abandon you and fail to worship and fellowship with other Christians. Open our eyes to the effect that our actions have on our children. Help us to hunger and thirst after righteousness and not vicarious experiences through our children’s lives. Forgive us and renew our commitment to putting You first, now and forever, in our lives. We pray that you’ll draw our children to you and that they will come to know you, love you, and follow you all the days of their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.