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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"It Will Not Be Taken Away"

December 3, 2010

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(Jesus said) - "But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.

In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

In the story of Mary and Martha, we might wonder why it seemed Jesus chided Martha, who was earnest about showing hospitality. Martha had received Jesus and His disciples into her home and was busy with all the details houseguests require. At the same time, Mary, her sister, sat at Jesus' feet listening intently to His teaching.

This didn't set well with Martha. After all, there was work to be done.

When Martha considered her own situation, she wondered why Jesus wasn't bothered that Mary wasn't lending a hand around the house. She said, "Don't You care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:40b).

Rather than agree with Martha and admonish Mary, Jesus commended Mary and said, "But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

How telling this response is from Jesus -- and over such a practical, everyday matter!

Martha didn't take the opportunity to nourish her own soul by listening to Jesus' words when He was with her. She was busy with the everyday routine of her physical world. She didn't realize Jesus came into her house to teach the Word of God, which alone can refresh and save the soul. "You are worried and upset about many things," Jesus said to her (Luke 10:41b). She was tending to the details but, unfortunately, missing the bigger picture -- the words of life Jesus was speaking that alone can nourish the soul.

How often we do the same. How often our preoccupation with everything but that which is necessary -- sitting at the Lord's feet and listening to Him speak the words of life -- is wrongly put first.

Jesus came to the house of Martha -- just as He comes to each of us -- to share God's Good News of salvation with those who will hear. The redemption from our sins offered by God through Jesus Christ demands our full attention, not a half-hearted, self-centered, "I'll get to it later" approach.

When it comes to choosing what is better, may we find ourselves sitting with Mary and clinging to Jesus' every word.

THE PRAYER: Dear God, teach me to be diligent in learning Your Word, which is necessary for my spiritual life and the faithful witness I share with others. I pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Biography of Author: This devotion was based on a text submitted by a volunteer working with Lutheran Hour Ministries-Vietnam -- known locally as The Voice of Hope. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), puppet shows, videos, music concerts, and Equipping the Saints (ETS), LHM-Vietnam spreads the message of God's love in Christ Jesus in this country of nearly 90 million people.

To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Ezekiel 45-46    1 John 2

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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