FOCUSED FOUNDATIONS FOR FAITH #1
"Get Started Forward By Sitting"
Guest Speaker, Pastor Lloyd Tremain
February 2, 2020
PRAY: “Father, open my eyes so I can see Your truth. Open my ears so I can hear Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Holy, true and righteous Word. Let my heart be open so I may receive all that You want me to receive today and then I can share it with others. In Your precious Son Jesus’ name AMEN!”
Today is the ﬁrst of 2 sermons focusing on developing foundations in our faith. To move forward in our faith we must have a foundation that is so secure it can hold up an entire spiritual life structure. Why is moving forward in our faith a good, right and necessary part of life? If we approach it with God’s vision for us, it will lead us into deeper stages of closeness with God and personal growth. Paul writes in Heb. 6:1-2, “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken FORWARD T0 MATURITY...” Of course there are many more stages to spiritual growth than I can build into your lives over the course of 2 Sundays, but each phase we pursue will head in one direction with God, and that direction is...Forward ln Faith!
The last couple weeks as I prepared for this day with you, I experienced God drawing me into His presence. He talked to me about my spiritual focus and the quality of time I spend with Him. He was pointing out my “Tyranny of the Urgent” work ethic vs. seeking Him first.
Stephen Covey along with Roger and Rebecca Merrill in their book, First Things First, ask this penetrating question: “What is the one activity that you know if you did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in your personal life?” They also asked the question with regard to our work and then asked, “lf you know these things would
make such a significant difference, why aren’t you doing them now?” We often let the immediate or urgent take priority over that which is most important.
This morning let’s direct those same questions toward our time with God. “What’s the one activity that you know if you did it superbly and consistently would produce signiﬁcant positive results in your walk with God?” ... Well, “lf you know this would make such a signiﬁcant difference, why didn’t you do it much this past week?” I believe that the most signiﬁcant activity in life is spending quality time alone with the Lord in His Word and listening closely to Him.
Matthew Henry, a great commentator, said of today’s scripture, “Sitting at Christ's feet, signiﬁes readiness to receive His Word, and submission to the guidance of it.” Do you ever have a hard time focusing in the Spirit on what the Lord wants to say and do in you? Do you ever tell God’s Spirit that you’re ready? You’re in a place where you want to hear His voice and receive His Word? Well, that’s the place Mary was in our scripture today as she chose to sit “at the Lord’s feet” that day. Open your bibles to Luke 10:38 and follow along as we read this together.
“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He 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. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one (NASB, “but only one thing is necessary” / NKJV, “one thing is needed”). Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42)
Jesus didn’t tell Martha to sit down and shut up, but He did put a big exclamation mark on Mary’s position at Jesus’ feet and her desire to listen to Him. I think she had moved past intrigue about Jesus as a person and was actually ready to listen with her heart to Him as her Lord. I also think Jesus knew that she was ready to process her faith in Him. Mary purposefully chose to sit and listen closely to the truths Jesus was sharing, which meant she was a disciple. So,
A. WHY IS SITTING AT JESUS’ FEET THE ONE THING NEEDED?
Many things are pursued by people in life and yet even in their successful moments they find themselves empty. Many people work to serve their physical body or invest in things that they think will earn them honor or “get their name in lights.” But Jesus brings all of our pursuits down into one thing that's needed...capturing your faith moments with Jesus. Here are a couple reasons why we should make sitting at the Lord’s feet the main priority in our life...
1. God’s Word offers His WISDOM for all of life’s decisions and direction.
You may think, “lt must’ve been awesome to sit and hear Jesus speak like Mary got to do. I wish I could go back to that time and place and join her.” The fact is, we all have the inspired Word of God available to us every day, and yet it's often neglected, hidden or totally abandoned!
In God’s Word, He gives us, “everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Pet. 1:3-4). Peter tells us to start by being like newborn babes who “crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2) Do we just stop after learning a few things? NO! In 2 Timothy, it says “you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK.” (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
Why are many Christians defeated by sin and their relationships strained, even though the Bible has their answers? They're NOT in the Word! Jesus overcame Satan's temptations by quoting Scriptures He knew by heart (Luke 4:1-12). The psalmist proclaimed, “I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11). It's as if people are dying from cancer and they have a cure for cancer sitting on their shelf, but they won’t take it off the shelf and use it!
God’s Word promises us daily hope and strength, not a horoscope. So is it any wonder when Mary sat listening to the living Word, that the Lord said she’s doing the “one thing necessary”?