Love is a serious thing to God. Throughout scripture we see God's love towards His people, demonstrated in His mercy, deliverance, provision and protection, especially when they called upon Him. Many believers recognize this love that the Lord has for us which was ultimately demonstrated through the sacrifice of His Son. We often forget though that a part of God's nature is His justice or fairness, which is the basis of His expectation that we will love Him in return. Even before Jesus came to earth, died and rose again, God gave the first commandment to His servant Moses (Exodus 20:3) that the children of Israel should have no other gods before Him. Jesus reminds us of this too in Matthew 22:37-38 and Mark 12:29-30. Our worship/love should be extended only to Him. To this extent we understand that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and He is expecting that we reciprocate love toward Him. That's why it is not good enough for us to just do His work; we must first sincerely love Him with all our heart (Matthew 22:37-38).
Remember Mary and Martha? In Luke 10:38-42, the Bible account of these two sisters and Jesus' interaction with them tells us much about what He expects from even us today. Martha was consumed by all the work that she had to do and requested that Jesus would commission her sister Mary to assist her. Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet and was listening to Him teach, a very uncommon thing within Jewish culture where the role of women was specific to hospitality and other homely activities. That is why Martha asked Jesus the question that she did "Lord, dost though not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me." [Luke 10:40 KJV]. Martha's question and statement afterwards tells us that there was grounds on which Jesus should have instructed Mary to help her sister carry out the homely duties. However, Jesus' response to Martha does two critical things:
1. It tells us how Jesus regards labour in comparison to worship or us sitting before Him. Jesus brought to the fore, God's priority that the good (or better) part of what we can do for God is not work but is actually worship. Jesus also specifically stated that He would not take that away from Mary. In other words, Jesus was declaring that He valued Mary's offering of worship and being at His feet to learn from Him more than the hospitality that she could offer. God's word tells us of this too in Revelation 2:1-7 where Jesus, through the Apostle John, gives a word of warning to the Church at Ephesus. This particular Church had been doing the work of God and was noted by Jesus as hating the things that He hates but they had a big problem - they had left their first love, God. Jesus noted that they needed to repent and do the first works which was to love God.
2. It breaks down cultural and spiritual walls that serve as limitations for women so that they can advance freely to the position that God desires them to be in. Mary was bold, she had already chosen to be at the feet of Jesus. She was already listening to Him. She did not wait for the approval of anyone to do that. She chose to be before the Lord. She had already defied the normal way of operating as a woman within her society; but when Jesus spoke in her defence, those cultural and spiritual obstacles were majorly adjusted.
Will you choose to be at Jesus' feet today? It is easy to get caught up in the business of life, ministry and family, taking care of everything and everyone. However, the Lord is seeking daughters (and sons) who, like Mary, are willing to sit at His feet and learn from Him.
I pray that whatever our responsibilities are, no matter how great, we will make time to worship and sit at the feet of our King. It is a demonstration of our love for Him.