When Martha complained to the Lord that Mary was not doing her part in household duties, Jesus responded, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42). In short, Jesus was teaching Martha that the things concerning the salvation of the eternal soul are of much more importance than those physical things. We certainly live in a time when there are many things competing for our attention. There are many things over which we are “careful and troubled”. The daily media bombards us with one fearful and troubling thing after another. It is true that there are many such issues that we have to give attention to. We have to do our part in taking care of whatever the problem or need is. Yet, let us not forget that for every physical need, one can also find a spiritual need, and the spiritual needs are more important. Consider just a few examples.
On a regular basis we have need of physical nourishment. We know that there are problems today in this realm. Food prices are getting higher and higher. Though the statistics usually thrown at us are skewed to look worse than reality, there are those in our own land that do not have enough food to eat. There are concerns about the purity and safety of our foods, and many other concerns. However, there is a much more important hunger that we need to be concerned about. After fasting for forty days, being hungry and tempted by Satan concerning food, Jesus quoted Moses (Deut. 8:3) with these words; “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). There is indeed a nourishment that is even more important than physical nourishment. Amos once prophesied that there would be a famine in the land, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). Our land faces such a famine now, not because the spiritual food is not available, but because too many want to fill themselves with the “junk food” of worldliness and materialism rather than God’s word. Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the work, that ye may grow thereby” (I Pet. 2:2).
Another concern constantly in the news concerns material prosperity. Times are hard. Many work two jobs. Many have lost their jobs and find it difficult to find another. The blame game has started, where everyone one wants to blame everyone else for their hardships. There is much to be concerned with in the realm of earning a living. God clearly tells us that this is one of the things we are to do (I Thess. 4:11-12; II Thess. 3:10). Yet, there are much greater treasures that we really need to be concerned about. Jesus asked, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). All these earthly possessions shall leave us. God said to the rich man, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21). Paul said, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Tim. 6:7). But, there are treasures that will never lose their value. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matt. 6:19-20). Such treasures are to be sought and obtained at all cost (Matt. 13:44-46).
Space does not allow us to dwell upon our housing problems, with many losing their houses to foreclosure and other such problems. There is however a much more important housing problem. There is “the house of God, which is the church of the living God” (I Tim. 3:15). We need to be concerned about getting into the house. And then there is that eternal house that Jesus has prepared for us (John 14:2-3), that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Cor. 5:1-2). This is the one we should be most concerned about.
Let us conclude with a final troubling issue. Many are quite worried about global warming, especially “man-made” global warming. Without even getting in to the topic, consider a much more important global warming issue for one to be concerned with. Peter tells us that when the Lord returns, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up…wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (II Pet. 3:10, 12). Jesus, speaking of hell said, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44). That’s why Peter said, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (II Pet. 3:11).
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