Mark 1:31 / Luke 10:40 - Two different Waiters........ *
The secret to giving is receiving. If you receive that which you need to receive, then you will naturally give that which you need to give. If you focus on giving you will always burnout. But if you focus on receiving, then you will never burn out.
In this story we see Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law from a fever and her response to that by waiting on Him - she began to serve Him in response to the touch of God that she received. She received before she gave. For her, it was the natural outflow of her life - Jesus did something for her so in return she does something great for Him. This is the proper way to respond to God's blessing - we bless others because God has already abundantly blessed us! Even if we don't have material possessions the fact that our souls get to live forever in Heaven is blessing enough!
Now, think about the story of Martha (Luke 10:38-45). She too waited on Jesus - she was busy serving Him but it was of a different spirit. Martha had not experienced the same physical blessing from Jesus that Peter's mother-in-law did, and yet she was still serving Him. However, by her attitude we see that she was serving Him of the wrong spirit - because she wanted to "earn" His blessing she could not "receive" His blessing. She was trying to give before she received anything. If she would have simply sat down at His feet like Mary did and received from Him first, then her service would have been done out of a completely different spirit.
You cannot "earn" God's blessings, and you need to make sure your prayers don't morph into "blessing beggings" all the time. What you need to do is the "one thing" that Mary chose to do that Martha did not - to sit at His feet and feast on Jesus. When you do this you will receive blessings from Him because His Word is Life - And when that Life fills you then service for Him is a natural outpouring. You must focus on receiving from Jesus before you start trying to give of yourself for Jesus.
In the OT the Priest's role was to not look at the sin but to look at the sacrifice - he was to then feed on the sacrifice and not the sin. Mary was feeding on Jesus and therefore was prepared to live the life that Martha was trying desperately to live.
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