Rev. Allen Farley

Sunday, May 23, 2021. 


What matters most in life?  What is the number one priority?

What is the highest calling?  What really makes the lasting difference?


Jesus answered those questions in Luke 10:38-42: Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Therefore, tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”


 Now Martha loved the Lord.  She welcomed Him into her house and worked diligently to serve Him. However, the Lord used this situation with Martha and Mary to send us the message that we must do what is essential.  That is, to place our highest priority on giving our undivided attention to Him.


Dake commented on this passage: “Martha received and served Jesus.  She was the first to go to Him in need (John 11:21-22).  She had faith in God and believed in resurrection and eternal life.  And she carried Christ’s message to her sister Mary.  But here she was distracted and drawn in different ways, overcharged with care.  Jesus did not rebuke her serving, but her “over care” in service __ anxious and agitated. But Mary had chosen the more needful thing”. [TO LISTEN TO GOD!]    


Our first and highest calling


The Lord desires us to be in a one-on-one fellowship with Him. 1 Corinthians 1:9 The Amplified Bible:  God is faithful ___ reliable, trustworthy and (therefore) ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on; by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”.  There is a price to pay if we are to move to this higher level.  In Luke 14:28, Jesus said to count the cost. We will have to reduce our attention to things of lesser importance and likely have to give up many pursuits that may be nice but unnecessary.  He wants to prepare us to truly live in Him in order to be an effective part of bringing forth His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  Remember John 15:4-5: “Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”.


“For (the Spirit which) you have now received (is) not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, you but have received the Spirit of adoption __ the Spirit producing son-ship __ in (the bliss of) which we cry, Abba: (that is) Father”. [Romans 8:15 The Amplified Bible] The more time we spend with Him, the more our respect for Him will grow, and we will begin to take on His nature.


How do we move into this deeper relationship with God?


Start with prayer.  For example, prayFather, I love you and just want to spend time with You.  I want to be close to You.  I want to learn from you.  I now lay down my selfish desires, my life, in order to do what You want me to do. Please create a desire in me to have Your character.” And pray Colossians 1:9-14Lord, fill me with a deep knowledge of Your will and ways with an understanding of spiritual things.  Teach me to walk in a manner worthy of You.  Place in my heart a desire to draw close to You and please You in all things. Work in my life that I will bear fruit in every good work. Strengthen me with all power to persevere and be patient with joy.  May I so live my life that I will always give thanks for Your grace which: (1) Qualifies me for the inheritance; (2) Delivers me from the dominion of darkness; (3) Translates me into Christ’s kingdom; (4) Redeems me by His blood; (5) And forgives my sins.  Now, I believe that the good work You began in me will continue to its full completion in me.  Amen!”


Spend our best and quality time alone with Him.  Be still and patient and expect to hear Him.  Jesus said: “The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice, and I know them and they follow Me” [John 10:27]. 






We become one with God when we make our relationship with Him our highest calling. Self must decrease and He must increase.  This is the stumbling block for many.  We must trust God.  He has already promised to meet all our needs if we put Him first [Matthew 6:33].  We can be assured He will meet those needs better than we can do it by our own effort.  And when we get our priorities right, we will be much more successful in taking care of our family, job, etc. because we will be operating fully in His love and wisdom.  And while doing so, we will enter into the rest and peace that only the Lord can provide.


Regarding Matthew 6:33, many people are currently in financial fear and worrying about many things.


Following is a commentary from The Spirit Filled Bible on financial fear “Meditate on Matthew 6:25-34. Financial fear is unreasonable!  We must not be distracted from the substantial issues of life over less important matters like what we eat or wear.  It is unnatural.  It is unhelpful.  God provides for His own, and promises to take care of our needs.  It is unbelieving.  We (who are fearing) are acting as if God did not exist.  Our heavenly Father knows our needs, and He will provide!” 


Dake commented on worrying:  “Quit worrying because it is: 1) sinful and produces fear; 2) a disease causing other ills; 3) borrowing trouble that cannot be paid back; 4) brooding over what may not come to pass; 5) creating trouble, misery, death; 6) a burden borrowed from tomorrow and others who should carry it; 7) weight that kills prematurely; 8) mental and physical suicide; 9) a grave-digger that has no sympathy; 10) needless and wastes time and effort that should be spent on worthwhile things; 11) a robber of faith, peace, and trust in a never failing heavenly Father; 12) a stumbling block to others; 13) a disgrace to God and should never be indulged in by Christians; 14) anxiety over what is nothing today and less tomorrow, in view of faith; 15) anticipating troubles that seldom come to those who trust God; 16) torment over something that will likely be a blessing when it comes; 17) a crime against God, man, nature, and better judgement.”    






How do we receive all God wants to tell us?  We know we must do this through prayer __ meditating in the Word __ being led by the Holy Ghost.  These three often interrelate but we will comment on each.


Most of us lead busy lives.  Our minds are racing.  Much has to be done. Schedules are packed.  It often seems that we just move from one crisis or one project to the next.   Yet the Lord commands us in Psalm 46:10 to “Be still and know that I am God”. This sounds like the example of Mary and Martha.  Psalm 46:10 is not a “suggestion” or a “good idea” or a “helpful hint’.  It is a command from Almighty God! When we obey God to be still and know Him, He will provide the time and solutions for the other matters that concern us.


In the place of being still and knowing God is where we: Are one on one with Him; Die to the flesh; Become intimate with our Father; Are delivered; Receive; Let God do the impossible; Have victory; Are transformed; Are transfigured.


PRAYER.  The two parts of communication are speaking and listening.  Listening is by far the most important of the two.  To be successful on the job it is important that we listen to our customers (both external and internal).  The same is true with our family.  With God it is vital! We must LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, then OBEY, OBEY, OBEY. Most often we should be listening to God rather than providing a list of wants/needs.  He already knows what our true needs are. Jesus said; “If you love Me, you will HEAR My commands and DO them. He further said that you will be BLESSED if you do so. (And we know that “blessed” means being well off and supremely happy.)


Jesus’ disciples observed His prayer habits because they began to realize that His prayers were heard!  Jesus went alone early in the morning to a remote place and prayed to the Father in secret.  (Praying to an audience can open the door to pride.)  Jesus told us in Matthew 6:6: “When you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly”. There is a place for corporate prayer and small group prayer, but most prayer is be alone with God and in secret.


MEDITATE IN THE WORD.  Meditate in His Word day and night.  God is no respecter of persons, so He is commanding us just as He commanded Joshua: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth (i.e., shall never be forgotten) but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” [Joshua 1:8].  Meditating in the Word means not only reading it, hearing it in church, or attending a Bible study.  It is asking and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us to and through scriptures and direct us in applying them.  It is thinking about the Word continually, absorbing it permanently into our heart and mind, then living it.


THE HOLY SPIRIT.  Galatians 5:16 and Romans 8 tell us to walk in The Spirit that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  In John 16, Jesus said He will send The Holy Spirit (Comforter and Helper) and He, the Spirit of Truth, will guide us into ALL truth and show us things to come.  His direction is essential to us.  To hear from Him (who is God in us), we must to be sensitive to His leading.  We must die to ourselves and submit to Him.  We must command our minds to be quiet, and listen to Him. He will never tell us anything that is not consistent with the Word of God. He is God!


The following is a very brief excerpt from Pastor Keith Moore’s teaching on being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit: “Yielding to Him means acting on His promptings without delay. We must be open and willing to do anything and to move on to something different. Whenever we ignore Him or disobey, we will dull our sensitivity to Him.  To Be sensitive to Him, we must have a clear conscience, be at peace, be patient, be holy, and be steadfast”.



 When seeking God’s voice, the devil will try to interfere. Why? Because he knows where the power is and that it poses a great danger to the kingdom of darkness!  We can know God’s voice because it stills, leads, reassures, enlightens, encourages, comforts, calms, and convicts.  In contrast, the enemy’s voice rushes, pushes, frightens, confuses, discourages, obsesses, and condemns.


May 23,2021

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