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Martha and Mary - Part 1 (1 of 2)
Charles H. Spurgeon
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, 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.
It is not an easy thing to maintain the balance of our spiritual life. No man can be spiritually healthy who does not meditate and commune; no man, on the other hand, is as he should be unless he is active and diligent in holy service. David sweetly sang, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures"; there was the contemplative, "he leadeth me beside the still waters"; there was the active and progressive: the difficulty is to maintain the two, and to keep each in its relative proportion to the other. We must not be so active as to neglect communion, nor so contemplative as to become unpractical.
In the chapter from which our text is taken, we have several lessons on this subject. The seventy disciples returned from their preaching tour flushed with the joy of success; and our Savior, to refine that joy, and prevent its degenerating into pride, bids them rather rejoice that their names were written in heaven. He conducted their contemplations to the glorious doctrine of election, that grateful thoughts might sober them after successful work. He bids them consider themselves as debtors to the grace which reveals unto babes the mysteries of God, for He would not allow their new position as workers to make them forget that they were the chosen of God, and therefore debtors.
Our wise Master nex ...
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