Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611

Lessons For Ladies
This Series was taught by Mrs. James Modlish

Lesson Four

Run Your Own Race
(Luke 10:38-42)



The object of the story is twofold. We need to know the rules for the race and the objective of the race. I have a note on the inside of my bathroom cabinet which reads: Run your own race. It's there because I recognize it as a struggle in my own life...maybe it is in yours as well.

I. Martha is busy - (vs. 40)

A. She is obviously the owner of the house and responsible for its hospitality (vs. 38).

B. This was one of the most exciting days of Martha's life for Jesus had come to visit. Can't you just imagine how she must have felt?
C. The Bible tells us she was "cumbered about much serving." The dictionary definition for this word is "distracted," which gives new meaning to this situation.

[1]. Martha was probably the eldest... possibly a perfectionist! I can relate to this since I am the oldest of my siblings and the only girl...a wretched state of affairs! I have seen Martha, met Martha, been Martha! One task becomes two; two becomes four; and on it goes.....
[2]. Trying to express her love in service, the reaction becomes just the opposite. 

II. Martha is bothered - (vs. 40b)

A. Even though this is a common reaction in the situation, she had become so distracted in being Jesus' "hostess with the mostest," she ends up being His accuser.... "Dost thou not care?" Then she tries to be His advisor... "Bid her help me." Being too distracted made her brain-dead!

B. The Bible says that Mary also sat which is an important statement since if Mary and Martha had been sitting, the story would have been different. Obviously, Mary had already done her part in service and sat down while Martha toiled on.
C. Jesus praised Mary, so she couldn't have been totally wrong.

D. Jesus rebukes Martha - (vs. 41-42) Why? (Jn. 11:5)
[1]. There are lots of things to be troubled about, but only one thing is needful.
[2]. Many things aren't necessarily wrong, but there is only one needful thing.
    (Lk. 18:22) - One thing
    (Psa. 27:4) - One thing
    (Mk. 8:36) - One thing

III. Martha is blessed -

A. (Jn. 12:1-2) - In this passage Martha just served, and this is a situation which was much more involved since there were at least seventeen to be served as opposed to four in the earlier situation. But she is no longer cumbered.

B. Her service had no ceased, but the secret had been learned: service must never take the place of discipleship.


Occupied For or With Jesus?

Martha in the kitchen, serving with her hands,
Occupied for Jesus, with her pots and pans.
Loving Him, yet fevered, burdened to the brim --
Careful, troubled Martha, occupied for Him. 

Mary on the footstool, eyes upon her Lord,
Occupied with Jesus, drinking in His word.
This the one thing needful, all else strangely dim:
Loving, resting Mary, occupied with Him. 

So may we, like Mary, choose the better part,
Resting in His presence --- hands and feet and heart;
Drinking in His wisdom, strengthened with His grace;
Waiting for the summons, eyes upon His face. 

When it comes, we're ready, spirit, will and nerve;
Mary's heart to worship; Martha's hands to serve;
This the rightful order, as our lamps we trim ---
Occupied with Jesus, then occupied for Him!
(Lois Reynolds Carpenter)


Secondary application: Run your own race.

A. Get in the race.

    [1]. (Heb. 12:1-2) - You are, hopefully, in the race!

    [2]. (2 Cor. 9:24) - There is a prize!

B. Aim for the goal.
    [1]. The greatest danger for most is not that our aim is too high, and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach it.
    [2]. Don't get bogged down. Luke 21:34; Mark 4:19 One of Satan's most effective tools are "the cares of this world."

C. Ignore the other runners.
[1]. (2 Cor. 10:12) - The story is told of a little boy who told his mother he was as tall as the nine foot Goliath he read about in the Bible. When asked by his mother to explain, he said, "I made a little ruler, measured myself, and I am nine feet tall." Like the little boy, we often measure ourselves by some rule of our own instead of by God's ruler.
[2]. Sometimes we become so busy running someone else's race, we neglect our own. My husband tells the story about a race he was in while running track in high school. The coach, Mr. Posa, was a short, tough Italian from New York who had that bunch of Colorado boys doing a fine job at all the track meets. Preacher was competing in the 440, and like all the other team members, had been instructed by the coach in the fine art of running. The gun went off and the race began. Preacher relates how he realized quickly that he was ahead of the pack, but decided to turn his head slightly to check out the competition in the next land. Happily, he was far ahead of the nearest runner and completed the race as the winner. Expecting to see Coach Posa descend on him with congratulations and accolades, he was shocked to see him stomp over with a fiery look on his face. There, in front of all his team members, the coach gave him a thorough lecture for breaching a cardinal rule in track. When running a race, you never, ever take your eyes off the finish line and you never look at what the guy is doing in the next lane. Not only is that a good way to stumble, it's also the way to lose the race. Run your own race, ladies; don't be concerned about what your fellow church member is doing and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE FINISH LINE!


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