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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of February 13, 2017

If you're too busy to spend time with God, then you're simply too busy.

In the world we live in today, it is very easy to get so incredibly caught up in all of the demands that culture places on us that we don't have any time to spend with God.

However, the fact that so many things compete for every person's time isn't new to the world. Indeed, in Luke 10:38-42, we see the story of how two people responded to this same problem in two very different ways: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. ...

We see that after Jesus entered the home, He evidently started teaching, and Mary, Martha's sister, stopped what she was doing and listened to Jesus. It's important to realize that Mary didn't know Jesus was coming, and so it certainly wasn't her plan to stop what she was doing and sit at His feet, listening to Him. However, Mary considered hearing from God so important that she altered her schedule to spend time with God.

... But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Here, we see that Martha responded very differently than her sister: she became really busy and caught up in what she was doing -- probably preparing a meal, cleaning the house, or something similar.

When Martha complained to Jesus about how Mary was using her time, Jesus responded: "Martha, Martha, ... you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

One sister was willing to drop everything in order to hear from God; the other was too busy with everyday life in order to spend time with God. Jesus makes it clear that the way Mary chose to use her time was better.

In your life, you need to be willing to use your time like Mary did. Don't let little things steal your time away from what's really important in life. You must realize that there is no lasting value to the "urgent" things many people often allow to interfere with what's truly important. It would not have mattered if Martha hadn't cleaned the house that day.

You need to be willing to let your schedule be altered if knowing God better requires it. Don't be like Martha and get so caught up in life's distractions that you miss Jesus.

Does the fear of God or the fear of man rule your life?

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe (Proverbs 29:25).

A person who is ruled by the fear of man is one whose decisions are dictated by what other people think. Such a person is a people-pleaser. One ruled by the fear of man will repeatedly base decisions on questions like "How does this make me look?", "Do you think they'll like it?", or "What if they don't approve?". It is certainly not wrong to ask for input from other people (indeed, it's wise to seek feedback from others); however, it is wrong—not just wrong, but foolish—for your decisions to be guided more by feedback from others than by feedback from God.

To fear God means to take him at his word, knowing that he will follow through on all his promises. A person who fears the Lord is one whose decisions are guided by God.

There are more than a dozen verses in the Bible that make very clear the advantage of being one whose life is guided by the fear of the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord (Psalm 112:1). Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:26-27).

It's no wonder Proverbs 31:30 gives us this nugget of wisdom: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

If you want the fear of God to guide your life, then base your actions on questions like "What does God think about this?", "Would God approve of this?", or "Would I do this if Jesus were right here watching me?".

If you want your life to be blessed, let it be ruled by the fear of God.

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