Luke 10 :38-42 / Phil.3:1-15 Mindset of Maturity
Intro: Quest. Would you consider yourself to be a Mature Believer ?
spiritual maturity ?
How do we judge SPIRITUAL MATURITY ? Is it in the # of yrs that you have been a Christian? Is it in the # of ministries you are involved in
- On a scale of 1 to ten where would you rate yourself on the subject of
- # of Bible verses you know ?
- What is the mindset of MATURITY ? Paul describes it for us in Phil 3 – lets look. V.1-15
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind;
A) WHAT MIND ? Paul sums it up in v. 13,14
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. NOTE 3 THINGS
B) 1st PAUL’S PERSPECTIVE Paul says I am going to put the past
behind me ? / What was in Paul’s past? / 3 things mentioned v.5,6
- 1st HIS RELIGIOUS TRAINING: His schooling / background & accomplishments v.5
- 2nd His RELIGIOUS ZEAL – He persecuted the Church. V.6
- 3rd His MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS – In keeping the law – out ward manifestations of it that is – HE WAS BLAMELESS
Now Paul’s RELIGIOUS TRAINING & MORAL RIGHTOUSNESS could have resulted in GREAT CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH
- Paul was trained by the best teachers / he was a top student / he had risen to great heights in his religious world – respected & influential
- And concerning Moral RIGHTEOUSNESS - No one could bring accusation against Paul / outwardly he had it all together
- So Paul says if any one had a reason to be confident in his flesh – I would –
- But Paul didn’t want to put his confidence in the flesh – see he knew that his righteousness couldn’t hold up before the Lord.
- That as good as Paul was his goodness was like filthy rags before …
- No Paul wanted to be clothed not in his own righteousness but in the righteousness that comes from trusting in Christ - / His righteousness
E) So Paul says I don’t want to have any NO CONFIDENCE IN THE
FLESH – Mark of MATURITY
Now where Paul’s RELIGIOUS TRAINING & MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS COULD RESULT IN – A CONFIDENCE IN …..
- His RELIGIOUS ZEAL – could have resulted in GREAT CONDEMNATION FROM THE ENEMY
- See Paul in the name of Religious Zeal had people imprisoned / some possibly even put to death - / families were separated – lives were ruined
- Now Just think of the degree of CONDEMNATION the enemy could have used on Paul –
- God can’t use you – people won’t like you ……
- But Paul had to put that all behind them – His confidence needed to be in Christ & what Christ had done for Him
- BELIEVE – that there was no condemnation those who were in Christ
SO Paul’s Perspective was forgetting what lies behind – 2nd Characteristic mindset of maturity is Paul’s Passion
- Paul’s passion was I want to know Him – lay aside all that I might gain Him – grow in my understanding of Him
B) Knowledge by experience - / Paul on road - Who are you Lord - & what do you want me to do.
- Those two things became the Primary Passion of Paul’s life / to know Him & to make Him Known.
C) Paul writing here 30 yrs later – says I am still pursuing that goal / still
my passion Know HIM. / So Much of Him to Know !!!!!
So Perspective / Passion & His 3rd Pursuit -
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
- I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
- Note Paul’s description I am Pressing on / I am seeking to lay a hold of these things / I am forgetting the past but also reaching forward …
I am pressing toward the goal -
B) This was not just Paul’s Passion it was his pursuit / he combined action w/ that passion – Pursuing Christ w/ all his heart !!!
C) Paul says let us, as many as are mature, have this mind;
Now I felt the Lord wanted us to turn here this morning & use what Paul said here as a rather lengthy introduction to the passage look at in LK.10
- Because what Paul is describing here as the mindset of his own life /& the mindset of the Mature believer / exactly what we see modeled by Mary
Now this scene takes place in the city of Bethany & at the home of 2 sisters Mary & Martha - / Brother Lazarus.
- Jesus liked to spend time w/ this family when he was in that area
- There are 3 main Characters in this scene – The 2 sisters Mary & Martha & Jesus ( JESUS IS THE CENTER OF ATTENTION)
- Mary is seen sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach / Martha is seen serving Jesus in the Kitchen . ( Great Contrast )
- Because we are given an interesting description of Martha in this passage in v.40/ Told she was distracted w/ much serving !
- Now to me it is interesting that serving - Jesus could ever become a distraction in our lives/ but it is possible !
- Here we see Martha was distracted in much serving
E) DISTRACTED FROM WHAT ?
It is obvious from what Jesus said that she was DISTRACTED From having fellowship w/ the Lord / made for fellowship /
Aa) Our Passion likes Paul’s should be to Know Him / See Martha’s
serving when she should have been sitting/
Martha’s service - distracted her from worship & from having the
intimate type of relationship w/ Jesus that her sister enjoyed !
Heavy to think that we are told in scripture that there will be those who
stand before the Lord & say
- Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
- Jesus will respond – DEPART FROM ME I NEVER KNEW YOU.
- They were Serving Jesus / doing stuff in the name of Jesus / but really didn’t know Jesus – Sobering thought !!!!
SO Martha was distracted in much serving & we see the result of that in her Lack of sensitivity in her towards the Lord
- In her misconception about the Lord’s heart toward her
And a Judgmental & critical heart toward her sister Mary
- Her lack of sensitivity towards the Lord is seen in the fact that she – interrupted Jesus in during his teaching to voice her complaint
- Her misconception of the Lord’s heart toward her is seen in her question Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve ALONE!!!
- Lord Do you not care that I am caring this burden all by myself !!!!!
1) In saying that she reveals her Critical & judgmental spirit toward her sister – Lord I am doing everything – lazy sister is doing nothing !!!!!
Listen on of Satan’s biggest tactics is to get our eyes off the Lord & on the other things – ( can even be good things )
- Because Satan knows if he can get us distracted / if he can get our eyes off of Jesus – we lose the very things we need to effectively minister
- That sensitivity toward the H.S. // soon were ministering in the flesh / being led by our flesh
- That says that Jesus is w/ us & cares about us – Don’t you care
- Soon instead of helping encouraging others / we are judging / condemning & coming down on others
And that is what we see in MARTHA & Jesus responds by telling HER - "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
In this response Jesus says something that is so insightful to for those of us who desire to live focused lives full of vision & direction
Jesus says one thing is needed -
- Now to me this is a heavy statement - Jesus saying one thing is needed / Let’s ponder that for a moment
- Pretend you never heard this story before - never read it - and you saw this quote on a card /And Jesus said one thing is needed
- What would you think that one thing would be ? If you had to fill in the blank - knowing that the needs are great - what would you put
- I think for me - I would be prone to write - we need to do something
- Too often I can find myself like Peter at the transfiguration - Jesus appeared w/ Moses & Elijah - / great revelation
- Peter responds Lord great for us to be here - let me build 3 tab. …….
That can be me to often - Lord let me do this
- Lord lets build - lets go - lets do - Father says This is my beloved Son hear ye Him
- In other words Peter - Slow down stop & Listen to my Son - that is the one thing needed !
Now as we look at Mary we can see that is exactly what she is doing here
- She is sitting at the feet of Jesus/ engaged in a time of personal communion w/ Jesus / enjoying the presence of Jesus
- She is giving herself to, taking in & soaking up the words of Jesus !
- Jesus says before all else / this is the one thing that is needed - but that doesn’t surprise me because Jesus modeled this in His own life
- Look at Jesus one thing is clear - He was a perfect picture of one who was focused - of one who was directed - / IN THE SPIRIT
- Never stressed - never frazzled - always focused always full of vision & direction - ( great illustration in Mk. 1 ) Turn
Scene is Jesus is in Capernaum - When He & the disciples come to the Home of Simon Peter - Mother in Law sick
29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. 32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
This was a great time of ministry that no doubt lasted late into the evening ! - Many touched, healed & delivered
If there were ever a time in the life of Jesus where He could have been tempted to get caught up in activity of the moment / this was such a time
B) But watch what happens next v35
35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him.
37 When they found Him, they said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You."
38 But He said to them, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth."
They find Jesus & say - Lord everyone is looking for you -T.V. media - more sick people - great need but He says it is time to move on !
- For this reason I have come forth –Come forth from where ? Morgan - correct when He says from the secret Place
- See Jesus life was directed by 4 distinct passions - 4 things that He was consumed w/ - Fathers Heart - Fathers will / Way / Fathers timing
- He discovered those things in the secret place - sitting at the feet of His father- enjoying fellowship - enjoying His presence
- When everyone was out looking for Him/ when the demands were great upon Him - when opportunities and open doors before Him
- He is out sitting at the feet of His Father & getting direction & Vision
Result - When the disciples come & say everyone is seeking you - He is able to say - No it is time to move on!
- TURN BACK TO LUKE
ONE THING IS NEEDED MARTHA - But notice what he says next
- Mary has chosen the better part - One thing is needed & Mary has chosen that one thing / NOTE IT’S A CHOICE / PRIORITY
- David said in Psa.27 One thing I have desired of the Lord & that will I seek… that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all my days ..behold …..
- See that same heart in David – His PRIORITY / PASSION/ PURSUIT
- This is what I desire – this is my Passion & I am going to seek after this /
I am going to make this my pursuit !!!! Dwell in God’s presence
- David said One thing I Desire / Paul said One thing I do / Jesus says ONE THING IS NEEDED
Sometimes people will say to me – I really want to grow in the Lord – really want to get closer to Him.
- Great – One on one discipleship / ( Well I really don’t have time for
that) Wed. night Bible study – well it is a school night – kids late
- Favorite show is on – Ball game what ever –
- There is a desire but that is all there is – no pursuit / no priority
- Guys isn’t it interesting how easy it is to respond to the flesh / sitting on the couch – stomach whispers " Sure like some ice cream ! Yea!!!!
1) But when the H.S. whispers heart – Pick up your Bible 101 reasons
Listen There are Know short cuts to Becoming spiritually mature / No short cuts to becoming – Closer to Christ
- No short cuts in experiencing this type of intimacy/ involves a choice - it is something that involves seeking / Priority / Passion / Pursuit
Now Don’t misunderstand what I am saying / I am not suggesting that we all become like monks sit around pray & read all day.
are told to DO BUSINESS until He comes !!!
But I have had times in my Christian walk & in my ministry for the Lord where I was running around like a chicken w/ his head cut off.
- No the Bible declares that we are called to serve the Lord
- In these LAST DAYS we
- Trying to accomplish so much but in reality doing so little.
- Interesting – see a Chicken w/ its head cut off – it runs around – active – "look at the chicken move" - / all nerves / no life /
- severed from it’s head/ Christ is our Head & we can be just like that Chicken when not in communion
- Ton of activity / doing so much but actually really achieving so little !!!!
Some times we tend to judge effectiveness by busyness / & Spirituality by Activity ( Wasn’t that Ephesus’ Problem –
A) Jesus said I know your works - They were an active Church – but they had left their first love !!!
- Note doesn’t say they lost it/ NO THEY LEFT IT – How does that happen ?
- Some where along the line I make a subconscious choice that serving Jesus & doing ministry is more important than – knowing Jesus
- Activity replaces intimacy / programs replace Passion /
- Devotional time becomes prep time / prayer time – becomes planning time !!!!! Next thing we know - where is the Lord in all this
I think we miss the point entirely when we judge effectiveness by busyness & spiritual activity
- We can look at a Church Bulletin & see all the different ministries listed & think – Really a healthy Church / happening place
- But How many of those ministries are really doing well. – How many are really being affective . ( God providing servants )
- We can look at another believer who is involved in ten different ministries & think – WOW They are so spiritual
- When in some cases there might be a ton of activity and but very little intimacy / a lot of determination to work / No Depth
- We need to readjust our thinking & mindset – in serving the Lord – to not just be active – but to be DIRECTED / SPIRIT LED !!!!!
- Times where you are doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do because you have taken the time to sit at the Lord’s feet & be directed
igh school Bible studies - Get on Campus / 7 schools in 5 days /
- Distracted – end of the yr. Worn out - burden
- Next yr. Nothing / following yr. One school – more fruit at that one school – all 7 put together.
- Now I am the type – always want to be growing – always seeking Lord what is on the HORIZON – I want to experience all Jesus has for me.
- Never comfortable / But I want to be led by Him –
- Doing less now than I was yrs ago - as far as ministry activity goes / more effective / more focused / much more directed / more happy
- Rather do 2 things God has told me to do & do them well than 100 things / he isn’t in
Couple more things to note & then we are done - Notice what Jesus says next - One thing is needed - Chosen…… will not be taken from her
- Mary had established a priority in her life / she had made a decision / before she served she would sit - good decision - couldn’t be taken away
- Now I find this very interesting in light of what we read about Martha being distracted in much serving
- You see ministry & opportunities to serve can be taken away - for many reasons
- Ministry comes to an end - the Lord can put you on the shelf - situations in your life can change - new Job - less time - more responsibility
- New Baby - that has a way of changing your world
- You name it there are many things that can happen in our lives to remove us from serving in a certain capacity in ministry
- But there is nothing that can take away an intimacy that has been developed w/ the Lord - through those times of sitting at His feet
Here is what I find interesting however - Over the yrs I have spent time w/ guys who have had this very thing happen
- God pulled them out of ministry - God pulled them out of serving for a while - a period
- Some have been pastors / some have just been people who were serving in a particular Church / teaching or whatever
- When their ministry ends & the Lord pulls them out - they are no longer in the word - because they are not required to be - nothing to prepare
- Devotions become a struggle - / shouldn’t be the case
- Tells me something is not right - common trait - distracted in ministry
Last thing - What sitting at the feet of Jesus results in ! John 12
12:1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.
2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, Note this it seems that Martha got the point because this is mentioned in a favorable light
No longer distracted in service but focused & fulfilling her role & place - no longer worried about what others are doing or not doing - she is just doing her part !
but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Here we find Mary at her customary place at the feet of Jesus - in 3 encounters w/ Jesus all at His feet - Luke 10 / here Jn.11 fell at his feet
- But I want you to notice that this time she is not listening but she is doing- and she is doing something no one else thought of or led to
- Why did she anoint Jesus feet ? Mark’s gospel tells us the oil was poured over His head - & ran down to His feet - Why done ?
- Jesus tells us the answer in v. 7 anointed for His burial
- But How did she know - the disciples didn’t seem to know - they didn’t seem to grasp what was about to take place - in just a short time
- In fact they objected to this called it a waste –
4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii= one year's wage - it was a very costly act and given to the poor?"
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he would take what was put in it.
And Marks account tells us the other disciples piped in too
But Mary was clued in to something they were all missing - she had a special insight - she had a special revelation - vision
- And was used to give a special blessing to the one who had blessed her & so many others!!!!!
B) I suggest to you the reason she had this insight - was because of her choice to sit at Jesus feet -
1) In Marks gospel - told that Jesus responded 9 "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."
- She was given special honor - this was a lasting memorial
When is the last time you spent some time - sitting at the feet of Jesus
- When is the Last time - you expressed yourself in an extravagant type of way - Just telling the Lord that you Love Him
- Is your Christianity marked by an intimacy - by a direction - a sense of being focused - or are you distracted
- One thing is needed - the Choice is up to you !
Mary anointed Jesus for Burial - which tells us He was going to die
- Perhaps here - not distracted by serving - but you are distracted by the cares of this life / seed among thorns
- Remind you Jesus went to Calvary for you - Know Him & live in fellowship w/ Him
- Enjoy intimacy w/ Him -
- Again Choice is up to You - give Heart - Call on Him - know Him