By Josh Yang
Josh is a student leader at UCLA.
“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” (Luke 10:41-42).
Jesus pierced Martha’s distracted heart with this gentle rebuke, and I believe He is saying the same thing to the Church today – desire Him, let Him be the one thing that captivates you!
God is speaking to His beloved today that He never desired religiosity; fulfilling a set of rules was the exact opposite of the reason why Jesus spilt His precious blood for us on that tree.
Oh, what a wretched sight it will be when many come before Him on the Day of Judgment and drop an impressive resumé crammed with deeds, deeds, and deeds, only to hear those dreaded words from that beautiful yet unfamiliar King: “I never knew you.
Having grown up in the church, I found myself at a crossroads my freshman year of college – life as advertised by the ways of this world (Eph. 2:2), WWMD (What Would Martha Do?) religion, and the college experience were just a few of the distractions pulling me apart at the seams.
I found myself chasing one spiritual high after another, trying unsuccessfully to reconcile the sin and shame I struggled in with the concept of an all-forgiving God.
Attending more Christian activities and disciplining myself to spend an additional 5 minutes per day reading a dusty devotional book didn’t do the trick.
After a spring break that really got me questioning if it was really God I was in love with, I begrudgingly went to a Christian conference up in the boonies of Northern California, slept through 60% of the messages (and somehow managed to fall asleep in much of the worship too), and came back transformed! Isn’t God great?!
And you know what did it? The God of Wrath, the God of Justice, the Almighty Creator of the Universe and this same God of love told me He liked me. He loved me.
That once-dreaded religious cliché “Jesus loves you” broke through and stopped me dead in my tracks of sin, crucifying me with Christ my new Best Friend!
So many of us struggle with the reality of knowing we need to love Jesus more, but we don’t know how to do it.
And let me assure you of this: you cannot develop a love for Jesus Christ, lest you become a Martha! Instead, and this is key, we need to realize that God loves us first (1 John 4:10, 19), for only then can we love Him back.
How can you love an apathetic God who doesn’t care about you, doesn’t speak with you, and doesn’t sing with joy over you? Think about the cross and how much Jesus endured for you, because being God in the flesh, He foreknew you and loved you, even 2000 years ago, and long before then.
Think about the fact that as He hung on the cross for a passion (the one Mel Gibson named his movie after), that passion was you! Realize that though Christ came to die to save the world (John 3:17), He also came to redeem for Himself a bride – you and me (Eph. 5:25-27).
Men, try to put aside your burliness for a second and realize that Jesus Christ sees you as a bride and can’t wait for the great Wedding Feast after the Fall of Babylon in the imminent end times (Rev. 19:7,9)!
If King Solomon’s love for His beloved bride, Shulammite, is ridiculously lavish to you, believe that God, who is infinitely stronger and more passionate than Solomon, loves you in the same way and infinitely more! He calls you beautiful (Song of Songs 4:1) and flawless in His sight (Song of Songs 4:7, see Eph. 1:4)!
You have stolen, ravished, delighted His heart (Song of Songs 4:9-10), and He is absolutely captivated by you, utterly fascinated, and matchlessly passionate over you!
In His great love and mercy He would lift us out of death unto life with Christ (Eph 2:4-5), so meditate on the ridiculous love that He has for you, that no one else has for you, not your girlfriend, boyfriend, mother or father, and try, if you can, not to love Him back.
Let your love for God fill your heart and overflow into everything you do. And if it doesn’t overflow, then get on your knees and pray Ephesians 3:16-19 as hard as you can and as urgently as you can, because to go another second without loving Christ intimately is to waste another second of your fleeting life.
Let your prayers be an intimate conversation between a bride and her Man! Let your preaching be the result of a holy resolve to know nothing but Christ Jesus and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2)!
Let your worship be the outpouring of a heart that is totally lovesick for Jesus (Ps. 27:4-6), and let it be the fuel for mission’s flame!
When we realize that Jesus is mostly glad and not mad over us, when we come to that place where we can honestly say that we are intimate with Jesus, we will sing like the saved and our light will shine bright.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-19).