Find Me at The Feet Of Jesus
By Shawn Thomas
In the 1700s, Thomas Scott was a young man who felt a call to go into the ministry, but he didn’t know much about it. He became acquainted with John Newton, the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” who was pastoring a church at nearby Olney, England, at that time, and they began corresponding. Newton wrote to him: “The first lesson in the school of Christ is to become a little child, sitting simply at his feet, that we may be made wise unto salvation.” (Newton, Letters, p. 248) Newton’s words pierced Thomas Scott’s heart, and he became an evangelical Christian, who walked 14 miles on Sundays to preach to patients in a London hospital. He served in the ministry the rest of his life and wrote a Bible commentary that was named after him. Undoubtedly that “first lesson” Newton gave him, made a strong impression, and guided him to his successful ministry: “simply sit at His feet.” That is the key to an effective Christian life. And that is just what we see in Luke 10, in the passage about Mary & Martha:
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [a]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’”
Jesus tells us here that THE single most important thing in life is what we see Mary doing here: verse 39 says she was “seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.”
This is a position of humility.
This is a position of worship.
This is a position of learning.
In Acts 22:3, the Apostle Paul tells the Jews in his defense that he was “a Jew, brought up in this city, educated (literally) “AT THE FEET” of Gamaliel, the great Jewish teacher. So being “at the feet” is a place of humility, and especially learning from a teacher.
This passage tells us that Mary humbled herself to worship Jesus, and to learn from His word. This is the kind of person who gets God’s attention.
In the last chapter of Isaiah (66:1-2), God says: “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? “For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one, I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
God says here, that He is a great King. Heaven is His throne. All the earth is merely His “footstool.” Who will He look to here on earth? Who will have His attention? NOT the great athlete or warrior (God says in Psalm 147 that He “takes no pleasure in the legs of a man”) but to the one who has a “humble and contrite spirit, and who trembles at (His) word.” THAT is who gets His attention. God doesn’t turn His face towards those whom we call “great”: the Lebron James, or Bill Gates, and others whom men consider great. He says His face will be turned towards the one who humbles himself before Him, and trembles at His word.
That gives hope to every one of us. You don’t have to be some “great person” in the eyes of the world, to be great with God. You just have to love Him, humble yourself to worship Him daily, and seek Him in His word. That is what Mary did. That is what got Jesus’ attention here — NOT all the “busy-ness” of Martha (that should be a good lesson for us today too! All of our “busy-ness” doesn’t get the Lord’s attention; instead it is humble worship and attention to His word that catches His eye!)
This should happen in our lives every day. If you want an outline for your devotional time at home, this is it, in summary: just humbly “sit at Jesus’ feet” in worship, and “listen to His word”:
1) Have a worship time in prayer; You might read a Psalm or a few verses of praise from the Psalms; sing a worship song or two to the Lord; and give Him thanks — and then pray for the requests that are on your heart — keep a prayer list to use. Spend some time with the attitude of being “at His feet” in worship.
2) And then secondly, spend some time paying attention to His word. Have a book of the Bible that you are reading through, and don’t JUST “read” it, but really “sit at the feet of the Lord” and LISTEN to His word.
Did you notice the word “listening” here? One of the things that characterize Mary in this story is that she was REALLY LISTENING to Jesus’ words. As we know, it is very possible to “hear” something on a surface level, but not really pay that much attention to it; it is possible to “read” it, but not truly internalize it. As we spend time in God’s word we need to ask ourselves, are we really “listening” to it as Mary did? Are you giving it your attention, to apply it — to DO it?
To help you with that, before you start reading, make sure you have a notepad ready to write down what the Lord is showing you as you read. Then read until you find something that God is speaking to you about, and write that down and pray about it. I was telling someone the other day: that is my reading plan. I don’t typically read “so many chapters a day” or anything like that: I read “until God speaks.” Until I get something that speaks to my heart or life: a teaching to understand, a sin to confess, something to pray for, a verse to memorize, or whatever. But read UNTIL … “until” God gives you something. And have your notepad, or iPad, or computer, or whatever you use, to write that thing down on, so you can remember it, go back and pray about it, and share it with others.
But these are the 2 basic things that need to happen in our daily time with the Lord EVERY DAY: 1) we need to sit at Jesus’ feet and worship, and 2) we need to listen to His word. IF we will do those two things every day, then just like Mary, it will make a huge difference in our lives.
Not long ago I went to the grocery store to get a few things for the week, and as I was checking out, the cashier asked me with a very weary voice, “So, did YOU have a good day today?” I said, “You know, actually I did. I got a lot done. I had a pretty good day!” She said, “Do you mind telling me how you were able to have a good day — on a Monday no less?!” (I was like, why don’t you just tee up an easy witnessing opportunity for me there!) I said, “Well, I started today by reading my Bible, and by spending some time with God in prayer. I begin every morning that way, and it really makes a lot of difference in my day.” I would have loved to have talked to her some more, but of course, we were in the checkout line, and she had to send me on, but she did say, “You know that WOULD be the best way to start the day,” and she thanked me for sharing. I’ve prayed for her, and for the other lady who was sacking groceries, and for the others who could hear us talk, that God would use that little conversation to draw them to Himself every day in His word and prayer. It really does make such a difference, when we begin the day with God, doing just what Mary did here: sitting at His feet in worship, and listening to His word.
There’s a lot more to be said about daily prayer and Bible reading time. But for now, these are two basic things that need to take place in your time with God every morning: “sit at the feet of Jesus” in worship, and “listen to His word.” If you’re doing those two things in some fashion, then you are doing the most important things you can do in a day. And they are a little foretaste of what we will be doing in the Lord’s presence for eternity as well!
Shawn Thomas has been a Southern Baptist pastor for almost 35 years, he currently serves as Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Angleton, Texas. You can read more from Pastor Thomas Here.
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