Valuing What Is Good

Value: to regard or esteem highly, to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.

Good: morally excellent, not spoiled or tainted, profit or advantage

Openers:

  1. Discuss a time when something good happened to you and what impact it had on your life.
  2. Have everyone talk about some of the things that are valuable to them and what makes it valuable.

Main Point (Choose ONE)

  1. Distractions will rob us of what’s truly valuable.  In other words, goodness requires us to discipline our desires so we don’t get off track.
  2. Good-Better-Best: if you really want the best, don’t settle for less.  In other words, goodness requires us to pursue what is truly good, not just “good enough.”

Foundation:

Value often times is based on a choice. We are often found placing value on something just because we like it or devaluing it because we don’t like it.

  • We often say that’s a “good” song or that’s a “good” movie or book.
  • Is there anything more to “goodness” than just liking stuff?

 

Luke 10: 38-42As 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. 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!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “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.”

Let’s look at the key people in these passages.

1. Jesus:

* He was the guest of honor.

* He was again taking another opportunity to be the teacher.

*He didn’t make an issue about what Martha was doing until she made it an issue first.

2. Mary:

    * Women weren’t typically permitted to be students of experts on the Scriptures.  This was an opportunity for her to hear Jesus up close—and maybe even ask some questions.  It was a rare opportunity away from the massive crowds that followed Jesus around.

*Have you ever had a time when you were listening intently to someone and they had your undivided attention?

   * If so, then what they were saying must have had value otherwise you wouldn’t have been listening.

   * Out of all the things that Mary could have been doing, and all the excuses she could have made for

3. Martha:

* She was distracted doing things that needed to be done.

   *As in any home, when a guest arrives, we do everything we can to take care of them

   *  It wasn’t just Jesus: there were also his disciples and perhaps even members of his family.  That’s a small mob, if you’re trying to fit them all under one roof.

   * She seems to be concerned that Jesus and the others think well of her and of what she’s doing.

Mary became upset that Mary wasn’t doing anything to help her and told Jesus to tell her to help with all of the preparations.

   * You can understand her frustration, can’t you?  Have you been in the same sort of situation?

   * Notice that Martha’s attention was preoccupied by her stress and the unfairness of her sister.  She never took a step back to evaluate what was really most important.

3. Jesus’ wasn’t trying to say that there wasn’t any importance or value in what Martha was doing.

   * There’s obviously great value in being a good host—especially in that culture.  Even in today’s society it’s important

   *  Jesus calls Mary’s choice “better”—meaning that Martha had        chosen something good, too.

1.   It just wasn’t the best at that moment.

2.   Martha didn’t think beyond the fact that these other things were legitimate concerns.  She never evaluated the entire situation in terms of importance.

Jesus didn’t tell her that being a good host wasn’t good; but without saying it, he was telling her that it would be better if she had not gotten distracted and had realized what was most important.

Remember the definition of value: to regard or esteem highly, to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.

  • Martha measured things in terms of immediate usefulness: it’s useful to be a good host for her guests; but she failed to measure their relative importance or worth.
  • The Word of God (or, in this case, the words of Jesus as he was teaching from the Scriptures) should have been of far more worth than being busy.
    • John 14:10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

 

Too often we can find ourselves very busy doing the work of the Lord; but is that nothing more than a distraction?  (Discuss possible reasons this could be a distraction, e.g. not spending time with God in prayer or reading His Word.)

  • If we are serious about serving the Lord, then we should put more emphasis on the Lord, not the work.
    • It’s through our BINTO time with God that our friendship with him grows.
  • If God’s word is important, shouldn’t we make it a priority in our lives?
  • Shouldn’t we spend QUALITY time reading His word?
    • Notice that the point is quality, not quantity.
    • 2 Tim 3:16, 17All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Human Struggles

  1. Trying to figure out what is good is a real challenge. Our society today is constantly bombarding us with their views along with trying to incorporate that into what we were taught while growing up makes it difficult to sort through.
  2. Placing real value on what Gods word says can be just as difficult for the same reason.

Application:

  1. Go over the 6-8-10 principle. This is a good way to evaluate what is good.  This is a scripturally based 1 on 1, which brings us back to Gods word as a rule for our lives.
  2. Remember what Proverbs 18:21 tells us: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” This will also help in determining whose words we should place value in.

 

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