Have you ever seen one of those advent calendars that counts down the days until Christmas? Some of them will have a little window you open to reveal a Scripture verse. Others have a trinket or a chocolate inside. Either way, you can’t open all the windows at once; you have to take them one day at a time. Think how great it would be if you had only one thing on your to-do list today.
That might be hard to imagine with Christmas right around the corner. What if that one thing would put you and keep you in the perfect will of God, guarantee your success, and empower you to be BLESSED and a BLESSING every day of your life? Sounds great, doesn’t it? But to most people (Christians included) it also sounds too good to be true. “My life is complicated and demanding,” they say. “I have to earn a living. I have to take care of my family and fulfil my responsibilities at church. I have a lot of different priorities. I can’t tend to just one thing!”
From the world’s perspective, such statements make sense. But according to the Bible, that’s not how God sees it. He says we have just one priority: “My son, attend to my WORDs” (Proverbs 4:20, KJV).What does it mean to attend to God’s WORD? It means we put it first and make it final authority in our spirit, soul, body, finances and everything we do every day. It means we always take time to hear what The LORD is telling us so we can say and do whatever He tells us to. In short, it means we hang on to Jesus’ every word.
Living in a Martha World
“But Brother Copeland, I’m too busy,” you might say. That’s what Martha thought, too. Remember her story? She’s the woman in Luke 10 who hosted one of Jesus’ teaching meetings in her home. If anyone ever had reason to think she didn’t have time for The WORD, Martha did. Especially the day Jesus came to her house. He had His 12 disciples with Him, and who knows how many of His other 70 staff members. Needless to say, Martha was very busy! She was not only playing hostess to a virtual multitude, she was trying to figure out how to keep them fed. (That might describe you, too, especially this time of year!) She didn’t have the luxury of calling Colonel Sanders to deliver meals for everyone like we do today. She had to make everything. She assumed her sister Mary would help, but instead of heading for the kitchen, Mary joined the disciples, “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (verse 39, KJV).
So while Jesus taught and everyone else listened, Martha tended to the business of cooking…all by herself. And she wasn’t happy about it. Finally, Martha couldn’t stand it anymore. Convinced Jesus should correct the situation, she marched in and interrupted His sermon. “LORD, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (verse 40, NKJV).
Too Many Things to Do
Imagine this! Not only did Martha make a scene right in the middle of Jesus’ meeting, she as much as accused Him of not caring about her. Martha was “[overly occupied and too busy]…distracted with much serving” (verse 40, AMPC). She had too many things on her to-do list. How did Jesus help her? He answered and said to her: “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” (verses 41-42, NKJV).
To Martha’s credit, she didn’t argue with what Jesus told her. She didn’t say, “Be practical, LORD! What am I supposed to do? Just let everyone go hungry?” That’s how most Christians these days would have responded. But the fact is, Jesus didn’t say people should go hungry. What He said was that only one thing is needed: to hear and obey His WORD.
When we make that one thing our priority, everything else falls in line.
The Teacher Is in Your House
“But Brother Copeland,” you might say, “Martha’s situation was different than mine. Jesus was right there with her, teaching God’s WORD!” Yes, He was. But the same is true for you. As a Holy Ghost-baptized believer, you can sit down, open your Bible, and hear Jesus preach to you every day. Why? Because you not only have God’s written WORD to read, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you to quicken that WORD. In other words, just like Martha, you have the Teacher in your house—and every day He is saying the same thing to you He said to her: The one thing you really need to do is hear and obey God’s WORD.
The Secret to 100-Percent Success
God’s WORDs are the foundation of everything in His kingdom. They don’t just carry information, and they’re not only a means of communication. They’re infused with the very power of God Himself. That’s why in John 6:63, Jesus said His WORDs are “spirit and life.” Everything Jesus accomplished in the Gospels, He did by hearing and acting on God’s WORD.
Consider the incident at the pool of Bethesda. The Bible tells us that when Jesus walked up to that pool, multitudes of blind, crippled and diseased people were crowded all around waiting for the angel to stir the water. Yet Jesus walked right past them all and focused His attention on one bedridden man. “Wilt thou be made whole?” He asked. “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” (John 5:6, 8, KJV). Twelve words. That’s all Jesus spoke because that’s all the Father told Him to say. As a result, He had 100-percent success.
You know as well as I do, if we’d been there we would have set up the Pool of Bethesda Healing Association. We would have bottled the water, lined up all the sick people and anointed them with it But none of it would have done any good because only one thing is needful. The WORD of God. Whatever He says, that’s what we need to say and do—and nothing else!
The Answer to Your To-Do List
God’s WORD can supply enough divine wisdom, power and life to conquer any challenge you might be facing. When you give His WORD first place, you open your heart and your ears to hear the Holy Spirit leading and guiding you. He can give you insights on how to tackle your daily to-do list more efficiently. He can relieve you of the burdens and life struggles you are carrying. So make it your priority this Christmas. Simplify your life and make attending to God’s WORD the only thing on your to-do list. Just like that advent calendar, you can’t take on everything all at once. There has to be an order to things. Spend time with Him every day and find out what He’s saying to you. Then stick with His plan. Say whatever He tells you to say and do whatever He tells you to do.
It’s the only sure way to live BLESSED.
Dare to Shine His Light on Priorities This Christmas!
- Rearrange your priority list by putting attending to God’s WORD at the top of the list. With a long Christmas to-do list, when can you make time for the most important item on the list—attending to God’s WORD? Is early morning best or in the evening before bed? Whatever you do—make spending time in His WORD and in prayer your top priority. Everything else will fall into place.
- Set up a reoccurring daily appointment in your phone’s calendar for you to spend time studying God’s WORD.
- Listen to The WORD on the go! If you have a lot of errands to run, consider listening to the Believer’s Voice of Victory podcast in your vehicle. Download your favourite podcast app, add the BVOV video or audio podcast, and allow The WORD to fill your spirit and bring peace to your day.
BY KENNETH COPELAND