BY THE LATE ELDER B. E. ECHOLS
“Now it came to pass as they went that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary which also sat at Jesus’ feet and
heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving and came to him and said Lord dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her Martha, Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
“And take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life anti so that lay come upon you unawares. I or as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 2 1:34-36)
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their
lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the
bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying,
Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the
marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day
nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
Let me ask you a few thought-provoking questions before I proceed to write this message to you and others.
1. Do you know that we are seldom ever as well off spiritually as we think we are?
2. Does a person actually have to be classed as a sinner before he could be lost? (See Romans 8:8,9,13 and Matthew 7:21-23 with I Corinthians 13:3,8,13)
3. Do you think God is going to save church-folk and preachers who neglect their Christian duties and personal obligations to Him – thus proving themselves to be UNFAITHFUL stewards? If so, you had better
read and take heed to Hebrews 2:1-2; I Corinthians 4:1-2 and St. Luke 16:10.
Introductory Comments And Admonitions
We are living in an “exacting age” and a “very cumbersome time,” which can easily rob us of our precious time to serve the Lord. May the Good Lord help each of us to sense the danger of being cumbered by anything that would cause us to become prayerless, lukewarm and backslidden and thus lose our souls. We had better be cautious and not allow ourselves to become cumbered and overcharged with such things as Jesus and the apostles have warned us about.
Things That Encumber So Many People
There is not likely anything that is more cumbersome than the “cares of this life.” They harass and threaten our spiritual welfare EVERY day we live, and cannot be permanently ignored or pushed aside. We MUST learn to give preeminence to those things that pertain to our spiritual life and eternal welfare. They must ALWAYS have preeminence. Otherwise we are in for trouble. No one should allow the “cares of this life” to
encumber them and shift them away from the good things of God, as Martha did the day Jesus visited in their home. “Martha was cumbered about MUCH serving” while Mary chose “that GOOD part, which … shall not be taken away from her.”
There are many other things that can and will keep one cumbered, such as preparing for various socials, house-cleanings, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, washing the car, shopping for groceries and other
items, and repairing or polishing the furniture, antique items and relics. Then, should we finish with “our own cares” here comes the needs and requests of our relatives, neighbors, and friends. Some of which may be worthy of our consideration, but not to the extent of hindering and retarding growth and church activities.
Next, Those Overcharging Items
We are admonished by our Lord to TAKE HEED to ourselves (be very cautious) that we would not be overcharged with too much eating and drinking. This “living to eat” is a very dangerous indulgence or
attitude of life. We should only “eat to live.” We Americans as well as some other people are eating ourselves into much ill-health and untimely graves.
If we do not have plenty of time to eat and pray before church pray and eat after church or Sunday School. If the sick or erring soul needs to be visited and it should cause us to miss a meal fine! That is the
way we Christians need to “set our sails.”
Too much fishing hunting and sight seeing can also get us into that “overcharged condition.” I think we have lost more men and women from these cumbersome and overcharging items as dealt with in the Bible and this lesson than from any cause or source – not excluding those sins of immorality.
Some church-folk and preachers allow themselves to become overcharged with this buying and selling collecting antiques and “whatnots ” some sideline business endeavors etc. until they lose their favor with God anti that holy anointing – which is so essential for effective singing praying testifying preaching and teaching. God never did intend for any of us to get so employed making money or a living until we would have no lime left to pray read our Bibles study the Sunday School lesson or attend Church. One almost has to be a concerned pastor of a large assembly in order to see and discover how many things are encumbering overcharging and hindering God’s people these days. It is causing many church-folk and preachers to backslide and completely lose out with God become shipwrecks on the shores of thee.
Please take note that Jesus gave this warning of St. Luke 21:34-36 to His most ardent followers – including those He had chosen for the highest and most responsible position in the “New Testament Church” the
apostles. It is very evident that you and I had better take heed and shun anything and everything that might encumber or overcharge us in any way else such can easily cause us to backslide and be lost!
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