(edited from Spurgeon's, "Martha and Mary" #927, Luke 10:38-42.)
There is a considerable tendency among
Christian people, in serving Christ, to aim
at making a fair show in the flesh.
Among professing Christians, there is a desire to build
church buildings notable for their architecture and beauty.
We must have no more barns! Our meeting houses must
exhibit our improving taste! If possible, our chapels must
be correctly Gothic or sternly classical in all their details,
both without and within!
As to the service, we must cultivate the musical
and the tasteful. We must not to be barely decent,
but to aim at the sublime and beautiful.
Our public worship, it is thought, should be impressive
if not imposing. Care should be taken that the music
and singing be conformed to the best rules of the art,
and the preaching eloquent and attractive.
Brethren, there is something better to be aimed
at than the outward and the external.
We judge no man, yet we fear the tendency is to imagine
that mere externals are precious in the Master's sight.
Jesus counts it a very small matter whether
your church building is a cathedral or a barn!
To the Savior it is small concern whether you have
organs or whether you have not; or whether you
sing after the choicest rules of psalmody or not.
Jesus looks at your hearts, and if these ascend
to Him, He accepts the praise.
Jesus would be better pleased with a grain of
love, than with a heap of ostentatious service!
All that you can give to Christ in any shape
or form will not be so dear to Him as...
the offering of your fervent love;
the clinging of your humble faith;
the reverence of your adoring souls.
Do not neglect the spiritual for the sake of the external;
or else you will be throwing away gold to gather to yourself
iron; you will be pulling down the palaces of marble that
you may build for yourselves hovels of clay.