Sunday, December 7, 2008

"One Thing" in Scripture

If you had to boil down your life to one thing... what would it be?

What's the theme, the substance, the summation? What would the people around you say that it is?


Here is a challenging series of men and women and their "one thing"s from Scripture:

  • "One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple." ~Psalm 27:4 (King David)

  • "As [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." ~Mark 10:17-22

  • "A woman named Martha welcomed [Jesus] into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving... The Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'" ~Mark 10:38-42

  • "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven." ~John 3:27 (John the Baptist)

  • "One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." ~John 9:25 (A blind man healed by Jesus)

  • "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 3:8-14 (Paul)

If you have time, go back and just read the bolded parts-- there's a definite theme among all of them. They're all zeroed in on discipleship & dependence on Christ. We can get so easily distracted from the "one thing", can't we?


Father, keep us focused on the "one thing": dwelling with You, following after Christ, listening to You, recognizing that all things are from You, remembering what You have done for us through Christ, and straining after what You have laid before us.

It is amazing to me how clearly You've laid out the "one thing" that our lives should center on, throughout the entirety of Your Word. Your Word is so clear and illuminates our path.
Thank You for speaking clearly to us-- today as always. Teach us to strive after the "one thing"-- knowing and learning from YOU, through Your Word, identifying with Christ who suffered and bled for us.

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