May 14, 2010
Only One Thing
"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." Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)
I had a college professor who told our health class to be sure we had eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work, and eight hours of leisure. It was her opinion that this formula would bring about a balanced life.
I can see you rolling your eyes and thinking, "Really?"
While I don't agree with my professor's formula I do agree that our lives must have balance and in order to achieve that balance we must return to putting our relationship with the Lord first.
Remember the story where Jesus told Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus that she needed to rethink her priorities? Martha was upset with Mary because she dropped what she was doing to sit at the feet of Jesus. Martha, however, continued with her hostess responsibilities until she had enough.
"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!'" (Luke 10:40, NIV).
But Jesus told Martha that it was Mary who had put her relationship with the Lord first in her life. "‘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'" (Luke 10:41-42,NIV).
Martha was one smart lady and she learned her lesson well. After this encounter, when Jesus arrived to call Lazarus from the grave, it was Mary who stayed in the house and Martha who went out to greet Him.
I love that it was Martha to whom Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26, NIV).
Her reply confirms just how much Martha's priorities had changed: "'Yes, Lord,' she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world'" (John 11:27,NIV).
Setting priorities in today's fast-paced life can be challenging for sure.
We try to squeeze as much as we can into the twenty four hours in each day. Yet when we've had enough and can't take any more, that's when we find ourselves crying out to the Lord for help. If you're anything like me you will hear His sweet words whispering to your heart, "Only one thing is needed."
The simple truth is when we put God first in our lives; everything else will fall into place. Our responsibilities will continue and the demands of life will go on but God will be there to help us bring order out of chaos. "In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:6,NIV).
Dear Lord, I confess that my life is pulled in too many directions. When I am anxious about doing things I have trouble hearing Your Word. Help me to treasure the "one thing" that I need and trust You to put the rest in order. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Zoe's blog for more encouragement
All I Need is Jesus & a Good Pair of Jeans by Susanna Foth Aughtmon
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
Find a bit more balance with our free resource, Good Thing or God Thing?
Prioritize all the commitments and responsibilities you have.
Ask God to reorganize your list and follow His leading.
What is your number one priority today?
Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (NIV)
Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV)
© 2010 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 14 May 2010.