One Thing

Day 1 of 40 Days to Passover and Resurrection Weekend

Ask God to reveal Truth to you during these days of preparation.  Plan on spending time with Him, not just doing things for Him.

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I’ve been accused of being too busy sometimes.  Once my son jokingly remarked to a mutually busy friend of mine that we should start a support group. Too Busy Anonymous, maybe?

To Do List taped to a wooden board

I may have been more of a Martha than a Mary, the two sisters Jesus loved and where He liked to visit when in Bethany.

The story in Luke 10 is all too familiar to me. Martha is busily making preparations for her guests because there was much to do. Feeding her guests and making them comfortable would certainly seem a priority.  Meanwhile, Mary is sitting at Jesus feet listening to what He has to say.  Impatiently Martha actually accuses the Lord of not caring about her and all the work she has to do.  And she gives a command to Jesus, “Tell her [Mary] to help me.”

Wow.  The audacity of Martha.  Does she hear herself speaking words of accusation and bossy-ness?  I hate to admit it, but I think I have been Martha.

Jesus’ reply is classic and so relevant to me today.  “Only one thing is necessary.  Mary has made the right choice.”

What is the One Thing?

Time with Jesus.  Listening to Him.  Stopping the anxious thoughts and multiple tasks that always, always loom ahead.  Just.Be.With.Jesus.

Hard to do isn’t it?  Not something we usually put on our to-do-list or check off with accomplishment each day.  I wonder why it is so hard for us to come away and spend time with Him, just be in His presence, listen to His words as recorded in Scripture and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord?

Could it be that the enemy of our souls knows too well that this is the One Thing that will keep us on track in our Christian walk, the One Thing that will set our priorities straight, the One Thing that will start our days with a clearer perspective of who we are and Who He Is, the I Am of all creation?

As we begin our 40 day journey, keep this truth in mind:  Jesus wants you more than He wants what you can do for Him.  Of course there is work to be done in the kingdom.  The fields are ripe for harvest and the workers are few.  But how can we do the work when our hearts are empty of Him?  How can we be sure we are doing the One Thing that is most important on His list if we haven’t talked to Him and listened to Him?

Relationships are built on time spent together.  The more time, the stronger the bond.  The more time, the more I know you.  The more time, the fonder I grow.  The more time, the more I realize I cannot live without you in my life.

Spend time with Jesus during the next 40 days.  Make it first on your things-to-do-today.

Here are just a few suggestions to keep us focused.

  • Get up earlier.  I know this is hard especially since we just lost an hour from that wicked bi-yearly Daylight Saving Time.  (Don’t get me started.)  But it can be the best 30 to 60 minutes of your day.  Have your coffee or hot tea or whatever your favorite morning beverage may be.  Sit in a comfortable chair.  Open your Bible and absorb His words to you.  Know for certain that Jesus does want to speak personally to you.
  • Set your phone alarm or calendar for several times during the day, maybe mid-morning, noon time, mid afternoon, and let the alarm remind you to take a breath, look upward and remember your God is with you wherever you are.
  • Quote a favorite Bible verse throughout the day, one that will speak peace to you and remind you of the Lord’s love for you.
  • At dinner, talk about being with Jesus and how that looks to the people in your family.
  • When you lie down  for the night, speak to God as you close your eyes, thank Him for his promises and His provision for you this day.  Instead of counting sheep, count the gifts He has bountifully bestowed on you and drift off to sleep with Him on your mind.

Friends, Jesus said “One thing is essential and Mary has chosen it.  It is the main course.”

Don’t neglect the main course.  It’s where we get our strength for the journey.  Let’s do this thing together for the next 40 days. And maybe, just maybe, we will find it the greatest necessity of our lives and we will never be without it again.

Listen here to Larnelle Harris’ beautiful song of our Savior’s longing, I Miss My Time With You.

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