Summary: The one thing – the most important thing – that we can do in our Christian lives is to abide in Jesus in prayer, in the Word, and in His love.
ONE THING: FIRST THINGS FIRST
VIDEO INTRO: Clip from City Slickers with Mitch and Curly discussing “One Thing.”
This is an interesting movie because Mitch (Billy Crystal) is going through a mid-life crisis and finds his life is missing something, and goes looking for that ‘one thing’ – the secret to life.
Have you ever felt like you were missing something in your life – that ‘one thing’?
For the past several months, I have allowed myself to get so busy doing the work of the ministry – working for the Lord – I have neglected the most important thing of spending time with Him.
• Because of that, it has affected my joy, passion and excitement about life and ministry.
• However, I’m happy to report that I’ve rediscovered that ‘one thing’ – thanks Jesus!
Here’s a story the Lord has challenged me with many times in my life and ministry.
“38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha (Stewart!) welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But ONE THING is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42).
MARY AND MARTHA COMPARED:
(Thanks to Mark Driscoll for the thoughts in this section).
Mary -- Martha
Contemplative -- Active
Word -- Work
Being -- Doing
Type B -- Type A
Presence of God -- Presents for God
Relationship -- Responsibility
Full Heart -- Full Schedule
• Which one are you? If you don’t know, you’re a Mary. Martha knows.
• I’m a Martha, but I’m learning to be more like Mary.
• How can you tell when you’ve been ignoring that ‘one thing’ in your life?
• Like Martha, you become distracted, frustrated, worried and troubled about many things.
• Is that you today?
THE BIG IDEA: The one thing – the most important thing – that we can do in our Christian lives is to abide in Jesus in prayer, in the Word, and in His love.
• This doesn’t mean we stop doing other things – but we need to do first things first!
• First things first – Mary (being with Jesus) then Martha (doing things for Jesus)
• Notice creation week – “Then evening and the morning were the first day.” Rest first.
• We need to put Jesus first, and then we will have strength to do our work.
KEY TEXT: “ONE THING I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.” (King David, Psalm 27:4).
• David said his #1 desire was to seek the Lord, to see Him and know him more.
1. ABIDE IN JESUS IN PRAYER:
“1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
• Jesus is using a metaphor to describe our relationship with Him.
• Sometimes He needs to prune our lives – remove things that keep us from being fruitful.
• If you cut a branch off of a tree, it will no longer bear fruit. What kind of fruit?
• “But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23. NLT).
• This is what happens when we neglect our personal relationship with Jesus.
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:1-6).
• If we want to be fruitful Christians, we need to abide in Jesus.
• We can’t do it in our own strength! I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work.