Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘decisions’

One Thing

“If you could take only one thing with you…”
“You have to choose one thing from this menu…”
“Your favorite food, your favorite song, your favorite Bible verse…” 

I have lots of them!!!  I hate making choices like that. Just like I could never say which of my children or grandchildren is my favorite.

Recently, however, I’ve become aware of a small set of verses in the Bible that point to “one thing” which has to be priority for God’s people.  And though they come from such diverse writers, they all converge:

David:  The one thing I ask of the LORD—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
delighting in the LORD’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple. (Psalm 27:4 NLT)

Paul:  I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Jesus (to a rich man inquiring what it would cost him to follow Jesus): “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”             (Mark 10:21)

Jesus (to Martha, busy in the kitchen while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, drinking in every word he said):  But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:41-42)

In all of these instances, everyday priorities—
     sins and successes,
     pride and achievements,
     possessions and cares of life–
drop by the wayside as that one thing comes into focus and defines who we are       and why we exist: 
     to know God,
     to worship God,
     to serve and please God
     to enjoy God’s best delights he reserves for his children!


I Want to Know Christ (Listen to Larnelle Harris)

I know that I know that my life is redeemed
I know I have found what some only have dreamed
I hold in my heart the pearl of great price
Dear God, hear my cry
I want to know Christ

I want to know Christ
I keep Him before me
I lift up my eyes
I drink in His glory
I press toward the goal
His goodness unfolds
March on, oh my soul
I want to know
I want to know Christ

I know that my path is the way of the cross
So I count what I gain and forget what I’ve lost
In pain there is joy
In death there is life
Dear God, hear my cry
I want to know Christ

And the things that entangle me
I lay them down
All the treasures and trophies of life
Let them be lost
Only let me be found in Christ
For I want to know
Yes I want to know Christ

Just do it, or just say no?

Due to my lack of artistic ability, I’ll have to ask you to draw the mental picture.  Imagine a guy with a small creature sitting on each shoulder. One is whispering in his right ear, “Just say no!”  while the one on the left side urges, “Just do it!”  Both of these have been popular slogans.  So are they both to be heeded?  What do they mean, anyway?  What are we doing?  And what are we saying “no” to? 

According to Wikipedia, “Just Say No” was an advertising campaign during the 1980s and early 1990s, to discourage children from engaging in illegal drug use.  Eventually, this also expanded the realm of “Just Say No” to violence and premarital sex.

So how about the origin of “Just do it”?  It sounds like what a mom would say to her kids about the daily chores, and I must confess I probably did this lots of times when mine were young.  But the truth is much more interesting.  On a video clip, Dan Wieden of Nike laughingly tells how he was inspired by the last words of a notorious spree-killer, Gary Gilmore, who was executed in Utah in 1977!  (His actual words were “Let’s do it.”)

Back to our guy with the little creatures whispering conflicting messages in his ears.  I hope he thinks long and hard about what it is he’s thinking of doing, who it is that’s urging him to do it and who says not to do it–and why.  When the “still small voice” urges us do what is right, the siren calls around us can easily drown it out.  Who are we listening to?

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  (Titus 2:12-14)

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