But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8 (NIV)
The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. Philippians 3:7-9 (The Message)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. Luke 10:38-40 NIV
The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (The Message)
One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
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 seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
One thing. It seems to be a recurring theme in Scripture for me these days. First there is Philippians 3:7-9, where Paul says that all of the things he thought were so important in this life are actually just rubbish compared to the one thing, the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus. And the word rubbish is definitely a tame version of what he really says. In fact Curly (City Slickers) and Eugene Peterson might be far more accurate. The Greek word he uses here is skubalon, which means refuse or excrement, particularly of animals. In other words, something really detestable. Paul is saying that all things are just refuse, compared to the one thing; knowing Jesus.
Then there is Luke 10, where Martha is worried and upset about many things, and Jesus reminds her that only one thing is needed. In fact, he tells her that her sister Mary has chosen what is better (sitting at His feet and listening to what He had to say) and it will not be taken away from her.
Then of course there's Matthew 6:33, that reminds us, amidst all of the cares and worries of this life, to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be given to you as well. Jesus knew that it is far too easy to allow the other things of life to be what consumes our minds and our hearts in a way that leaves no room to seek the one thing.
And finally, there is Psalm 27; my Psalm for the week. And another great reminder of how incredibly easy it is, in this busy and chaotic world, to lose track of the one thing because of the many things. For only one thing really matters; to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives; to gaze upon His beauty; to seek him in his temple. If the one thing was the occupation, and preoccupation, of our souls, the way it was with Mary, what incredibly different lives we would lead.