The One Thing

Psalm 27 – One Thing

“One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

Out of all the things David could’ve sought, God wanted us to see that the only thing that truly mattered was that He sees the Lord’s beauty and seeks Him where He may be found.

Luke 10 – Mary chose the better

Similarly, in Luke 10, Jesus commends Mary (who sat at His feet to learn and seek Him) over Martha (who served Him), saying:

“few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42).

Again, “only one” thing was truly needed in Jesus’ economy: sitting at His feet to seek Him out and learn Him deeply.

Matt. 26; Mark 14 – A Beautiful Thing

Another example of this is seen when the woman poured the alabaster flask of costly perfume unto the Lord. The disciples thought it was a poor decision because she could have used it to serve the Lord by serving the poor. But Jesus rebukes them, saying, “Leave her alone…She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Mark 14:6)

Again, Jesus sees adoration and heart-sacrifice offered to Him as the chief aim. In fact, He says, in essence, this is at the heart of the gospel: “wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:9)

Rev. 2 – Your First Love

Elsewhere we are told that the church of Ephesus had 7 things God commends them for, yet there is 1 thing they lacked. And that 1 thing was so important that if they didn’t repent on this point, Jesus would snuff out their light. What was that 1 thing? You probably guessed it:

“I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (Rev. 2:4)

Again, out of many good things they did or we could do, 1 thing is put as higher than all: to love the Lord…to adore Him…to seek Him out…to know Him.

The Greatest Command

As much is indicated when Jesus says the very first thing that we can do if we want to please the Lord is:

“Love the Lord with all your heart…” In fact, this is the very first thing listed in the, “first and greatest commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38)

Called to Be with Him

Or we see when Jesus called his 12 apostles what He called them to: “He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” (Mark 3:14-15) Notice the first aspect of the 12’s ministry: “to be with Him.” And after that, then we see the preaching and power He also called them to. But if you miss that one thing, you’ve missed it all.

Love is the Greatest

Another example is seen in 1 Cor 13. There were told that you could give everything and sacrifice everything, and yet it is counted as nothing if love is absent. Thus, we see again the high place given to love (even over extreme service): “three remain: faith, hope, and love…and the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13, my paraphrase).

Adam Knew His Wife…

Finally, consider that God blessed humanity and told them to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:22). I liken this to Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:16-20). First it was natural multiplication, then later the command was spiritual multiplication (not that there isn’t overlap–there is!).

But consider how God designs this process of being fruitful and multiplying to begin! Genesis 4:1 – “Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived”. This begins with a joyful and intimate “knowing” of man and wife. What a wonderful beginning God decided.

Again, before all of the fun of birthing and raising generations to come…they were to intimately know each other–to gaze, adore, love, etc.

Song of Songs

In fact, we have an entire book dedicated to this aspect. And it’s not just any book, it’s a song. And it’s not just any song, it’s “The Song of Songs” (Song of Songs 1:1). Consider that a moment. Solomon wrote “1,005” songs (1 Kings 4:32). But only 1 song was elevated as “the” song.

Do you see this theme? It is stitched into the fabric of God’s word, as He longs for it to be stitched in the fabric of our heart.

This is God’s design. Do whatever you can to guard this one thing.

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