One Thing Above All Other Things

As a teacher, I have learned that the key to an effective lesson is setting the objectives early and centering every activity, every explanation, every demonstration around those objectives. With no clear objectives, the lesson dwindles into haphazard instruction at best and purposeless busy-ness at worst.

So as I’m preparing to enter a new, exciting, busy school year, I want to know, “What are the objectives God has for me to fulfill?” It’s too easy to lose focus, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of school and classroom and church life, of what God’s true priorities for me are. So before I get to Martha breaking point (Luke 10:38-42), I decided to find the statements the Bible makes about the “one thing” that is most important and needed. By continually going back to God’s objective, I hope to stay focused as I try to live for Him and help my students do the same.

  • A promise: Joshua 23:14 – And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
  • A request: Psalm 27:4 – 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.
  • An answer: Psalm 57:2 – I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me.
  • A standard: Psalm 119:28 – Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.
  • A comparison: Proverbs 8:11 – For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
  • A commission: Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
  • A requirement: Mark 10:21 – Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
  • A reminder: Luke 10:38-42 – A certain woman named Martha welcomed [Jesus] into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 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.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
  • A testimony: John 9:25 – He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” | 1 Corinthians 2:2 – For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
  • An identity: 1 Corinthians 8:6 – There is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
  • A goal: Philippians 3:8-14 – Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
  • A command: 1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”


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