A Remembered Lesson

It was over 50 years ago, but it stands out in my memory. Norman Harnage was teaching our class that Sunday morning in our congregation where I grew up.

Norman said he wanted to talk with us about one thing. And he did.

He cited several passages where the expression “one thing” is found. The following were, I believe, among those he cited:

What’s most needed

Jesus was a dinner guest in Martha’s home. In her preparations she became frustrated with her sister Mary, who was listening to Jesus teach. “Lord,” she complained, “do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, “you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

What’s lacking

On another occasion a young man approached Jesus and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus cited several of the Mosaic commandments. “All these things I have kept from my youth,” he replied.

One thing you still lack;” Jesus told him, “sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:18-23).

But the young man turned sadly away. Jesus knew he was putting his money ahead of his relationship with God.

What’s most important

Paul wrote, “. . . one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Paul knew what was most important in life, and he was totally focused on the goal. He let nothing distract him from obtaining the prize.

“. . . one thing is necessary . . . .” “One thing you still lack.” “. . . one thing I do . . . .”

Thank you, Norman Harnage, for bringing that simple but profound lesson so long ago.

You were right.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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