My friend Camden McAfee is Communication Coordinator at PULSE, an evangelistic ministry that exists to awaken culture to the reality of Jesus. He writes about knowing God at Countercultural and here he talks about the “one thing” we must pay attention to. 

…this is one of the most impactful spiritual lessons I ever learned. During my senior year of college, I searched the Bible for the phrase “one thing” because I wanted to know what the Bible counted most important. The five Bible verse results that came back have shaped my faith and this blog.

One Thing I Ask

Psalm 27:4
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 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 inquire in his temple.

David was called “a man after God’s own heart.” Although David could have wanted many things (victory over his enemies, the crown on his head), we see him relentlessly return his focus to God. David sought God more than any earthly treasure.

One Thing You Lack

Mark 10:21
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The rich young ruler claimed to be righteous, but he is unwilling to give Jesus the one thing He asked for: himself. The rich young ruler was willing to impress Jesus with his track record, but he was unwilling to surrender his status.

One Thing is Necessary

Luke 10:41–42
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

One day Martha had an unexpected houseguest—the Son of God. While she toils over a meal for Jesus and twelve other men, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. Jesus responds to her complaint by saying, “You are anxious and troubled with much serving.” Martha was so focused on doing a good thing that she missed out on the best thing.

One Thing I Know

John 9:25
He answered, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

A man born blind is healed by Jesus. When interrogated by the religious leaders, he doesn’t present a well-prepared speech or get intimidated. He simply tells his story: He was blind, but now he sees. In response, Jesus declares the blind man seeing and the religious leaders blind.

One Thing I Do

Philippians 3:13–14
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The apostle Paul didn’t let the baggage of his past dictate his goal. He was focused. He knew his goal, and he wasn’t going to waver. This Pharisee of Pharisees, who had everything going for him, laid down his life to follow Jesus.

One thing - from Christ

Photo: Rykeneethling

5 Verses, 1 Lesson

These five verses highlight five different people from five different walks of life, yet each point to the same lesson:

  • David: Knowing God is at the heart of prayer.
  • Rich young ruler: Knowing God is at the heart of surrender.
  • Martha: Knowing God is at the heart of service.
  • Blind man: Knowing God is at the heart of witness.
  • Paul: Knowing God is at the heart of ambition.

In summary, the lesson is this: Our lives are to be singularly focused on Jesus.

Each story is about not being distracted—by aims or money or serving or fear or our past—but being completely centered on Jesus. When we strain to follow Him, our hearts are filled with joy and purpose and love. When we fix our eyes on Him, we receive the one thing our souls truly long for: Himself.

One thing from Christ - infographic

 

 

See this post in pictures!

 

 

If you enjoyed reading this blog try The 3 Ideas that Will Change Your Faith Forever.

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Mary Ceo
Mary Ceo
1 month ago

Thank you for such a rich ‚insightful study! I loved it-

Kei Ngun Lal
3 months ago

I am very encouraged to read it.

Alison Cross
Alison Cross
8 months ago

This really hits the spot , truly amazing, thank you. I would love this to be shared at our Life Group in the new year but fo now, l was wondering if l could please have permission to use this in our December 2019 issue of our Parish Church Magazine

Jonathan Bray
Jonathan Bray
8 months ago

What about Philippians 1:27 & 3:13?

SHADRECK BANDA
SHADRECK BANDA
10 months ago

Very well elaborated. Challenged and encouraged to be focused on God. Besides, He says… “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours”

Patel kalyan
Patel kalyan
1 year ago

Wonderful ‚I blessed with the sermon you wrote. May God bless you more

Thanks a lot Brother.
Patel

eric
eric
1 year ago

Good morning. I was in prayer this morning and felt prompted to look for as many verses that use the phrase “one thing”. What a blessing to see each time the phrase was used and applied to a different situation based on where each individual was in life and what the one thing they needed.

Thank you,
Eric

Ryan
1 year ago

Amen! Continue in sharing amazing words by God. These verses really touch my heart.

Servant of God solomon
1 year ago

Thanks for Good n great sermon for the change of my life

Micha Hunkeler
Micha Hunkeler
1 year ago

Very good! Thank you!
To my mind comes also Galatians 5:6:
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Ally Mae
Ally Mae
1 year ago

its a good article. it makes me want to learn more about the teachings that Jesus Christ shows us. Thank you for sharing the important things the we are missing in life with the encouraging words of the Bible.

Tomekia Allen
Tomekia Allen
1 year ago

Thank you so much, God is love! Tomekia

Saigon N
Saigon N
1 year ago

Any time I have done a word search like this thru the bible, it has really brought out things to me. It would seem to be a quick way to get an amalgamated vision of some aspect of God.

I am always interested in finding a wider perspective of scripture — bringing it all together, with balance — yet undiluted by any man’s interpretation. I am sure there are lots of ways to do this, such as this word search.

Mădă
Mădă
1 year ago

Thank you so much, your article helped me in times of great trouble !

Jmegrey
Jmegrey
2 years ago

So good!

Todd
Todd
3 years ago

The blog concerning the ‘one thing’ was incredible. As I pondered the richness of the writing and discovering what’s most important, I couldn’t help but think of ways this is played out in everyday lives. I found myself thinking about some young kids that I know and how wonderful it would be for them to realize this truth much sooner than I did. In fact, the content of this blog has ignited a passion within me for sharing its truth as a fictional story for young readers. I would like to use the ‘one thing’ content for this project but… Read more »

Edna Rodriguez
Edna Rodriguez
4 years ago

If we keep our eyes on Jesus in our hustle and bustle world, we will soon realize He is always at our side. It is us that just need to step back, or in a whisper, say His name. Acknowledge Him always and in all things give thanks to Him

Camden McAfee
4 years ago
Reply to  Edna Rodriguez

Great thoughts, Edna. It really is a matter of focus—we can either pay attention to the wind and the waves, or we can fix our eyes on Jesus.

William C. Hensel
William C. Hensel
4 years ago

Two things that occur to me as I soak in this ‘one thing’ message:
1. It links with one of my favorite passages, Hebrews 12:1–3.
2. Camden’s approach reminds me of the priceless riches that flow back from pursuing a similar project by seeking out passages with the little phrase ‘but God’ across Bible text.

Camden McAfee
4 years ago

Hi William! I love your two points. Hebrews 12:1–3 has been a central passage in my life because it gets down to what is most important. I also love the idea of looking up “but God” in Scripture, as I’ve noticed many times when that phrase has jumped out to me. Maybe a good follow-up project!

Dylan P
4 years ago

Good piece, sometimes we make things too complicated.

Camden McAfee
4 years ago
Reply to  Dylan P

Thanks, Dylan. Jesus didn’t make it complicated. Maybe we shouldn’t, either. =)

Nancy Mohr
Nancy Mohr
4 years ago

Timely reminder!

Camden McAfee
4 years ago
Reply to  Nancy Mohr

Thanks, Nancy!

exit83
exit83
4 years ago

Great morning study Chris;)
Agree, although I like the “simplicity “of the top two commandments . Loving God with all your heart , your soul, your might.… And then right behind that one, Love your neighbor as yourself . Boy what a different world it would be.

Camden McAfee
4 years ago
Reply to  exit83

Thanks for reading! I definitely agree with you (and Jesus!) about the two greatest commandments—love God and love people. You’re right; if we could get those two down, the world would be a much better place. I would still stand by my statement that knowing God is the “most important.” Why? Because true, God-honoring love of Him and others springs from the knowledge of God. I bet you will agree with me that Matthew 7:21–23 is one of the most chilling passages in the Bible. It’s about people who come to Jesus expecting a welcome into the kingdom of heaven,… Read more »

Becky D.
Becky D.
1 year ago
Reply to  Camden McAfee

Camden, your reply to this comment has really helped me. Some things have happened in my life that have rocked me to the core. I sometimes get confused as to how to move on. This helped me. I’ve been confused of how to respond to some people, but your reply above reminds me to put seeking and knowing God first, THEN, the rest will make more sense. Right? But now I’m reminded that before we come to God we have to make sure we have no unforgiveness in our hearts. But I need to come to God to get His… Read more »

Camden McAfee
1 year ago
Reply to  Becky D.

Hi Becky! Thank you for sharing this, it really encourages me! You’re right, sometimes we can get tangled in our own thoughts about what it really means to follow God. I think the basic question to ask ourselves is this: Am I moving closer to God and the world around me? These are two steps in the same direction. Just like I said in my reply, prioritizing knowing God will help us love God and others more. The beautiful thing about God is that we’ll never fully know Him—but we will know enough to overflow from our knowledge into acts… Read more »

Rev Ian Gaylard
Rev Ian Gaylard
4 years ago

Wonderful article

Camden McAfee
4 years ago

Thank you for reading, Rev. Gaylard.