Apr 15, 2009

Your priority - to know the Lord

That I may know Him . . . Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do . . . one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.  (Phi_3:10, Phi_3:13, and Luk_10:42)

Paul's goal in life was to grow in intimacy with the Lord  "That I may know Him." He wanted to know the Lord so well that his life would be transformed into "resurrected living" in this spiritually lifeless world. He humbly admitted that he had not yet reached such spiritual maturity. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended." Thus, in light of his own need to grow, coupled with the excellence of the goal, he had a single focus in his life: "one thing I do." This one thing was his ongoing quest to know the Lord more and more. 

This focused quest is similar to the heart that Mary demonstrated, as recorded in the gospel of Luke. When Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, Mary "sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word" (Luk_10:39). Martha was functioning as a busy hostess, desiring to bless her Lord. However, her busy labors distracted her from the one she was attempting to serve. "But Martha was distracted with much serving" (Luk_10:40). The solution was obvious to Martha. She would insist that Jesus send her sister to help. "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me" (Luk_10:40). 

How startled Martha must have been when Jesus indicated she was the problem, not Mary. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things" (Luk_10:41). The many concerns of Martha's ministry were causing anxiety and inner turmoil. Her desire to serve the Lord had deteriorated to self-pity and irritation. Then, Jesus offered an astounding revelation that put everything into perfect spiritual perspective. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luk_10:42). 

What an amazing truth: "one thing is needed." That one necessary matter is Jesus. Mary chose Jesus. She was at the feet of her master, getting to know Him, listening to His words of truth and grace. This was Paul's heart: "one thing I do . . . that I may know Him."

Dear Lord Jesus, shape in me a heart like Paul, like Mary. Stir in me a passion to know You better. May this become the consuming goal in my life. Forgive me for allowing busy service to eclipse You, the one I desire to please. Help me to spend frequent quiet times at Your feet. Then, when I rise up to serve You, may my heart always remain at Your feet, abiding in You, Amen.

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