“But One Thing Is Needful”

Oct 8, 2011
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#1
When we fully understand that God uses everything in our lives (all thoughts, feelings, words and actions) to “work together for our good,” we can then realize that the sum of all we encounter is but to teach us to know that we need not to wonder if our daily lives are counting for Him in the way He desires. He is the Orchestrator and therefore in control of the finalities of all begotten of Him, in directing our lives through the administration of His work “in” and “for” us (Phil 2:13; Rom 8:28).

Thus wherever we are, it is in His school of training, which will—without fail—always serve to progress us unto our next level of learning. In His omniscience, all has been taken into account, even the wrongs we will inadvertently choose, and has been preplanned to an inevitable single end—to continually “conform” us to the life of the Lord Jesus (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). This does not address the redemption in which we are “irrevocably” planted (Rom 11:29), but increases our effectiveness in the possession of it!
- NC




“But One Thing Is Needful”


“Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things” (Luke10:41). The Lord’s words are very striking. Beloved friends, if you are busy about many things you will not only be busy, but troubled. Martha, we read, “was cumbered (distracted) with much serving”; and she was not only “encumbered,” but also “troubled”—it weighed upon her (vs 40—NC). If you have service that weighs you down, look to it; see well why it is. Plainly that very character would put you along with Martha there.

“And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” (vs 39). The Lord takes her up to signify His entire approbation as to where she was and what she was. He has a reproof for Martha’s service, but has only approbation for Mary’s simply sitting at His feet. “But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (vs 42).

Only “one thing.” To what a little point would that diminish all care (e.g. eliminate unnecessary concerns—NC) if we only recognize and bowed to the truth of the Lord’s words. There are a great many needs in the busy world; there are a great many duties that you have, and that Christians think they have to society, to their neighbors, and what not. The Lord here would bring our hearts from everything simply to one—to sit at His feet and hear His Word!

Don’t you feel as if that would leave service out altogether? How is it possible that only a single thing is needful, and Mary had chosen that very part, when there are so many things to do? Are we to leave out service to the Lord? What does it mean? Beloved, this: That the thing which is to be our care is that we receive from the Lord Jesus. And if we are receiving, service and everything else will take care of itself. Mark, I do not mean that you won’t serve. You will. But I say this: that if your care is not for service (i.e. as a priority—NC), but to be receiving from Him, you will find that the “one thing” of which the Lord speaks embraces all the rest.

What our Father wants from us is receptiveness (first, then service—NC). He wants in us the capacity to receive. “Come” and “drink”; and he that believeth on Me (faith being that receptive character in the soul), out of his inner being shall flow rivers of living water.” Mark what a beautiful thing—that out of the innermost of man’s nature (e.g. new nature—NC), the part that craves, the fullness flows.

If rivers of living water flow out of you, this means both testimony and service, surely. It implies real ministry to others, and that God is to get His own from you in the world. But if this is to be true of you, what are the means by which it is to be accomplished? You are to come and drink; you are to come and receive as Mary did, and you will find in this “one thing needful” all other things are contained. Even amid a ruined world, paradise is returned again for him who takes this place at Jesus’ feet—this place of happy dependence to which there is no lack.

You see, the fullness is His, it is not ours. People have the idea that grace in a man is a sort of thing that God puts as it were a seed into the soul, and it is to grow and grow, and develop there into more, so that he has consciously more and more. That is not it at all! Surely I do not mean to say that a man is not born of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, and that as so born he does not grow. Certainly he does; but that is another thing (grace admits in only one degree but understanding it deeper ever increases—NC). From the very beginning of growth this ought to be true of us.

Beloved, the blessedness we speak of is to be found in that which God has already given to us, if we are Christians—that which the Apostle sets forth in Colossians 2:9 and 10 (the key of the epistle): “In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are filled up in Him.” Now, if that is really so, you see your competence at once. God has given you place, your part, in Him already. And think, beloved, that in One in whom is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, in Him we are “filled up!” Faith has got to recognize this. Faith has got to make it all practical. Not to make the thing true—it is true—but we have to recognize it to find the proper truth of it.

Alas, we are all Marthas, apt to be busy with much serving. And the last thing which we naturally think of is to come to the Lord to find satisfaction in Him alone. You think, “If He is such a glorious Person, He must be served. No, if He is such a glorious Person, would He come down from heaven to earth to be served by us? Was it not more adequate faith in Mary, saying, as it were, “If He had wanted service, He would not ask for it from such poor, incompetent hands as ours.” “The less is blessed of the better” (Heb 7:7). It is not more blessed to receive, but “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” And are we trying to serve the Lord Jesus? Take care we are not trying to be “the better,” and to make Him “the less” (of course inadvertently so—NC). Are we trying to serve Him, when He had to come from heaven to serve us?

What is the secret, beloved ones, of all the dishonor done to Him (alas!) by His people? It is that they are not where Mary was—they are not in the place of real occupation with Himself. That is what the Lord wants. He has come all this weary way to attract our hearts to Himself. He wants us to receive out of His fullness—He want us simply to receive. Not to get us to say, after a little while, “I must be doing something now” (receive to do, not to do then receive—NC). He wants us to receive, receive and receive!

If it is only receiving from Him, every other responsibility will be met easily—not by effort, but met of necessity. This will come after you own soul is fully satisfied; for the vessel must be filled itself before it can properly flow over. It is not from a vessel that is partly full that you expect an overflow. You must sit at His feet until you are filled yourself—that is the first thing. And when filled yourself, don’t think that you require effort then. As surly as you are filled yourself, out of your inner being shall flow “rivers of living water.” How slow are we to receive in its full reality the grace that requires not, but gives—that delights to give—that only seeks to have objects for it; the grace that, simply as we receive it, we find not only fullness for ourselves, but that which makes our lives full also for others.

That “one thing” needful is occupation with Him—to sit at His feet and learn of Him. So then, if we want to serve Him, the only possible way is to receive from Him first until our hearts are so full that we cannot contain it any longer. The overflow is not measured by the capacity of the vessel, but by the power of the spring. Think of that! Think of our testimony in the world being the testimony of the divine fullness—not the measure of what we are, but the measure, so to speak, of what He is. The “one thing” needful for us is that our whole souls should be satisfied with Himself—and to be occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ is to be satisfied (In satisfaction there is absence of greed—NC).

- F W Grant





Excerpt from MJS devotional for August 10:

The legal Christian considers the law to be his best friend who will enable him to live righteously. But in reality the law, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, is his beloved enemy. The Spirit’s purpose is to bring the well-meaning believer down into defeat, wretched and ready to realize, “I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 7:25). - MJS

“It is perhaps the most alarming symptom of decay to be seen amongst evangelical believers today, that so many have accepted (at any rate mentally) the fact that they cannot be justified before God except by the sacrifice for sin once made for all upon Calvary, proceed to build a new legal code by which to live, and seek to be sanctified by their own efforts and endeavors. – JCM

www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
 

Fish Catcher Jim

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#2
When we fully understand that God uses everything in our lives (all thoughts, feelings, words and actions) to “work together for our good,” we can then realize that the sum of all we encounter is but to teach us to know that we need not to wonder if our daily lives are counting for Him in the way He desires. He is the Orchestrator and therefore in control of the finalities of all begotten of Him, in directing our lives through the administration of His work “in” and “for” us (Phil 2:13; Rom 8:28).
All thoughts and feelings ? Your joking right?
God uses All thoughts and feelings words and actions to work together for our good?

You have truly taken this scripture into an area it does not fit.
 
Oct 8, 2011
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#3
All thoughts and feelings ? Your joking right?
God uses All thoughts and feelings words and actions to work together for our good?

You have truly taken this scripture into an area it does not fit.
Didn't God know He was going to use Satan and man's sinful nature for the sake of manifesting good? Same for the "Tree of Knowledge." I believe what God foreknows and allows to occur is what is included in His plans, otherwise He would have disallowed them to occur as they do and used a different way.

I see no difficulty in thinking that God desires man to comprehend and understand Him in His holiness by allowing it to be compared with evil, which answers to the "Tree of Knowledge" and to the creation of Satan. One cannot comprehend good without ever comparing it with evil. "All things work together for good" means everything we encounter, and "for good" not only means for our good, but also to manifest what is good (just my opinion).
 

Fish Catcher Jim

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#4
Didn't God know He was going to use Satan and man's sinful nature for the sake of manifesting good? Same for the "Tree of Knowledge." I believe what God foreknows and allows to occur is what is included in His plans, otherwise He would have disallowed them to occur as they do and used a different way.
Huh?
You make it sound as if God has to authorize anything that happens. That's totally against scripture.

God put some authority into man's hands. This means it's up to man not God until this is all said and done. That's why there is so much evil in this world.
God must allow a lot of things because He gave that authority over to man.

With your thinking......if I get angry and delete your account.....it's all a part of God's plan.....that's pure foolishness.
Truth is.....I would be in the flesh allowing anger to control what I did and in this example. ....delete your account.


Didn't God know He was going to use Satan and man's sinful nature for the sake of manifesting good?
God does not need to use any evil to manifest good.

God gave the Law which showed how unHoly man was. Jesus came and took this law up a notch in order to show how No man could keep it and be righteous in God.
One example.....Law said do not commit adultery.
Jesus took it up so high that you had to need Him.....Jesus said if any man THINKS about a woman in this way is guilty of adultery.
Jesus took it from just doing to just even thinking in order to break the law.
No man other then Jesus could ever keep the laws.

By saying God allows evil to work His Good is the same as saying God put the evil on some one.....pure foolishness when scripture says God can not be tempted with evil.

No friend......NOT All things will ever work good in any ones life.
Blessings
 
#5
The devotion regarding Mary and Martha was interesting.
People can be precoccupied with serving in an attempt to please everyone, but, one thing is needful, to please the Lord.
Ive been told the opposite by so many people, I need to please man, the client, the manager, mum, etc. (problem is, there are so many people to please, and they all have different opinions and preferences, and some want things done yesterday, and some dont want this and some want that)

But, sometimes you actually have to ignore what everyone elses says and listen to God. Because this is what your soul needs! To hear from Him. Learn from Him.
 
#6
Hmm think I agree with FCJ on this one.
The scripture 'all things work together for the good of those who Love God, and who are the called according to his purpose' the 'all things' scripture is talking about saints praying in the holy spirit. If you read in context.

Going back to Eden, there were two trees in the garden, and God had told adam specifically no to eat from one tree but to eat from all the others. I dont know if its meant there were literally only two trees in this garden (not much of a garden if it consists of just two trees!) but that there were two KINDS of trees. One kind that was for food (tree of life) and one that was forbidden to eat. (Tree of knowledge of good and evil) It was man (eve, and adam) who CHOSE to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil that they were told NOT to. So you cant say that God allowed this.

Yes God planted those trees. But He gave fair warning. When adam and eve were banished from the garden, it was because they were no longer able to eat from the tree of life inside the garden and had to cultivate their own food. Why did God do this. Well so adam and eve could learn. If they stayed in the garden they would have destroyed it. It wasnt like God had just left them to it, to their own devices in Eden He had actually given them specific instructions. Its just adam and eve did not heed Gods warning and listened to someone else (the serpent) who lied to them.

In christ, we are able to partake from the tree of life, in revelation He tells us so, that we (saints) have a right to the tree of life. Because that was Gods design for us. He wants us to live forever. He doesnt want us to perish.
 
Oct 8, 2011
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#7
Huh?
You make it sound as if God has to authorize anything that happens. That's totally against scripture.
I'm merely making the point that God knew all that would occur is this life before creating and chose to let it come to pass. And what He allows, I accept that He is in control of all the outcomes from all that occurs.[/QUOTE]

No friend......NOT All things will ever work good in any ones life.
Blessings[/QUOTE]
I think we understand Romans 8:28 differently, which is of course okay. Thanks for your input on the article!

Blessings!
 
Oct 8, 2011
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#8
Hmm think I agree with FCJ on this one.
The scripture 'all things work together for the good of those who Love God, and who are the called according to his purpose' the 'all things' scripture is talking about saints praying in the holy spirit. If you read in context.

Going back to Eden, there were two trees in the garden, and God had told adam specifically no to eat from one tree but to eat from all the others. I dont know if its meant there were literally only two trees in this garden (not much of a garden if it consists of just two trees!) but that there were two KINDS of trees. One kind that was for food (tree of life) and one that was forbidden to eat. (Tree of knowledge of good and evil) It was man (eve, and adam) who CHOSE to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil that they were told NOT to. So you cant say that God allowed this.

Yes God planted those trees. But He gave fair warning. When adam and eve were banished from the garden, it was because they were no longer able to eat from the tree of life inside the garden and had to cultivate their own food. Why did God do this. Well so adam and eve could learn. If they stayed in the garden they would have destroyed it. It wasnt like God had just left them to it, to their own devices in Eden He had actually given them specific instructions. Its just adam and eve did not heed Gods warning and listened to someone else (the serpent) who lied to them.

In christ, we are able to partake from the tree of life, in revelation He tells us so, that we (saints) have a right to the tree of life. Because that was Gods design for us. He wants us to live forever. He doesnt want us to perish.
I believe God uses everything we encounter to teach the believer their relationship through fellowship, which is being God-dependent concerning all things. He knew they would disobey when He commanded them not to partake of the "Tree" because this was they way He desired to begin teaching us.

Always appreciate your input!

Blessings!
 

Fish Catcher Jim

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#9
No friend......NOT All things will ever work good in any ones life.
Blessings
I think we understand Romans 8:28 differently, which is of course okay. Thanks for your input on the article![/QUOTE]

Rightly dividing the word or scriptures is key.
You can not merely pull a scripture out and use it with a natural understanding and use it any place you wish.

By your thinking a man gets drunk and goes nuts with anger and shoots up a school killing many children.......your thinking says God knew this would happen but allowed it to work Good in some way in some place.

That's truly perverted thinking.
God allowed it because He had no choice but to in this hour of Grace......BUT He would have warned them before hand but most never even listen.


And what He allows, I accept that He is in control of all the outcomes from all that occurs.
Again with this perverted thinking.....
God allowed and evil man named Hitler kill all those Jews because He was after all in control of the outcome.
That's sick and saying God is evil as well as Holy.

No friend.......that's religious thinking out of the put of hell.

Psalm 115:16
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

In Heaven God is in total control. That's why there is no sin or evil.
Earth has been given over unto man. Man was given authority over much. This means man allows this evil because it is not under God's Authority at this time.

Now for those who walk with Him can find Rest and Protection if we choose but again God is not in control of that.

When you say God is in total control of everything.....you are in sin for justifying any wrong against you.....you are in sin for taking an aspirin for a headache for after all, God is in control so He wanted you to have that headache.

You can find in the book of Revelation when God takes back full control of this earth.
If you wish to believe everything that happens was in God's control then so be it.....but it still does not make it so.
Blessings and thank you for the reply
 
Oct 8, 2011
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#10
I think we understand Romans 8:28 differently, which is of course okay. Thanks for your input on the article!
Rightly dividing the word or scriptures is key.
You can not merely pull a scripture out and use it with a natural understanding and use it any place you wish.

By your thinking a man gets drunk and goes nuts with anger and shoots up a school killing many children.......your thinking says God knew this would happen but allowed it to work Good in some way in some place.[/QUOTE]
Could that be like saying Adam and Eve weren't suppose to eat of the Tree, even though God knew they would? That would seem to indicate that He did not know they would.
 

Fish Catcher Jim

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#11
Could that be like saying Adam and Eve weren't suppose to eat of the Tree, even though God knew they would? That would seem to indicate that He did not know they would.
Come on now!! Now you are just confusing the issue with other thoughts and bits of scripture.

Scripture tells us that God had planned on Jesus and the Cross before the beginning.
God gives man free will. Even Adam.

But none of that says God is in total control of everything that happens or makes a choice to allow it or not.

Lots have changed since Adam.
However God gave Adam Authority in this world over much of this earth.
Adam gave it to satan.
Jesus got it back for us.

Man has the authority to allow or not allow things. Man has the authority in Christian to change things and stop things but man has allowed religious thinking from hell tell him that God has and only has control over all this stuff.

Please don't confuse the issue at hand with another.
Blessings
 
Oct 8, 2011
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#12
Come on now!! Now you are just confusing the issue with other thoughts and bits of scripture.
But none of that says God is in total control of everything that happens or makes a choice to allow it or not.
We will continue to believe different on the issue of God's control. What I think applies is different from your opinion, and it's the same for me. I base my understanding on this issue due to the fact that God foreknows all that will occur and chose to bring it all into existence.

If I do not reply to any more on this issue, it's not that I'm ignoring your comment but that I feel we've gone far enough with it.

Blessings!
 
#13
I call 'free will' 'free wont' sometimes. If God says you can do something, then do it, if He says you cant, then dont. It depends on whther you want to listen to Him or not, God isnt going to make the choice for you. And He made us this way, a little lower than the angels. If we were actually as angels, and lived in heaven we probably would not even think of going against God.

However whatever choices we make, even wrong ones, God can still turn around. He planned for this when he sent Jesus. Because God loves and and is, as for all intents and purposes, in control of the universe. There are many wrong choices we dont make that other people make that affect us. God knows those choices are evil, but he can use even that evil man meant for others and redeem it so it doesnt affect those who are innocent and make the right ones. The more you trust in Him, the easier it is to know the right thing to do. Many people dont know what the right choice is and make heaps of mistakes. That is why its improtant to get wisdom above all else. Widsom from God, not worldy wisdom.
 
Feb 5, 2018
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#14
I believe there are many folks that place mans’ so-called free-will as King, because many are unbelievers. And then I wonder when I hear it from a Christian, whether they are truly saved.

I also believe that there are many professing Christians that either ignore the power of God’s foreknowledge in the affairs of mankind, especially for true believers.

Personally, when I committed and dedicated my life to Christ through God’s spirit, I also understood in mind and heart that I signed away my so-called free will as being ‘dead.’ I committed my life to cooperating with the spirit of God in the ‘new will’ that wants to please God. I cannot have it both ways, and the spirit within me actually attests to this fact that I have a ‘new free-will,’ as I walk together with the spirit for sanctification and ‘goodness.’

In my life despite the slips and falls, I have also noticed and realized God’s hand after many of these falls by turning them into a good thing or at least as a teaching area for my life. I thank God for this all the time. And I believe Romans 8: 26-30 is very much applicable:

(Rom 8:26) " And in like manner the Spirit also helps our infirmity. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. "
(Rom 8:27) " And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. "
(Rom 8:28)" And we know that to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose- all things work together for good. "
(Rom 8:29)" For whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many other children. "
(Rom 8:30)" And whom He foreordained, those He also called, and whom He called, these He also justified, and who He justified, these He also glorified. " (ALL NEV)

Blessings,

APAK
 
Oct 8, 2011
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#15
It's my understanding that since God continually causes us ("work in you") to desire and do His pleasure, everything we do will be with the motive to please Him, even though we can expect the wrongs which we know will continue.

I believe that the existence of the sin nature and its works in the believer is not an issue with Him as much as it is with us knowing the fullness of his forgiveness concerning them, so we can also know the fullness of our fellowship with Him (in which fellowship He "works"). His side is completely clear of everything that was enmity between us and Him, and He wants us to understand this so we can also be completely clear on our side concerning our thoughts related to our sin nature ("old man") and its works.

Blessings!
 
Amens/Likes: APAK
#16
Well the flesh is done away with at the cross, put to death as it is. So we reckon ourselves dead to sin, alive to christ.
I think Paul said somewhere that we had to mortify our members..mortify meaning put it to death. The sinful nature must be put to death. Our old Flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom.

When we undergo baptism, this signifies the death of 'the old man' (adam) to be buried and that we put on the 'new man' to be raised (christ.)
 
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#18
Well the flesh is done away with at the cross, put to death as it is. So we reckon ourselves dead to sin, alive to Christ.
Hi Lan! True, we are dead to sin (Rom 6:2, 11; Col 3:3), but it is never to be said to be dead to us, but "is crucified" (Rom 6:6). To me this means it is restrained (crucified on the Cross) but not eradicated or deceased. Thus, we are "dead" to our sin nature and its works concerning its "guilt" (Rom 8:1) and "dominion" (Rom 6:14), but not to its presence and effect in us (Rom 7); which effects only serve the believer to be continually strengthened in our faith, through the repetitious exercising of our reckoning in the work of Christ's Cross!

I think Paul said somewhere that we had to mortify our members..mortify meaning put it to death.
There is the "mortifying the deeds of the body" (Rom 8:13), which is in reference to the physical body. I believe this is the same as "mortify your members" (Col 3:5), which is where the deeds of the body have their seat and origin. But this letter is in reference to the "old man" which is the spiritual nature of man with its "members," known as the "body of sin" (Rom 6:6), all of which are to be mortified "through the Spirit" per Rom 8:13.
 
#19
Um ok theres a lot of 'buts' in your post...what about galatians 2:20

We no longer live by the flesh and its desires but need to live by faith. Eg the flesh isnt completely destroyed, but its not alive either its dead/dying. The spirit is the part of us that is alive eternally.
 
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#20
Um ok theres a lot of 'buts' in your post...what about galatians 2:20

We no longer live by the flesh and its desires but need to live by faith. Eg the flesh isnt completely destroyed, but its not alive either its dead/dying. The spirit is the part of us that is alive eternally.
Sorry for the winded post, and I agree that we no longer live by the flesh, e.g. no longer live by the sinful nature, because God doesn't see us any more in our sinful nature but in His Son (Rom 8:9).