Our pastor had a very thought-provoking message the other Sunday. He talked about the power of "one thing."
Do you remember the movie "City Slickers" with Billy Crystal? In it, three guys from the city decide to go on a cattle drive. They are "tenderfoots" in every sense of the word. Their journey is funny, touching, and meaningful - all at the same time.
They are guided by Curly, the gruff and grizzled trail boss (wonderfully played by the late Jack Palance). At one point in the movie, Curly and Mitch (Billy Crystal's character) are riding alone to find some stray cattle. Curly then explains that all the stuff in life "don't mean nothing" if you know the one thing that is the meaning of life.
Mitch asks him what the one thing is.
Curly tells him that he has to find that out for himself.
Our pastor used this scene to introduce his topic, "The One Thing."
He then led our congregation through a series of verses, and asked each of us to claim "just one" for the summer. I'd like to give them to you - they're worth pondering...
"The one thing I ask of the Lord - the thing I seek most - is to..." (Psalm 27:4)
1. One thing I desire from God:
- "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27) - Do you desire to hear God's voice, to feel a sense of His affirmation - to know you're not alone?
- "Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) - Do you need rest?
- He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name." (Psalm 23:2-3) - Do you need strength and guidance?
- "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." (James 1:5) - Is it wisdom or discernment you want?
2. One thing I want to experience:
- "Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often." (Luke 2:19) - Would you like good memories with your family?
- "Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it...will do no good." (Psalm 127:1) - Do you need protection for your family, your household, your finances?
- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6) - Do you need to trust God?
3. One thing I want to change:
- "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." (Colossians 3:12) - Is it time for an attitude change?
- "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2) - Do you want God to change the way you act - to change the way you think?
4. One thing I need to let go:
- "Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you." (Psalm 51:12) - Have you lost your way? Are you ready to come home to God?
- "No...I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:13-14) - Do you need to let go of something from your past?
5. One promise I need to claim:
- "This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) - Are you tired of being afraid?
- "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor." (1 Peter 5:6) - Are you striving for something to happen, instead of "waiting" on the Lord's timing?
- "Give all your worries to God, for he cares about you." (1 Peter 5:7) - Are you sick and tired of worrying?"
- When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown...you are precious to me." (Isaiah 43:2,4) - Is this a time of great struggle or suffering - do you need to know God is with you?
When you really get serious about asking God for something - the one thing I ask, the one thing I seek - then God will get serious with you!
What's YOUR "one thing?"
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