One Thing Needful

One Thing Is Needful

Luke 10:38–42 

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her

Tonight I will be presenting the wonderful gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

For those who do not know specifically what The Gospel is, it’s definition can be found in 1 Corinthians 15.

1 Corinthians 15:1–4 

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Jesus dying for our sins is that substitution of his life for ours, and it was according to all that was spoken of in history past in the Old Testament. That he was buried and rose again the third day is the single most attested fact of all history. In fact, scholars have said that if the method used to deny the resurrection of Christ was applied to any other historical event, all written and documented history would need to be denied and wiped away.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be denied. Excused, explained away it has been attempted, rejected it still is to this day and perhaps by some of you here. 

Tonight I am going to give you all an opportunity to believe the gospel. To those who have believed it, it will be an opportunity to rejoice that you have been saved as the Bible teaches, and to stand with complete confidence knowing nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:39)

Three points I intend to bring out for you comfort this evening and I want you to write them down so you don’t miss them;

There is One Thing Needful, it is The Care OF The Soul
The One Thing Neglected, it is The Safety Of The Soul
There Is One Thing Necessary For The Salvation of the Soul

There is One Thing Needful, it is The Care OF The Soul

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Here we see Jesus himself addressing Martha who was “cumbered about much serving”. She had seen Mary sitting at Jesus feet while she was attending to the work in serving those people who had come with Jesus. 

Martha clearly though Jesus was on her side as she worked while Mary sat.

But Jesus responded contrary to what Martha supposed saying;

… Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 

I want to share with you this evening that the “One Thing Needful” Jesus spoke of, is the one thing needful for ALL people and not limited to Mary.

Lets consider the context that we have here.

Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Who is Jesus? The Son of God, in fact he is “the very God of peace” (1 Thess 5:23), he is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16), Jesus said to Phillip, “he that hath seen me hath  seen the father” (Jn 14:9). 

Mary was therefore sitting at God’s own feet; therefore the “One thing needful” is attending to is the ONE thing of all things most needful.

Jesus saying ONE thing is needful and stopping there without further qualification, he is not saying ANYTHING else is MORE needful than that which Mary is attending to.

Only the Care of the Soul could be the One Thing Needful that Mary was nourishing at the feet of Jesus.

Luke 19:10 

10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

All of mankind is lost.

Romans 3:23 

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

And Jesus came to wash our sins away that our souls might be white as snow, clean as pure wool. Isaiah wrote of this saying in

Isaiah 1:18 

18  ….though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

It is not possible to think of anything more needful than the care of our souls.

Your soul is you; you are NOT your body. You are not this material bone structure, wrapped in flesh, covered in skin with blood, bringing it life.

Anyone who has seen the body of a loved one can easily see that it is now empty, the soul is no longer there but taken to its permanent home.

The Soul is eternal, the body will eventually decay and rot in the grave.

Job wrote a testimony of it in 

Job 19:26 

26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 

Here he testifies two incredible things, the one is that his body will ultimately decay, yet also that he will rise with a new body to see God.

Nothing could be more Needful than the care of the soul;

and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 

Consider for a moment what care you have ever given to your own soul.


The One Thing Neglected, it is The Safety Of The Soul

It is sad to see that in our lives the one thing that is needful, is also the one thing that is too often neglected.

The One Thing Neglected, it is the Safety of the Soul.

Here we see Martha, just like you and I too often are, “cumbered about much serving”, and careful and troubled about many things. But the only thing too often not cared about, the one thing neglected is the safety of the soul.

The one thing Martha neglects seems also to be the one thing Mary found “Needful”.

She sits at the feet of Jesus and hearing his words, she is nurturing to the fullest extent the needs of her soul.

That Eternal reality of EVERY PERSON EVER BORN.

All this, while Martha is “careful and troubled about many [other] things”. 

How much is the a picture of many people.

Too worried things that don’t really matter. Arguing about things that are of little to no value. We seem content to fight the political fight of slavery, the fight against abortion, the fight against social justice issues to try to make the world a better place.

Christians getting distracted by everything that pertains to this life, again. trying to make the world a better place.

It seems noble.

It seems sincere.

But without the Gospel, without preaching for the safety of the soul, we are only working harder to make the world a better place TO GO TO HELL FROM!

It was Jesus whom the Bible so clearly teaches is the lover of our souls

I find it incredible how our souls are ONE thing we often neglect, yet it is the very ONE thing Jesus died to save.

Mary longed to be saved. 

She knew that she, like the Apostle Paul, like you and I, was dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1), that each person who is aware of right and wrong, each person who has a conscience that testifies to him the very basic nature of justice, will give an account, 

For “it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgement” (Heb 9:27)

and Mary yearned that her soul may be saved against that day.

There was a time in history that the vast majority of the world had a care for their souls.

The one question they asked was “what will happen to me after I die”, it was probably the same question you and I once asked as a child, and it’s a fair question because we ALL die. 

Back then, the ONE THING NEEDFUL was not Neglected, but nurtured. It was the only thing a person could possibly care about that mattered. People suffered nightmares worrying about death and eternity.

People had a true and genuine concern for the Safety Of Their Soul.

It’s strange to me, I have worked in the construction industry for the better part of 30 years, and the ONE THING NEEDFUL in the industry was to be alive at the end of the working day. Care for injury to the physical body.

We take such Safety in our day to day lives, but NOT A SINGLE THOUGHT of Safety for our eternal soul.

The temporary life seems so much more important than the eternal.

Signs of “Danger Keep Out” warn of impending injury should we ignore it.

Hazardous Chemicals” signs and barricade tape, reflective strips across the front edge of steps, you see it everywhere you go, ALL warning of the Danger of life or limb should it be ignored.

But the book that warns of the danger the soul is in is either ignored or silenced.

There are already so few people who warn of the danger the soul is in.

Already so few loving people enough to encourage them to Safeguard their souls. Its unlikely you will here it again. It was 12 years for me, but you are not guaranteed another day let alone another decade.

No matter how hard the world tries to reinvent the truth, REALITY REMAINS REAL. 

The Book the world today ignores gives the answer with the greatest clarity and simplicity, you have already heard it in the New Testament

Hebrews 9:27 

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

The Old Testament is not silent saying in

Ecclesiastes 12:14 

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whetherit be good, or whether it be evil. 

You might prefer not to believe the Bible, but it won’t change its reality. 

The Judgement of our souls will either happen or it won’t happen, and it has NOTHING to do with our personal preference or feelings on the matter.

Heaven and Hell either exist or don’t exist, and it has nothing to do with whether or not you choose to believe it.


If there is a one in a million chance that its true, the eternity of your soul depends on it.

Many people today seem to be happy giving away their hard earned money for temporary happiness with greater odds than one in a million, but happy to neglect their eternal happiness even to ponder the question!

Why is the Safety of the Soul The One Thing Neglected when it is so important?

I just don’t understand how people can be so flippant! 


There Is One Thing Necessary For The Salvation of the Soul

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

We have had;

One Thing Needful, and that is the Eternal Care of Our Soul

One Thing Neglected, and that is the Eternal Safety for our soul.

And lastly we have the One Thing Necessary, for the Eternal Salvation of Our Soul.

Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

The joy and hope that is found in Christ, can never be taken away from us. 

There are obviously those who begin to think that if we know we will go to heaven, then what stops us from sinning?

Well, the truth is we do still sin even after we are saved. BUT, we no longer love sin like we used to. When a person is born again and becomes a Christian, God has given that person his Spirit and he is changed.

Paul wrote;

Romans 8:9 

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 2:12 

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 

Yes, we still sin, we may sin less, but we are not sinless.

We are different, we are changed, now we hate sin. The only way that comes about is when we are born again, born of the Spirit of God.

Turn to John 3

John 3:1–6 

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Did you see it? “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God

Every man and woman that is born is born of water, that is just part of the natural process of our delivery into the world. When the waters brake, the childs entry into the world is any moment. 

We are ALL born of water, but NOT all are born of the Spirit.

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

…ye must be born again…(v7)


Keep reading

John 3:16–18 

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Turn to Acts 16:25–31 

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 

Acts 8:34–38 

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went ontheir way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 

I have shown you from the Scriptures HOW you can be saved. You will note that it is NOT my words but GOD’S words that show you the truth.

Will you believe it?


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