One Thing to Prioritize
By: Dudley Rutherford
It can be difficult to prioritize that which is truly important in life when we are faced with a myriad of choices each day. According to research, you will make 35,000 choices today, and about 225 of those decisions will be about what you eat and drink. Your entertainment decisions (what you will watch or listen to) are countless. Hundreds of television channels offer a copious schedule of dramas, comedies, and sports…not to mention more than a billion options for music, video clips, movies, video games, and apps. Did you know that there are more than 29 million different podcast episodes available? You could play them twenty-four hours a day your entire life, and it would still take you 3,310 years to listen to them all. Are you planning to live that long? I’m certainly not!
Are you facing weightier choices right now, such as deciding on where you will live, work, or go to school? Are you pondering relational issues about your friends, significant other, or coworkers? How complicated is your financial situation, your health, or the health of someone you love? Let’s throw in politics. It seems as though every day a new pressing issue shouts at us to form an opinion or to take a stand or to join one side or another. When numerous and legitimate social causes are thrown our way, it can be difficult to know which one deserves our focus.
On top that, spiritual decisions are the most important, yet often go ignored. I would argue that spiritual decisions are most important because they have eternal consequences. Therefore, the choices we make about our relationship with God should be prioritized above all else.
In Mark 10, a rich young ruler ran up to Jesus and fell on his knees before Him. Then he asked the Lord what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. This man was not only sincere, but also practically perfect in his observance of the Jewish law. However, Jesus—the truly perfect Son of God, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords—points out “one thing” the man lacked: he didn’t want to let go of his love of money in order to fully serve and follow God.
What is one thing that may be lacking in your walk with Christ? What is the one thing you have difficulty walking away from, in order to wholeheartedly follow Jesus? And if you are missing one thing, would you want Jesus to point it out to you?
Jesus reminded the rich young man of the Ten Commandments, and the man declared, “Teacher, all these I have kept since I was a boy” (Mark 10:20). Then Jesus said, “One thing you lack…Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
The Bible says, “At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
This interesting exchange challenges us to take an honest inventory of our hearts. Christ invites us to examine what our number-one priority really is. Are we striving for perfection through an endless religious to-do list while overlooking an unhealthy attachment to temporary, worldly things—or are we wholeheartedly committed to Christ?
Take some time today to pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you your “one thing” you need to surrender to Him. There’s no need to walk away sad like the rich young ruler, because there is so much joy and satisfaction awaiting you when you get rid of your idols and make Jesus your first priority. Christ is always the best choice!
Adapted from Pastor Dudley Rutherford’s upcoming book, One Thing: Rediscover a Simple Faith in Our Complicated World, available for preorder now on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Pastor Dudley Rutherford is the senior pastor of Shepherd Church, which has three campuses in the Greater Los Angeles area. You can watch services online or connect with Dudley at www.LiftUpJesus.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.