Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The One Needful Thing

I love the start of a new year. The blank calendar feels like another chance to pull myself together and do it right for once! It is the time of year when I shine a light in the dark corners and resolve to change.

If you are like me it is tempting to make a whole list of goals concerning exercise, diet, organization, budget, etc. There is nothing wrong with such goals but are they truly important?

I wonder what God considers important for the coming year. What goal would He want me to make priority?

Maybe we can figure out some answers from this account.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he (Jesus) entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 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. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10: 38-42)

Is there anything more important than spending time with God in Bible reading and prayer? Probably not. Of course, all of us moms have other responsibilities that need done. We just can't spend our whole day reading our Bible even if we want to. But, to be honest, too often, I push time with the Lord aside to do things that have little value. I don't utilize wisely the time God has given me.

When I thought about goals and priorities, I wondered why I write little about the most "needful thing." When I'm excited about a new recipe or a book I've read, I share about it here on the blog, but rarely do I write about what I've read in my Bible reading.  But if I encourage you to read other books, shouldn't I put priority on encouraging reading the Word of God? If I write tips on making the perfect loaf of bread, why don't I write tips on ways to make His Word a priority?

Maybe I'm silent because I'm afraid that it will appear proud, that I'm tooting my horn. But this past year, two friends, because of their openness in sharing about their Bible reading, encouraged me. My friend Jeanne shared that she was attempting to read through the Bible in a year, and inspired me to do the same. My friend Stephanie challenged me to set apart one day a week to read only God's Word, no other reading of any sort. (I wrote about it here.) The original month-long challenge grew into six months and was a real blessing to my life.

Since I've been blessed by my friend's challenges and since I consider you my friends, I'm going to muster up the courage to begin a discussion here. In the next months I'll continue to share new recipes, gardening tips, and the books I'm reading, but I hope to also challenge each other to make the one needful thing - spending time with the Lord - a priority in our life. In all the noise online with blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, my goal is to point to the only voice truly worth listening to in 2013.

I'd love to hear from you! How have you been able to make God and His Word the priority in your life? What goals are you setting this new year to make God's Word foremost?

If you are looking for a Bible reading plan for the new year, here is link to a large number of plans!


  1. This is good and something I certainly want to grow in.

    Why is it so hard?

    Thanks for the link there at the bottom of your post. I'll have to check it out.

    By the way. I'm with you in the Growing-me-up-in-the-Lord-challenge... by spending much time in the Word.

  2. I've been wanting to read chronologically through the Bible in a year for a while. Thanks to your link, I now have a reading plan printed out and on my desk.

    Bread baking tips are helpful, but the Bread of Life is needful and I the most needy of all, it seems. Thank you for mustering your courage.

    I noticed you posted this under the labels "books" and "life." Maybe you should start a new label: "The Book of Life"?

    Looking forward to more thoughts on this one needful thing,

  3. Gina, I just wanted to say this post blessed me tremendously today! I am working on making my list of goals, but you are right--the one needful thing is the only really important one. Your words were convicting and encouraging, and just what I needed to read today.

    This year one of my personal goals is to read through the Bible. I've tried (and failed) at this many times before, but I still want to try again! I also long to go deeper with God, both in getting into His word and in prayer.

    Thank you for pointing us to Him!! I love reading your blog and always enjoy your posts.

  4. Jennifer, mamma of 3January 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    What a wonderful post. I've just found your blog this past week and already I have found it a blessing. Thank you for sharing this Word in Luke with us. That really hit home with me. I find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of homekeeping quite often. Always trying to be the perfect wife, mother, teacher, ,homemaker and often feeling like I've fallen short. If only I spent more time sitting at the Lord's feet these other things may fall into place better for me. Thank you for this word of encouragment! Blessings to you and yours.

  5. Hi Gina,

    I was so encouraged when you wrote about taking time to read the word of God. I read through the bible for the first time last year and I'm doing it again this year. I have read many devotional books but this has surpassed them all, I have loved having my bible reading be such a big part of my life, it has truly changed me. You and your blog have been such a blessing to my life. I'm 46 with one teenager, one 20 yr old that lives at home and goes to college and one that is getting married, but I still believe having God and my home as my first priority is the most important thing.
    Thanks again for allowing God to use you in so many different ways.

    Happy New Year,

  6. Though I have a long way to go to have this figured out, morning Bible reading time is special in our house. We all sit in the family room, (Daddy's at work by then most days) and read what we've chosen. It's nice and quiet, with some steaming cups of tea. One person reads quietly to the preschoolers, if they are up. Our other children are ages 8, 10, and 11. Usually after a bit someone will read a chapter out loud, or whoever wants to shares something they read. Our 8 and 10 year olds and myself are reading through the Bible this year, using different plans.
    After we are done reading, the day's rush begins, chores, breakfast, school, etc. But this first time is most special to everyone!
    God bless your vision!

  7. What a great post!! Thanks for your encouragement. I agree that it should come first!
    I set two personal goals, more bible reading and memory work. I have started the Professor Horner reading system and the scripture memory box system! Both are found through a quick search. I heard a quote by evangelist Ray Comfort that was, "No bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed!"
    I'd love to continue to hear more edification in the Word!!

  8. Thank you for this thoughtful post Gina. The scripture you posted in Luke 10 was part of my devotion from yesterday. Hubby and I have plans to read through the Bible together again this year. Since I'm still in Portland taking care of our granddaughter this week, we're reading separately for now. But...I'm still on track and it's the 3rd.

    I understand your hesitation to talk more about it in your blog because I'm the same way. It's much easier to share all of the other aspects of our life. But you have given me the courage to try to be more diligent in sharing about The Lord on my own blog. Hopefully it will influence a reader to pursue their own relationship with the Creator of life.

    Many Blessings to you and your family in this new year.


  9. Thank you, Gina, for all of your practical helps as you teach and encourage home-keepers in our day-to-day responsibilities... I'll look forward to your commitment to use your blog-voice to inspire and remind us that our hours and days will be measured by the standard, "...only what's done for Christ will last..."
    I respect you for wanting to use your "platform" to shine out the True and One needful thing... May God especially bless you and your family in the coming year!

  10. Thanks so much to all of you who have shared. It is inspiring knowing that others are striving to make God's Word a priority.


  11. I love your blog Ms. Gina (as we say in the South!) as I find it edifying, inspiring and encouraging in so many ways. I agree that Bible reading is essential, and a blueprint for bearing good fruit and living a life pleasing to God! I have read thru the Bible 2-3 times.(Straight thru, Genesis-Revelation). I can say without hesitation that it is well worth the effort. Taking in His Story as a whole, is a revelation in itself. I try to read and absorb some Scripture everyday, and don't always succeed. Having a good friend on the same path helps!! Thanks so much for all you do. The new year is off to good start!

  12. Hi Gina,

    What an awesome way to use this connection you've made with all these people through your online presence to glorify God. We can become so busy with homemaking, working, even with trying to simplify that it is very distracting to our spiritual walks. I was journaling and praying this morning and this is what I wrote: "Does God care how good my food tastes? Does God care how organized my drawers are? Does God care how clean my bathroom is?" ...

    As you said in your post, there are certainly things that need to get done, and I do believe that we bring glory to Him in our duty; but still, if these things are interfering with my worship, as the Scripture you used so beautifully portrays, then I must acknowledge the fact that most of my day, I am not in the presence of Jesus.

    Anyway, don't want to make another post out of this comment, but I really appreciate that you shared this and find it an answer to my prayers that the things I think God was laying on my heart have been confirmed here by you and other commentators!

    Harwinton, CT

  13. If no one has ever read through the Bible in One Year.. MUST! I cant stress enough how much it will encourage you, and bring you closer to how GOD expects you to live your life personally through HIM.. I am doing it again.. This time instead of my typical Bible this year I am challenging myself to read through the Bible using my Daily Bible (Chronological order) and see what new insights I will learn this time around.


  14. The one thing that's needful... Be still and know that I am God. Yes.
    I decided to make that my big focal point for 2013. I broke that goal down into tiny babysteps, and am working on turning my babysteps into habits, one at a time. My first babystep is to write on my calendar each day "Thank you, God, for..." And list 3 blessings.
    Thanks for your reminder!

  15. I'm with you, Gina! I need to remember always the why of the things I do and being in the Word is #1, for sure. :)

  16. Oh my goodness! This came at the exact right time for many of us I can see. :) I've been thinking these same things and was about to set a goal for this particular challenge. (It is only a challenge because we know we are earthly and allow so much to consume our time away from the Lord.) Good luck everyone and may God bless you and keep you!

  17. As I read your Heading, I am reminded of my favorite hymn. One Thing's Needful. #65 in the Apostolic Christian Zion's Harp, perhaps you have a similar song?

    Here's the second verse.
    2. Wilt thou find this one thing needful?
    Seek not midst created things;
    Be of earthly joys unheedful,
    Over nature stretch thy wings.
    For where God and Man both in One are united,
    With God’s perfect fullness the heart is delighted,
    There, there is the worthiest lot and the best,
    My One and my All, and my Joy and my Rest!

  18. I really enjoy my King James Version One-Year Bible. I have had it close to 18 years I think. It is set up where every day you read from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. When you start at Jan. 1 and finish Dec. 31 you not only will have read the entire Bible through but also have read Psalms two times. I don't use it every year. Right now the verses that contain the word "STRENGTH" really stand out to me. I know that the Joy of the Lord is my Strength. (Some days it is amazing how what you are reading in the Old Testament correlates with what you are reading in the New Testament. God bless you! Chris


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