Here is a question for you. What is the single most important thing that all Christians need to do?
Many people when they come to Christ want to serve Him as best they can. They might go to Bible school or seminary to become ministers. They might become missionaries to help the poor in third world nations.
These all have merit, but do they answer the question: what is the single most important thing a Christian must do?
No, they don’t. Fortunately the Bible tells us the answer.
What God said to do
God the Father did not speak often in the Bible, but when He spoke it was clearly very important and so we ought to take notice.
One of the times when the Father did speak, He gave very direct instructions to the early disciples Peter, James and John. God told them the single most important thing that all Christians must do.
Do you recall the story of the transfiguration? Jesus went up on the mountain with these three disciples, and was transfigured before them as He spoke with Moses and Elijah.
But what did the disciples do? Peter suggested making booths for Jesus, Moses and Elijah to make them more comfortable.
And then God the Father spoke…
“This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Mark chapter 9, verse 7)
Eight simple words that speak volumes down to this generation. The single most important thing any Christian must do is to “Listen to Him.”
The Father didn’t care about the proposed works the disciples were planning to try and make Jesus, Moses and Elijah a little more comfortable. He just wanted the disciples to LISTEN to Jesus.
This is the most important thing we as Christians must remember at all times. This simple thing has also been emphasised in other places in the Bible to drive home this point.
Mary and Martha
Recall when Jesus came to the house of Martha and her sister Mary.
Martha, being the conscientious host, was distracted, ensuring all her guests were comfortable as she prepared and served food. Martha wanted to make sure everything was just right.
But where was her sister Mary? Sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach the disciples who had gathered.
Martha became so upset at Mary’s failure to assist that she went to the Lord to try and get Him to tell Mary to pull her weight. But what did Jesus say?
“But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke chapter 10, verses 41-42)
What was the “one thing” that was needful that Mary chose? It was to sit at the feet of the Lord and listen. It was not to be distracted by serving that would prevent her hearing the words of the Lord, but to simply sit and listen.
Jesus made it abundantly clear that it is far more important to simply listen to the words of God and so find the pathway to salvation.
Doing the works of God
So what are the works of God then? I’m glad you asked, because again the Bible clearly tells us what we should be doing to do the works of God.
“Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (John chapter 6, verses 28-29)
Jesus tells us that to be doing the works of God is not about getting involved in the multitude of works and ministries that abound in the churches today. You don’t have to be a pastor, teacher, worship leader, musician, chorister, missionary, televangelist, street preacher or any other work that exists in the church.
If you want to be doing the works of God you just need to believe in Jesus and listen to what He has to say.
But how are we to believe and how do we know what we should believe? Well, the apostle Paul said it best.
“But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!" (Romans chapter 10, verses 14-15)
So believing, or having faith is dependent upon hearing the word of God, and that means we must LISTEN to Christ.
So let me ask you a final question: Are you listening?
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375