The one thing needful.

I was glancing at a book by a well know Bakery owner and motivational speaker. I noted, apart from it being peppered with expletives, that it spoke highly of the works of Norman Vincent Peale.

For those of you who don’t know, Peale was minister at Marble collegiate church in New York and the author of the famous work “The Power of Positive Thinking”.

I was very keen on this teaching when I was young.

While there was a lot of use of scripture and Christian themes, there was also a lot of worldly wise motivational teaching and psychology. He was probably the forerunner of the prosperity teachers of today. There was always the proviso of “church attendance” but it always seemed to be an afterthought.

There are many teaching today that you can have your best life now. They have a lot of different approaches but all aim at the same end earthly prosperity here and the hope of heaven hereafter.

The mere fact that this Non- believer quotes Peale in order to further his own ends and yet come away from him with nothing more than the need to think and act in a positive way and nothing of the need to come to faith in Christ is very disturbing.

We all have selective hearing about some things. We take away from what we hear very often want we want to hear.

The work of ministers is to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation and build up believers in the faith. Whenever they divert their preaching to other ends they can divert hearers to non essential and often harmful things.

Someone like Martin Luther King is greatly admired by many yet seemed to preach more about civil rights than the actual gospel of salvation .Some question whether he actually believed it.

There is more than enough in the world to distract us from the one thing needful. We do not need Ministers and church leaders sending us off on a tangent. Rather like Paul they should be determined to know and preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified.


Al Mohler says it well: “Prosperity theology is a False Gospel. Its message is unbiblical and its promises fail. God never assures his people of material abundance or physical health. Instead, Christians are promised the riches of Christ, the gift of eternal life, and the assurance of glory in the eternal presence of the living God. In the end, the biggest problem with prosperity theology is not that it promises too much, but that it promises far too little. The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers salvation from sin, not a platform for earthly prosperity. While we should seek to understand what drives so many into this movement, we must never for a moment fail to see its message for what it is — a false and failed gospel.”( quoted by


“Christ died”–that is history; “Christ died for our sins”–that is doctrine. Without these two elements, joined in an absolutely indissoluble union, there is no Christianity.”
J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism


26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[a] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being[b] might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthian 1:26-29




“A church ought to be seeker friendly, but the church ought to recognize there is only one Seeker. His name is God!—and if you want to be friendly to someone, if you want to accommodate someone, accommodate Him and His glory, even if it is rejected by everyone else. We are not called to build empires. We are not called to be excessive. We are called to glorify God. And if you want the Church to be something other than a peculiar people (Timothy 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9), then you want something God does not want.” -Paul Washer


The recent heavy rainfall has caused the ground in some places to become very soft. Combined with the high winds several substantial and seemingly solid trees have fallen over.

In the church there are seemingly solid Christians who would seem well able to survive the storm and winds of false doctrine and persecution. Yet when these perils enter their lives they collapse like one of those trees.

It could be they are rooted in the clay of false profession and self delusion, maybe like mistletoe or ivy they are sustained by contact with real Christians but have no real foundation in Christ. Unfortunately all it takes is the right combination of events and circumstances to discover that they are not rooted in anything solid.

The tree cannot choose the spot and soil in which it is planted but the Christian has clearly been show the one in whom he must be found in the day of storm. We must not rest until we are in living contact with Christ and rooted and grounded in Him.

The one thing needful.

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