November 4, 2007
"One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42
In the bookstore the other day, I came across an entire section of books that explained how parents could help their children get ahead in this world.
That’s a good thing.
Amazingly, many of those learned authors came up with opinions that contradicted each other. That discovery prompted me to do a little research. I came across a study made way back in 1986. The researchers of that study asked Japanese mothers and American mothers what they thought were the most important things a child needs if he or she is to succeed in school. I was surprised to find that the U.S. moms most often said “ability” was the most necessary component for success. In contrast, the Japanese moms thought success was based on "effort."
I’m not wise enough to know which group of mothers is right. Probably you need a mixture of ability and effort. One without the other just doesn’t do the trick.
There is no such hesitancy when it comes to the question, “How does a person get into heaven?” Yes, I know there are a fair number of folks who say that a “person has to do good,” or he should “be the best person he can be.” Others will say you need to believe in some sort of generic god.
While those answers may sound sensible, they miss the point. If a person wishes to be forgiven, if he wants to get into heaven, if he wants peace in this life, the one thing he needs is faith in Jesus Christ. We need to acknowledge Jesus as the sinless Son of God who took our place, lived for us, died for us, and saves us from all the bad nasties of life. Now you know what it takes to succeed--a Savior--nothing more, nothing less. He is the One thing necessary. Jesus’ successful sacrifice – that’s what saves us.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are all I need. Thank you for taking my place, dying for me, and saving me from all the bad nasties of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries