Creflo Dollar - The Needful Thing
I wanna begin in the Scripture that we shared with you earlier, in Matthew 24, verses 3 through 14 in the NLT, and then we're gonna go to Hebrews chapter 2, verse 1, and then my text for today, Luke chapter 10:38-42. Let's begin. Matthew 24, verse 3. He says in verse 3, "Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, 'Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and what sign will signal the end of the world?' And Jesus told them, 'Don't let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, "I am the Messiah". They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately'".
So, we've heard of wars. We've heard of threats of wars. He says, "Nations will go to war against nations", that's happened, "kingdoms against kingdom". That's happened. "There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world". That's happened. "But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come". So, we've experienced the first of the birth pains, but it says there is more to come. "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed". We have seen Christians arrested around the world. We've seen them persecuted. We have seen them killed. "You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers". That's happened. "And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other". Wow! Hate each other.
"And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come". The end will come when the gospel has been preached around the whole world. The end will come. The Bible warns us of all these things happening, hate like you've never seen, and that's what racism is. Racism is a spirit of division magnified in hate, and we've got to understand that these things Jesus knew would come to pass. He prophesies that these things would come to pass, and he said, "See that you be not troubled".
There is about to be a greater move of God. In fact, you can take every move of God that's happened on the earth thus far and what is about to happen is gonna be greater than all of those put together. You're gonna begin to see people come to the Lord Jesus Christ that you thought would never be saved, and it won't be because of the charisma of other people. It will be because the Holy Spirit supernaturally will begin to move on this planet, so that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And we are right at the corner of this thing.
This thing is getting ready to break loose, and I don't know about you, but I wanna make sure that I'm right slap-dab in the middle of what God is getting ready to do, so you watch what I tell you. Satan is kinda going around like he's winning. I mean, you've got the pandemic going on, you got economic crisis going on, you got the spirit of division and racism going on, and I'm sure that Satan is just sitting back like, "I got 'em. I got 'em. I got 'em". But I got to tell you in the name of Jesus the Bible says God sits in heaven, and he laughs. Why? Because he knows that that devil's end is right around the corner, so this is a spiritual battle that's going on.
People are just trying to make it a carnal, it's a spiritual deal that's going on, and as Christian people we're gonna hit it at the root of it, and so we're gonna look at today what do we need to be doing. See that you be not troubled? I mean, how is God gonna say "see that you be not troubled" in the midst of all this trouble? Some of you have been so stressed out. Some of you have just, "Man, this is just too much". Some of you are like, "I just can't look at news anymore. It's just like the whole world's going crazy". And then, in the middle of this he says, "See that you be not troubled".
Now, lemme show you something right quick in order for us to answer that question. Go to Hebrews chapter 2, verse 1. Let's look at the King James and then the New Living Translation. Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 1 in the King James and then the New Living Translation. See that you be not troubled. He says in verse 1, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip". So, I'm gonna talk to you about something you have heard, but you've drifted away from it. I'm gonna talk to you about something that you know, but you kinda let it slip. You're not aware of it right now.
This is the time where you have to be aware of it, and, you know, I'm not trying to condemn you for letting things slip. We all let things slip, but thank God, praise Jesus, we can pick up those things we let slip and make sure that we have the right thing at this right time. Look what it says in verse, let's look at the New Living Translation. Hebrews chapter 2, verse 1 in the New Living Translation. "So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it". We gotta listen to what we have heard, or we may drift away from it, so see that you be not troubled.
This morning, I wanna talk to you about, the title of my sermon is "The Needful Thing". What is the thing that we need right now, in the midst of all that's going on? What is the needful thing that we have to have? Luke chapter 10, verse 38 through 42. Let's begin this today. Luke chapter 10, verse 38 and 42. How do I get results? How do I get things to happen in my life? How do I operate in the supernatural, the spiritual things, and see it happen? Why is it that so many people always go back to the natural? It's because they don't really trust supernaturally 'cause they don't know really how to make it work or how to do what needs to be done.
Look in verse 38. This is a story you can relate with. "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha", or Martha, "received him into her house". And so, Jesus is, you know, coming there. Martha is very aware that they're coming, so they're preparing their home to receive them, food and relaxation and all that. "And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and", what? "Heard his Word", heard his Word. "But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone"? "Don't you care that she's leaving all of the work into my hands"? He said, "Bid her therefore that she help me". Next verse. "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things".
How many you can relate to that? You're careful. You're care-full. You're full of care about many things. There are a lotta things going on in your life, lotta things going on in your mind. You're focused on, "How I'mma pay the rent? All my money is spent. I ain't got no job, you know? A little bit to buy some food. The baby need a pair of shoes", you know? And he says, "But one thing is needful". What a powerful statement. Jesus says one thing is needful. In the midst of all of these things that are going on, in the midst of things that are going on around you that you're concerned about, in the midst of things that are happening in your life that you're trying to figure out, I need some help on, I mean, you know, Jesus says there's only one thing that's needful.
And so, how do I deal with everything that's going on in my life right now? How do I deal with the prospect of me not having a job? How do I deal with my children? How do I deal with my finances? How do I pay my bills? And Jesus says one thing is needful. Well, I don't know about you, but I certainly wanna know what that one thing is, 'cause if that one thing is what I need, then, praise God, tell me what it is. He says, "One thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her". Well, what did Mary choose? She chose to sit and hear the Word. She chose to listen to Jesus. She chose to sit at his feet and hear his Word.
Basically, Jesus is saying we are worried about a whole lotta things, but what we need to choose is the Word, as if, if I choose this one needful thing, all these other things are gonna be taken care of. Somebody says, "Oh, I don't wanna hear this". Honey, that's the deal. You got a right to choose. You have a right to choose to try to figure out how to do it your own way, or listen to Jesus. And Jesus says, "Here's what you need. You need the Word". Every household needs the Word. Every city, every state, every nation on the planet needs the Word, and Jesus is saying, "If you will choose to sit and hear and choose my Word", my God, he says, "all these other things are gonna fall in line".
How powerful is this? You know, right here, here is Jesus saying to a woman, "To give your attention to the Word, Martha. Give your attention to the Word. Mary is. She's chosen the needful thing". You need the Word. You need the Word. You're hearing all other opinions, and you're hearing everybody else's word. You need the Word of Jesus. Now, look at Proverbs chapter 4:20-27. Proverbs 4:20-27. You need the Word.
What are you giving your attention to? Are you giving your attention to the chaos? Are you giving your attention to the trouble? Are you giving your attention to the pandemic? Are you giving your attention to the fear? What are you giving your attention to? Well, let's pay attention to Jesus. Let's get in his Word. Let's find out what we should be giving our attention to. He said to Martha, "You should be giving your attention to what Mary is giving her attention to", so what does he say here in Proverbs 4:20? He says, "My son, attend to my words". Wow! Attend to my words. "Incline thine ear unto my sayings". So, here Jesus is saying again, "Give your attention to my Word. Give your attention to my Word".
There's obviously something that can take place in our lives when we give our attention to the Word. And, you know, we've gone to churches, and we've done, you know, people are just like, "Oh, well, I'm just tired of the whole thing. I tried that. I used to go to church. I used to do that". But how much attention was given to the Word even in the church you used to attend? How much of the Word got your attention when you left church? How much of the Word gets your attention when you get up in the morning or when you face trouble? What did Jesus have to say about it? What does the Word have to say about it? What are you programming in your mind? What are you taking through your eyes and your ears?
He says, "Let them words not depart from your eyes". There's gotta be a reason why. "Keep them in the midst of your heart". There's gotta be a reason why. Keep the Word in the midst of your heart. Why in the world does God want me to get the Word in my heart? Verse 22. He says, "For they", those words, "are life", they're life, "unto those that find them, and they're health". The Word of God is health. The Word of God is health to your flesh. So, the Word of God not only will be something that will help us in all of these weird situations, but it will also bring health to your flesh, the Word of God.
Come on, watch this. "Keep thy heart with all diligence". Why? "For out of your heart are the issues of life". Now he's telling me that your heart is kinda like soil. If you put the Word in your heart, it will grow the issues of life. In fact, words are seeds or like seeds, and when you put that Word in your heart, it will grow the issue of that Word that went in. The issue of life comes out of a man's heart. He said, "Put away from thee a froward", or disobedient, "mouth", he said watch your mouth, "and perverse lips put far from thee". Watch your mouth, 'cause you can hear what you say.
Twenty-five, "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before thee". Twenty-six, "Ponder". That's meditation. "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all your ways be established". Let your ways be established in the Word. Twenty-seven, "Turn not to the right hand nor to the left hand: remove thy foot from evil". Man, this is strong. It's like God's trying to tell us something. That you're a Christian, you've made Jesus the Lord of your life, and you're experiencing, you know, things just as worse as the world. Some of us, not all of us. Those of us who are doing this, we are operating on a whole 'nother level.
All right, now watch this. Look at Colossians 3:16. Colossians 3:16 says, "Let the"... You know, the Bible talks about getting that Word in us. Give attention to that Word. Pay attention to that Word. Get full of that Word. Get that Word in your heart. And look what it says in Colossians 3:16. He says, "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you", how? "Richly". "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom". Let that Word dwell in you richly in all wisdom. See, the instructions have been given. Three different places it's talking about get that Word, get that Word, get that Word, and we still don't get it.
"I don't wanna get in that Word. It makes me sleepy. I fall asleep. I don't know what it means". And yet it is something that will change your life, change your circumstances, change your situation, change your focus. Why? Why is he pushing the Word so much? Well, let's go see. Mark chapter 4, and I'm gonna read, probably teach the whole chapter. I've got lots to talk about. I won't finish this sermon today. I got to get the answer to you about why is this Word so important. "Why is getting this Word so important? It's just a book". It's not just a book. It's the Word that was inspired by God to men. Men were inspired to write it. Holy men were inspired to write it down.
And I know there are people that are against the Word of God because they say, "It was that Bible that was responsible for slavery". No, it was bad teaching. It was men that used the Bible in a manipulative, wrong way and taught heresy to people, and they believed it, and they were made to believe it. There's nothing wrong with the Word of God when it's taught properly, but, boy, when a false prophet gets it, or when people try to teach the Word from the basis of mammon. See, back in those days of slavery, that man would teach that Bible to motivate slaves to serve them because their money was on the line, and so it was manipulated, and it was taken outta context, and it was taught wrong. And they believed wrong and submitted their selves to oppression and slavery because somebody mishandled the Word of God.
That's why it's gotta be handled properly. That's why it's gotta be rightly divided. That's why it's full of power and full of strength, praise God. Now look what it says in verse 1. Mark chapter 4, verse 1, "And he began again to teach by the sea side". Jesus. So, Jesus is in the boat teaching. "And there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and he sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land". Jesus in the water teaching. He's in a boat or in a ship in water teaching to those on the land. Now, verse 2, "And he taught them many things by parables". So, Jesus taught by using illustrations, real-life illustrations.
"And he said unto them in his doctrine", or in his teaching, so here's what he said in his teaching that day. He said, "Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow", so he's using the illustration of a farmer going out to sow some seed. Verse 4, "And it came to pass, as he sowed, some of the seed fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it. And some of the seed fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell", some of the seed fell, "on thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit".
Verse 8, "And others fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up, increased; and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear", or, in other words, he that has perception, he that can perceive what this illustration is about, there is awesome things that will happen to them. Now, remember in Genesis chapter 8:22, Genesis chapter 8:22, he says, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease". While the earth remains, it shall not cease.
Now, I've just read to you where Jesus, in his illustration, was literally talking about four different types of ground. He talks about four different type of soil, four kinds of soils. Here, he's speaking of four kinds of hearts, so he's comparing the four type of soils, soils, to the four kinds of hearts of man. You have the hard heart. That's the first soil. You see the activity of Satan. You have the hollow heart. That's the second soil. You see the activity of the flesh. Then, you have the half-hearts. That's the third soil. That's the activity of the world. And then, you have a whole heart.
Now, basically what he is saying here is you can't take seed and put it in the ground and not have anything to cover it up. You can't take seed, put it in the ground, and it's shallow. The birds of the air will come and eat it. In other words, he said the seed, whether it's gonna be successful of growing or not, is gonna be based on the type of soil that the seed was put in. Seed has to be put in the soil in order to grow. Seeds gotta be put in the soil a certain way in order to grow. You see, your heart is equal to the soil, and the Word of God is equal to the seed. What he is saying is if you'll take the Word of God, put it in the soil of your heart, it will bring forth the harvest.