Only One Thing Matters
First A Story
There was a super-rich man, who in our day would no doubt be described as a super mega billionaire. He had his hands on virtually any profitable business you can think of all over the world. This man had only one child – a son. He also had one trusted steward who was the head of his staff that he treated almost like a son. This head steward had the glorified name of Chief-of-Staff. The name seemed to have gotten into his blood as he sometimes behaved as the Lord of all, especially whenever his master and his son were not around.
Unfortunately the rich man died suddenly during one of his business trips. A preliminary reading of his will showed that He left only one item, out of all his estates, to his only child and son. His instruction was that after the son had taken the one item, the rest of the estate was to go to the chief-of-staff who in reality was a slave. A day was then fixed for the final execution of the will, during which all stake holders and their supporters were to be present.
In the meantime, the son was very angry with his dead father’s written will. “How could he leave only one item to him? What was he to take: a limousine; a mansion; a company; a bank account? This is just unfair and it does not show love from my father at all” reasoned the young man in his confusion and anger. “Go to court and contest the will” advised one of his friends. “No, let’s run the chief-of-staff out of town” chipped in another.
On the other hand, the chief of staff was elated! Who wouldn’t? He would soon stop being a pretender to riches and would literarily become super rich overnight. He began to imagine the power and influence he would be able to wield over multitudes of people. How the high and mighty in society would be swirling around him from then on; everyone wanting and curing his favour. Already, he had become the main talking point of all the major news networks all over the world; an instant celebrity created by the media. He ordered items with his pictures imprinted on them: mugs, key rings, calendars, T-shirts, ties, trays, banners and other items of advertisement for his public image machinery. His public relations guru went into overdrive.
So, while the son was in a state of shock and beside himself, the chief steward was jubilating and promising many people mouth-watering gifts and honour.
Someone then suggested to the son to visit an old man living in the next town for advice. The son was reluctant. How can he be seen in the company of such a poor man? What will the people say and make of him? What does an old man know about the execution of a will. If he was that clever and intelligent he would not be a poor old man but a rich man. Worse still, many even thought the old man’s views were outlandish and too radical, with a semblance of narrow-mindedness tending towards bigotry. They said he was trying to turn the world upside down.
Eventually as the day for the sharing of the property drew near, the young son reluctantly went to the poor old man not really expecting anything to come out of it. But by the time he left the old man he no longer saw him as a poor old man, rather he now had a very high opinion of him.
The day of the execution of the will finally came.
All were gathered. There was excitement in the air. The press corps had its altar conspicuously erected with all major networks represented. The will was read, and the small matter of giving some tokens of property to members of the extended family and friends was first carried out.
But the climax was to be the son picking his only one item. What would he pick? The chief steward was dressed in exclusive designer wear, and was dancing and sweating for great expectation. The musicians were praising him, while he lapped up all the attention like a thirsty dog. He was even impatient, urging the son to hurry so he could take over.
Finally the son was called, the will again was read with the emphasis that he was to take only one item, after which all else would belong to the chief steward. The son deliberately stood up. I hope you know what that means. Ok you don’t.
This is how he deliberately got up from his seat: When his name was call he pretended as if he did not hear. He first of all swept his eyes around to make sure all eyes were focused on him, then he acknowledged his name with a nod of the head and a frown creasing his forehead. He then bent down and took his time to put on his shoes properly, looked around again and shook his head as if to say “life is unfair”. He took more time picking up his cap; straightening it, before putting it on his head. He took even more time to get up and[‘ walk from his seat to the chief executor who was just about 10 meters away from him. As he took each step forward he looked around as if not really sure of what to do next. Each step was followed by a barrage of flashing lights from the numerous press cameras trained on him. That is how he deliberately stood up.
Of course, by the time he stood up and started moving forward, he had the full attention of all physically present and the millions around the world watching live on television and the internet. The chief steward was obviously showing his irritation as he could not understand why the son was wasting so much time at making such a very simple decision.
As the son moved almost next to the chief executor, he seemed to stop momentarily as if hesitating not knowing what to do, he frowned with a crease running across his forehead, seemed to remember something and deliberately changed his direction. The noise stopped, the whole place went erringly quiet. If you dropped a feather on cotton wool in that place you would have heard its crashing fall 50 meters away.
Yes, the son changed his direction: he walked deliberately, purposefully towards the direction of the chief steward as if to ask him something. But he did not ask anything. Rather he deliberately lifted up his right hand. And before you could say “Is he going to slap the chief steward and start a fight to disrupt the whole proceeding?” He placed that right hand upon the shoulder of the chief steward and seemed to find his voice at once and said “The one item I pick out of all that my loving father left behind is the chief steward!” The chief steward was greatly in shock and burst into tears at the realization of this implication. He being the property of the son meant that all that he had belonged to his master!!!
Enjoyed the story? Good. Now to a much more serious issue, so serious it is a matter of life and death. Do I have all your attention? Then come along with me!
This rich man made a wise decision that made life easier and straightforward for his son concerning material worldly things.
But what about more spiritual and more enduring things concerning the souls of mankind? Might we find something of a lesson in this story to help us?
I think so. There are some points of correlation between this story of the rich man, his wealth, his son and his chief of staff. But like most things human, the correlation is though poor at best, still quite instructive. Here it goes:
The crux of the matter: The Only Real And True Relationship That Matters
Man is a slave to sin. Alienated from God. Truly dead in sin. Indeed, looking at the way mankind behaves, it is as if to them there is no God. To them God is dead.
Now for some swapping around! The only true and living God, the God of the Holy Bible created the whole universe including man. God says He is holy and cannot behold iniquity. God says without holiness no man shall see Him. God sets the standards and makes available the means to attain them. God has decreed that the soul that sins shall die, even before the first couple that gave rise to the rest of the human race sinned. He says man (including you reading this now) has sinned and rebelled against Him and that man has continued in that ruinous sinful rebellion in all his generations down to our day. All men have come short of His Glory. God says it is not His wish that any man should perish. God says any who truly repents will be pardoned.
Like the rich man in that story, God owns everything. But unlike the rich man God cannot die. God has always existed and will continue to exist. Man has sinned and become a slave to sin. He is dead in sin and he behaves as if God does not exist. Like the slave in that story was a slave to material things: he could not think of the goodness of his dead master; he could not be bothered about the welfare of the grieving son of his dead master. All he wanted was to get all the wealth and good things of life. To him his master was dead and his master’s son might as well be dead too. That is how sinful man is. To sinful man it is as if God is dead. He acts as if he is his own God and always wants to and acts as if he is in control of his own destiny. He believes that having all the good things of this world is that there is and he goes for it with all that he has got. Sinful man becomes a slave to sin and the things of the world. God is dead to him.
However, God is alive and well. Not only that, the living God has made provision for sinful man, a way for him to live again. To make this possible and to remove any excuses of lacking anything that God may demand, God Himself put a plan in place: He invested everything in His only begotten Son: Jesus Christ of Nazareth. As in that story of the rich man, his son and the chief steward, God says whatsoever you, the sinful man, who is a slave to sin and the devil, want from Him will only be possible through His Son, Jesus Christ. God says trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation.
Hence the foremost amongst all relationships, the only relationship that matters is that with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
And as in that story the son put his hands upon the slave, the chief of staff, the Lord Jesus Christ is calling you today. He wants to put His hands upon your shoulders, quicken you and impart a new life into you. He wants to set you free from being a slave to sin and make you a slave to righteousness.
Hear him calling you now: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat 11:28-30).
Unlike the slave in that story that burst into tears when the son laid his hands on him, it is a thing of utmost joy for Jesus Christ to lay His hands on the sinner, draw him close to Himself and pardon him. It is being made alive from the dead. It is the best thing that can happen to any man.
Are you loaded with sin, a child of disobedience living in open deviance and rebellion to God? Under the dominion of the god of this world and a slave to sin and all unrighteousness though you attend church?
Or maybe you don’t even want to hear about God, Jesus Christ and the bible? You are offended when you hear people talk of holiness and living a life without sin; you claim it is impossible to live a life of obedience to God and to please God and yet call yourself a Christian?
Do you claim that you are saved and yet continue in your life of sin claiming people are judgmental when they draw your attention to your lifestyle that is contrary to the written word of God?
Or have you got another gospel where God has become humanized, man has become deified and sin has become the glorified alternative lifestyle where people become proud of what they should be ashamed of?
Or maybe you occupy a high position in church but are truly a son of Belial like the sons of Eli and when someone tries to draw your attention to your ungodly activities, rather than repenting you quote and twist scripture: “do not touch my anointed” you roar at people?
Or do you have a lord who only loves and does nothing about sin? And indeed loves you more, the more you sin because he knows you are flesh? You proudly call yourself a carnal Christian forgetting that apart from this being contradiction in terms, carnality leads to and is death?
Or do you say nothing is really true; that truth is relative depending on whose side you are on?
Please, hear the word of God now:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19).
“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:35-36).
Perhaps you are wondering how this can be made possible. The word of God continues:
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom 10:8-11).
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13).
Remember this: God sent His son to lay hold of you; to redeem you from the slave-market of sin; to bring you into His kingdom; to make you a member of His household. It is not the wish of God that any should perish. God has also determined that the unrepentant wicked will be punished.
When Jesus Christ lays hold of you, you become His. You then lose your status of slave to sin on the way to destruction. You are granted the status of the free-born in the household of God, a child of righteousness with eternal life. You love Him and you obey Him because you love Him, not because you are afraid of going to hell.
If you have Jesus Christ as the Holy Scriptures say, then you have everything that God can offer now and that He will offer to man when all the creation of God will be finally delivered. I do not mean that in the sense of those who claim that you should accept Jesus Christ now and all your problems in the world will be solved and you will have your best in the here-and-now. No, that is not what the Holy Scriptures refer to.
If a man persists in his sinful way, he will eventually perish for He is a Holy God and cannot behold iniquity. Yes, He cannot let the unrepentant wicked man go unpunished. Indeed, God is angry with the wicked every day! You are wicked if you are living in sin and in rebellion to God. God does not want man to perish. Rather He says man should repent, forsake his rebellious ways and return to Him and man will be pardoned and be restored.
I’m appealing to you and begging you now: Hear and heed God’s call to you to repent, forsake your wicked ways and turn unto God now that He may grant you pardon.
Have you got the Lord Jesus Christ? If not it is hell without the Lord Jesus Christ!!!