He Who Dies with the Most Toys.... Christopher Winans, in his book, Malcolm Forbes: The Man Who Had Everything, tells of a motorcycle tour that Forbes took through Egypt in 1984 with his Capitalist Tool motorcycle team. After viewing the staggering burial tomb of King Tut, Forbes seemed to be in a reflective mood. As they were returning to the hotel in a shuttle bus, Forbes turned to one of his associates and asked with all sincerity: "Do you think I'll be remembered after I die?" Forbes is remembered. He is remembered as the man who coined the phrase, "He who dies with the most toys wins." That was the wisdom of Malcolm Forbes. In fact, that was his ambition. That's why he collected scores of motorcycles. That's why he would pay over a million dollars for a Faberge egg. That's why he owned castles, hot air balloons and countless other toys that he can no longer access. When it came to Jesus’ death, it certainly looked like he was a “loser.” He was not the raved-about marvel of “millionaire by age thirty!” Lacking real estate, His IRA was nonexistent. as was his checking and savings accounts. Judas, whom he had trusted, had stolen from the disciples’ treasury what little they did have and had greedily taken a personal bribe of 30 pieces of silver to betray Him. In His death, he was surrounded by those who were grabbing for “the most toys.” Those covetous soldiers gathered at the foot of the cross gambled for the only possession he had, a seamless robe. Jesus philosophy and far and lifestyle were far removed from Forbes’. When He first called his disciples, He told them, “...The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” He was informing his disciples on their tour of duty that they would not be staying in the best inns each night. Jesus died without a home to call his own, but his impact on the world was much greater than that of Forbes. As a matter of fact, His words reverberate in the sanctuaries of every church in our nation. It is hidden in the hearts of prince and pauper, small and great. Lack of personal wealth did not bother him in the least! “Speaking to the people, he went on, ‘Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot,’" Luke 12:15. Or, in another place, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. Tough economic times are causing many to have to live hand-to-mouth. Unemployment is pandemic. I heard a wealthy couple recently tell how they had endured such tough times, they had to find pawn shops that would by their expensive possessions just so they could live! Does Jesus want us to live in want? No. But he doesn’t want us fixated on gathering and accumulating to the detriment of our own souls. Listen to the story he told: Then he told them this story: "The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: 'What can I do? My barn isn't big enough for this harvest.' Then he said, 'Here's what I'll do: I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll gather in all my grain and goods, and I'll say to myself, Self, you've done well! You've got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!' "Just then God showed up and said, 'Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?' Luke 12:16-20. Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything. One day he received a novel offer. For 1000 rubles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day. The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown. Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point. He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run, knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost. As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, his heart pounding, he called upon every bit of strength left in his body and staggered across the line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth. In a few minutes he was dead. Afterwards, his servants dug a grave. It was not much over six feet long and three feet wide. The title of Tolstoy's story was: How Much Land Does a Man Need? We can survive without houses and lands. We can survive without sumptuous feasts. We can survive without all the recreational toys and electronic gadgetry of this age. But we cannot live, either now or in eternity, without Jesus Christ and His salvation! Jesus said: "Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Matthew 6:19-21 I recently visited a man in an adult activity center. Once a proud young father, and still relatively young, he now was confined to a wheelchair, basically having the clothes on his back. He had to depend on others to care for almost every need he had. His mental function and memory had been disabled measurably by his illness. As we visited, he said to me, “I am in love.” I asked him to repeat. “I am in love,” he said emphatically. Then he lifted his eyes heavenward and pointed there as well. “I see,” I said. “You are in love with Jesus!” And he nodded his head in affirmation. He is looking for a home in heaven. What are you looking for today?
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