Word Pro - He who dies with the most toys

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
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?