THE DEFICIENCY THAT REALLY MATTERS
There are many different diseases that are a result of some dietary deficiency.
Back in the 1700’s the English suffered severely from scurvy – a bone disease that lead to the of many. Then they discovered that eating lemons and limes would help prevent it.
Rickets is the result of calcium deficiency.
Here was a man with a DIVINE deficiency. He only lacked one thing, but that one thing was the most important thing.
The human body needs to lack but one thing to
die, if that one thing is the heart. A house needs to lack but one thing to fall, if that thing is the foundation. The sky needs to lack but one thing, to go black if that thing is the sun. And a life needs to lack but one thing to be a failure, now and for eternity, if that thing is Christ.
So it is not whether or not you lack-we all lack some things; but it matters what it is that we lack.
If you lack Christ, no one of the other things you
possess, or all of them put together, can take His place. If He is not there, there is a void in your life, which this world cannot fill. Get him, and you get everything.
Patrick Henry said it in his will, when he said, "I have now disposed of all my earthly possessions to my children. I wish I could also bequeath to them the Christian religion; for if they had that, and I had given them nothing else, they would be rich; and, if they have not that, and I had given them everything else, they would be poor."
Of all the people who ever came to the feet of Jesus, this man was the only one who went away worse than he came.
Here is one of the saddest stories in the gospels.
I. The lack this young man felt
I believe he came to Jesus because he knew there was a deficiency in his life. He knew there was something missing in his life, and he did not know what it was.
A. There was the answer he was wanting to find
He sincerely was looking for the answer to the void in his life.
1. He had riches - WEALTH
Mark tells us he had “great possession.”
2. He had rank
Luke says he was a ruler. As a result, position was his. He had the admiration of others.
3. He had respect
He had reverence for Jesus. He kneeled before Jesus, in token of the great value and awe he had for Him, as a teacher come from God and his earnest desire to be taught by him.
He seemed to have it all, but what matters most he lacked. His riches could not purchase what was missing in his life. His rank could not command what was missing in his life.
Nothing in this world can satisfy lack in the heart of man.
B. There was the action he was willing to take
He came running to Christ, which was an indication of his humility; he laid aside the grandeur of a ruler, when he came to Christ. By running he manifested his earnestness and importunity; he ran as one in haste and longing to be in conversation with Christ. He had now an opportunity of consulting this great Prophet, in the things that belonged to his peace, and he was not going to let the opportunity slip by him.
By running to Jesus he manifest the intensity with which he desired to know the way of life.
II. The Lord this young man faced
Jesus saw this man’s heart. Hebrews 4:13 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
Jesus knew his heart.
A. Recognition Christ afforded him
“One thing thou lackest”
You have many good qualities, but you lack one thing- and in that one thing is the main thing.
The young man had not gone into sin, but he had come short of righteousness.
Ignorance of the extent and spiritual nature of the divine law, makes people think themselves in a better condition than they really are.
B. Requirement Christ asked him
The man saw his sin as an action of the hand, but God wanted him to see it as an attitude of the heart.
The Lord puts him to the You want to do some
thing? What saith the law? Do not commit ery, do not
The rich young man, "Master, all these have I observed from my youth." The commandments the Lord quoted to him are from the second table of the Law and cover
one’s love to one’s neighbor.
"Very well," saith the Lord,"now we’ll try the first table of the law, that of love to God. In fact, we’ll try them both at once. Sell your goods and share them with the poor. Then come, take up the cross and follow Me. This will prove whether you love God or not. Hitherto gold has been your god; now let Me, your true God, be your God." I believe that his real lack stood revealed then. He utterly lacked love to God to enable him to deny self and honor Christ.
The Lord put his finger on the need of the man. “Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
Now one is not saved by selling their goods and giving the money to the poor, but Jesus knew the man’s heart. Jesus knew who his god was. Jesus knew that he was covetous, and by asking he sell his goods and giving to the poor, Jesus was forcing him to examine the deep recesses of his own heart.
The law is not given to show a man how to be saved, but to show the man that he needs to be saved. The law was not given to save us, but rather to show us we need a Savior. The law is a mirror that show us how dirty we are, but the mirror cannot wash us.
If we could have been saved by keeping commandments then the sacrifice of the Cross would have been worthless. Galatians 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is in vain.”
There are still those who treat the ten
commandments as if they were a scorecard for salvation. The ten commandments were given to show us that we could never measure up to God’s demands, and thus we need the Savior.
He had broken the 1st commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"(Ex. 20:3).
Christ’s desire was that this man come to see
himself as a sinner, and that he was in need of salvation.
III. The loss the young man feared
He wanted eternal life on his conditions and not on God’s terms.
He came to the right person and came in the right position but he made the wrong choice.
A. The hope that was shattered
He came with hope, but left hopeless. He valued his own worth more than the worth of Christ.
He rejected Christ for the sake of money? What is your reason?
He kept his possession but he lost Christ. When this young man "went away," he was turning his back on the only one who could have saved his soul! He had bowed his head but not his heart.
If you possess something you cannot live without, you had better give it away.
B. The heart that was saddened
I wonder who had the greater grief, the rich young ruler or Christ?
He sold his soul for silver. His GREED caused him GRIEF!
Any man who goes away from Christ will never be satisfied!
Mark 8:36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
What stands between your soul and the Savior?
Nothing and no one is too precious to give up for the Lord. Give up everything for the Lord, but don’t give up the Lord for anything.
With all his possessions, his position, his power, and his prestige, what he was missing was what matters most!
If you have everything and miss Jesus, then you have nothing at all!
You perhaps may have heard the story of Mr. Whitefield, who made it his wish wherever he stayed to talk to the members of the household about their souls—with each one personally. But stopping at a certain house of a Colonel, who was all that could be wished for except a Christian, Whitefield was so pleased with the hospitality he received and so charmed with the general character of the good Colonel and his wife and daughters, that he did not like to speak to them about a decision as he would have done if they had been less likable characters.
He had stopped with them for a week and during the last night, the Spirit of God visited him so that he could not
sleep. “These people,” he said, “have been very kind to me and I have not been faithful to them. I must do it before I go. I must tell them that whatever good thing they have, if they do not believe in Jesus they are lost.” He arose and prayed.
After praying he still felt contention in his spirit. His old nature said, “I cannot do it,” but the Holy Spirit seemed to say,
“Leave them not without warning.” At last he thought of a device and prayed God to accept it. He wrote upon a
diamond-shaped pane of glass in the window with his ring these words:—“One thing you lack.”
He could not bring himself to speak to them, but went his way with many a prayer for their conversion. He had no
sooner gone than the good woman of the house, who was a great admirer of Whitefield, said, “I will go up to his room—I want to look at the very place where the man of God has been.” She went up and noticed on the window pane those words, “One thing you lack.” It struck her with conviction in a moment. “Ah,” she said, “I thought he did not care much about us, for I knew he always pleaded with those with whom he stopped and when I found that he did not do so with us, I thought we had vexed him, but I see how it was—he was too tender in mind to speak to us.”
She called her daughters up. “Look there, s,” she said, “see what Mr. Whitefield has written on the window,
‘One thing you lack.’ Call up your father.” And the father came up and read that, too, “One thing you lack,” and around
the bed where the man of God had slept they all knelt down and sought that God would give them the one thing they lacked. And before they left that chamber they had found that one thing, and the whole household rejoiced in Jesus!