THE LAST THING I NEED Andy Hollifield 1-5-18
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
I don’t have a bunch of verses to write today, just one. I began to think about something I said today to my wife and son. I cannot remember the exact situation but I think it involved a pickup that nearly turned across the road and would have hit me if I hadn’t of stood on the brakes. We were talking about nearly being in a wreck and I made the statement “That’s the last thing I need.” I have made that same statement a lot of times before but this time it struck a chord with me what I was saying. When you make that statement, you are kind of saying that it couldn’t get any worse than this. As I thought about our close call and the statement I made, I began to think, “No, the last thing I would need would be for one of us to get killed in the accident if it had of happened.” It is funny how, with even the simplest of things, God can put things in proper perspective for you. I realized at that moment that the material things can always be replaced but life can’t be.
Even though I had repented in my heart already for having a complaining spirit and had thanked God that things hadn’t turned out as bad as they could have, I kept thinking about the last thing I need. I have always believed that when you come to the end of your days, if you are fortunate enough to be able to set your affairs in order and say your goodbyes; there are only two things that will be important to you. The second one is where you stand with your family and the first is where you stand with the Lord. Much to his chagrin, I reminded my boss on a number of occasions when I was still working, what my priorities were then and would be at the end of my life. It always seemed to torment him that the company wasn’t the top priority in my life and that money didn’t make my world go round. When you get to that last day before making the crossing, where you stand with your family will be of utmost importance to you. I would have serious concerns about someone who would face their last hours before stepping off into eternity, worrying about what work they left undone or that wished they had of went fishing one more time. I personally believe that when you get to that point, what kind of husband and dad and man or woman you were will be what you are concerned with. But, when it comes to the final breath, where you stand with the Lord will be even more important than your standing with your family. Whether or not you have accepted Christ as your Savior will be the last and most important thing you worry about and need.
If you remember reading over in 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul was discussing his life and soon coming death with Timothy and said “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” There is something to be said about having the confidence that you can depart this life knowing that you have done what God wanted with your life. If you look at that real close you will see that Paul believed that Jesus was the last thing he needed and he was right. Without Jesus, his life of preaching and good works and suffering would have all been in vain. In Luke 16 when the rich man died “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom” he had thought that Jesus was “the last thing he needed” and he was absolutely right. The rich man however, accumulated great wealth and had gotten everything he ever needed except the last thing. The rich man realized when he went to hell that the last thing his five brothers needed was the Lord. It’s kind of like when you go on vacation, you either make a list or at least have one in your mind, when you get to the last thing on your list you are then ready to go. We should have a checklist for our life and should have it completed and be ready to go. That means making sure we have the last thing we need which is actually the only thing and that is that we have been saved by the marvelous grace of God.
I have always liked Joshua 24:15. It is his last plea and his dying declaration to the children of Israel. It reads “And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua knew that the last thing he needed before he left this life was to be right with the Lord. In Genesis 49 Israel knew that the last thing he needed was the Lord. He blessed his sons and grandsons, laying his hands upon them and blessing each one individually In Genesis 49:33 it says, “And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.” The last thing he needed to do was to bless his sons with the blessing of the Lord.
This may have all seemed to just be a silly play on words but I assure you it is not. Just like the ten virgins in Matthew 25, the five wise realized that the last thing they needed was Jesus and conducted themselves accordingly. The five foolish found other things to be more important than preparing for the coming of the groom and when they returned from making preparations, they found that the groom had come and taken them that were ready for him into the marriage feast. If you have been born again, take comfort in the fact that you already have the last thing you need. If you are still lost in your sins, you are still missing the last thing you need before you pass into eternity. There will be no more opportunities just as there were no more for the foolish virgins. Have you got the last thing you need? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!