When it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? (Part 1)

How will the state of your faith be when you reach the peak of your earthly journey? This series of topics, ‘When It’s All Been Said and Done,’ prompts us to reflect on the true meaning of our life on earth by emphasizing that our material wealth and worldly accomplishments won’t ultimately define our success. Instead, it’s…

When it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? (Part 1)

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Greetings of peace and grace to each of you in the name of Jesus. Today, I extend an earnest invitation for us to reflect together on a profound question that we must all confront at some point in our lives: “When it’s all been said and done, what truly holds the utmost significance?” In other words, what remains as the most significant after we’ve amassed all the wealth we ever wanted, achieved all the power we have longed for, acquired all the material possessions we could ever imagine, and accomplished everything here on earth?

In our journey through life, we are confronted with a multitude of messages and influences that define success based on wealth, possessions, power, and status. These prevailing narratives shape our perception, leading us to work very hard, invest significant time and energy, and make sacrifices in pursuit of these material gains. We are driven by the belief that these earthly treasures hold the key to ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment.

The truth is that in today’s world, the the relentless pursuit of wealth and money has become an all-consuming endeavor. The current economic landscape presents numerous challenges that make it increasingly difficult to attain the financial security we desire. We find ourselves compelled to work relentlessly, putting in long hours and making sacrifices in order to provide to the needs of our families and loved ones. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we love money; rather, we acknowledge its necessity to sustain our livelihoods.
Unfortunately, even after reaching a certain level of financial success, many of us come to realize that it’s never truly sufficient to fulfill our deepest desires. We might feel ensnared in an unending cycle, continuously pressured by materialism to acquire more, consume more, and want more. This relentless pursuit can lead to a sense of emptiness, as if something essential is missing from our lives.
Amidst this constant striving, it is crucial a little bit to pause and reflect on what truly matters in life. While financial stability is undoubtedly important, it should not overshadow the more profound aspects of our existence. Let’s me say it again, while worldly achievements may bring temporary satisfaction, it is the intangible and everlasting aspects of life that hold true significance.

Despite the many trials and challenges we are facing in this world; we must never lose sight of the genuine purpose of our existence. We should not allow the relentless pursuit of wealth to overshadow our greater purpose, because, in the grand scheme of things, material possessions are ultimately fleeting and unimportant.

The pressures of the world around us, the constant messages of consumerism, the influence of social media, and the desire for wealth can easily infiltrate our thoughts and create a battlefield within our minds. In this battle, the enemy, represented by the devil, seeks to manipulate and deceive us, tempting us with the allure of material possessions and worldly achievements. To win this battle of the mind, we must be vigilant and guard our minds against the deceptive tactics employed by the enemy.

Victorious people are those who possess the remarkable ability to close their physical eyes while keeping their spiritual eyes wide open. When we focus solely on what is visible to our physical eyes, we become vulnerable to the snares set by the adversary. However, if we learn to close our physical eyes and keep the spiritual ones wide-open, we will begin to see things from a different perspective. Our spiritual eyes allow us to see beyond the circumstances and perceive things with our heart rather than just our physical senses. This helps us to recognize the enemy’s traps and avoid them.

Background for the sermon:

The source of inspiration for this sermon originates from the profound message conveyed through Don Moen’s heartfelt song, “When It’s All Been Said and Done.” As I was listening to the song’s lyrics, I could discern the gentle voice of the Lord echoing within, guiding me to reflect upon the genuine essence and significance of our earthly journey.

The song beautifully encapsulates the essence of our journey on Earth, emphasizing that when everything else fades away, there is one thing that truly matters. It asks the poignant question, “Did I do my best to live for truth? Did I live my life for you, Jesus?” These questions prompt us to reflect on our actions, choices, and priorities, urging us to assess whether we have aligned ourselves with the eternal truths and values that Jesus embodied.

Don Moen’s song emphasizes that all our earthly treasures and accomplishments will ultimately mean nothing. This means that material possessions, wealth, and power will fade away, but what truly stands the test of time are the deeds done out of love and obedience to God. It is these acts, driven by love for God and love for others, that hold eternal significance.

The song reminds us that our true rewards are not found in worldly achievements but in the love we extend to God and others, the kindness we show, the compassion we embody, and the lives we impact through our selfless actions. It calls us to live a life of purpose and to invest our time and energy in pursuits that align with God’s heart.

As we meditate on these profound lyrics, let us allow the message to penetrate our hearts and guide our choices. May we strive to live for truth, love, and righteousness, knowing that when it’s all been said and done, it is our dedication to living a life that reflects the love of Christ that truly matters.

Scriptural Context

This sermon draws its inspiration from ‘Mark 10:17-22′, (read also Matthew 19:16-22)  a powerful passage in the Bible that illuminates an important encounter between Jesus and a rich young man. In this narrative, the young man approaches Jesus with a burning question, asking Him: “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life? (Verse 17 – NIV). In this verse, we witness the sincere inquiry of the rich young man, who appears to be genuinely seeking spiritual guidance.

Jesus, recognizing the depth of his quest, responds by reminding him of the commandments, particularly those related to ethical conduct in human relationships. He replies to Him “you know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother” (Mark 10:19).

The young man confidently asserts his obedience to these commandments since his youth (verse 20), highlighting his desire to do what is right. To this, the bible says Jesus looked at him and loved him (verse 21a). This expression of love from Jesus is significant, as it reveals His deep understanding of the young man’s inner struggle and His genuine desire for his spiritual well-being.

However, Jesus, knowing the true condition of the young man’s heart, looks at him with love and compassion and reveals the one thing that still holds him captive: his fervent attachment to earthly wealth and possessions. In verse 21b, Jesus said to the young man: “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (NIV).

In a moment of profound insight, Jesus invites the young man to let go of his earthly treasures and follow Him wholeheartedly. He presents him with a choice: to prioritize heavenly treasures and eternal life over the temporary allure of material wealth. Tragically, the rich young man departs sorrowfully, unable to release the grip that his possessions have on his heart: “At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Mark 10:22 – NIV).

This passage offers a poignant reminder of the inherent tension between the quest for worldly accomplishments and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment. It challenges us to reflect on the true priorities in life and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the sake of following Jesus.

The rich young man held the conviction that he had acquired all that life could bestow. Having realized what many of us ardently aspire to and pray for- wealth, riches, possessions, and possibly a family – he was under the impression that he had achieved the zenith of life’s pursuits. Furthermore, he was diligent in following God’s commandments. Even his question to Jesus seemed driven by curiosity, almost as if he wanted to test Him. From his perspective, everything was already said and done.

Nonetheless, even with the abundance of worldly riches at his disposal and his unwavering commitment to God’s commandments,, there was still a crucial aspect missing in his life. Jesus unveiled this truth when He uttered, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor. Then come, follow me.” At that instant, the young man realized that his life’s purpose was still far from realization.

In the young man’s perspective, he had fulfilled the fundamental requirements and moral obligations of his faith. However, he had not reached the point of relinquishing his material wealth and committing himself wholeheartedly to following Jesus. Although he had given precedence to certain facets of his life, there remained a crucial step he had yet to undertake.

Likewise...

Similarly, my beloved brothers and sisters, you may find yourself in a position of success, perhaps as a thriving entrepreneur who has amassed considerable wealth and accomplishments. You may enjoy the luxuries of life, including lavish cars, splendid residences, a loving spouse, and delightful children. Your commitment to your faith is unwavering, and you actively participate in church activities and ministries.

You might also be a devoted servant of the Lord, holding esteemed positions such as pastor, apostle, or prophet. Your life has been devoted to serving God, and you have been a vessel for witnessing miracles, providing healing, and delivering prophecies to those in need. As you approach the later stages of your life, it’s possible to feel as if you’ve achieved everything and fulfilled your divine calling.

But my friends, I invite you to pause a little bit, examine yourself, and consider if there is something crucial that you are missing. Just like the rich young man in the story, there may be an area of your life that requires attention and transformation despite all your achievements and devotion. While you may have accomplished much, I urge you not to settle for complacency or assume that you have done it all. There may still be an opportunity to delve deeper into your relationship with God and do one more thing.

Jesus’ response to the young rich man, “One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me,” conveys a profound message. It underscores the importance of wholeheartedly following Jesus without reservation or hesitation, surrendering not only our material possessions but also our desires, ambitions, time, and ego at His feet. This sermon centers on the latter portion of Jesus’ statement: “Then come, follow me.

In the previously mentioned song, Don Moen poses a crucial question: “When it’s all been said and done, there is just one thing that matters: Did I live my life for You, Jesus?” In essence, this question asks, “Have I truly followed Jesus?” This question lies at the core of our existence. Regardless of our accomplishments and achievements in life, the central question remains: Have we wholeheartedly followed Jesus Christ? What is the purpose and meaning of life if we have fulfilled all earthly endeavors but missed this crucial goal? Throughout the remainder of this sermon, we will reflect on this vital aspect.

Following Jesus is not solely about attending church services, observing extended periods of fasting and prayer, or occasional visits to assist orphans. It encompasses a much deeper commitment and lifestyle. And a thorough examination of the Bible yields endless points to elucidate this concept. However, in this sermon, the Lord has inspired me to share with you three key elements that truly matter when it’s all been said and done. 

These three points will shed light on the essence of following Jesus and provide insights into how we can align our lives with His teachings and example. They will serve as a compass directing us toward a life filled with purpose, fulfillment, and eternal significance.

- End of Part 1.

Thank you for journeying with us through Part One of this sermon. If you’re eager to dive deeper and further explore what holds true significance when everything has been said and done, we invite you to return here within the next week to continue our exploration.

God bless you for your time!

Nephtali Tshitadi

Nephtali Tshitadi is a researcher and professional content writer with more than 5 years of experience. He holds a Masters's qualification (Mcom) in Finance, Honours Degree in Financial Management, and BCom in Economics.

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