DOING BUSINESS WITH CHRIST: PAUL
Who art thou, Lord? …Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
Acts 9:5, 6
Paul did business with the Lord. His was the authentic Who-What experience. Men who mean business with the Lord are definite and practical: “What comes next? What shall I do now?” Whatsoever He says, they do.
We live in a slovenly age, when duty and obedience and discipline have been relegated to the attic, along with the worn-out parlor lamp and cylinder-record phonograph. We had better bring them downstairs. We are not doing too well without them. A generation of unconverted young Sauls kicks against the pricks. They will not do business with Christ, because to do so He must be confessed and obeyed as Lord. “Who, Lord? Lord, what?” A lot of sentimental slush about Jesus forgets that “love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
The young ruler refused to submit to the Lordship of Jesus. Paul started right: “Who, Lord? Lord, what?” And who ever did greater business with and for His Lord?
DOING BUSINESS WITH CHRIST: THE YOUNG RULER
Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
This promising youth did no real business with Jesus, because he did not really mean business. For all his manners and morals and money, he would not pay the price of real discipleship. Some very nice people would like to have eternal life as a good investment, but Jesus is not handing out salvation in return for another “good thing” on our self-righteous record of commandments already kept. He wanted to blast this young ruler into a real venture of daring faith that would cut him loose from his security, but the prospective disciple would not move from his moorings. It turned out that, after all, he loved his money more than his soul.
It takes a radical break to turn a man from earth’s trash to heaven’s treasure. Our Lord came immediately to the issue and would have this young man cut the knot instead of gradually untying it. He would have him bring the matter to a quick climax and be done with it.
For all his good points, this fine prospect missed his blessing while poorer specimens like Bartimaeus, Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman, got theirs. Jesus loved him, but lost him because the questioner never meant business, though no man ever seemed to mean business more than he.