To Have and Have Not


I have adopted the title for this post– “To Have and Have Not” from a 1944 romance-war-adventure film. This Howard Hawks directed classic stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, and the young and beautiful Lauren Bacall in her first film. By all accounts, the movie is a thriller and was a tremendous success. I have never seen the movie, but I have heard and read a lot about it.

However, recently while I was watching the Turner Classic Movies channel, I got a peek at a promo for “To Have and Have Not”. The title grabbed me violently, and I impetuously thought about Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” This scripture suddenly came alive, and I was force to ask myself, “What good is it to have all the riches this world has to offer; including its glitz and its glamour if I do not have Jesus?”.

Rest assured my friends the things of this world are temporary. Most of us will get to that dreaded point in life when things become meaningless, and we become dependent. At that point, nothing matters–only Jesus and your salvation. I have seen many people in this state over the years. Some were miserable; trying to relive the past. Others were cheerful and optimistic.

The optimistic ones remind me of the apostle Paul, who, at the end of his life and in his last letter to young Timothy, writes: “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is waiting for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, but not to me only, but unto all that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). There is a tremendous amount of optimism, and joy, and hope, and cheerfulness in those words. Sadly, not all of us will have that end of life experience. Some of us will be miserable.

Some years ago I asked a man who was supposedly at the end of his life, if his current situation upsets him at all. He said, “No! It is part of the life cycle”. To him, one lives and one dies and that is it. He believes that death is final. He is wrong. The Bible says, “And just as man can only die once, after death comes the Judgment, ” (Hebrews 9:27). For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether virtuous or sinful. Further, “The Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works”. (Matthew 16:27).

27 comments

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Minister Glenda. 1 Chronicles 29:15 states the following: “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding”.

      God blesses as always.
      NB: Your gift is in the mail.

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      1. Thank you so much Bro. Noel, I really appreciate your kindness….it truly is a blessing because I was denied unemployment benefits, but glory to God I have a 2nd job interview at Sears today at 2pm. Keep me in prayer my friend.

        Minister Glenda

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      2. Brother Noel….I received your gift in today’s mail and I am so grateful! Yes it put a big smile on my face.
        I pray that God will return this blessing to you 100 fold!

        Thank you so much and God Bless you. I had a good 2nd interview at Sears and am waiting to be called in for a 3rd interview. God is Good!

        Minister Glenda

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  1. Two quotes come to mind. I forget who said the first one, but the second is taken from the diary of Jim Elliot, missionary killed by the Auca Indians.

    Only one life, ’twill soon be passed:
    Only what’s done for Christ will last.

    “So live, that when you come to die, you have nothing left to do, but die”

    And maybe I can be greedy and add another . . .
    “If there is no fruit in my life, there is no reason for my existence”

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  2. I really liked “meeting the clouds” response. I can think of nothing worse then to live as if death would be “it.” For me there would be no point in living. I live so that I may see Christ. Good post as always and God Bless, SR

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment S.R. The only thing that can withstand the test of time is salvation. That is the reason Jesus said: ” Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

      20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:21).
      God blesses.

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  3. Hey Noel,

    I wanted to stop by and let you know I gave you the “Readers Appreciation Award” You can pick up at http:watermyflowerslord.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/wow-another-award God Bless, SR

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  4. Well I am glad you did:>)) I do not know why I had so much trouble with yours but I did. Well worth it my friend and my pleasure. God Bless, SR

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  5. A very timely message, Noel, and very well said! Definitely, thought-provoking! Thanks so much for sharing out of God’s Word! May the Lord bless you, abundantly!

    Paulette

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