His full bank account couldn't fill his empty soul.
Liu has what most people crave, but considered his life “hopeless” Liu has a lot of things.
He drives an expensive German car and has a tremendous amount of money in a country where the vast majority of people have very little. Liu has traveled to exciting parts of the world and has experienced more of the “good life” than most of his peers. You would think that, even if he hasn’t arrived at his desired port, he would be optimistic enough to hope for the best. But when I met Liu a couple of nights ago, he was blunt and pessimistic. Early in our conversation, after a drive to the restaurant in his very nice sports car, he declared that while he had a lot, he was “running on empty.” He had, in his own words, “Absolutely no hope.”
Over dinner we began to explore the reasons for his feelings of hopelessness. As we talked, I shared with him the total frustration that the wealthiest king of all time felt, enough to declare that life was absolutely empty and meaningless! Solomon discovered, I told Liu, that despite success and pleasure, there was nothing that could bring him lasting satisfaction. Liu identified with Solomon’s predicament!
Is it any wonder that a person with money, but without Christ, would feel empty and hopeless?
Everything I said to Liu was totally new to him. He came to Solomon’s Book of Ecclesiastes without the slightest bias! I must tell you that even mature Christians often have a hard time understanding rhyme or reason in Ecclesiastes, and I wanted to make a point to Liu that he could relate to, but not lose him along the way!
Our dinner together was the usual abundant Chinese style. But the real food that Liu needed to digest was spiritual. He needed to process all that he was hearing, which was entirely new to him. Before risking losing Liu with too much information, I came right out and told him that Solomon discovered that if all of your focus is “under the sun,” on the horizontal plane, then you will be absolutely frustrated by the weird twists and turns of life! I told Liu, as directly as I knew how, that it is only when you introduce God’s perspective to your life that you can be filled with hope and expect a wonderful outcome.
Like most of us, Liu brought a lot of baggage to Jesus
On my follow-up conversation with Liu he told me about a long list of experiences that needed to be sorted out. There were feelings, there were experiments with other powers, there were broken relationships that seemed like irreparable losses. It was clear to me that Liu had a significant need for ongoing counseling.
But . . . despite all of the complex needs of Liu’s life . . . there was clearly one foundational necessity: Liu needed to start over.
Not just in the sense of a new relationship, or a new way of life. His need went much deeper. He needed to be born again! The ultimate new start!
As I shared the words of Jesus from John 3, they jumped out to Liu. And after pouring out his life story, he suddenly understood the significance of the new birth! I told him, “Liu, the bottom line is that if you have only one birth you will have to die twice. But if you have two births you only have to die once!” Ever the businessman, the moment the words reached his ears, Liu shot back: “That’s a good deal!!” He was ready to act. He was ready to ask Jesus to be His Savior. He was ready to be born again!