One Thing Lacking – Part 1

Posted on October 11, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

“And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
– Luke 18:21-24 (ESV)


(Authors Note: Of all the Keswick celebrities I’ve been privileged to have met over the years, Pastor Van was a one-of-a-kind guy. My children affectionately knew this Man of God as “Santa Claus” because he could grow his beard to look exactly like St. Nick. I’m sure he’s walking those streets of gold now, hummin’ praise songs to his Savior, lookin’ over the banister of heaven, and wonderin’ if the rest of us will ever get it. It was at his encouragement that I use my life experiences in my writing, and I haven’t regretted it to this day. I also am in possession of his collection of “The Biblical Illustrator,” which is open quite frequently while I write.)    


I am not too sure when I met this soft-spoken man of rhyme, but when I did, I got this comfortable feeling that I used to get from my grandfather on my mother’s-side of the family. At first, I didn’t know his name or his position in life, but Pastor Van and his wife, Laurel, would approached me at times and thank me for being a Freedom Fighter contributor. As time went on, Laurel would bring me aside (as she still does) and remind me how important it is for me to be just as biblical as Pastor Van – keeping his comments short, sweet, and to the heart of the matter.

Pastor Van has gone home to be with the Lord, but not without before giving me a copy of his poetry book. As I have gone through it, again, I found a poem that talks about the rich young ruler. As I have done with past Freedom Fighters, I would like to parallel some of what he has written and give my own take on it. The whole of the text is Luke 18:18-30, so I encourage reading that first before you continue on with this. Pastor Van was a fellow Freedom Fighter writer and friend. Now he is with the Blessed Savior.


P.V. “If you were a local leader, so young and very rich,

Not some lowly beggar lying in a ditch,

And the great master teacher were to come where you stood,

What would you do to impress Him?

Would you call Him good?”


It might have been a blessed sight to see, but few of the rulers in that time period didn’t have any regard for Jesus. But this young authority figure, possibly a civil magistrate, had a genuine concern for his soul and where it was going. He gets the attention of The Savior by calling out to Him by saying “Good Teacher.” Flattery may get you somewhere with some people, but not with Jesus. He sees right through it and reminds us all it is God alone who is good.


P.V. “Now he asked the Master how he might heaven attain

Since he had from his youth obeyed?

What did yet remain?

“Give what you have to the poor only first you must sell it!”

What a problem that created, who could ever tell it?


Yeah, we think we are doing really well until it comes to the giving things up. There’s an irony that Jesus brings out in this discourse that is implied; and that is “What am I lacking Good Teacher?” If there was a true affection for Christ, he could have simply just sold his stuff and gave the proceeds to the poor. But I don’t think that is what our young friend had in mind. After all, he was able to stop Jesus during His travel and ask a simple question… “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

I am going to stop here for today. In my next Freedom Fighter, I will share with you how it was Pastor Van shared his writings with me. Ya know, there are just some brothers who touch your heart in such a way that you never forget who they are no matter what happens to you along the way. Pastor Van will be one of those brothers to me. And so will you be remembered, Sister Laurel…


Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at

Think About This:  “Turn from your sin and seek His face, let Him have your heart. He will claim you for His own and never ever part.”- Pastor George H. Van Sandt

The Daily Bible Reading: Matthew 2-3, Mark 1. You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:  24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

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