Luke12: 13-34Written by kathleen on Dec 15, 2013 in - No Comments
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
Jesus has just taught on the importance of standing for Him, and on our great value to God. Yet, in the midst of this teaching, a man interrupts Jesus to ask that He take his side in a financial dispute.
People often called on Rabbi’s to settle legal disputes but Jesus’ answer would really shock the people of his day; for the issue is not whether the man had legal right to the inheritance; the issue is that life not possessions is what matters
Ministry can all too often become mired in an attempt to right perceived wrongs, Jesus wisely said, “This is not My area of concern,” for His purpose was not to make bad men good or good men better. His purpose was to make dead men live, to see people born again and brought into the kingdom.
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
In addition to hypocrisy, another danger of which to beware is covetousness. People feel bad about immorality, lying, swearing—but when was the last time you’ve heard someone crying over the sin of covetousness?
Covetousness is simply wanting more of that which we already have enough. And Jesus said that is a sin we must be careful of because it can possess us. Did you get a new car—or did it get you? You used to be free on Saturdays to enjoy your family. But now you have to wax your car, keep it serviced, and maybe work extra to make the payments
In this case it wasn’t that Jesus was not concerned about justice; but He was aware that this man’s covetousness will do him more harm than not having his share of the inheritance
We may fight and fight for what is ours by right; and in the end, having it may do us worse than if we had let it go and let God take care of the situation.
This is where the deceptive nature of the heart is such a challenge. We often mask our covetousness by claiming we are on a righteous crusade of some kind
The idea is that we all are under a continual subtle attack from covetousness and the end result being greed and we must protect ourselves from it.
To be kept from covetousness and greed, there is one overall principle we must understand: that life does not consist in the abundance of the things possessed for they can become idols in our lives.
Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?
21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” ‘
But God said to him, “Fool!” There is little doubt that everybody but God thought a great deal of this man; but in fact and for eternity this man is a fool.
It isn’t only sin if you give material things too high a place in your life before God it’s also stupid!
Look at the heart of the rich fool: my crops . . . my barns . . . my goods . . . my soul. Everything is about him, and nothing is God.
In the end, it was proved that nothing was his – even his own soul was subject to God. He didn’t have any crops, any barns, any goods, and his soul was dead.
And the question was Whose will those things be which you have provided?
They will not belong to God, because the man never surrendered those things to God. They will not belong to the rich fool, because he can’t take it with him.
Hattie Green, classic example. Amassed a fortune. She died in her day the richest woman in the world who stated that her main interest in life was making money. She was extremely tight; She had her whole house boarded up except for one room to save on fuel.
She then found a flop house, twelve dollars a week room and board so she closed up her house and moved into this boarding house.
When she bought the paper, after she read it she would fold it up carefully and give it to her son and he would have to go out to Central Park and resell it so she could get her nickel back. Yet she was the richest woman in the world.
One time her son was out selling again the paper, he slipped on some ice and cut himself. She took him to the free clinic in New York. A doctor recognized her and refused to treat her son for free. Said he was going to charge her. She got so angry she took her son out, blood poisoning set in and they finally had to amputate his leg.
When she died and his sister had committed suicide, he inherited the fortune. And within two years, he had blown it all. All of her sacrifices. All of her miserly ways, All of this wisdom, the way she skimmed Wall Street and manipulated stocks to create all this wealth and then her son, bitter, angry, blew the whole thing. Again the question!
Who you going to leave it to? Are they going to be wise?
The tragedy of this parable lies not in what the rich man left behind, but in the judgment that awaited him, for he would enter heaven without any evidence of wise stewardship on earth.
The man’s problem was not in that he had treasure on earth; but that he was not rich toward God.
The end will be the same for the one who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God:
How do we become rich toward God? Lotto $550 m
1st. Paul told Timothy 1 Tim 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
2nd. by trusting Jesus for every necessary thing; Rev 3:17-18 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
We can’t deny the fact that earthly riches can keep us from going after heavenly riches as we should. Paul wrote: 1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. Most of us are afraid of poverty; maybe we should be afraid of wealth.
John Wesley taught and lived wisely regarding riches. He said that you should earn as much as you can, save as much as you can, and give as much as you can. Tithe – save – spend
He himself lived on £28 British pounds a year and gave the rest away, even when his salary went from £30 to £60 to £90 to £120 over his lifetime
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Covetousness, greed, and worry are closely connected covetousness worries about what others have, Greed can never get enough, worry is afraid it will never have enough – all because their eyes are not on Jesus.
Do not worry is not a suggestion it is a loving command. We often fail to appreciate what damage worry does in our lives.
Worry is completely counter-productive – the stress it brings in our life does nothing but destroy.
Research clearly shows that worry and stress deteriorates our immune systems; people under constant or high stress show lower T cell counts essential for immune response.
Stress also has a definite affect on fertility.
Prolonged stress has been shown to affect the brain, making a person less able to respond to future stress is related to heart and other medical problems
The numbers used to be 20% of Americans say they feel stressed out every day, and 60% say they feel stressed out once a week and Only 10% say they never feel stressed But it is now more like 40% daily 80% weekly and less than 5% say never!
However, this isn’t just “don’t worry, be happy” Worry doesn’t stop because we close our eyes, but only when we know a loving God is greater than all our needs
23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
God has given us all things not to possess, but to enjoy the birds sing because they don’t have to pay taxes, work on their wardrobes, or paint their houses. They simply enjoy what God gives.
But trusting in God makes sense; if He takes such good care of the birds, the flowers, and the grass, won’t He take care of His children?
25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
When we worry we leave out the God Factor. Worrying can’t accomplish anything — anything at all, So why do it?
The reason is this. While adding 18″ to a 5 foot man would be seen as a “big thing,” adding 18″ to a lifespan time line is miniscule,
Jesus may be saying, “Worry can’t make you live longer” just like “Worry can’t make you any taller.” Both are true;
If it is futile to worry about small things that are out of our control, then it is even more futile to worry about big things even further out of our control.
26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
Jesus has had his hearers consider how God feeds the ravens to assure them that God will provide the food they need.
Now, to illustrate that God will provide for the clothes that they need, he turns their minds to the lilies of the field.
Jesus says. Consider the beauty of the wildflowers, and then realize that even Solomon, Israel’s richest king, could not compare.
The grasses of the field are clothed with beauty, even though in a few weeks they will dry and be collected for use in cooking fires. So why are we so concerned about clothing when God so elegantly clothes the wildflowers?
29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30 For the pagan world runs after all such things and your Father knows that you need them.
That’s our problem, according to Jesus, we are seeking for striving for wishing for the wrong things
We can fixate on getting enough to eat, and clothes to wear. We can fixate on money for the rent or mortgage and gas for the car. When bills pile up, we fixate on them. We “set our heart on them.”
But Jesus says this fixation is wrongly placed. Instead, the fixation belongs on the kingdom of God We don’t have to convince our Father of the need. He knows the need. He is aware of it.
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well
It’s all about Priorities and putting God first. God wants us to be more focused on Him than on these necessities of daily life;
We are to seek after the Father’s kingdom with all the energy we have previously spent struggling for food and clothing and shelter.
That doesn’t mean that we aren’t to get a job and earn a living like anyone else.
But instead of focusing on the struggle for everyday necessities, our minds and hearts are seeking his kingdom and his glory. And when we do that, Jesus promises, he will “give” us what we need for sustenance. The promise is clear:
If you seek the kingdom of God first; these things will be given to you as well.
Now what happens if you don’t put Him first and you put these other things first?
Then your whole life will be spent trying to get enough food, trying to get enough clothes, and that will be your whole life. And you won’t have time for the Lord. All your time will be absorbed in just trying to get by, Just trying to make a living to exist and survive.
Whereas if you’ll seek first the kingdom of God, your Father knows that you have need of these things. He’ll take care of them much better than you can!
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Then he tells us, “Do not be afraid.” After he has been dealing with the panic and anxiety we feel when we focus on survival He calls his disciples “ little flock,” whom he cares for with all his heart. You and I are part of that “little flock”.
If you are seeking to walk with him, to listen to him, to emulate him, to absorb his thoughts and attitutudes and philosophy of life. You are part of his “little flock.”
Jesus says because we are in “His flock” the Father is delighted to give us the Kingdom It is the Father’s joy, his abundant pleasure to give us his kingdom. He has been waiting from all eternity to do this, and now is overjoyed to do it.
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
When all our needs are met by God, in bestowing upon us his Kingdom, we can afford to be generous. We are no longer grasping at life, and holding onto our possessions for dear life.
We can look around us and be concerned about others’ needs. If we have extra possessions we can sell them and give to the poor. That may not make earthly sense, but it makes heavenly sense, and — Jesus says –that accrues for us treasure in heaven.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
The correlation between where your heart is and where your treasure is isn’t a suggestion; it is a simple fact.
If you regard your material possessions as your treasure, then your heart is set here on this earth and maybe it is time to reconsider some priorities!
He leaves his disciples with a clear question:
What is your real treasure?
What absorbs your attention and your time?
In which world do you live?
Jesus has called you to another plane of existence, an unseen but very real Kingdom in which he will meet every need of your body, mind, soul, and spirit.
The gift of the Kingdom is intended to encompass your heart.
So I ask you again, Where is your treasure!