Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY OCT. 3, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“Then one of the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’

“Then He spoke a parable to them, saying, ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’                  Luke 12.13-21

Something To Consider:
A question about the dividing of an inheritance from the crowd quickly brought a warning from Jesus for every person of every generation. For Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he [or she] possesses.” This statement made by Jesus runs completely contrary to contemporary thinking, even among many so-called affluent Christian circles.

The apostle Paul spoke against the covetous concept of building bigger barns in 1 Timothy chapter 6. He began in verse 6, by stating; “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”

But being content is not the end game goal of many! Therefore, Paul continued his warning in verse 8, by declaring; “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare [trap], and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men [women and young people] in destruction and perdition [entire loss and ruin].” In other words, the ambition and drive to become rich is like the rising incoming tide of the ocean. Little by little it erodes away the sand of the beach with every wave.

Something Else To Consider:
And it all begins with a spirit of covetousness! But what is covetousness? It could easily be described as the longing desire to accumulate material goods, such as houses, lands, riches, or anything of financial value through greed. When I say through greed, I mean for the benefit of a person’s own self.

The building of bigger barns, bigger houses, bigger estates, bigger bank accounts, and the such; is not the problem that Jesus is addressing in the parable of our text. The real problem of this man planning to build bigger barns was that he wanted to do so for greed’s sake. He planned to consume it upon himself with no thought of benefiting anyone else. Building bigger barns is not the issue of concern. The real issue is our accumulating things without being rich toward God!

In verse 10 of 1 Timothy chapter 6, Paul affirmed; “For the love of money [financial gain rather than loving God] is a root [which grows into a massive tree-like stumbling block] of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed [departed] from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

That sounds like the certain rich man of the parable that Jesus taught about in our Scripture to consider today. It is sad to be forced to say, that sounds like so many people in every corner of the globe today. What if we as believers in Jesus were building bigger barns for the sake of more evenly distributing to the needs of others, while not forsaking our becoming spiritually rich toward God.

Something More To Consider:
The apostle Paul closes out his treatise on the error of greed in verses 17-19 of 1 Timothy chapter 6. He seeks to instruct the more fortunate financially by stating, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time [eternity] to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Jesus, in Matthew 6.19-21 also instructed; “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, the question should be, where is our treasure? Is our treasure in the things of this world, or are they in the things of eternity? If our treasure has not been entrusted to God and to things of eternal value, then we are fooling ourselves to think we are heavenly minded and yet our foundation is firmly built on the sinking sand of this earth.

The spiritual warning against covetousness and greed is a message that must be delivered to every generation and especially this 21st century generation of bigger barn builders. As leaders and leaders in training, will we accept the Word of God’s challenge to spread the riches of His Word? And if this is the final generation, how much more important is it that we are about our heavenly Father’s business?

For Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he [or she] possess.” When we truly learn that lesson of a lifetime, maintaining an eternal perspective becomes so much easier and more important!

Our Father in heaven, teach us to be ever aware of the greed and sin of covetousness. Teach us above all things to be rich toward God while observing all things Jesus taught. In Him Always, Amen!

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