Saturday, August 15, 2015


And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”  (Luke 12:15)

Money matters.  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  How we spend our money is a barometer of how much we value eternal things.  Our earthly portfolio may show plenty, while our eternity portfolio reveals poverty.  Jesus told about a man who had a bumper crop, but a bankrupt soul.  He had the wrong aim in life.  Do you? 

This is A SELFISH APPROACH TO LIFE (v.16-18).  The man had “I” trouble.  “What shall I do…?” he asks.  How about stopping your plans and giving praise to God from whom all blessings flow?  What about looking at others instead of yourself to find out if you can supply a need rather than serve your greed?  Let’s be clear at the outset—this story is not about having possessions, but about possessions having us.  Job was a rich man, but a righteous man.  Abraham was one of the wealthiest men of his era, but also rich in faith.  It’s not sinful to be successful; it is sinful to be slothful.  We can glorify God in our work on the job as much as in our worship in the church.  God may bless us so we can bless others!  We might read this story and think that all investment and retirement plans are evil, yet Scripture extols the industry and intelligence of the ant that plans for the future by working today.  The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.  This story was in response to a man who wasn’t wealthy, but wanted to be (v.13-15).  Covetousness is a heart problem.  The poor may be anxious about what they don’t have and want to get it and the prosperous about what they do have and want to keep it. 

This is also A SENSUAL APPROACH TO LIFE (v.19).   We live in a physical body that is designed to function in a material world.  We do so through 5 senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  These stimuli send messages to our brain resulting at times in feelings of pleasure and other times pain.  The problem comes when we think that the material world and the physical senses are the sum total of life—to feel all the pleasure we can and shun all the pain we can.  But, we are more than physical forms—we are spiritual beings.  When this life is over, we will spend eternity somewhere.  Where?  That’s the question!

Furthermore, this is A SENSELESS APPROACH TO LIFE (v.20-21).   “Fool!”  That is God’s judgment—and what a horrible one!  The world’s evaluation may differ greatly—they may celebrate and commend people like this fellow—but, only God’s evaluation matters in the end.  “Whose will those things be?”   Egyptian tombs have been found containing fabulous wealth.  Per the deceased’s instructions, it was buried with them so they would have it in the afterlife.  When the tomb was opened it was found that they left it all behind.  We all will.  You can, of course be “rich toward God.”  That happens when you invest in the things of eternity!
The first riches we need are what Paul called in Ephesians, “the riches of His grace.”  If we don’t have that we are fooling ourselves that we are prepared to meet God.  The riches of grace experienced should move us to share those riches with others.  God blesses us to be a blessing.  Money matters!

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