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There was a king who had all his world could afford. The thing he loved most, however, was to laugh.
Once while being entertained a jester came along wishing to join in the festival of activities and also wishing to perform for him. His opportunity came and he put the best comical show together he had ever done and the king never laughed so hard.
Once the activity was all over the king wanted to hire this jester to be his personal jester. Once hired the king in humor handed him a small stick and said, "You are the most foolish man alive. When you find someone more foolish than you, then you give them this stick," and the king laughed hartily.
After many years had passed by the king lay sick on his death bed ready to go at any moment. He called for his jester, for he wanted to laugh one more time before he died. When the jester was through he asked to speak to the king personally.
Once alone with the king the jester asked, "king where are you going?" The king responded, "on a far journey." The jester asked again, "and how do you plan to get there?" Again the king responded, "I don’t know." Then the jester pulled the stick from his back pocket and handed it to the king. The king was stunned and asked why he had given him the stick. The jester replied, "King today I have found a more foolish man than I. For you see, I only trifled with the things of life, but you have trifled with things of eternity!"
"Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance."
Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.
William Boice once wrote:
"-- Dear Lord, I have been re-reading the record of the rich young ruler and his obviously wrong choice. But it has set me thinking. No matter how much wealth he had, he could not -
ride in a car,
have any surgery,
turn on a light,
hear a pipe organ,
wash dishes in running water,
type a letter,
Sermon Central Staff
A wise man once told me to pour a glass of water. He dipped his index finger into the cup, I watched as miniature waves hit the glass only to halt seconds later. The wise man told that regardless of how important the world will ever view me or my accomplishments, history will only remember my name long enough for the waves of a cup of water to stop waving. That man was right. So why do we spend our entire life making a name for ourselves only to forgotten? Void of any eternal consequences, it would almost seem that the struggle to move up the ladder of esteem ultimately ends in vain. Rather than live a life whose existence will be left without a trace, sketch your name into eternity in heaven, trust Jesus now.
(From a sermon by Tom Papez, Without a Trace, 6/8/2012)
If thou art rich, thou art poor, for like an ass whose back with ingots bows, thou bearest thy heavy riches but a journey, and death u...
THE RICH FOOL
Ortberg writes (and I have abridged it and translated it into proper English)
Once upon a time in the Silicon Valley, there lived a very important man.He routinely logged in 12-14 hours a day work and sometimes at weekends. He went to the Harvard School of Management, where he got top honours. He qualified in his chosen field and broadened his horizons by joining thge board of his professional institute. Indeed he joined a number of boards of directors to expand his contacts. He read business books on keeping up with the sharks and took leadership courses from Genghis Khan. Even when he wasn’t working, his mind would wander back to his job, which became not just his occupation but his pre-occupation.
He found the forty-hour work week such a good idea that he’d often do it twice a week. His wife tried to slow him down to remind him he had a family. He knew they were not as close as they had once been. He had not intended to drift away. It just seemed that she wanted time from him and that is just something he did not have time to give. Instead, he gave it all at the office.
He was vaguely aware that his kids were growing up and he was missing it. From time to time his kids would complain about the books he wasn’t reading to them and the games he wasn’t playing with them. "I am doing it all for them" he said. "Things will get better soon and our future will be assured."
He knew he wasn’t taking care of his body. His doctor told him that there were some very serious warning signs–-high blood pressure, high cholesterol-–and that he had to cut down on the chocolate, red meat and cigarettes, as well as start to exercise. So he stopped going to the doctor. There will be plenty of time for that he thought once everything settles down.
One day his chief operations officer came to see him and said: "You won’t believe this but business is booming so much that we can’t keep up with it. It’s a miracle. But with the present technology we just can’t keep up and make a killing." So he put the company through a technological revolution: New software, new computers. The buzz phrase was "24/7 accessibility," so much so that that he put phones and video conferencing into the toilets.
But as he sat at his computer rearranging the company, there was one microscopic detail that he had overlooked. An artery that had once been as supple as grass was now as dry and brittle as old cement. For more than half a century his head had been pumping 70 mililitres of blood with every contraction, 14 thousand pints each day, 100 thousand beats in 24 hours--all this without him ever sending a memo or giving it a performance review. Now it skipped a beat. Then another. And a third.
He gasped for air and clutched his chest. For a moment he was given the gift of blinding clarity. Even though he sat on the top of hundreds of organisational charts, it turned out that he wasn’t in control of his own pulse. Funny thing: thousands of employees on multiple continents would obey his every word with fear and trembling. But a few ounces of recalcitrant muscle brought him to his knees.
His wife woke up at 3am and he was still not in bed beside her. She went downstairs to drag him up to bed and saw him sitting there in front of the computer head on his desk. "This is ridiculous," she said the herself. "It’s like being married to a child. He would rather fall asleep in front of his screen than come to bed!"
She touched him on the shoulder to wake him up--but he did not respond and his skin was alarmingly cold. Panicking she rang 911 with a sinking heart. When the paramedics got there they told her he had suffered a massive heart attack.
His death was a major story in the financial community. His obituary appeared in the Times and the Telegraph. It was too bad that he was dead because he would have loved to have read what they said about him.
Then came the funeral service. Because of his prominence the whole community turned out. People filed past the open casket and commented how peaceful he looked. Rigor mortis will do that. Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down. They’d ask the same foolish question that people ask when a rich man dies: How much did he leave behind. He left it all - everyone leaves...