Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my Cuisinart to keep. I pray my stocks are on the rise,
and that my analyst is wise. That all the wine I sip is white, and that my hot tub’s watertight.
That racquetball won’t get too tough, that all my sushi’s fresh enough. I pray my cordless phone
still works, that my career won’t lose its perks. My microwave won’t radiate, my condo won’t
depreciate. I pray my health club doesn’t close, and that my money market grows. If I go broke
before I wake, I pray my Volvo they won’t take.
Steve Farrar, Family Survival in the American Jungle
I put a lot of time into my sermons. I guesstimate that I put in about one hour for each minute
that I talk. But no matter how well-researched the sermon is, how interesting or challenging the
sermon is, some people may miss the point of it. Usually this is due to some dilemma or personal
tragedy. Jesus had the same problem. He had been preaching on hypocrisy, hell and
unforgivable sin. But this guy in the crowd didn’t hear a word of it. He had a problem that so
distracted him that he could think of nothing else. He shouts out, "Teacher, get my brother to
divide my inheritance with me."
This wasn’t the first time for this sort of thing. For the second time in just a little while Jesus is
asked to step into a family disagreement. First it was Martha and Mary. Now it was a brother
against his brother over settling an inheritance. According to the law of the day, the elder brother
would receive two-thirds of the inheritance and the younger brother would receive one-third. But
this man isn’t asking Jesus to listen to both sides and make a righteous judgment; he is asking
Jesus to take sides with him against his brother. People have a way of wanting to use Jesus to put
their relatives in line. Jesus didn’t come to run everybody’s business.
This guy didn’t want what was fair, he didn’t want what was right. He was GREEDY! His share
wasn’t enough. What he was entitled to wasn’t enough. There are two ways to get enough: One
is to accumulate more and more, the other is to desire less. But we’re greedy. We can’t pass up a
deal. The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have
never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.
So Jesus tells him a story. We think it’s about rich people. Bill Gates. PowerBall winners. But
the man in Jesus’ parable wasn’t a fool because he was rich. He had gotten what he had
honestly-through the productiveness of his land. He was a fool because he forgot what was really
important. He was a fool because he decided for himself what was really important. He was a
fool because he thought: "I’ve done all this! I will pull down these warehouses, and build bigger
my crops . . . my barns . . . my goods . . . my soul; everything is him, and nothing is God. He
went wrong in the things he remembered. He remembered himself. The words "I" and "my" are
used 11 times. Conversations reveal what people are like. Eleanor Roosevelt could talk for two
and a half hours without referring to herself. At the other extreme, it’s been said that Elizabeth
Taylor refers to herself every 90 seconds.
Mine. Mine. Gimmee. Gimmee. We want more and more, all the time thinking it’s ours. We
don’t own anything. Whatever we have is lent to us by God; we are the stewards for God’s
property. He forgot, as do we sometimes, the words of Hosea 2:9 (read).
Jesus didn’t condemn the man for eating, drinking and being merry, nor even for being rich.
Rather the man was called foolish for building bigger barns. The point of the story is that the guy
was planning to store more of his wealth than he needed to eat, drink and be merry. Look again
at the words of the story. The man says, "What should I do for I have no place to store my
crops?" Wait a minute! He’s got barns. His problem is that his harvest has been so great that his
present storage facilities will not hold all of the grain. So he decides, I’ll tear down my barns and
build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain. But wait, his ground produced more than
usual, so he thought he needed bigger barns. But next year the barns might be too big as this year
the barns were too little. Years of famine commonly followed years of plenty.
He forgot about his neighbors. If his barns were too small to hold his surplus, there must have
been others more than willing to share it. Instead, he was greedy. He wanted it all for himself.
But Bible teaches that what we have, we have to share. Produce, and share with those in need.
He forgot time. His whole attitude was that he had unlimited time. He was foolish to think that
his goods were laid up for many years, as if his bigger barns would be safer than those he had; In
just an hour those bigger barns and everything in them could burn to the ground maybe because
of lightning, against which there is no defense. A few years may make a great change; moth and
rust may corrupt, or thieves break through and steal.
The most dangerous word in the English language is "tomorrow." No one knows if tomorrow
will ever come for them. There is an old story of 3 apprentice demons who were to be sent to
earth on a mission. They were telling Satan what they proposed to do. One said, "I will tell
everyone there is no God." "It won’t work," Satan said. "In their hearts they know there is. The
second one said, "I will tell them there is no hell." "That won’t work, either," Satan said. "Even in
this life they have tasted the agony and sorrow of hell." The third one said, "I will tell them there
is no hurry." "Go," said Satan. "Tell them that and you will ruin them by the millions."
The rich man already has plenty of grain and goods. He does not have to live in the moment. He
has barns for his future. They may not be as big as he would like, but he has plenty to eat, drink
and be merry. The man already has enough wealth to enjoy life. But his greed has clouded his
vision. He wants more....of the wrong things.
The pastor was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the
host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area.
Pointing to the oil wells dotting the landscape, he boasted, "Twenty-five years ago I had nothing.
Now, as far as you can see, it’s all mine." Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling
fields of grain, he said, "That’s all mine." Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged,
"They’re all mine." Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, "That too is
He paused, expecting the pastor to compliment him on his great success. The pastor, however,
placing one hand on the man’s shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said,
"How much do you have in that direction?" The man stared blankly for a moment, then hung his
head and confessed, "I never thought of that."
Some people make some big mistakes in life:
1- In planning for themselves, they forget others.
2- In considering their material goodies, they forget the Giver.
3- In providing for their bodies, they forget their soul.
Three men perished in the summer heat of Death Valley. Deputies found their bodies 7 miles, 14
miles and 17 miles from their abandoned car. In leaving their car to seek help, the three had
tragically headed in the wrong direction, going toward a ranch house they had passed 30 miles
back. But just a mile in the other direction was a grove of trees and a spring of water!
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be
thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst...”
Jesus is the water of life! The waters of this life don’t satisfy and they don’t last! BUT JESUS
SATISFIES AND HE IS LASTING!
So many people are heading in the wrong direction in life. They keep on looking for pleasure
from this world and they will eventually end up dead. But if they would just turn and head the
other direction, where the living water can be found, they would find true satisfaction and eternal
Our life is not our own. Our life is a loan which must be returned to God. Our attitude toward
this life shows our commitment to God. Do possessions have a stranglehold on you? Are you
headed in the direction of the living water? If you said “Now I lay me down to sleep”, what is the
next line you would use?