Summary: The 3rd fairy tale we will look at: "Possessions are powerless."
INTRO: Thought: How many possessions does a man need?
Tolstoy writes a story about a man who lived in Russia who worked for and finally accumulated 1300 acres. His passion was to accumulate land. A stranger came by one day and told him about land in the East where you could have what you could walk around.
So the man set out to discover this. He looked a long time until he finally found the place and he met with the tribal chief. The chief told him it was true. You would give him 1,000 rubles and you can have as much land as you can walk. Run, because you must make it back to the chief before the sun sets or you lose everything.
So early the next morning Bahome got up, met the chief before sunrise, and gave him the money. He started running with his shovel right as the sun came up. He ran and walked. Just as he thought about turning, he got to the top of a hill and saw a beautiful stream and determined he needed that. So he went farther until he knew he needed to turn so he dug out some dirt to make a hole to show a boundary. Then he turned with sweat poring down his brow. He tried to quicken his pace because he thought he maybe went too far. As he ran he noticed it was late in the day. On and on he went until he couldn’t take anymore so he stopped, dug another hole, and turned again. Feeling his heart pounding, his ears plugged, his lungs burning, he kept up his pace. To his horror he noticed the sun was close to setting so he pushed himself all the harder until he could see the chief watching from a distance and cheering him on.
The sun went down when he only had a few hundred yards left so he stopped in frustration but he could see the chief still cheering him on. He suddenly realized the chief was on a hill, the sun hadn’t set yet for him. Bahome took off in a dead heat sprint with everything he had left.
Just as the sun was setting Bahome dived to touch the cap where the money was placed. The chief laughed and said what a fine piece of property. The men rolled Bahome over to congratulate him only to discover he was dead.
All the land that Bahome ended with was a piece of property 6’ x 3’—enough land to bury his body.
Question: How many possessions does one need?
Review: We’ve been going through a series called "The Beauty and the Beast." Simply, money can either be a beauty that we can serve or a beast that will control us.
-In order to defeat the beast we’ve been looking at some fairy tales or myths that can so easily enslave us if we believe in them.
1St Fairy Tale: "More will be enough." Somehow if I can get more it will bring happiness into my home.
2nd Fairy Tale: "Character does not matter." This is the idea that the use of money has nothing to do with character.
TS: The 3rd fairy tale we will look at: "Possessions are powerless."
Thought: Some folks might have thought, as I’ve been preaching through this series, ’Oh, come on, Pastor,
money is just a piece of paper I use to buy and sell goods. Money is not a monster.’
I would say you need to be aware that within our money there can either be a beauty or a beast.
Example: For those of us who are parents, we know the difficulty task when children are scared of the "monster" under the bed or in the closet. You get up to show them no one is there, tuck them in again, and they are still afraid. I say it is a far more difficult task to teach people a monster does exist in our money. Unless we acknowledge the beast and take steps against it, we can end up like the man we will look at today.
TITLE: Beauty and the Beast – Part 3
TEXT: Luke 12:13-21
Time and time again Jesus taught possessions are powerful; they are not powerless. Possessions have a power to make a bid for our hearts, wooing us, tantalizing us, beckoning us; all the while we’re being drawn into its web. Unless we are aware that possessions are powerful, we can become like the man in this parable.
I. Background. Jesus was ministering with his disciples and a man in the crowd interrupted him to ask him to solve a family problem. Rabbis were expected to help settle family matters.
A. Why didn’t Jesus get involved? Because he knew that no answer he could give would solve the real problem. That problem was covetousness in the hearts of the two brothers.