Summary: Keeping Up with the Jones is an American saying that simply means when you use your friends or neighbors as a benchmark for success. Oftentimes, we look across the street or inside our social circle and become dissatisfied with our lives because we don’t have the same financial success.
What do you think of when you think of Dallas? For many, Dallas will be connected to the iconic J.R. Ewing who appeared in the famous March 1980 Who Shot J.R. episode and an estimated 83 million people wondered and watched the famous “Dallas” oilman. In the minds of many, the Dallas brand has been associated with big steaks, big hair, and big bling. But Dallas’ J.R. Ewing isn’t J.R. Ewing anymore; he’s been replaced. It’s football season and everyone is tuned in again to America’s Team. The most popular brand in the NFL is clicking this year and many fans are being drawn back to their TV sets at game time. Dallas’ new JR Ewing is Jerry Jones – the man even Cowboys fans love to rail against. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, as recently as August, announced a new partnership with a Swiss watchmaker. Forbes magazine said the Cowboy timepieces will sell for as much $25,000 each. In a recent interview with Jones commented on the connection between the expensive watches and the Cowboy “brand.” “The idea of the Dallas Cowboys and the traditional picture of cowboys was the one that was in my mind,” Jones said. “Tex Schramm immediately straightened me out. And he said, ‘Let Houston be the checkered tablecloth and the sawdust floors. The Dallas Cowboys are glitz and glamour. We’re about beautiful office buildings. We’re about the city life.’ And keep that in mind as you think of the style or how you project what is now affectionately known as ‘The Brand.’”
Keeping Up with the Jones is an American saying that simply means when you use your friends or neighbors as a benchmark for success. Oftentimes, we look across the street or inside our social circle and become dissatisfied with our lives because we don’t have the same financial success. And the truth is: there’s always someone who has more. But you don’t have to go to Dallas to find luxury and over the opulence, the over the top lifestyle is located at every corner and in every zip code throughout our nation. For golfers, you’ve got to keep with appearances – it’s where you play and “Does my clothes and shoes embarrass me?” Even in the charity world, “Is my name or my company’s name on the list of donors? Does everyone in my college’s alumni world know that I gave? Whether it's cycling, running, or the women’s Bible study group – we ask ourselves,
“Do I have the right shoes, bike, or Pottery Barn couch?”
Jesus is going to introduce us to a rich man who’s about to get even richer. The problem isn’t so much his planning or his riches, but it’s his sickness. You see, the rich man has a money cancer, a spiritual cancer.
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21)
Why Talk About Money?
Jesus deals with two subjects that most people avoid coming to church altogether – money and judgment. Why? 1) We’re Preaching through the Gospel of Luke. Every sentence matters and I don’t need to skip over something God thinks is important. 2) It’s Relational and Not Mechanical. If I approached any of you men and picked some woman out of the downtown Fort Worth area this past week and said, “Here, give your money to her.” You’d resist. But if you fell in love with her, you would need any prompting to give her an expensive piece of jewelry. Same with Jesus – it’s about a relationship. Some of you don’t have a relationship with Jesus and much of what I’m going to say to do will go over your head. Perhaps you’ll pick up a few tips on how you handle your money. But here’s one thing I want you to drill down deep on: watch how the attitude toward money changes when a person truly trusts in Christ. Watch how their heart is automatically moved to generosity. Coming into a relationship with Jesus changes your relationship to money and possessions.