Summary: A look at three of the ways that we can be "rich toward God" by using our money wisely.
A MONEY PROBLEM: What you store up for yourself gets left behind.
- Luke 12:20-21a.
- The end of verse 20 notes the rich fool can’t take it with him. That very night his death is coming and then someone else will get what he’s built up. Everything that he has is left on this earth.
- It’s an important truth: what we build up for ourselves gets left behind us when we leave this world.
- Verse 20 speaks of storing up things for ourselves. That’s also the idea of building up money and possessions for ourselves.
- We store up for ourselves: more stuff, more reserves, more money, more possessions.
A BETTER INVESTMENT: We can be “rich toward God” and get an abundant, long-term return on our investment.
- Luke 12:21.
- This does not mean that you have a literal bank account in heaven with every dollar you’ve invested in the Kingdom of God, plus accumulated interest.
- That would kind of be pointless, since in eternity Christ will provide everything we need.
- It reminds me of the old joke (with really bad theology, but that’s another story) about the rich guy who loved his money, so he told his family to bury him with a briefcase full of gold bars. When he got to heaven, he opened it up to show St. Peter and Peter replied, “Why did you bring pavement?”
- No, having actual money would about as useful as bringing a kiddie pool of salt water with you when you go to the beach.
- In fact, there is an abundant return on investment that is available, but it’s a return of things that are far more meaningful.
- One analogy would be spending your money on a trip that gave you and your family an incredible experience. You would come back saying, “That was money well spent!” You don’t have money to show for your investment, but you’ve got something even more worthwhile.
- What does rich mean?
- It means to have an abundance.
- Have a vision for your life that is beyond this life.
- Am I putting all my money in my house? Am I putting all my money
WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE:
- This is not an all-inclusive list, but does share three of the most important “returns on investment.”
1. THE PLEASURE OF PEOPLE'S PRESENCE IN ETERNITY.
- One of the greatest things is the thought of people being in eternity because of the money we invested in the Kingdom.
- Missionaries sent. Vacation Bible Schools held. Sermons preached. All those take money. As we invest in the Kingdom and there is harvest, we are part of that harvest.
- To arrive in eternity and have someone say, “I’m here because that missionary your church funded told me about Jesus” or “I became a Christian because of that VBS you gave to” or “I never understood the truth until your pastor shared it with me. Thank you for helping pay his salary.”
- It sounds crude to say, but money is essential to the gospel being shared. It was even essential for Jesus’ ministry (Luke 8:3).
- What a glorious moment: to cross over into eternity and to have (after Jesus and your loved ones) a large crowd of people there to thank you for investing in the Kingdom.
- Schindler’s List: people scene, the list is life, final scene. [Put at end?]
2. EARNED AUTHORITY IN JESUS' EARTHLY KINGDOM.
- Most people’s vision of eternity is spending forever in heaven. That’s not Biblical.
- Instead, the final two chapters of the Bible point us toward a new earth and a New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1, 4). Those chapters also give tantalizing but undeveloped clues about “nations” and “kings of the earth” (Revelation 21:24; Revelation 22:2). It also speaks of us ruling with Christ (Revelation 22:3).
- This speaks of a world the way ruled the way it should be. Here too, just as Jesus did in leaving His mission in the hands of the church, Jesus is delegating to us authority and power. We will rule with Christ – what a thought.
- The parable in Luke 19 tells us that our faithfulness in what’s entrusted to us on the earth is a test of what authority we will be given in the world to come. Our stewardship there is larger than just our money, but it does include our money.
- The faithfulness and fruitfulness we’ve shown with our money (among other things) will determine the level of authority and responsibility that we’re given in that Kingdom.
- This is one of the “returns on investment” that we receive from Christ.