Summary: Message looks at the parable Jesus gives as a warning that storing up treasures on earth is foolish. Christians are to store up treasures in heaven.
Series – Managing Well
Message one ‘How to leave a Christian legacy’ Luke 12:13-21 (NIV)
On the website www.askmen.com participants were asked to rank in their opinion the most influential men in 2007. Their rankings were:
1. David Beckham. David is a soccer player for the Los Angelos Galaxy. The reasons he gave for being rated number one: slick haircuts, athletic ability, English charm, and his stylish wardrobe.
2. Matt Daman. Matt is an actor who starred in Oceans Thirteen and the Bourne Ultimatum.
Now if you go down that list of 49 men you find that they are almost all actors, sports people, and a few politicians. I wonder, what if anything will they be remembered for in 200 years. In my day Gordie Howe was the number one hockey player in the world. When I asked the high school kids if they knew who Gordie Howe was not one did. I wonder, what would God say about their contributions to this world? What will God say about my life?
In his book the Treasure Principle Randy Alcorn gives a contrast of two different leaders. One made an impact for eternity. The other made an impact for tourism.
Randy says ‘ we were in Cairo Egypt and the streets were very dusty. He was driven down an alley by the tour guide to an Arabic sign that opened to a plot of overgrown grass. It was a graveyard for African missionaries.
Randy says ‘as my family and I followed our guide pointed to a tombstone that read ‘William Borden’ 1887-1913.
William Borden was a Yale graduate, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. He was an heir to great wealth. Borden rejected a life of ease in order to bring the gospel to Muslim’s. He was a man that could have owned several car factories. But Borden refused to even buy himself a car. Borden gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions. After a short but zealous ministry in Egypt, he contacted spinal meningitis and died by the age of twenty five. Now this world would have called Borden a fool. My relatives would have said ‘the poor guy.’ He should have had a party and traveled the world. He should have bought a time share and went to Hawaii, Greece, Sweden, and Austria.
Randy Alcorn stood there and dusted off the epitaph on Borden’s grave. The epitaph described his love and sacrifice for the Muslim people. The inscription on his epitaph reads ‘Apart from Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.’
Randy Alcorn then says his tour continued. The next stop was the Egyptian National Museum. The King Tut exhibit was mind boggling.
Tutankhamen, just a boy king, was 17 when he died. He was buried with solid gold chariots and thousands of gold artifacts. His gold coffin was found within gold tombs within gold tombs within – you guessed it – more gold tombs.
His burial site was filled with tons of gold, worth untold millions today. The Egyptians, like William Borden also believed in an afterlife. But Borden understood this parable of Jesus who clearly taught you can either send it ahead to heaven by using it now to the glory of God or leave it all behind. The Egyptians believed that you can take it all with you to the afterlife. Both the Bible and archaeology proved they were wrong.
For three thousand years all King Tut’s gold remained at that grave until 1922 when a man named Howard Carter discovered the burial chamber.
Let’s think about the difference between these two graves. Borden’s grave is obscure, dusty and hidden off some back alley where the street is lined with garbage.
King Tut’s grave is opulent. It is glittered with unimaginable wealth. Yet where are these two men now?
King Tut, who lived in opulence, is in a Christ less eternity. William Borden, who chose to live a modest life on earth serving Jesus, the one true King, is enjoying his everlasting reward in the presence of Jesus.
King Tut’s life was tragic because he discovered an awful truth when it was too late. The truth is this – he couldn’t take his wealth and treasures with him. William Borden’s life was triumphant. Why is that? Because instead of leaving his treasures behind, he sent them on ahead.
Jesus often spoke in stories to give a profound truth. I truly believe Jesus was a model preacher, one we can learn much from. There are several truths that we want to look at this morning from this parable. From these truths we can learn how to leave a Christian legacy.
1. Don’t be selfish
At beginning of the parable someone makes a demand of Jesus. That is something we should never do, demand something from Jesus. But that is what he does. He simply yells out ‘Jesus you’re a person of authority.’ You seem to have some pull around here. If an election were held, I will give you my vote; that is provided you do what I say.’ Straighten out my brother. Command him to divide the inheritance with me. Command him to give me my share. I need it. I want it. And you have the power to do something about it. Tell my brother to stop being such an idiot. It’s not fair and if you want my support, if you want me to follow you, then straighten this situation out. I cannot support you right now because things are not fair and you’re not doing anything about it. He does not ask Jesus to look at the dispute from his brother’s perspective. He does not want God’s viewpoint. He wants it his way.