Summary: When we listen to God, rather than our own voice about God, our priorities in life change from being self focused to being Godly focus, this sermon encourages us to think about what it means to live with the many gifts God has given us with a Godly focus
What are your priorities and goals at the moment?
What are your priorities and goals in life?
Some people have very intentional goals and priorities,
Others do not
But this doesn’t mean they don’t have priorities
a good way to judge what are your priorities is to consider where do you spend your money,
what consumes a lot of your time,
and what are the things you worry about?
Today’s Gospel reading from Luke chapter 12, Jesus is encouraging not just one man but a whole crowd, including us to live for the most important and best priorities
Recently Jesus has been spending time with his disciples
As we discovered last week, Jesus gave the disciples the gift of the Lord’s prayer,
and since then he has been teaching the disciples what it means to be a true follower of God
He has been warning them about following the ways of the Pharisees
and the importance of publicly acknowledging Him.
But over time a large crowd has begun following Jesus
This crowd is so large that they are trampling over each other.
And from this crowd comes a person, wanting Jesus’ help
From Luke 12:13 we hear
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
This man saw Jesus as someone with authority
Many in the crowd believed Jesus was a good teacher, some even a prophet worth following, maybe even some a Messiah
Probably thinking if I can get Jesus to answer my request in my favour the problem will be solved
So he wasn’t probably expecting the answer Jesus gives
From verses 14 and 15 Jesus says
“Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
How would you feel about that answer from Jesus?
Imagine you are this man
His brother has the whole inheritance, and all you are asking is it to be shared with you
And now Jesus says to you watch out be on guard against all types of greed
You might be thinking, hold on a moment….my brother is the one who is greedy, not me!!!
This little interaction highlights a couple of things about God and our relationship with Him.
Have you gone to God in prayer, asking for something, something you felt was right and instead of God giving you the answer you want,
He teaches you somethings about yourself and somethings about Him.
Secondly being greedy is not just about having the most things
Often we think it is others who are greedy
We think what they have and what we don’t have
Such thinking is not always helpful
It leads us away from being thankful for what we do have
It also leads us to focus more on ourselves and less on others
It also leads us to having a short term focus, rather than the long term Godly focus of wanting more…
A focus where our life becomes about having more money, more time, more power, more leisure
And to stress this point even further Jesus shares the parable of the rich fool
From verses 17 to 19 we hear
And the man thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 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. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”
Did you hear the man’s thoughts?
They were all about himself
How good he was
What he had achieved
And He had put all his security in his wealth and achievements so he could have a good life.
He was worshipping what some call the unholy trinity….me myself and I
and in our current culture are we encouraged to think and live this way
It is all about me
It is all about what I can achieve
And we are to aim for a nice comfortable life, with little thought of anyone else
The reality though this is short term living
Listen again to the end of the reading from Luke 12 verses 20 and 21
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
When we focus on earthly things like more wealth, more time, more power so we can have a more comfortable life…