Summary: A stewardship sermon.
“Life is on Loan from God”
Jesus talked a lot about money.
For instance, 16 of the 38 parables deal with how to handle money and possessions.
In the Gospels, an amazing one out of every ten verses deal directly with money.
In the Bible there are 500 verses on prayer but 2,300 references to money and possessions.
Why would Jesus spend so much time, and have so much concern about how we use that which is entrusted to us?
A 2012 Boston Globe article asked the following question: “Does money change you?”
The article stated that “most people are convinced that gaining a lot of money wouldn’t change who they are as people.”
But is that true?
The article reported:
“As a mounting body of research is showing, wealth can actually change how we think and behave—and not for the better.
Rich people have a harder time connecting with others, showing less empathy to the extent of dehumanizing those who are different from them.
They are less charitable and generous.
They are less likely to help someone in trouble.
And they are more likely to defend an unfair status quo.
If you think you’d behave differently in their place, meanwhile, you’re probably wrong: these aren’t just inherited traits, but developed ones.
Money, in other words, changes who you are.”
The article went on to summarize research studies which found that even the mere suggestion of getting more money—a technique known as “priming”—makes people less friendly, less sensitive to others, and more likely to support statements like, “some groups of people are simply inferior to others.”
The article noted that “If you win the lottery and you want to avoid becoming an insensitive lout,” there is a simple solution: “Give most of it away.”
Of course, money itself is not evil.
If it were not for many generous folks who have been successful in the business world, but give much of their wealth away—we would be in terrible straits indeed.
Paul put it aptly, “godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it…
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge [people] into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning Jesus says, “Watch out! Guard yourselves against all kinds of greed.
After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.”
Then Jesus told a parable about a guy who had missed the purpose of his life.
Isn’t that sad?
He had missed the purpose of his life.
“What will I do?” the man asked himself.
There can be no doubt that he had prepared for the harvest, but it had exceeded all his expectations.
He had really hit “pay dirt” and he finds that he has no place to store all his “stuff.”