Summary: Sermon focused on contentment.
SIMPLE SAM AND HEAPIN HARV
I want to introduce you to two people this morning. They are two people who approach life in very different ways when it comes to money, material things, and financial habits.
First, we have Simple Sam (it can be Simple Samantha if you like!). Simple Sam is a guy who makes a conscious effort to be the same on the inside as he is on the outside. His speech is truthful and honest and he makes decisions based off of faith and thinking. He finds security in his faith and loves the things of God that he is blessed with and those are the things make him happy. He manages his money and does not let his money manage him. He never stresses over money. He has everything in his life he needs and more.
Second, we have Heapin Harv (it can be Heapin Henrietta if you like!). Heapin Harv is a guy who makes no effort to be the same on the inside and the outside. He flip flops often in what he says and what he wants and his opinions seem to change with the blowing winds. He makes decisions based on feelings. He finds his security in material things and calls covetousness ambition, calls hoarding prudence, and calls greed industry. He wants nice things to make him happy. He is always a slave to money and has many bills. He stresses and worries over money. He never seems to be content with anything.
QUESTION: Are you Simple Sam or Heapin Harv?
READ LUKE 12:13-21
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “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?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
THE SITUATION IN LUKE 12:13-21
The parable that Jesus gives in Luke 12:13-21 is one that comes because of an issue that arrises between brothers. The brothers apparently have lost their parents and have an inheritance coming their way. One brother is keeping the inheritance. One brother wants his cut. They are arguing. Probably when they are not arguing they are not speaking. What has overtaken each of them is desire. The desire for stuff. The desire for money. The desire to have and to hold. The desire to have financial security.
If you take a child, even a very young child into Toys R Us or Walmart, you will not have to teach the child what to do. Hours of training by TV and movies and even by parents have taught a child that there is no higher calling than desire. Now what does that tell us? It is as if greed and the desire for material things comes quite naturally, but it is also true that our society has become a vast supermarket where we are trained in desire. We live in a world of manufactured need. Advertising on TV, billboards, and the internet creates, molds, kindles desire.
Desire seems to be contagious. We want something because someone else wants it. We want what others have in order to have their approval. Yet such desire, rather than linking us to others, puts us in conflict. Whatever our neighbor has that we don't have diminishes us. Needing what our neighbor has in order to be somebody, we feel caught in an endless treadmill of acquisition which can never be satisfied. We must have the "latest new and improved model" but, scarcely before we get it home, "the latest" is already dated and we are upset.
So, the situation or the environment in which Jesus gives His parable in Luke 12 is one of desire. It is one of arguing. We find attitudes of “I want what is mine.”
THE PARABLE IN LUKE 12:13-21
Our parable that we read from Jesus this morning focuses on a certain farmer. This farmer has done very well for himself. Notice that he's done nothing illegal or wrong. This is neither a slum lord or drug dealer nor does he doesn't cheat his employees or mistreat them in any way. This is the American Dream come true- he's hit the big time. He’s got the house with the white picket fence, 2.4 kids, a dog, and his crops coming in are more than ever before. He’s rich. He's a hard worker and an upstanding citizen. This is lawful profit. He made it fair and square. Through a combination of skill and luck and plain hard work, his investment and labor have paid off.