Summary: Is it right or wrong for one to plan and save for the future? What should our attitude be toward our golden years? What does God expect? The account of the prosperous farmer in Luke provides us some valuable lessons.
THE GOLDEN YEARS
Introduction: Is it right or wrong for one to plan and save for the future? What should our attitude be toward our golden years? What does God expect? The account of the prosperous farmer in Luke provides us some valuable lessons. Let us examine the rich man’s story.
I. The Rich Man’s Story
A. He was industrious
• This man had built a large farm and prosperous farm. It did not get that way without sweat and toil.
• Galatians 6:7 … For whatever a man sows, that he also will reap.
• Abraham Lincoln – Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.
• Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade. – Rudyard Kipling
• Proverbs 10:4-5 MKJV He who deals with a lazy hand becomes poor; but the hand of the hard worker makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.
B. He had worldly foresight
• Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: who having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.
• Solomon gives an instruction to work, while persons are in health, and have youth on their side; that they may have not only a sufficiency for present use, but to lay up against a time of sickness and old age.
• 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
C. He overlooked God
• In all of his labor and planning he focused on the temporal and failed to consider the eternal.
• Luke 12:21 So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
• Man’s greatest possession is an unhindered relationship with God. I think of two friends who were passing a large tract of land that belonged to one of them. "What do you think this land and the buildings cost me?" asked the landowner. "I don’t know what they cost you in money," replied his friend, "but I think I know what they cost you otherwise." "What?" "They cost you your soul," was the sorrowful reply.
• Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
• Making a life is more significant than making a living.
II. The World’s Concept of Golden Years of Retirement
A. Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
B. The Message paraphrases Luke 12:19, “I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!”
C. The term, “retirement” is an interesting concept. By definition, retirement is “withdrawal from work, business, etc. because of age” [Webster’s Dictionary]. There is no biological basis for the retirement age of 65. According to research on the concept of social security, the history is that this age was arbitrarily chosen by the German chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, because he calculated that, if the government chose this age to begin offering seniors’ financial assistance, most German citizens would already have died.
D. Life expectancy has increased dramatically. “In 1900, the average life expectancy at birth was 47 years; in 1991, it was 75...a net gain of 28 years.” At the turn of the century fewer than one person out of twenty-five reached 65 years of age
E. Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you art, and unto dust shall you return.
III. The Christian Concept of Golden Years of Service
A. Psalm 92:12-14 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing,
B. Even though one may retire from one’s work (even "full-time" Christian ministry), he should never retire from serving the Lord. (The way that they serve Him may change).
C. One’s older years are NOT to be spent on the pursuit of pleasure.
D. 1 Timothy 5:5-6 But she being really a widow, and having been left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in self-pleasure has died while living.