Summary: Covetousness will not satisfy the passions of the flesh.
Title: The Man With Six I’s
The Parable Of The Rich Fool
Text: Luke 12:15-21
Theme: Covetousness will not satisfy the passions of the flesh.
Introduction: Jesus and Money
Jesus talked a great deal about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of 10 verses (288 in all) deals directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. (Howard Dayton, Jr., James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 372.)
In the Parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus gives us a lesson on the failures of selfish over-indulgence. This man was concerned only with what he could gain in this world. Six times he proclaims his selfishness:
1. What shall “I” do…
2. “I” have no room…
3. “I” will do this…
4. “I” will pull down my barns…
5. There “I” will store all my crops…
6. “I” will say to my soul…
But Jesus declared this kind of thinking to be foolishness, warning us of the dangers of this kind of sinful attitude toward money and possessions.
Illustration: How Much Is Enough?
When John D. Rockefeller was the richest man in the world, someone asked him how much money was enough. He replied, "Just a little bit more." (Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997.)
I. THE ACCUMULATION OF POSSESSIONS WILL NOT PROVIDE WORLDLY HAPPINESS. (Luke 12:15-16)
A. My Happiness Does Not Depend Upon What I Have. (Philippians 4:10-13)
1. God wants us to enjoy a full, complete, and balanced life; and He has made provisions through His Word for us to be fulfilled in that way. (John 10:10)
2. He has promised to supply our every need. (Philippians 4:19)
3. He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4)
Note: This does not mean He will give us everything we want, but that He will gives us a new set of desires.
B. Covetousness Will Always Lead To Despair. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
Illustration: The Gambler’s Illusion
A gambling nut bet on twelve football games over the weekend and lost on all of them. The next weekend he bet on twelve more football games and lost again. The following week he called his bookie, who told him there were no football games scheduled. However, the bookie explained he could have his pick of either team in eight hockey games. The big plunger sneered, "Hockey? What the blazes do I know about hockey?" (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 211.)
Illustration: Too Much Is Too Much
Many a man when he begins to accumulate wealth commences at the same moment to ruin his soul, and the more he acquires, the more closely he blocks up his liberality, which is, so to speak, the very mouth of spiritual life. Instead of doing more for God he does less. The more he saves the more he wants, and the more he wants of this world the less he cares for the world to come. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990).
1. God wants us to keep our priorities clear: “Seek first the kingdom of God.”
2. When we put Him first, our needs will be met. (Matthew 6:33)
Illustration: When Desire Becomes Coveting
When does proper desire become coveting? I think we can put the answer down simply: desire becomes sin when it fails to include the love of God or men. Further, I think there are two practical tests as to when we are coveting against God or men: first, I am to love God enough to be contented; second, I am to love men enough not to envy. (Francis Schaeffer, Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 2.)
II. THE ABSENCE OF POVERTY WILL NOT PROVIDE EARTHLY CONTENTMENT. (Luke 12:17-19)
Note: Covetousness – a craving, a desire for more.
A. Covetousness Is A Dissatisfaction With What Is Enough.
1. Covetousness leads us to believe that our happiness comes from things rather than God.
2. It feeds our appetite and passion for pleasure through the accumulation of stuff.
B. Covetousness Magnifies The Cravings For Material Things And Leads Us To Indulge In The Desires Of The Flesh.
Note: Our urge to acquire things is due less to the passion to possess them than to the vanity of feeling superior to those who envy our possession of them. (Paul Eldridge, James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 455.)
C. Unrestrained Covetousness Not Only Drives Us To Accumulate More, It Compels Us To Desire What Belongs To Others.
Illustration: That’s A Good Sign