Summary: The value of one’s life is seen in who he is, where his wealth lies, and where he is headed.
The Value of a Life Luke 12:15
INTRO.: Do you know what your "net worth" is? Your net worth is equal to the amount left in your estate when all your debts are paid and all your life insurance is collected. Of course, that’s not as important to you as it will be to your heirs. That’s because you probably won’t pay all your debts before you die and you most likely won’t cash in your life insurance policies.
We figure net worth in dollars and cents. Jesus wants us to look at life differently. That’s the point of our story.
A man came to Jesus with a request. "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." Evidently his father had died and, when the net worth was calculated and the estate divided, he got nothing or, at least, less than he thought he was owed. So he comes to Jesus for help.
Jesus used the occasion to teach the folly of greed. He issues a strong warning and tells a story to show life does not consist of the abundance of one’s possessions. There is more to life than net worth, the bottom line.
Relate the parable in Luke 12:16-21
Jesus teaches what the value of a life consists of.
I. The value of a life is seen more in what we are than in what we have.
A. Jesus referred to the rich man in His parable as a fool, not a word Jesus tossed around lightly.
1. It means mindless one. Someone with no common sense.
2. He could not see beyond himself and his pleasure.
3. He couldn’t see beyond this mortal life.
4. Like Archie Bunker or Frank Barron, he is all wrapped up in self.
5. His world is bounded on north, east, south, and west by self. Concerned only with what he has and what he can get.
B. In the story and the passage that follows, Jesus calls attention to what we are:
1. We are more valuable than birds or flowers. 24, 27
2. We are helpless to do everyday things God does. 25
3. Children of a loving Father. 30
4. We are of highest value, dignity. I Jn. 3:1, 2
II. The value of a life is seen more in where our wealth is than what it is: 21
A. ILLUS.: Belshazzar. Dan. 5:1ff. A lot like the rich fool.
1. Rich, yet still wanting. V. 27
2. His wealth was in the wrong place. All his values are earthly. Dan. 5:4
3. "Like a northbound train on a southbound track, he looks good going but he won’t be back."
4. Rich, but not rich toward God.
B. What is it to be "rich toward God"?
1. To have a right relationship with God.
2. To cultivate divine qualities in your life, such as righteousness, trust, mercy, etc.
3. To know and enjoy His Presence in your life.
C. How to get "rich toward God" Luke 12:21
1. Serve Christ, not self. The rich man had no thought of using his wealth for God.
2. The rich man might have thought of the needs of others. They were all around him.
3. Matt. 19:21 live for others and you will have treasures in Heaven.
III. The value of a man’s life is in where he is going rather than where he has been: Luke 12:31
A. The rich man’s goal was rest and peace. That’s the direction he wanted to go. 12:19
1. That’s the direction we all want to go. To have everything we need and be able to do just what we want to do.
2. Thinking we can do it through material possessions is an illusion.
3. The problem is the more we get the more we need.
4. It’s unlikely the rich man would have been satisfied if he had achieved his goal.
B. Rest and peace can only be found in Christ.
1. We must trust Him in this life. Matt .11:28. To the extent we do, we will have peace, rest.
2. We look forward to ultimate rest in Heaven. Heb. 4:9
3. This life is a journey through an uncharted wilderness to a secure and peaceful home.
CONC.: We all have a lot of choices to make. Some must be made without time to weigh options. But, even snap decisions are made on the basis of what is really important to us. Where we place our highest values is very important.
What are the things that really matter to you? Review.