Summary: Jesus warns us in this parable of the danger of pursuing the wrong treasure all our life, even finding it, and then discovering we have missed discovering life’s eternal treasure. Such eternal treasure is found in our relationship with Him.

Treasure Hunters

July 14-15, 2001

Luke 12:13-21 (New International Version)

13Someone in the crowd said to him, ¡§Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.¡¨

14Jesus replied, ¡§Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?¡¨ 15Then he said to them, ¡§Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man¡¦s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.¡¨

16And he told them this parable: ¡§The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He 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 all my grain and my goods. 19And I¡¦ll say to myself, ¡§You have plenty of good things 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 anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.¡¨

INTRODUCTION: What would you do for $10,000,000?

What would you be willing to do for ten million dollars? In their book, The Day America Told the Truth, James Patterson and Peter Kim reveal some shocking statistics about how far people in this country are willing to go for ten million.

„h 25% Would abandon their entire family.

„h 23% Would abandon their church.

„h 23% Would become prostitutes for a week or more.

„h 16% Would give up their American citizenship.

„h 16% Would leave their spouses.

„h 10% Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free.

„h 7% Would kill a stranger.

„h 3% Would put their children up for adoption.

The question, is would it still be worth ten million dollars a year later? Let’s face it we live in a wealthy country with people who want to be wealthier -- isn’t that the attraction of lotto fever, or casino gambling, or the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes?

It is easy to condemn this wealthy farmer in the parable, but most would see him as a successful American. He would agree with the Michael Douglass character in Wall Street, "Greed is good!" Or the athlete in Jerry McGuire, "Show me the money! Show me some love" which in case you didn’t see the movie, love equals money.

Jesus warns us in this parable of the danger of pursuing the wrong treasure all our life, even finding it, and then discovering we have missed discovering life’s eternal treasure. Such eternal treasure is found in our relationship with Him. Today let’s look at 3 Clues to Discovering Life’s Eternal Treasure.

One of the most enduring dreams is the idea of becoming a treasure hunter. Start with nothing, or just a map, and then suddenly to be made rich beyond my wildest imagination. The key to the treasure hunter’s success is some kind of secret knowledge or unearthed map. He discovers a hidden map, or she translates a cryptic message, and immediately the location of an unknown treasure is revealed.

But true "treasure hunters" aren’t found diving into the wrecks of sunken ships or hiking hidden trails through rugged mountains. True treasure hunters are not Indiana Jones, but Mother Teresa. True treasure hunters serve a cup of cold water to the thirsty. Eternal treasure hunters found serving dinners at a homeless shelter. They give of their time to teach kids in Sunday School, or brave the daring adventure of being a youth counselor. Eternal treasure hunters help those in need with the love of Christ.

We can all be successful treasure hunters because each of us has access to the key that reveals all the true treasures of life -- Jesus Christ. In him we are all made wondrously rich before God.

CLUE 1. DIRECTION: Be possessed by GOD, not by POSSESSIONS. Jesus gives the key point of his parable and this warning in Luke 12:15, He told the people, ¡§Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.¡¨ -- (GOD’S WORD)

Motivational speaker Danny Cox tells an interesting story in his book, Seize the Day. Danny and his wife took a hot air balloon trip early one morning in Africa. As the balloon rose gracefully, they saw a herd of wildebeest running frantically across the vast expanse below. The herd stopped suddenly and began looking around as if they were confused. Danny asked their pilot why the herd had stopped so suddenly and what they were looking for.

He told them that the wildebeest, which migrate by the millions across grassy African plains, are not good learners. An entire herd will take flight at the slightest indication of danger. They will run wildly for a short time and then stop, forgetting why they began running in the first place.

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