Summary: Searching for Real Wealth. A Study of the scripture - Luke 12: 13-21
Sermon: What is Really Important in Life?
Getting vs. Giving
Scripture: Luke 12: 13-21
This week I read a little prayer…
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my Cuisinart to keep.
I pray my stocks are on the rise, and that my analyst is wise.
That all the wine I sip is white, and that my hot tub’s watertight.
That racquetball won’t get too tough, that all my sushi’s fresh enough.
I pray my cordless phone still works, that my career won’t lose its perks.
My microwave won’t radiate, my condo won’t depreciate.
I pray my health club doesn’t close, and that my money market grows.
If I go broke before I wake, I pray my Volvo they won’t take.”
This funny little tongue-in-cheek prayer represents someone’s idea of what’s important. ...important things in a privileged life.
The passage from Luke that we are going to be looking at today forces us to look at our lives and ask ourselves…”What’s really important in life?” Our scripture tells the story of a man who has plenty…more than plenty and what he does with his bounteous blessings.
This passage is very relevant to us today because most people in America have made their priority in life the attainment of enough money to live the good life. This country is a blessed country, with one of the highest living standards in the entire world. The life that most people live here in America is far beyond most.
I received this email from a customer of mine not too long ago and…it goes like this…
If you have had an education and know how to read, then you are more blessed that over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change lying in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
And if you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death,
You are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
It’s amazing how humbling this realization is…to know that the poorest of us in this room are richer than most of the rest of the world and yet do we have enough? We sit and watch programs on TV like Lives of the Rich and Famous or Do You Want to Be a Millionaire Or Fabulous Wealthy Hideaways. And today, we are bombarded by advertisements showing us something bigger, something better or something different. In our American society today, the distance between comfortable and covetous may not be that great.
And that was what Jesus was trying to point out in our scripture today…when does having possessions become a sin…a sin to be reckoned with.
In the passage we read today, we find Jesus sitting and teaching his disciples, but also sitting with them were many just listening to him teach. He was trying to teach his disciples to fear God alone, when he is suddenly interrupted by a man who was not trying to learn what Jesus was teaching, but he was adamant about his own problem. He blurts out and asks Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
I’m sure Jesus stopped what he was teaching and looked over at this man and then said,
“Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”
Jesus refused to be sidetracked from his mission of seeking and saving the lost. He looked at that man and saw that the problem wasn’t the fair division of the inheritance, but one of ‘greed’. Jesus saw that not only did this man have a problem with greed, but also the man’s bother. Jesus knew that no settlement would be satisfactory, until both the brothers had a change of heart.
“A change of heart”…that was what made Jesus’ teaching so different. He knew that everything that comes from Man starts in the heart. We find Jesus saying in Mark 7 verse 20…
“What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.”
What Jesus saw coming out of this man was ‘Greed”, and so he begins to teach about the sin of greed in the parable of the “Rich Man”. After all my reading, I don’t believe that Jesus had a problem with a man having possessions or even being wealthy. Jesus was concerned with Man’s Heart…where is your heart? Is your heart turned toward getting more and more of what you already have…or is your heart bent on loving and giving to where it is needed.