Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' 18And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 20But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12.13-21 ESV)
Intro: In life we have our priorities. However, we can be rich in this life or rich toward God. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but if it is at the expense of our eternity we lose everything in the end.
Earthly Priorities (v. 13-15)
· The man who came to Jesus with this matter apparently wanted his "fair share"
· Jesus demonstrated concern over the spiritual state of the person, not whether or not the person had a legal right to a thing.
· Traditionally Rabbis (teachers) were able to handle these issues, but Jesus was not bound by tradition
· See John 4: Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman (2 things that were against tradition)
· ILLUSTRATION: Pastor Golden- inheritance (house & property): was rightfully his, but stepsister wanted it and was considering legal maneuvers to get it, but he gave it to her without a fight to preserve his right-ness before God. What was legally his was less important than doing what was spiritually beneficial.
Empty Prosperity (v. 16-20)
· Jesus illustrated the importance of the spiritual with a parable
* This man was invested in his greed
* He sought pleasure and comfort
* He did not consider God nor other people (selfish)
* God saw his plans for ease and called him a fool; he was going to die that night
* What good would these riches do him then?
· Everything we have will one day belong to someone else
· The man was physically rich but he neglected two things:
* To thank God for the harvest
* To consider the needs of others
· He did not consider the "greatest Commandment"
· "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22.37-40 ESV)
Eternal Promises (v. 21)
· The person who forgets God and the importance of the life to come is bound for ruin
· We have to consider God first in our lives
· "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6.33 ESV)
· Christians can only become Christians out of a consideration of the eternal
· "He who dies with the most toys..." Wins? No, still dies with nothing
Closing: No matter how much we gain in this life, it will all pass away. As the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes, "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." (Ecclesiastes 1.14 ESV) Nothing in life is lasting, we need to become rich toward God by valuing the things of God and building for eternal life, not just life here.
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