The Teaching of Jesus - regarding Money
Text: Luke 12:13-34
“Tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”
The law of inheritance was already settled. (Deut. 21:17) The eldest son would get a double portion. This son (likely NOT the eldest) was bemoaning that he would not get as much as he wanted or thought he deserved. It is amazing how greedy families become when someone passes.
We all have a natural inclination to
selfishness, greed, and materialism.
“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Greed can take many forms. Hoarding, miserliness, envy, jealousy, misplaced security. Possessions do not make a life, nor does the abundance of possessions bring happiness.
The rich man who did not have enough storage to protect all his harvest of crops.
He said, 'I will tear down my barns and build bigger barns, then I will be secure and will take my ease.’
God said, ‘You fool! You will die tonight, then who will benefit from what you have prepared?’
When we die we leave behind all of our material possessions. One miserly man insisted that when he died he wanted to take his half of the marital estate with him. His humble wife agreed. On the day that he was buried just before the casket was lowered into the ground, the wife insisted that the casket be opened, and she gently placed an envelope on her husband’s chest. The minister witnessed this and ask the widow if she was ok. She replied, “oh yes, we had an agreement that he would take half of our estate with him to the grave, so I just totaled it up and wrote him a check.”
So is the man (a fool) who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Footnotes: The eternal truth declared by Jesus. If you are not rich toward God, you are a foolish indeed. If you think God will be impressed by your accumulation of wealth, you are sadly mistaken. Consider this, the streets of heaven are paved with gold.
The Teaching for the Disciples
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR PHYSICAL NEEDS, FOR LIFE IS MORE THAN THE BODY.
Worry has no benefit
Your Father knows what you need
SEEK HIS KINGDOM; MAKE THIS YOUR PURSUIT
Do not be afraid, for your Father will give you the kingdom
SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS AND GIVE TO THE NEEDY
Lay up your treasures in heaven
WHAT YOU TREASURE IS ALWAYS A REFLECTION OF YOUR HEART
The Application for Us
Do not worry about stuff
Pursue the praise of God; always seek to please Him
Don’t be afraid to make THIS your life’s goal!
Sell your possessions. (Get rid of what possesses you.)
Guard your heart from materialism, selfishness, and greed.
Be wise in what you treasure
Do not worry
Always seek to please Him (John 8:29) “ I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
What you cannot live without is likely what you need to get rid of the most. What you possess often possesses you. Hold onto the things of this world with an open hand.
Proactively guard your heart. Consider carefully purchasing things for which your desire is unhealthy. Consider that you may be purchasing the very idol that will rob you of your love for God. Generosity is not measured in the amount you give, but by the amount you have remaining.
Show care in what you permit your heart to desire, and your
energies to pursue. Don’t go into debt for something you want, nor for what you need. Consider that as God’s family we are to help provide for one another’s needs. (2 Cor. 8:7-15)