Be Rich Towards God

Luke 12:15-21: And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of [a]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

This is a warning for us all - not to be greedy but to use what God has blessed us with to bless the nations. That word ‘beware’ in the original language can also mean, observe or recognize. Basically, wake up and open your eyes. That phrase, “take heed,” in the original language can also mean, avoid or flee. So verse 15 would sound like this, open your spiritual eyes and flee covetousness. In this context, covetousness is basically the strong desire for material and earthly things and a disregard for God, His Word and His will. It is a strong desire to possess more and more of material things. Being greedy is idolatry because your love is not Christ alone but it is in money and the things of this life. What are you focusing on? Do you have an earthly or eternal perspective? God has blessed us in many ways. We have more than enough. Will we bless the nations through, supporting missionaries, work to the unreached, church planting, helping the poor and showing love to our neighbors? Or will we hoard God’s blessings to ourselves?

In verse 16, the man did nothing wrong in the sense of how he got his riches. He probably worked hard for it. The issue was that he was consumed with his pursuit of riches. He was not pursuing God but he had his own agenda and hidden motives. In verse 17, you see that instead of being thankful to God he just pondered in what he should do with his surplus and excess of possessions. His problem was not that he did not have enough but his problem was that he had too much. So his solution, was not, “let’s give to the poor!” but his solution was to make more room to store his crops and goods. In verse 18, you see his selfish indulgence. His heart was not right. He did not have a heart after God’s own heart. He was not biblical and he was worldly. In church every ministry is supposed to be biblical. There is no such thing as biblical ministries and worldly ministries. Everything is done for His glory, even counting money or cleaning the toilets. There is only worldly people with worldly thinking. This man in the parable could care less about God’s will.

In verse 19, you see how he was deceived by his pride and ego. Some people are in pursuit of their social standing, impressing people and trying to earn their salvation by good works. In verse 20, you see that he was about to die. Are you ready to die tonight? Everything will be exposed. All our secret meetings, hidden motives and selfish agendas will be exposed. Are you the “fool” in this parable? Have you truly repented of your sins and put your trust in Christ or are you “playing” church? Are you the greatest person at church then you are rude to your family and treat your wife like garbage? There will be a day of judgement. Are you ready? In verse 21, are you the one who is laying up treasure for yourself or are you rich toward God?

We are blessed to bless the nations, not build bigger barns. God has blessed us for 35 years but we are blessed to bless others. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter into heaven. God is not impressed with your show. If we have not truly repented and put our trust in Christ, the Bible says we are still under the wrath of God and going to hell. We must repent of our sin and put our trust in Christ that He died on the cross to take the penalty for our sins. He fulfilled the requirements of the law to make the way to the Father. We were separated from God because of our sin and we are reconciled through Christ. True repentance means that we turn away from our sin. Repentance is not just pretending to be good. We cannot earn our salvation by our good deeds but we are saved by grace through faith. My prayer as the youth pastor at CABC for the last 6 years is that God will use our church to bless the nations for His glory in the future generations. God is not looking for worldly leaders with all the gifts and talents but He wants to raise up a generation that fears God and not man.