Luke 12:13-21 [1 Timothy 6:6–10]
Jesus underscores the tragedy of this miss-invested life as He closes the parable in verse 21 with this commentary, “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God”
A person who selfishly stores up treasure for himself is not rich toward God, or rich with God. He has accumulated treasure with no thought of God or eternity (1 Tim. 6:6–10; James 1:10). Possessions are a stewardship blessing, not to be hoarded selfishly, but to be used to truly bless others.
This teaching points out the importance of proper priorities regarding possessions. Jesus was not saying possessions are bad but that we are responsible to use them to honor God by investing them in the cause of eternity. This man failed to recognize that he was accountable to God for all he owned. To be rich toward God is to acknowledge, through how we use our resources, that all we have comes from God.
We need to resist the lie that the more we possess the happier and more secure we will be. The person who believes that security and the good life are to be found in the acquisition of more and more is sadly mistaken. The true storing of treasures is being rich toward God not in being rich toward self.
What a tragic misuse of the gifts of resources that the man had labored so diligently to gain. What could have been an opportunity for stewardship became a mill stone around his neck. God has given us stuff not to possess, but to enjoy. Let not greed for that which is temporary keep us from that which is eternal.
Thus Jesus challenges the brother looking for personal economic justice to think on the greater issue of what he should do with what he does have. Whether the inheritance is under your control or under your brother's, it ultimately will belong to neither. Our wealth and our lives are on loan from God who will hold each accountable for them. Jesus’ disciples must learn not to be diverted from their commitment to Jesus by greed for wealth and material possessions. The message here is to go through life as a steward of all that God chooses to give us.
There's an old legend about three men who were CROSSING A DESERT on horseback at night. As they approached a dry creek bed, they heard a voice commanding them to dismount, pick up some pebbles, put them in their pockets, and not look at them till the next morning. The men were promised that if they obeyed they would be both glad and sad. After they did as they were told, the three mounted their horses and went on their way. As the first streaks of dawn began to spread across the sky, the men reached into their pockets to pull out the pebbles. To their great surprise, they had been transformed into diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems. It was then that they realized the significance of the promise that they would be both glad and sad. They were happy that they had picked up as many pebbles as they did, but sorry-so sorry-that they had not collected more.
I wonder if we will have a similar feeling when we get to heaven. We will be happy for the treasure we laid up in heaven while on earth, and joyful for the rewards Christ will give us. But we will also experience regret for not having done more to serve Him. Let's make the most of our opportunities so that we'll be more glad than sad.
As we look forward to the rest of our life, we have two choices for our primary goal: to put money first or to put God first. How will you make sure you've made the right choice?
With all the examples of unhappy rich people, why are people still convinced that money will make them happy?