Take 5 (September 5-9, 2016)

Lee Walker • Executive Pastor

Guarding our Riches: Luke 12:13-34

MONDAY: What Should We Guard?

Take5

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Luke 12:13-34

How secure is your home when you are not there?  We make an effort to guard our possessions.  After all, thieves could take our stuff, vandals could damage our stuff, and nature could ruin our stuff.  So we try to provide some protection.

But what are we guarding?  Stuff!  Luke 12:13-34 offers a reminder.  We have more important things to guard.  We’re going to look at this passage this week in our Take 5.  But let’s begin with an overview:  It is foolish to protect our things and not be rich toward God.  Those of us who believe the Bible know that heaven is for eternity while life, by comparison, is really, really, really short. So it’s a challenge to make sure the way we live is proportional to that reality.  I am foolish if I spend more energy guarding my “stuff” than gaining riches with God.

Be reminded… Life is short, heaven is forever.

TUESDAY: A Teachable Moment

Luke 12:13-15

Sometimes the questions asked of Jesus surely seem like they could be frustrating for Him.  In Luke 12:13, right in the middle of some important teaching, a man asks Jesus to settle a dispute about an inheritance.  But instead of showing anger or impatience, the Lord uses it to make a point…one for the ages and for us all:  Beware of covetousness.

In the Bible, the sin of covetousness (extreme desire to acquire or possess, especially that which belongs to someone else) ranks right up there with the biggies.  The Ten Commandments not only list do’s and don’ts involving action, but two prohibitions regarding thought:  False worship (#1), and covetousness (#10).  While our culture suggests that successful, normal, popular people place emphasis on acquiring and possessing, Jesus teaches that, in excess, such striving is sinful and spiritually dangerous.

Ask yourself:  Does my desire for things cross the line of sinfulness?

WEDNESDAY: Too Much Money?

Luke 12:16-21

When it is said, “Money can’t buy happiness,” many of us think we could prove that cliché to be wrong.  At least we’d like the opportunity to try.  But time and again, we see people for whom not only has money not brought happiness, but, indeed, has resulted in problems.

Consider the rich man in Jesus’ parable (verse 16).  His was so rich, he thought his biggest problem was what to do with his stuff.  Once that matter was solved, he was convinced life would be fine, filled with “eat, drink and be merry.”  C’mon.  Surely we can all agree that figuring out where to put our stuff is not the key to the good life.  Verse 20 introduces a sobering thought: The great equalizer, death, treats the rich and poor alike.

Ponder:  Do you have too much?

THURSDAY:  What Concerns You?

Luke 12:20-21

So… Life is short, eternity is long, death is certain and stuff doesn’t last.  Therefore, who or what is the biggest threat to our most important riches?  Are you more worried about someone stealing your online identity or someone leading you astray spiritually?  Are you more concerned about losing your cell phone or missing church?  Do you care more about gas prices or tithes and offerings?  The list could go on.

The point of Jesus’ lesson jumps out clearly in our verses for today.  Don’t be foolish.  Our relationship with God is more important than… well… anything!  Certainly more important than any item we can possess.  We must not let anyone or anything steal our true riches.  God has untold bounty prepared for us to enjoy for all eternity.  Let us not be careless with such treasure!

Imagine yourself rich…rich toward God.  Protect your riches.

FRIDAY: Our Father Knows Best

Luke 12:30

Jesus understands.  Truly He does.  In His day, most people were poor.  Merely securing the necessities of life occupied a great deal of time.  He understood it was easier to say, “Don’t worry,” than it was to actually not worry.

So, in verses 22-34 of Luke 12, Jesus offers a beautiful and touching reminder of God’s care for us.  The reason we can turn our attention to our true riches and not worry about food and clothing is because God cares for all of His creation.  Of course, He will provide for us.  Not only does He have the ability to do so, He wants to do so and acts in accord with our best interests, which He knows better than we.  Actually, being rich toward God involves both our temporal life now and our eternal life forever.  Truly our Father knows best.

Thank God and revel in His love and care.

 

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