Do You Have Six I’s Luke 12:15-21
By Henry Nelson
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”?’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Jesus talked a great deal about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of 10 verses deals directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. , p. 372.)In the Parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus gives us a lesson on the failures of selfish over-indulgence. This man was concerned only with what he could gain in this world. Six times he proclaims his selfishness:1. What shall “I” do…2. “I” have no room…3. “I” will do this…4. “I” will pull down my barns…5. There “I” will store all my crops…6. “I” will say to my soul…But Jesus declared this kind of thinking to be foolishness, warning us of the dangers of this kind of sinful attitude toward money and possessions.How Much Is Enough?When John D. Rockefeller was the richest man in the world, someone asked him how much money was enough. He replied, “Just a little bit more.” I. Luke 12:15-16 says, “The accumulation of possessions will not provide worldly happiness.” Amen!A. Philippians 4:10-13 says, “My Happiness Does Not Depend Upon What I Have.” I think we can put the answer down simply: desire becomes sin when it fails to include the love of God or men. Further, I think there are two practical tests as to when we are coveting against God or men: first, I am to love God enough to be contented; second, I am to love men enough not to envy. II. Luke 12:17-19 says, “The absence of poverty will not provide earthly contentment.” Amen!Note: Covetousness – a craving, a desire for more.A. Covetousness Is A Dissatisfaction With What Is Enough.1. Covetousness leads us to believe that our happiness comes from things rather than God.2. It feeds our appetite and passion for pleasure through the accumulation of stuff.B. Covetousness Magnifies The Cravings For Material Things And Leads Us To Indulge In The Desires Of The Flesh.II. Our urge to acquire things is due less to the passion to possess them than to the vanity of feeling superior to those who envy our possession of them. III. C. Unrestrained Covetousness Not Only Drives Us To Accumulate More, It Compels Us To Desire What Belongs To Others.That’s A Good Sign. In Parker and Hart’s “The Wizard of Id” comic strip, one monk is putting up a sign on the bulletin board in front of the church while another monk watches. The sign reads “Thou Shalt Not Covet” and the visiting monk says, “Boy, I wish we had a signboard like that at our church.” III. Luke 12:20-21 says, “The abundance of prosperity will not provide heavenly favor.” Amen!A. Wealth Is Not A Permanent Possession.1. Someone else gets what we have when we die.2. Every penny we hoard is left behind.B. Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Worldly Possessions Do Not Impress God.” Amen!Some things we should point out:1. It is not wrong for a person to desire to have a better quality of life.2. It is not wrong to want a better job that pays more money.3. It is not wrong to enjoy the better things in life.4. It is not wrong to be rich.But all of these things are wrong for the believer when they become the driving force of their lives. The issue is priority. We worship what we consider to be most important. But Jesus warned that we cannot serve God and money.What is the priority of your life?Mark 8:34-38 says, 34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this. Amen!1. God wants us to enjoy a full, complete, and balanced life; and He has made provisions through His Word for us to be fulfilled in that way. 2. He has promised to supply our every need. 3. He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Note: This does not mean He will give us everything we want, but that He will gives us a new set of desires.B. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, “Covetousness Will Always Lead to Despair.”The Gambler’s IllusionA gambling nut bet on twelve football games over the weekend and lost on all of them. The next weekend he bet on twelve more football games and lost again. The following week he called his bookie, who told him there were no football games scheduled. However, the bookie explained he could have his pick of either team in eight hockey games. The big plunger sneered, “Hockey? What the blazes do I know about hockey?” IV. Many a man when he begins to accumulate wealth commences at the same moment to ruin his soul, and the more he acquires, the more closely he blocks up his liberality, which is, so to speak, the very mouth of spiritual life. Instead of doing more for God he does less. The more he saves the more he wants, and the more he wants of this world the less he cares for the world to come. V. 1. God wants us to keep our priorities clear: “Seek first the kingdom of God.” 2. Matthew 6:33 says, “When we put Him first, our needs will be met.” Amen!