The Rich Fool
19/20 SEPTEMBER 2020 | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES
Rev Philip Lim
Scripture Passage: Luke 12:13-21 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary |This sermon is an adaptation of Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon's teaching on the rich fool in his book The Stories of Jesus: Interpreting and Applying the Parables.
Jesus was surrounded by a great crowd when a man requested Him to arbitrate between him and his brother for an equal share of their father’s inheritance. Instead, Jesus said, “Take care and be on your guard against all kinds of greed for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Jesus then shared the parable of the rich fool who had a bountiful harvest, with plenty of grains that will last for years. The fool thought his future was secured so he decided to take life easy, but God revealed to him that he was about to die. What can we learn from this parable?
1. We must not end up becoming victims of greed!
- Many kinds of greed – e.g. coveting as prohibited by the 10 Commandments.
- Does not know the words “enough” and “thank you” but is consumed by an “appetite for more” that knows no limits.
- Is a “grasping ambition” – it consumes and cannibalises other healthy pursuits in life; pushes the family, social life, work and other commitments out.
- Is spiritually harmful.
Antidote to Greed (1 Timothy 6:6):
- Keeps us focused on God and obeying Him.
- Helps us get our priorities right.
- Knows when to stop and will not waste time and a lifetime pursuing that which is only temporary.
- A wonderful gift from God that leads to a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude and a life of satisfaction.
2. We must not live like we will not die, that our lives are in our hands!
Beware of self-centredness:
- Reminder not to harp on words like I, me, my and myself.
- “Take life easy; eat; drink and be merry” (v19) – not thinking about death or what lies beyond.
- Our lives are not in our hands.
- We are not in control of our lives.
- We will never know more than God.
Let us place our lives in God’s hands and not live as though we are in control.
3. Let us be rich toward God!
The rich man failed to plan for eternity. His impending death will permanently separate him from all his accumulated possessions. Jesus reminds us that:
- Treasures on earth are subject to the activities of the moth, rust and thieves, and therefore can be taken away (Matthew 6:19-22), but treasures in heaven cannot be destroyed or stolen.
- In the earthly bank, what we keep for ourselves is stored in it. In the heavenly “bank”, what is generously and compassionately given away to the poor is credited in. When we give to the poor, we are storing up treasures in heaven. That’s how we can be rich towards God (Luke 12:33).
Let us live trusting God and be grateful to him and share His blessings with others. We are blessed to be a blessing!
(Sermon Notes by Honey Vreugdewater )
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. What is more important to you: storing up things for oneself or finding space for God?
2. In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possession.” Do you agree with Jesus’ statement? Why or why not? It may not be greed that we are dealing with right now, but it could be our lack of generosity in sharing with others what we have been blessed with. Share your responses.
3. According to the speaker, the antidote to greed is godliness and contentment (1 Timothy 6:6). How can you grow in these two qualities in areas of your life where there are forms of greed?
4. Are we in control of our life? Is our life in our hands? If not, why are some of us living as though we will not die?
5. The speaker exhorts us to be rich towards God. How would “being rich towards God” look like in your life? What is one action step God calling you to act on?