Loving God and King, I bring to You my offering of praise. You hear my cry, You bring release, Your love is grace-full and inspiring.
Read LUKE 12:13–21
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Christ gives us a cause to live for, a standard to live by, a strength to live with, and a destiny forever” (William Barclay, 1907–1978). Living with this purpose is being rich toward God (21).
We’re all on the slippery slope towards death! None of us knows how long we have. Decades or days? Today’s reading is a wake-up call regarding how we use the time, energy and resources we have, while we can. The farmer in Jesus’ parable was perhaps typical of some today: “Retirement is a time for putting your feet up in comfort—you deserve it!” Jesus slices through that thinking. He refuses to get involved in disputes about money and uses the opportunity to teach some forthright things about greed with this parable of a self-centered person who has not considered his answerability to God for his life.
A philosopher has said, “Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become” (Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788–1860). Sadly, that is true of most of us. When I lived in Peru, the poorest people were the most generous in hospitality. I know people who are working themselves into the ground today because they say they cannot afford to retire. Sometimes that’s a fair comment. Others really mean, “I cannot afford to live at the level of my preferred lifestyle if I retire now.” Yet the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack brought on by excessive work and stress is quite high. Is it really worth it? Besides, surely the only work that has any eternal value is that which God gives us to do, paid or unpaid. Do you need to do a spiritual health check?
William Barclay tells of a famous criticism of a self-centered person: “There is too much ego in his cosmos.” Jesus ended his parable with the reminder that what matters is being rich towards God. Is there too much ego in your cosmos?
Give some thought to how you use your money and possessions. How concerned are you to give to the Lord’s work?
Lord, I need your help in this area of my life. I need to think of myself less. I confess that there is too much ego in my cosmos.