Luke and The Lost
It’s testimony time. Randy and I are both at the age of retirement. Our government tells you when to retire. Often your workplace tells you when to retire. So we did retire just recently. We make less income now, but being in the teaching profession and then in full time ministry, we know how to live on less. We’re not worried about less. God has always provided no matter what our income was. We always had the attitude of where God guides, He provides. He still does.
I am convinced that in this world the more you make the more you spend. As our preacher pointed out yesterday, we not only do we spend what God gives us, we finance even more! Sometimes we even pay other people to STORE it for us because there is not room in our homes! Yikes.
It is good to plan and budget for your later years in life so you are not dependent on others, and we did by getting ourselves free from debt (except our home) before leaving secular work, but there is more to life than even this and Jesus hits us right between the eyes and speaks to the heart of the matter this morning. I love how God speaks to us! Don’t you?
Luke 12, The Message
The Story of the Greedy Farmer
13 Someone out of the crowd said, “Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance.”
14 He replied, “Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?”
15 Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”
16-19 Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’
20 “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’
21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”
Steep Yourself in God-Reality
22-24 He continued this subject with his disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
25-28 “Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
29-32 “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
33-34 “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
What do we learn? Plenty!!
–Life is not defined by what you have…even if you have a lot.
–Jesus points us to the bigger issue: GREED.
–Are we filling our “barns” with SELF or GOD?
–People approach us as “retirees” and say, “Aren’t you glad you can do what you want now?” We say yes, and joke about it, but we are still on God’s time and looking forward to what He has next for us! Weird? Eh?
–What is in our lives that is a burden to store? Should we give it away or just get rid of it?
–What do we think about most often? That is our treasure.
–Where do you most want to be? That is your bank.
–Do we make deposits in the bank that won’t go bankrupt?
–The Father wants to give us His Kingdom. Can we stop getting and storing long enough to respond to God’s giving?
–Whew…a lot to think about, isn’t it?
Dear Heavenly Father,
We repent of storing up treasures in buildings and homes. We repent of worry and storing up thoughts that are not healthy for us and not of you. Change our hearts, minds and souls to match Your desires for us. Help us to relax in the ebb and flow of your grace, dancing to the rhythm of Your wisdom and care for us. No matter what life here throws at us, You are with us and will never leave us. Thank you. We are eternally grateful.
In Jesus Name, Amen