Treasure Part 4: Fool’s Gold Luke 12:13-34
Sunday November 23, 2014
Parable of the Rich Fool
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 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.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do?
I have no place to store my crops.’
“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. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“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?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Foolishness of Worldly Riches
Equating wealth with prosperity
“life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Squandering resources in just one place
I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’
Dismissing God as the source to my security
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Wisdom of Godly Riches
Antidote to materialism “do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”
Ties my prosperity to that of the community “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail.”
Keeps my life directed toward God “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Treasure – Part 3: You’ve Got Talents Matthew 25:14-30
Sunday November 16, 2014
Parable of the Talents
“It [the kingdom of heaven] will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
- unit of weight of about 80 pounds
- when used for money, it was the value of that weight of silver
- worth about 6,000 denarius (a denarius was the usual payment for a day’s labor)
- one talent = about 20 years of income by an ordinary person
- as used in the parable is the origin of the sense of the word “talent” meaning “gift or skill” as used in English
After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ The one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
God has a lot invested in you.
- Natural Talents
- Life Experiences
- Material Resources
- Spiritual Gifts
How to Invest Yourself
- Take an inventory of your talents, gifts, & resources.
- Get involved with a ministry that aligns with your interests or passions.
- Just jump in and try something to test if it’s a good fit.
Challenge: God so values your contribution that the Kingdom of Heaven is directly impacted by the involvement of its subjects.
Treasure – Part 2: Diamonds in the Rough Luke 15:1-32
Sunday November 9, 2014
A word about some words:
Sinner & Repent
Sinner – Greek: hamartia – to miss the mark (archery term).
Repent – Greek: metanoeo – to change direction.
Luke Chapter 15
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
God’s Treasure Hunt
- God Treasures Every Sheep – Especially the Wandering Lost One
- God doesn’t wait for you to get cleaned up to cherish you.
- Do I See Others with the same kind of value that God does?
Treasure Part 1: Priceless Matthew Luke 10:25-37 Sunday November 2, 2014
- A Creative Short Story Using Well Known Elements
- Typically has One Main Idea (unlike an allegory)
- Intended to Draw Out the Intentional Listener
Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven
- Heaven & God are used interchangeably depending on the audience: Heaven for a more Jewish audience, God for Gentiles.
- Definition of Kingdom – Greek: Basileia…can mean both the realm or the ruling action of a monarch; in other words it can be both a place or an activity.
- The Kingdom parables carry a dual aspect of the present/future: the spread of a new rule of Heaven/God that will culminate in a future realm.
Treasure Worth Everything
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
What could be so valuable that I – along with those I love – need it more than all the assets, possessions, and luxuries that I am working so hard to build up?
Attributes of the Kingdom of Heaven
Summary of Matthew 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount)
Peace not Worry
Faith not Fear
Forgiveness not Guilt
Love not Hate
Reconciliation not Resentment
Generosity not Greed
Integrity not Corruption
Spiritual Freedom not Bondage to Sin
What would a life like that
be worth to you and those you love?
The Key to a Priceless Treasure
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that
you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”