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Stewardship A Matter Of Life And Death Lk.12.13

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STEWARDSHIP: MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH

LUKE 12:13-21

INTRO: (EX: ON JULY 12, 2005 KYLE MACDONALD PUT ONE RED PAPERCLIP ON CRAIGSLIST—HIS GOAL WAS TO KEEP TRADING UP TILL HE COULD TRADE FOR HOUSE. WOMAN IN VANCOUVER SWAPPED PAPERCLIP FOR FISH PEN—THEN DOORKNOB—CAMPING STOVE—ON JULY 12, 2006 (ONE YR) HE GOT HOUSE IN SASKATCHEWAN—HIS BOOK “ONE RED PAPERCLIP” DESCRIBES THE JOURNEY.  WHAT STARTED SMALL/INSIGNIFICANT BECAME VALUABLE.  THE MAN IN LK12 WENT FROM HAVING IT ALL TO NOTHING—AS HIS WEALTH GREW HE THOUGHT HE WAS IN CONTROL OF HIS LIFE. WHAT ABOUT US?  WILL JESUS’ PARABLE HELP US MAKE LIFE CHANGES?  WILL GOD HAVE TOP PRIORITY IN EVERY AREA OF OUR LIVES?

I.                  THE REASON FOR THE PARABLE

JESUS COMPLETED POWERFUL/POPULAR MINISTRY IN GALILEE (LK 4-9)—RAISED DEAD GIRL, FED 5,000—HE SET HIS FACE TOWARD JERUSALEM.  LK 12:1 SAYS THOUSANDS GATHERED TO HEAR HIM—STEPPING ON ONE ANOTHER. NOW IN A VILLAGE ON WAY TO JERUSALEM A MAN WANTS JESUS TO SETTLE A FAMIY DISPUTE. JESUS SAID MORE ABOUT MONEY THAN PRAYER. WE ARE STEWARDS—RESPONSIBLE TO GOD FOR WHAT WE DO WITH OUR RESOURCES.  PS. 24:1 “EARTH IS LORDS & ALL ITS FULLNESS”  NOW THIS DOESN’T MEAN WE CANT OWN PROPERTY/POSSESSIONS OR HAVE MONEY—BUT WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD

QUESTION: MAN ADDRESSED JESUS WITH RESPECT “TEACHER”—HE APPEALED TO HIS AUTHORITY. NOW HE DIDN’T SAY “OUR FATHER HAS DIED & WE NEED TO DIVIDE THE ESTATE”—HE WAS LOOKING FOR AN AUTHORITY FIGURE TO GIVE AN ORDER TO HIS BROTHER. HE MAY HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING HIS OLDER BROTHER (WHO GOT A DOUBLE PORTION) WAS NOT GIVING HIM HIS SHARE.  (V.13 “TELL MY BROTHER TO DIVIDE THE INHERITANCE”) IT MAY BE THE FATHER DIED WITHOUT A WILL—IF SO THE LAW SAID THE INHERITANCE COULD NOT BE DIVIDED TILL THE OLDER BROTHER AGREED. ALSO 1ST CENT. RABBIS WERE OFTEN CONSULTED IN THESE MATTERS & GAVE LEGAL RULINGS.

REFUSAL: JESUS REFUSED THE REQUEST. HE SAID “MAN” (ROUGH EXPRESSION) EXPRESSION OF DISPLEASURE. THIS MAN WANTED JESUS TO TAKE SIDES—BUT JESUS WOULD NOT BE AN “ARBITRATOR” (DIVIDER)—THERE IS SOMETHING MORE VALUABLE THAN PROPERTY—RECONCILIATION! JESUS WOULD NOT LET THESE ISSUES TAKE PRIORITY OVER HIS MINISTRY (THIS IS EASY TO LET HAPPEN IN MINISTRY/CALLING) SO JESUS TURNED TO THE CROWD.  MONEY/POSSESSIONS MAY LEAD TO FEAR THAT WE WONT HAVE ENOUGH (SO JESUS GAVE THE PARABLE)—POSSESSIONS ARE NOT A MEASAURE OF GOOD LIFE.

II.               THE RICH FOOL—THE DO IT YOURSELF TRAP

THIS MAN’S LIFE WAS A SUCCESS STORY—HE HAD BUMPER CROPS MAYBE FOR MORE THAN ONE YR. HE IS NOT NAMED—JUST RICH MAN.  (EX: TITANIC MUSEUM IN BRANSON—SEE EXHIBITS/READ INFO/SEE ARTIFACTS/PUT FINGER IN OCEAN WATER. THE TITANIC WAS CONSIDERED UNSINKABLE—YET ON 1ST VOYAGE IT HIT ICEBERG AND SANK IN 2 HR. 40 MIN. & 1500 DIED. THEY PEOPLE ON BOARD WERE SO CONFIDENT—SEEMED TO BE LITTLE RISK. YET MANY LIVES ENDED IN THAT COLD OCEAN)  FOR THIS MAN ALL WAS GOOD. THERE IS NO HINT HE WAS DISHONEST OR OPPRESSED POOR—THERE SEEMS NOTHING ABOUT HIS ACCUMULATING WEALTH THAT WAS EVIL.  JESUS SAID THE “GROUND” PRODUCED A GOOD CROP. NOW HE DIDN’T HAVE EXPENSIVE FERTILIZERS/HYBRID SEED/FANCY EQUIPMENT—IT WAS ALL IN GODS HANDS. HE WAS DEPENDENT ON RAIN &LAWS OF NATURE.  AND HE COOPERATED WITH THOSE PRINCIPLES BUT HE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE GOD AS SOURCE. HE SAW IT ALL AS HIS CROPS/HIS BARNS/ HIS GOODS. (EX: IN MOVIE SHENENDOAH, JIMMY STEWART PLAYS A FARMER—IN ONE SCENE HE OFFERS PRAYER FOR MEAL—“LORD WE PLOWED THE FIELD—PLANTED & HARVESTED CROP—WE COOKED IT & PUT IT ON TABLE. IT WOULDN’T BE HERE IF NOT FOR OUR HARD WORK—BUT WE THANK FOR IT ANYWAY, AMEN”)  EVEN SOLOMON (ECCL) WAS AWARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES ARE GIFT FROM GOD (ECCL.8:15)—YET THIS MAN DID NOT PRAISE OR THANK GOD. HIS POSSESSIONS FILLED HIS SOUL (LIFE)—BUT THE SOUL NEEDS MORE THAN THAT (PS. 42:1,2)

III.           THE RICH FOOL—THE MATERIALISM TRAP

THIS MAN HAD A DIALOGUE WITH HIMSELF. IN THAT CULTURE PEOPLE MADE DECISIONS AFTER DISCUSSIONS WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS—EVERYBODYS BUSINESS WAS EVERYBODY ELSE’ BUSINESS. IT APPEARS THIS MAN HAD NO FRIENDS (ISOLATION)---IT SEEMS THAT THE MORE WEALTH PEOPLE ACQUIRE THE FARTHER THEY WITHDRAW FROM FRIENDS (AND EVEN FAMILY)—LOOK AT ISA.5:8---HAVING WEALTH BOTH THEN &NOW MEANT SOCIAL PRESTIGE/HONOR. THIS MAN THOUGHT HIS POSSESSIONS GAVE HIM “REAL LIFE”—HE TRUSTED IN WHAT HE HAD & HIS POSSESSIONS OWNED  HIM. NOTICE THE USE OF “I” AND “MY”---V.19 “I WILL SAY TO MY SOUL”—THE FOCUS WAS ON HIS SOUL LIFE—THAT IS THE THINGS OF THIS PHYSICAL/EARHTLY LIFE. THE SOUL IS SEAT OF OUR WILL/EMOTIONS. HE WAS IN EFFECT PATTING HIMSELF ON BACK. HE GAVE NO THOUGHT TO SHARING WEALTH OR HONORING GOD (ECCL. 5:10)  WE KNOW MATERIALISM CAN BE ADDICTIVE.  ADS/BILLBOARDS/STORES LURE US TO SPEND/SPEND/SPEND—SO CREDIT CARD DEBT SOARS HIGHER & HIGHER—THIS IS TRUE FOR CHRISTIANS & NON-CHRISTIANS. THIS MAN DECIDED TO BUILD BIGGER STORAGE PLACES (EX: SELF STORAGE INDUSTR IN U.S.)  NOW FAMINES WERE A COMMON PROBLEM IN THAT AREA (GOOD REASON TO STORE) BUT IF HIS CROPS WERE GOOD ITS LIKELY OTHERS WERE TOO. SO MAYBE THE BEST THING TO DO IS HOLD & BRING THE CROP TO MARKET WHEN DEMAND HIGHER & PROFITS GREATER.  BUT THE PARABLE  UNCOVERS A DEEPER ISSUE.

IV.           THE RICH FOOL:  FEAR

ONE OF BIGGEST REASONS PEOPLE DON’T HONOR GOD IN GIVING IS FEAR—IF THEY GIVE THE FEAR THEY WONT BE ABLE TO PAY BILLS—BUT THAT BETRAYS A LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN GODS LOVE & FAITHFULNESS. THE KEY IS TO HONOR GOD FIRST (PRINCIPLE OF FIRSTFRUITS BACK IN O.T.)—NOW GRANTED THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO TITHE IN N.T.—IT IS VOLUNTERY & CHEERFUL AS GOD HAS PROSPERED. GIVING COMES FROM HEART.  THERE IS PLAY ON WORDS IN V.19—“EAT,DRINK, BE MERRY”—BE MERRY ALSO MEANS REJOICE/ENJOY YOURSELF—WE GET OUR WORD “EUPHORIA” FROM THIS ---BUT THEN GOD SAID “YOU FOOL”—THIS WORD IS OPPOSITE OR NEGATIVE OF “BE MERRY”—IT HAS AN “A” IN FRONT OF IT—LIKE WE SAY “AMORAL—WITHOUT MORALS”. SO GOD SAYS IN REALITY THIS MAN IS NOT LIVING IN ABUNDANCE BUT IN EMPTINESS—HE IS NOT RICH BUT BANKRUPT.  “YOUR SOUL IS DEMANDED”—DEMANDED IS LEGAL TERM MEANING THE RETURN OF LOAN.  THE NOTE IS DUE!  EACH DAY IS GIFT—OUR LIVES ARE ON LOAN.  THIS MAN WAS “TREASURING” (THESAURUS) IN HIMSELF—HE WAS HIDING & HOARDING—HE FELT NO OBLIGATION TO HONOR GOD. HE WAS NOT CONTRIBUTING TO THE KIND OF WEALTH GOD VALUED.  LIKE THIS MAN WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE TO ENRICH OURSELVES OR ENRICH OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

          BACK TO THE MAN WITH THE QUESTION TO JESUS: JESUS WAS IN ESSENCE SAYING—SO WHAT IF YOU WIN THE INHERITANCE BATTLE—LOOK BEYOND ALL THAT—THE REALTIONSHIP WITH YOUR BROTHER IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT. IT ALL BELONGS TO GOD ANYWAY!

CONCLUSION:  (EX: TWO EX. OF BEIGN RICH IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD)

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