How To Be Rich Towards God / Luke 12:13-21 NIV
Six Axioms Of Wealth God’s Way
#1 - It is foolish to ________________ .
“This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.” Luke 12:18 NIV
Selfishness is a foolish reason to acquire wealth. If the only motivation we can find within ourselves is to benefit ourselves - to build bigger barns, to have larger investment portfolios - we truly are fooling ourselves. Most people inherently know the truth of this and so will fool themselves on the second level. They’re not storing up just for them, but for their family. Doubly foolish because you’ll just ruin (spoil) the kids while at the same time take away the most precious thing they need that only you can give - yourself and your time.
#2 - It is foolish to ________________________ .
“You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”Luke 12:19 NIV
It’s foolish to store up for yourself only so that you can rest and simply enjoy the rest of your life. This is the Retirement Deception. What are the deceptions? Young retiree. Healthy. Point of retirement is to take life easy. Lying in a hammock. No worries. And who is responsible for this? YOU! Jesus says this entire attitude is foolish. That may be the American dream but it’s not the Christian dream!
#3 - It is foolish to ______________________ .
“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?” Luke 12:20 NIV
None of us can take even one day for granted. To live life as if we have an endless supply is “foolish!” ἄφρων is the word in the Greek, only used twice in Gospels, both by Luke. The first in 11 to describe Pharisees and here. Yes it is translated “fool.” When we get into it we find 2 words - the last syllable, Phrōn, which means mind or thinking or reason, and the first syllable, a- , which means the opposite of. So the original readers would know it this way: “God said to him, you are out of your mind! You’re not thinking! You’re without common sense or reason! This very night your life “will be demanded of you.” Not just that you’re going to die. “Demanded.” “Required.” “Ask for back.” Something lent. A demand note, must be paid when asked for. Our life is not our own. The Giver of Life has lent us life, started us out in life, and will demand back our life when the time comes. The only One with endless tomorrows is God Himself AND those to whom He gives life.
So if those are the foolish ways to be rich, what is the wise way?
#4 - It is wise to ______________________ .
“The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” Proverbs 21:20 NLT
God’s Word does not tell us that money is the root of all evil, only the love of money! Money itself is most useful. Those who have the gift of generosity also have the gift of saving. The issue is the motivation. To save for oneself only is wrong. To save so that you might be generous to others is right. So… do you have a savings plan? God’s Word also tells us that only “fools” spend everything that comes in.
“Command those who are rich… to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves.”1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV
The Bible tells us that there is a correct motivation for wealth - generosity! To be willing to share. In fact there is a promise that goes with it - that when you save and share with others generously, that you are literally laying up treasure for yourself!
#5 - It is wise to __________________ .
“I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.' ” Acts 20:35 GNT
We’ve seen before that it is foolish to work hard just to make my life easier. But nothing in that said it was foolish to work hard. The Bible is filled with proverbs that say how wise it is to work and how foolish it is to be lazy. The issue is the why behind the work. The motivation. Jesus says that if you really want to be blessed… if you really want to be happy, then work hard so that you may help the weak, who cannot work hard for themselves. You’ll find happiness in the giving. You’ll find that when you are generous with those who need help, then God is generous with you.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”Luke 6:38 NIV
You cannot out-give God. This is a universal law of His creation, as absolute as gravity. God wants you to discover the truth of this so much that in Malachi, He challenges you to the tithe. He says, “Test Me.” Only here and only with this. I took God up on His offer. I began tithing. And He has always cared for our finances. It’s not always been easy. But He has always provided. As I stand before you today, I am not a wealthy man as man measures wealth. However, I am rich in family and friends. I also have no debts. And God continues to provide for all of my needs. You’d better believe I believe in this “measure I use” philosophy. Mary Kay and I don’t ever miss giving our tithe + plus!
#6 - It is wise to ______________________ .
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:12 NIV
Only a fool takes his own life for granted. We don’t like to think about it, but the truth is that not a single one of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. If I want to be wise, if I want to be rich toward God, then I will learn to make the most of every day. I will learn to look for and take advantage of opportunities. Each day when we awake, our first thought and prayer should be, “Thank you Lord for another day. Help me to make the most of it.”
“You don't know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.” James 4:14 GWT
So don’t blow the days you are given. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t say to Mary Kay, “Have I told you yet today that I love you? Well I do!” Why do I do that? I never know… This may be my last day to say it. My last chance. I want to make the most of every opportunity.