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The Rich Fool

I want to begin this morning with a question. And I don’t want you to raise your hand – I’m not going to make you discuss this in small groups or anything. But I just want you to think about it. Here’s the question:

Do you consider yourself to be a success? Are you living a successful life?

And that might be a difficult question to answer depending on how you define “success”.

The dictionary defines success as the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose, so when I ask you “Are you living a successful life?”, I imagine you have some sort of check list in your head that you run through.

Have I done this? Have I accomplished that? And you go through to see if you have accomplished your aims and your purposes.

But I guess before we can answer if we are living a successful life, perhaps the real question is, by which aims or purposes do you measure your success? What sort of things need to be on that checklist?

Because by most North American or western standards – success is measured by how much stuff we have and how nice that stuff is.

We look at the house we live in – the salary we make – the car we drive – the vacations we take – and if we’re about at the same level as our neighbours – (maybe a little above) then we’re a success. Right? Isn’t that how it works?

We might not say that out loud – but isn’t that underlying value system that we live by?

In fact, that’s been the underlying value system of mankind pretty much since the beginning of time. We’ve bought into this idea that gathering nice stuff makes us successful.

But this morning, as we continue to look at the parables of Jesus Christ we’re going to see how Jesus completely turns that value system on its head.

The parable that we are going to look at this morning is found in Luke chapter 12 – and we’re going to start at verse 13. On this particular day, Jesus is teaching a massive crowd – verse 1 tells us that there were thousands of people there – so many that they were stepping on each other. I don’t know how Jesus ever taught out in the public spaces like that with 1000s of people milling about – I have a hard enough time focusing simply being outside with 50 of you. I can’t imagine the distractions that would come with 1000s of people. And actually, this whole parable begins with one of those distractions. Jesus has just been talking about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and how we show fear God not man – and how much God values us and how He will take care of us, when we read in verse 13….

13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Luke 12:13

Now this really seems like an out of the blue comment – it doesn’t really seem to fit with what Jesus has been talking about at all.  But this guy just shouts out this request to Jesus. And the Bible doesn’t give us any details on his situation – whether there was some unfair dealings going on – whether the brother was in the right or in the wrong. And I guess it doesn’t really matter.

But Jesus recognized that the motive behind his request was based on that value system that we’ve being talking about – where success is measured by our stuff. And so Jesus replies to the man in verse 14.

Table of contents for Parables of Jesus Christ

  1. The Story of the Seeds
  2. Profitable
  3. Why I Can’t Be a Good Samaritan
  4. The Rich Fool
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God’s Blessing Strategy

 

Listen to this Sermon!Who here feels like you are extremely blessed? Do we even realize how incredibly blessed we are?

Why has God blessed us so much?

Think about this: The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed, and one-third is starving. Why has God blessed us so much? All of us had some sort of Christmas dinner, I’m sure. And I’m sure that most of us had left-overs. We can’t even eat all the food we have. Yet, millions starve to death every year. Why has God blessed us so much?

50% – thats half! – of the world population survives on less than $850 per year. That’s just $2.33 a day. Yet, if we accidentally dropped 2.33 worth of change into some deep snow, we might not even bother to try to dig it out. Its just a couple bucks.

Why has God blessed us with such an incredible amount of wealth? I found an interesting website called “globalrichlist.com” and if you go to that website, you can put in the amount of your annual income and it will tell you how you rank in wealth compared to the rest of the world. I don’t know how much all of you make in a year, but if you make just $20,000 per year, you’re in the top 12% of the world’s wealthiest people. (By the way, the poverty line in Alberta right now is $23,000) You could be considered to be “living in poverty in Alberta” and still be in the top 12% of the world’s wealthiest people. Why has God blessed us so much!?

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