More Than a Story is a 12 week study of the parables of Jesus. This is the first week: RICHNESS.
More Than a Story: Richness
[The Rich Fool: Luke 12:13-21]
BE ON GUARD AGAINST COVETOUSNESS
Covetousness – desire to have more than you have
LIFE DOES NOT CONSIST OF ABUNDANCE OF POSSESSIONS
Possessions are useless when life is gone
Cannot truly live when fixated on possessions
- Focused on protecting what you have
- Focused on getting more – never enough
- Focus is idolatry – God doesn’t have 1st place in life
Rich man called a fool. Jesus says, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” (v. 21 ESV). He’s not called fool for being productive or profitable.
Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [NIV]
Notice that the rich fool is not just called a fool; he’s a fool who loses his soul.
Our possessions: Time – Treasure – Talents
These can be hazardous or helpful. You decide.
Hazardous = It becomes your life <<OR>> Helpful = 1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” [MSG]
True Life — Eternal Life Life is knowing God
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3 NIV).
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NLT).
Bible Study Questions:
1) The brother who approached Jesus at the beginning of the passage was covetous. The “rich fool” in the parable told by Jesus was also covetous. Jesus said to “be on your guard against all covetousness” (v. 15).
What are some instances when we are covetous?
How can we be on guard against this covetousness?
2) When reading verses 17-19, what words stick out to you?
3) What was the focus of both the brother and the “rich fool”?
4) Can one be “rich” in possessions (“treasure” – money) and still be rich toward God? If so, how?
5) How can we be rich toward God?
6) John 17:3 says that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ. What does that mean? What is the difference between knowing of God, knowing about God, or truly knowing God? How does that look in our lives?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
As I was reading Job, I could not help but stop on the phrase, but both are buried in the same dust” because I think it is something forgotten by so many people today. You do not have to look around much to see people who think that they are better than others. The world is full of people who think that they are better than other people. If we look at society, we will find that many people feel they deserve the world handed to them on a silver platter. The world owes them something. If the person gets something, it’s something they deserved or earned. If someone else gets something, they got lucky or were blessed.
Having the mindset that we deserve everything we get or a mindset that we are better than someone else, we fail to remember our true origin, Who is in control, nor the Truth of true prosperity and the true “good life.”
There will be people who are well off, people who have a lot of money and will die as a person who was considered successful and secure. There will also be people who are very poor, people who do not get to see the earthly “good life” and seem to suffer from one thing to the next. There are two important items to remember with this passage. Everyone dies. Not everyone will understand the true Good Life—the true meaning of prosperity. Today, consider how we are all the same and the true meaning of prosperity. No one is better than the other—and no one is saved from the grave except through the blood of Christ.
“One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. But both are buried in the same dust, both eaten by the same maggots.” – Job 21:23-26 [NLT]
This lesson is on the Parable of the Foolish Rich Man. The passage to read is Luke 12:13-21. The key verse is Luke 16:13. The front page of the activity sheet is divided into two sides. The object is to have the children list what they think both types of people would look like in their opinion. The one side would be those who are rich toward God and the other side would be those who are like the foolish rich man. On the second side, there is an activity to look through the passage and notice all of the key words that focus on the self. There are a few verses included with the lesson for the kids to reflect upon further with parents at home.
To open the class, I am going to ask some questions that would give the children options of seeing how people could put God first or put money or themselves first. From there, I am going to tell the parable and have a few students read some verses. I got some granola (honey and oats) to share with the children as I discuss this abundance of crops. Then we will discuss further using the activity sheet I created (front and back). Our craft will be something I’ve seen around in the past. We will make silos using toilet paper rolls. I am going to get the tubes of toilet paper covered with white paper before class and glued at the bottom to save time. They will decorate the silos and then instead of filling them with crops, fill them with blessings from God. Then every night they can pull out a blessing and thank God. When the blessings run out, they are encouraged to fill the silos up (or even fill up as they see more blessings).
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“Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.” – Proverbs 22:2 [NIV]
The Lord is Maker of us all. Whether we are rich or poor, tall or short… whatever nationality, religious affiliation, etc., the Lord is Maker of us all. The Bible says that we are all made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (NIV). We are all made in the image of God.
Today do not look at the differences that separate us but this truth that too often gets overlooked. When someone is not doing something like you would do it, remember that they are made in the image of God. When someone pulls their car out in front of you, remember that they are made in the image of God. When someone disrespects you, hurts you, or tests your patience, remember that they are made in the image of God. When you see people very different from you, remember that they are made in the image of God.
We are all faulty image bearers. We all have need for a Savior. Let us be encouragers and be wise with our words. Let us speak God’s truth into the lives of one another. Encourage one another. The Lord is Maker of us all.