I can ramble off a list of things I can do, thing I am qualified to do because of some training or experience. I’m sure you have some certificates stashed away that say you are qualified to do particular tasks. But when it comes to serving God’s Kingdom, none of us is qualified to serve—God qualifies us.
There are times when pride gets the best of us. We start seeing the fruit from our service or we are on the receiving end of some encouraging words. When we see and hear these things, there is the danger that we will become puffed up because we will think we are doing something great. The truth is that we are unqualified to serve God. Only because He qualifies us are we able to do what He has called us to do in life.
I rarely remember much of what is said when I preach. I spend weeks praying and studying, but when I get up to share the Word He placed upon my heart, He takes over. If it was me, I’d forget what I was saying. I’d lose focus. I’d drift off topic. I am also unqualified to write. I don’t always use the correct punctuation. My spelling is horrible without the proper software to correct me. If I would stand before God on my own, I would not be able to even stand. Only because of what He has done, can I do anything. He alone qualifies. He alone makes us fit to share in His inheritance. Only He alone is worthy. Only He alone is qualified.
“Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the Light.” – Colossians 1:12 [AMP]
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.
The best part of everything that was discussed in this Proverb is making reference to the first of the harvest. Yet we could actually look at all areas of our lives and consider this “best part of everything.” It can really put things in perspective for a person when reflecting upon things with this phrase. There is no better than the best. The best part of everything—that means every single thing.
So do you give God the best of your time? Do you give God the best of your talents? Do you give God the best of your work? Do you give God the best of your relationships? Do you give God the best of your finances? Every single thing. The best part.
Today evaluate how well you honor the Lord. Where are you giving your best? Where can there be improvements? How can you do more to honor the Lord?
“Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” – Proverbs 3:9 [NLT]
Since I am taking classes, I don’t often get the chance to sit down with my children and watch movies very often. With school on break, I had a moment to watch the Smurfs movie with them. At the start of the movie, I began to think back to when I was their age watching the Smurfs. As I listened to the beginning of the movie, my attention was immediately captured.
I never realized how educational the Smurfs were when I was a child, but there was a very important point made fairly early in the movie. The narrator of the film was discussing how each Smurf had a different name which defined the role that they had within the community of Smurfs. He spoke about how it was important for each one to have a different role for harmony within the Smurf society.
Like the Smurfs, we have roles to fulfill in society. We each have been given various gifts for which to use for the benefit of the Kingdom. Some people may be great teachers. Some of us are good at serving others. There are people given the gift to minister. We all have spiritual gifts. The big issue is how we use these gifts and how we work together in our society.
The Bible says that we are part of one body. We each have a purpose. Romans 13:4-5a states: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (NASB). Therefore, we should be using our gifts wisely, and we should also be respecting the gifts of others. We each play our part.
If not sure of the gifts you have, evaluate your life. What are you good at? What seems to be your specialty? Ask someone close to you. If you know what your gifts are, are you putting them to use? Is there a better way to use them? If you know someone who is not using their gifts, find a way to encourage them and provide positive guidance. There are times when people do not recognize their talents or they simply need a little push.
The Smurfs names suited the role they had in society, but one of the main characters, Clumsy, wanted a new role, which meant a new name. He wanted to be a hero. This transformation of Clumsy is something we each go through as children of God. Names have important meanings. There are so many name changes that can be found in the Bible (ex: Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel). These new names were given because there was a transformation and an important role for the individual. As Isaiah 62 states, the Lord will give each of us a new name.
Like the Smurfs, we must do our best to live in harmony with our fellow Christians. We are to build up, not break down. We are to use our talents to the best of our ability for the purpose that God intended. We also can find great encouragement and joy in knowing that we are part of the body of Christ and that with His mouth He will give us a new name.