Tag Archives: things

More Than a Story: Richness

More Than a Story is a 12 week study of the parables of Jesus. This is the first week: RICHNESS.

Message Outline:

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:

Discussion 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?

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more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

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Plain and Simple

I very much enjoy having a plain and simple life. There was a time when I wanted to show off what I had because that is how the world works. You buy things. You tell people what you bought. You shove it right in their face because then you look good. But really, are you good? Is this thing bringing value to your life? Not one bit. I am so grateful that I learned the true value of life. I am so thankful God has shown me how to have a full life.

In today’s verse we read that a “showy life is an empty life.” To have a lot of things to boast about really won’t get you very far and one day it will all disappear. You can fight long and hard to keep these things that never are YOUR things in the first place, but what a waste of life, what “an empty life” it will be for you. Today people enter my home and they comment about how little I have in my home. They comment about how small the place is and how plain it looks. I tell them it suits me. You see, I don’t want to get too comfortable here. This is not my home. As I downsized my things and focused more on God, my life became simpler and I can say it is a much fuller life. I can spend time with my kids more. I can read God’s Word more. I can do things rather than work overtime. I can live rather than walk like a zombie through life. I can be active in the world, minster to many, rather than pretend to have it all together because I have a lot of stuff.

Don’t get me wrong—it is okay to own things; just don’t let those things own you. I pray that if your life is currently empty, that you will allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to fill it up. It’s possible—only through Him.

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
a plain and simple life is a full life.”

-Proverbs 13:7 [MSG]

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Passion for the Wrong Things

It is great to be passionate and focused on something. It is good to work hard at whatever you do as if working for the Lord (Colossians 3:17). But as Todd Adkins says, it “doesn’t matter how hard you work if you’re working on the wrong things.” The question is—are you working on the wrong things?

To answer that question, we need to have an understanding of God’s will. We need to understand our purpose in life. We also need to have a good understanding of God’s Word. So how do we understand God’s will and word and our purpose? We need to look to Him who has the answers.  I cannot tell you your purpose—only God can direct your path. I cannot tell you God’s will for your life—only God through the Holy Spirit can provide the enlightenment you need. I can help you understand some Bible passages—only you can take them as your own and do something with it.

Sometimes working at the wrong things means SIN, that horrible three-letter word. It might sound bad that some people work so hard at sinning, but when you get caught lying to someone, you will find yourself lying to more and more people in an attempt to not let the first lie get uncovered. That is working hard at the wrong things. An affair, a lie, a theft—can all lead us down a road we should never travel. Today, examine your current situation. Focus on Him- His will, His word, and His purpose for your life. Keep the passion on working for the Lord, not working on the wrong things.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” – Jeremiah 2:13 [NIV]

Enough is Enough

20121226_151930 My son opened up the fortune cookie and pulled out the small slip of paper. The paper read: “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” That is very true. During this time of year, it seems we spend so much time making Christmas lists, gift purchases and giving presents to each other, some of which is excessive. I heard in a news report the large amount of money that is spent on items people never wanted or needed. For each person, there is a different definition of what is enough.

The reality is that if we have God, we have enough. It is only when you have God in your life that you can say you have enough. If you don’t have God, there is always a void—always this desire to find something to fill this hole that cannot be filled except by God alone. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that “[His] grace is all you need.” I personally know what it is like to be blessed with provisions from God. I know what it is like to have enough. Enough is not having every latest technological gadget, the newest sneakers, the most valuable jewelry, and the extra zeros at the end of the bank account balance… Enough is having God and His promises. They are promises like no other—promises that always are Truth. So the one question I have for you— do YOU have enough?

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength,
and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.”

– Psalm 89:15-18 [NIV]

Drowning in Clutter

    For exactly the last three months, I have lived a life with very little clutter. Three months ago, my family and I headed to the airport and we began our voyage to Australia. Our items were in storage. We stayed in Sydney for two and a half months, living out of suitcases. We really didn’t miss any of our belongings in the United States. When we returned back to the States, we ended up needing to wait for a home to rent. Therefore, we are staying with friends and still living out of suitcases.

    This morning, I went to our storage center, a small 10 x 10 unit that stores all of our possessions. Most people could not store all of their things in such a small area; however, we barely fill half of the unit. As I passed a few other people with their doors open, I couldn’t help but notice their things pouring out of the unit. Some people are drowning in clutter.

    The Bible tells us to not store up a bunch of possessions here on earth. The Apostle Paul was content with so little. Paul said,“ I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means” (Philippians 4:11b-12a NASB). Too often we tend to mix our wants and needs. We also fill the gaps in our lives with stuff in hope that we will feel better. The gap that needs filled can only be filled by our loving Father. This is why Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of heaven. If we truly do this with our entire heart, we wouldn’t feel such a void in our lives.

    Clutter can cause stress. Clutter can cause a loss of focus in our lives. It can keep us from experiencing peace. It can require a lot of energy from us. Clutter can become such a burden, and yet sometimes even more clutter is added to cope with the stress of the burden. It’s okay to have things. It’s okay to like things. But it’s not okay to drown ourselves with things. God wants you to have peace. If you feel your environment is not peaceful, look around and see if you are drowning in clutter.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21 [NASB]