Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
In the old Disney Channel show Proud Family, there was a scene involving the main family around Christmas time. Each of the Proud family members were most looking forward to Christmas because of all the gifts each of them were going to buy and receive from each other. In the midst of the episode the family encounters a homeless family (Joseph, Margaret, and Stephanie) and invites them to eat in their home. During one of scenes, Trudy Proud (The Proud Family mother) and Margaret enter into a conversation regarding their lifestyle. Trudy expresses how proud she is about having a home, and expresses to Stephanie how difficult it must be to be homeless. Afterwards Stephanie makes a comment that was so profound in their dialogue: She stated that the Proud family did not own their stuff, their stuff owned them. Trudy denied the claim just to then lose her mind when her nice china fell to the ground and broke in the kitchen.
Now there is nothing wrong with having possessions. There is nothing wrong with working hard to provide and take care of your family. There is even nothing wrong with enjoying the gifts the Lord has given you. However, here is where the issue comes: When working to accumulate wealth and possessions consumes you. Jesus himself gives the warning of that here in Luke 12 about the danger of building your life on the pursuit of possessions. The parable of the rich land owner speaks to one who had been blessed with much, but instead of using those resources to impact the kingdom of God, he used them solely to invest in the kingdom of self, pleasure, and comfort. The issue was that when he died, all of those possessions he stored up were not going to be able to go with him into eternity.
The rich man here is a prime example of someone who is possessed by their possessions. What can easily happen as children of God is that we can become so consumed by our possessions and wealth that we end up possessed by them. We become individuals and families who end up worshipping the gifts the Lord has given us over the Giver of the gifts, the Lord. How do we avoid falling victim to being “Possessed by Possessions”?
- Glorify God for what you Have: James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from above. Our God is a great provider. He blesses His children with wonderful gifts, however all we have and possess is His! Remember, we are called to be stewards of our stuff, not owners. So choose to worship Him, not His blessings.
- Be a Good Steward: At the end of the day, none of what we have/possess we will be able to take into eternity, so let’s be good stewards of what we have. Look to invest into eternity. Choose to give to that Gospel cause. Give to the local church. Give to that person so they can go on a mission trip. Give to the Kingdom cause. Choose to live life open-handed! 2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us that the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
What possesses you today? Perhaps the most heartbreaking reality for many is that at the end of their life coming to a realization that they had all these possessions yet wasted their life because they made no impact for eternity. May that not be said of our lives as followers of Jesus. Let us choose to be good stewards of what we possess, praising God for what we have, and investing what we have to make an eternal impact for the Kingdom.
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father Lord, I ask for forgiveness for the many times I allow for my possessions to possess me. Please help me to choose to give glory to You for what you have given me. Help me to use what I have been given to invest in eternity. Teach me to be a giver, knowing that giving in faith glorifies You. Help me to be a good steward of my stuff, not a hoarder of it, trusting that You will provide and take care of me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”