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Parables (8)

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Introduction: Today we will be focusing on the parable of the rich fool from Luke 12:13-21 Before reading the passage we need to pray. The reason we need to pray is because even as we see the title of the message there will be a temptation to resit and even refuse what Jesus is teaching.

The Context

The Point

The Parable

The Point Restated

How do I live rich toward God?

1. Correct view of life.
a. If God is not our Creator and Jesus is not alive and the Holy Spirit doesn't cause people to be born again spiritually .... Then it makes perfect since to live life with only a temporary mind set. If this life alone is all then eat drink and be happy, for tomorrow we die. Unfortunately, its not just the godless naturalist who is living this way. Many people live this way even if they say they do believe that God created them, Jesus is alive, and the Holy Spirit causes new birth. Listen to what Jesus said about eternal life...
b. John 17:3
John 17:3 ESV
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
c. Not only that but we also find in I Peter 1:3-5 the Scriptures say…
1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
d. A correct view of life is that when we are in Christ, whatever life we have on this earth doesn't revolve around us. We are not our own treasure, and the treasure that is entrusted to us while in these bodies is not to be horded up to our own benefit. It is true that when life revolves around myself and my possessions are sought and accumulated only for my own happiness then I will certainly realize my reward. A temporary reward, and then my soul will be required.
e. A correct view of life as we find in Jesus description at the end of Luke 12 is that a wise and faithful servant recognizes that life is not our own. In Christ we belong to Him for His glory and to advance His kingdom.
f. This is why Jesus posed the question in Mark 8:34-37
Mark 8:34–37 ESV
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?
Transition: Being rich toward God means that we have God’s view of what true life really is, and also as Jesus instructed in this parable we should be careful to guard our hearts.
2. Guard our hearts.
A. How should we guard our heart? According to Luke 12:31-32 one way is to seek the kingdom of God. In Matthew 6:33 we find the word (first).
1. Therefore, one way to guard our hearts and be rich toward God is to seek Him first. Does He have first place in your life? Do you consult Him and His Word before making decisions? Before spending money? Before signing up for classes? Before signing up for sports? Do you seek Him first before buying a home, going on a date, proposing for marriage? Do you seek God before picking out the kind of clothes you'll wear? taking that promotion, changing that job, or choosing a career or college? If we are going to guard our heart and be rich toward God then we must not simply seek him when things are down, or the pressure is on, or when I realize I need some help. rather, seeking him first in everything.
B. Another way to guard our hearts and be rich toward God is to give. Specifically to give our money. Wile following up this conversation about dividing a family inheritance and guarding our hearts from many forms of greed, Jesus says in Luke 12:33-34
We should understand that the main method that Jesus has set up on earth to build His eternal kingdom is His church. The Church, the body of Christ is responsible for eternal investments. Therefore, the first place we should be giving is to the church.
With that in mind I want to read to you from Hillcrest’s membership commitment. First in regards to our statement of what we believe the Bible teaches concerning stewardship. (read from hard copy) And second in regards to what we commit to actually do because of what we believe the bible teaches. (Read hard copy)
Individually as Christians who have commited to be a local family of believers, we should be contributing to the ongoing eternal ministry of the church.
However, we also have a collective responsibility as a body of Christ to be good stewards of our dismemberment. This means being aware of how the budget is put together and where your money is actually going when you put it in an offering plate.
There are many other practical opportunities beyond regular giving in which we can support. Special mission offerings (ie. Annie Armstrong) Special projects.
However, when we understand what Jesus is saying here I think it’s wise for us to consider the principle of eternal giving. There are two things that will last forever; the word of God and the souls of men. As much as we are able to give toward that end, I believe we should make it a high priority. What para-church ministries are specifically involved in helping the local church accomplish her mission? What other ministries are specifically involved in getting the Bible to people who do not have it and therefore getting the gospel to people who have never heard? Let us give sacrificially, cheerfully, and extravagantly to that great mission!!
Transition: And so we conclude with a few questions.

Am I living rich toward God? Am I guarding my heart? Does Jesus have first place in my life? Am I investing temporary money in eternal purposes?

Transition: I want to close our service this morning with a Scripture reading so stand with me and let us read together from the screen. I Timothy 6:17-19
1 Timothy 6:17–19 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

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