Rich Toward God
This summer we’re talking about self-denial. Last week we spent our time in Matthew 19 talking about the rich young ruler. Perhaps there is no better example of someone in Scripture, who at least to this point in life, lived solely for self. He couldn’t see that he was defining his spirituality by the externals while simultaneously giving consideration to what he was not doing. He failed to see that his righteousness would need to come from a dependence on Jesus and not himself.
Today we’ll look at another story, that of the rich fool in Luke 12. This story is especially relevant, considering our own culture. Our lives are literally overflowing with material things. Many of us have so many possessions that they possess us. And yet, as you examine the parable of the rich fool, it is very important to remember that the problem is not the possessions themselves. God has given us all things richly to enjoy. The matter is not about things, it is our attitude toward them.
Verse 21 serves as the basic principle. We either lay up treasure for ourself, or we become rich toward God.
- We’ll talk about the context leading up to our main story.
- We’ll talk about Jesus’ refusal to arbitrate a family dispute and the spiritual principle he drives home.
- We’ll talk about the parable he recites that illustrates the point he’s trying to make.
- We’ll wrap up with the application Jesus makes in 12.21.
As you get ready for worship, please read Luke 12.13-21 and be thinking about these things:
- How well are you doing in resisting the cultural push to acquire more and more? What makes this such a difficult struggle?
- As you read Luke 12.16-17 - do you see anything sinful in and of itself? Why is this important to consider? How does Jesus describe the man as he introduces the story in 12.16?
- Where is the man’s focus as you read 12.17-19? How does understanding that help you see Jesus’ main point?
- Who/What did the rich man forget?
- 12.20b - What would happen to all the things the man acquired?
Sunday Song Leader: Jim Rutter
Sunday Scripture Reading: Dylan Schofield
TEXT: Luke 12.13-21
The following article was printed in our Sunday Morning Bulletin:
As we gather around our Lord's table this morning, we do so as a memorial to him. Memorials are places of memory of those we love and those who loved us. Our Lord has given us such a memorial - the Lord's supper.
We read in John 6:48 the words of Jesus: "I am the bread of life." In verses 56-
58 he said, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
He was offering some-thing that had come straight from heaven, something new. When He led His disciples into the upper room, He said, "This do in remembrance of Me." We have no memorial gardens where he lays to visit and remember. He arose from that grave. The only physical link we have with our resurrected Savior is the supper He left for us. When we share his supper, we remember the life He lived, the death He died, the resurrection He achieved.
This is how we remember the one that loved us the most, our Savior Jesus Christ.
The servant girl at the door said to Peter, ‘You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not’ …Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You also are not one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not’. (John. 18:17,25).
It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, … (Matthew 10:25).
Every disciple is a believer but not every believer is a disciple.
- The believer expects loaves and fishes; The disciple is a fisherman.
- The believer struggles to grow; the disciple reproduces.
- The believer likes flattery; the disciple becomes a living sacrifice.
- The believer murmurs and complains; the disciple obeys and denies himself.
- The believer is "I"; the disciple is “them”.
- The believer dreams of the "ideal church"; the disciple surrenders to achieve the "real church".
- The believers goal is to be in heaven; that of the disciple is to win souls for heaven.
- The mature believer becomes a disciple; the mature disciple assumes the ministries.
- The believer seems to have been promised a pillow; the disciple knows that he has a cross to carry.
- The believer is “hopeful"; the disciple is "here I am”.
- The believer is valuable; the disciple is indispensable.
- The believer, perhaps, preaches the gospel; the disciple makes disciples.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples (John 15:8).
And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age
- Jaime Restrepo
What It Takes to be a Disciple
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple, Luke 14.33. Unless you forsake all, you can’t be a disciple. How far are you willing to go? Will you abandon everything for Jesus?
This passage fits in very well with the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19.16-22. This story is repeated in all the synoptics (Mark 10.17-22; Luke 18.18-23) so it must be very important. The young man in the story had a choice. Which would it be? Possessions? Jesus?
This summer we’re talking about self-denial. If we really want to be a part of God’s plan, this is what is necessary. Perhaps there is no better example in Scripture of someone living solely for self than the Rich Young Ruler. The problem is, …he couldn’t see it. What Jesus attempts to do in this story is take the cover off of what was so glaring - but completely invisible to the young man himself.
Not all was bad with this man. He had some very admirable qualities. On Sunday:
- We’ll talk about those.
- But, we’ll also see how Jesus brings him face to face with the very real reality of his sin.
- And, we’ll ultimately see what would keep him out of the kingdom, at least at this point in his life.
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- Read Matthew 19.16 and Mark 10.17. Describe how the man approached Jesus.
- As you read the text in 19.16-22 and Mark 10.17-22 what are some things we learn about this man?
- Upon what did he seem to base his righteousness?
- Do you see any contrition as he approaches Jesus?
- What can we learn about the need for self denial as we consider the Rich Young Ruler?
Sunday Scripture Reading: Dan Teater
Sunday Song Leader: Dru McLaughlin
TEXT: Matthew 19.16-22
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” – Pr. 28:13
There was a small boy visiting his grandparents at their farm. He had a slingshot with which he played all day, he practiced with it in the forest but never hit the target. Being a little disappointed, he returned home for dinner.
As he approached home, he spotted his grandma's pet duck. Unable to contain himself, he used his slingshot and hit the duck on the head and killed it. He was sad and scared, and still in panic, he hid the duck’s body in the forest. But he did not realize that his sister was watching him. Lucrecia had seen everything but said nothing.
After eating, the grandmother said, "Lucrecia, come with me to wash the dishes." But Lucrecia said, "Grandma, Pedro told me that today he wanted to help you in the kitchen, isn’t that right, Pedro?" And she whispered in his ear, "Do you remember the duck?" Then, without saying anything, Pedro washed the dishes.
On another occasion the grandfather asked the children if they wanted to go fishing, and the grandmother said, "I'm sorry but Lucrecia is going to help me prepare the food." But Lucrecia with a smile said, "I can go, because Pedro told me that he would like to help you." Again she whispered in his ear, "Do you remember about the duck?" Then Lucrecia went fishing and Pedro stayed and helped his grandmother.
After many days in which Pedro was doing his own tasks and those of Lucrecia, he decided to admit what he had done. He went to his grandmother and confessed that he had killed the duck. She knelt down, gave him a big hug and said, "Sweetie, I already knew it, I stood at the window and saw everything, but because I love you I forgave you.” But I was wondering how long you would allow Lucrecia to have you as her slave."
How long will you allow your sins, without confessing, to keep you a slave? The apostle Peter says, "They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved"(2 Peter 2:19). Man is a slave to whatever dominates him.
Today you can enjoy the glorious freedom of the children of God. But how? "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1:9)
Jesus, the Son of God, loves us and is willing to wash us of our sins with His blood (see Rev. 1: 5). Why don’t you accept His invitation and after this you can forget about the duck?
- Jaime Restrepo