In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus tells the story of a wealthy man whose storage buildings can no longer hold the abundance of his possessions, so he decides to tear them down to build new, bigger ones. He consoles his soul and enjoys his riches. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (verses 20-21, emphasis mine).
What the man valued was left behind; it’s only worth was in this world.
He was not rich toward God.
Check this out. The Greek spelling for our English word not is mē!
When our focus is not on being rich toward God,
we are automatically being rich toward me!
When we are rich toward me, here’s what we’ll see:
- Covetousness (Luke 12:15).
- Greed and hoarding (see above).
- Worry (Luke 12:22-30).
So how do we escape this trap?
- When tempted to covet, consider. Consider the Lord who perfectly provides for the birds of the air, the lilies and the grass of the field. Of how much more value are you to Him (Luke 12:24-27)?
- When tempted to fear not having enough, have faith: “How much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Luke 12:28).
- When tempted to worry, trust God: “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things” (Luke 12:29-30).
God provides for His children. When we are His in Christ, we should not worry like those who aren’t. Rather, out of His abundant supply we should be abundantly rich toward Him by being abundantly generous toward others.
When we allow our faith to slip, we’ll likely tighten our grip.
The only value worldly riches have is in their heavenly purpose. If their value to us becomes greater than the value God places on them, then what we have will never be enough. Ever.
When their value to us is their value to Him, then we will never be lacking. Ever.
Beware of consoling your soul with what only has worldly value.