“And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth 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 pull 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; take your ease, 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 he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.
I have spoken on this before but I feel it is an important message that needs to be touched upon from time to time. This passage is about not losing sight of the real purpose of why we are here. It is the true gospel message (the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ – Acts 8:12). This message is for both men and women, but especially men. We are brought up in this Western society to believe that a man’s life does consist in the abundance of his possessions. The pursuit of wealth and the accumulation of wealth is, for some, the whole purpose of being. However, as a result of this pursuit we have seen much pain and sorrow. We men can justify it by saying “providing for our families” or “I wanted a better life for my family than I had growing up”. How much is enough? When does the switch flip from “need” to “want”? Is it really about feeding the family or about feeding the self?
I have friends who went down the road of work at all costs and after losing family, children, and themselves they admitted the cost was too high and are now working on bringing balance back into their lives. The words of Job hit home; “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). The parable of the rich man in Luke hits very close to home for many of us. We are told not to be anxious about our lives and our own glory. We are reminded that God knows what we need and that our primary purpose for being is to have a life that is God focused. A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom…For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
May we seek God and His treasure, and make Him the focus of our lives.