Do You Want to be Rich in Heaven or on Earth?

Do You Want to be Rich in Heaven or on Earth?

Hi friends,

It’s been a long while, but I am glad to be back here writing and teaching through scripture – as the Holy Spirit leads me.

Today, we will be studying the book of Luke, the 12th chapter. The Parable of the Rich Fool,

“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.” – Luke 12:16-21, ESV

Wow, that one is quite the eye opener…

Let’s get into it:

Starting with some context for you, this is Jesus reciting this parable to a crowd of people. If you read in verses 13-15, you will see that there was a man who brought up an issue to Jesus that made Jesus go into this specific parable.

When it comes to the discussion of money and God, (being rich on Earth versus being rich in Heaven), it is an argument that is never really quite understood. There are those who believe in the riches laid out for us on Earth, and there are those who believe in the riches laid up for us in Heaven.

Is it possible to be rich on Earth and in Heaven?

Going back to the parable, Jesus lays out the scene of a rich man and his land’s produce,

“And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully…” – Luke 12:16, ESV

Now, I found this 1st line of the parable interesting, because Jesus is being intentional by telling us that this man is rich, and by drawing reference to what his land has produced.

How many of us know what it’s like to have something that produces plentiful for us?

  1. Is it your intelligence?
  2. A job turned career?
  3. Have you ever started something that grew into much?

This is the place I want you to enter into…

Let’s keep going. Jesus goes on to say,

“…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.”  – Luke 12:16-17, ESV

Now, this part of the parable is interesting because now we are entering into the mind of the rich man. The mentality of a rich man, who is thinking solely about his riches here on earth, thinks of storing away his treasures for himself.

Have you ever thought like that before? Has God ever allowed your hands to produce much for you and you tried to store it up for yourself? Isn’t this what the world teaches us today?

I want you to really think about this scenario, because often times, we have the mind of this rich man. We take what God has allowed our hands to produce, and instead of turning to God and asking him what to do with it, we instead turn to our own understanding and store it up for ourselves.

Let’s go deeper.

After the rich man has a dialogue with himself and makes the decision to store away his own treasures (without consultation from God), he continues on to say,

“And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years: relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ ” – Luke 12:29, ESV

The deception.

There are many hidden truths in this passage, but I will land on this one:

Do not be deceived by your own abilities. They are God-given, and what God giveth, God can taketh away.

Jesus is drawing reference to this parable for the people because he wanted them to understand this principle:

  1. If you rely on your own ability to produce, and not on the father’s ability to produce through you, then you will fall victim to selfishness and pride.

Pride, my friends, is the biggest Christian killer of them all.

The Bible says that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

Often times, it is not that God does not want his people to be rich here on Earth because he is a “bad” God, but it is because God knows the very depths of man, and that we have this inherent nature to idolize the works of our own hands. And it is not even that God does not want his people to be rich. God wants the very best for his children. God wants us to live in our inheritance, both on Earth and in Heaven. But often times, we are too easily led astray by the affairs of this world and the wickedness that surrounds it. It is the love of money that God is against (1 Timothy 6:10).

So let’s continue.

God goes on to interrupt the rich man’s dialogue with himself by saying,

“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.” – Luke 12:20-21, ESV

Now this my friends is what you call a change in perspective.

What I love about the nature of God is his ability to redirect our thinking.

The rich man’s perspective says:

  1. I am rich; I have produced much, and therefore should store up for myself here on Earth.

God’s perspective says:

  1. You are a fool for believing that life is only about storing up riches for yourself here on Earth.

And I really want to make this clear for someone,

God is not against you being rich.

God is against pride-fullness in the area that allows us to believe that to be rich means to be rich here on Earth only.

This is a lie.

As Christians, we are called to live a life that is pleasing to God. We have an inheritance both on earth and in heaven. Therefore, God has called us to produce here on earth and to store up riches for ourselves in Heaven. I am bringing reference to this point because it is explicitly laid out for us in the last line of the parable.

“So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:21, ESV

We are not just called to produce here on Earth. We are called to be rich toward God (think fruits of the Spirit, character, and faithfulness to God’s word and his will for our lives).

Yes, God has given us the ability to produce wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18), but he has also given us the ability, through his Holy Spirit, to lay up treasures for ourselves in Heaven, that thieves cannot steal and moths cannot destroy (Matthew 6:19-21).

Understand this friends, the world may tell you to be rich on Earth in a way that exemplifies hoarding the fatness of the land, but God calls us to be rich toward him, in a way that is pleasing and not self-serving.

God cannot use you to bless others if you are hoarding the fruits of the land.



God bless friends, and I hope this message blesses you.

 

Grace and peace fam.

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