KEY TEXT: Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (NIV)
KEY THOT: Jesus was approached by someone to settle his dispute with his brother over their father’s inheritance. Jesus rejected the man’s request to be their judge and arbitrator. Instead, he warned him: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (v.15, NIV). Yet we have been told by some misguided entrepreneur that it is greed that drives our economy. Yes, greed will drive our economy—but to ruins. Singapore’s economy was not built on greed but on selfless service by our early founding fathers. Greed will ultimately corrupt and destroy us.
Our worth in life is not measured by our possessions but by our stewardship. One day, God will require an accounting from us when we die. Jesus told the parable of the rich fool who thought he could save his abundant harvest of crops in bigger barns so that he could spend the rest of his life enjoying his wealth. But from God’s perspective, this man was a fool: “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (v.20, ESV). Jesus concludes by saying that such self-centred approach to life will end in divine judgment: “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God" (v.21).
Instead, Scripture consistently calls believers to reset their life’s priority after coming to faith in Christ. Believers are called to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Mt. 6:33), to “seek the things that are above" and to "set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). In other words, believers are to measure their true riches not by their earthly possessions but by the spiritual treasures they have accumulated towards God. That means our investment of our time, talents and treasures in blessing others: viz., serving the people who are under us, not lording over them; inviting the unchurched to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ to rescue them out of their sinful addictions and demonic bondages; discipling new believers to spiritual maturity in Christ by modeling and mentoring them through a Christ-like lifestyle.
Jesus warns us to beware of greed and covetousness—beware of the never-ending pursuit of the “good life” measured by the 4C's of cash, car, condo and club membership. Don't miss the Great Life in our pursuit of the "Good Life." Don't waste our life in pursuing counterfeits and fakes that end when we die. Only God gives us the true treasures that last forever.
Father, thank You for reminding us that greed does not make us great; it turns us into fools without a proper sense of true values in life. Deliver us from greed and covetousness. Amen.