There is a great story in Luke 12:13-22 that Jesus tells us. Of course we don’t know if it is actually a parable or a true story, but the fact remains it was given to us for our instruction. The story is great in-so-much as it will help us understand how we are using the blessings that the Lord has given to us.
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
In this story Jesus tells us of a man who had such a bountiful harvest that he decided one day that he would tear down his barns and build bigger barns. At first, this sounds like common sense. If you have been blessed then you don’t want all those goods to go to waste. But, when Jesus provides the man’s motivation for doing so, it becomes clear that this was wrong. He gives his reason as this, “Soul, you have may goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” There it is, he sees the blessing that God has given him as a reason to relax and enjoy life to the fullest.
As you look at your life, has the Lord blessed you? Has He given you material blessings? Often, in western culture, we have the idea that we should be saving up more and more for our retirement so that we can sit on the front porch, drink sweat tea, and golf whenever we want. We, like the man in this story, are simply going to build bigger barns because we want our lives to be easy in the future.
The reason God blesses us is not because He is looking to make our lives easy one day, the reasons that He blesses us is so that we can get much done with the resources that He has given to us. He isn’t looking to reward you with a plushy life because you are so amazing, He is looking for you to do kingdom work with the blessings that you have.
Which Fate is Yours?
The man’s fate is made clear at the end. Jesus, in his telling of the story says, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’” So there was a direct punishment for this man’s sinful and foolish heart. God requires of him his life that night.
So how about you, are you using the goods that God has given you to advance his kingdom? Are you building your assets for the sole purpose of having an easy life one day? Are you viewing all of your wealth as a tool that God has given you to advance His kingdom? If you are not using your blessings to advance His kingdom, then I would encourage you not to be like the man who is building bigger barns for himself, but to be a follower of Jesus and put your blessing to work for God.