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Title: Being Rich with God Text: Luke 12:13-21; Romans 8:29 Telling: Outline 1. Introduction – God’s two great purposes with mankind. His
Unsaved, Carnal Christians, Spiritual Christians. Going home! 2. Parable of the Rich Fool! + The circumstances of Jesus telling this Parable + Jesus’ mission was spiritual, not legal, political, or civil. + The Parable summarized! Relates to OT reading (Ecc. 5:15) and Epistle reading (Eph. 1:3). + Sanctification = Are you Rich with God? + Nothing wrong with wealth, security, savings! But!!! general plan for all, (salvation 1 Tim 2:4) and His personal plan for each (sanctification Romans 8:29, 1 Thes 5:23 ).
OT: Psalm 42 Epistle: Eph 1:3-11 All praise to God, the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united to Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.[a] 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. 9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[b] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. 13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” 16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
The Riches of the Christian’s Life:
1. The Meaning of being Rich with God
-Growing: not standing still or backwards -Growing in child-likeness with the Father -Growing in likeness to Jesus -Growing in being led by the Spirit
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
2. The Means of being Rich with God
-Private: Prayer, Scripture, Confession of sin -Public: Worship together, Lord’s Supper, Fellowship
3. The Marks of being Rich with God
-More aware of sin, evil, devil -Increased love of Jesus and the Father -Increased interest in spiritual things -Increased love and kindness to others
Are you growing as a Child of God? Closing Prayer: prayer for spiritual growth Father God, I pray for spiritual growth. Enable me to develop a child-like spirit; a likeness to Jesus; and a willingness to be led by Your Spirit. In the Name of Jesus, and the power of Holy Spirit. Amen!
A had a lot of unusual experiences lately. I was hitchhiking the other day, and a hearse stopped. I said, "No thanks-I'm not going that far." /Then I came across a 5 year old, and I asked him, “what does the word "benign" mean? ”He said: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.”/ Last week, I went to a furniture store to look for a decaffeinated coffee table. They didn’t have any./ I bought a house on a one-way deadend road. Now I don't know how to get out./ I got a flat tire, so I pulled my car into a gas station. The attendant walked out, looks at my car, looks at me, and he said, "Tire go flat?" I couldn't resist. I said, "Nope. I was driving around and those other three just swelled up on me.” Here are some hastily written, grammatically different or misspelled, excuses by parents to explain why their children missed school or needed to be excused from Phys Ed: Mary could not come to school yesterday because she was bothered by very close veins. Ralph was absent yesterday because of a sore trout. George was absent yesterday because he had a stomach. My son is under a doctor's care and should not take phys ed. Please execute him. Please excuse Ray from school yesterday. He had very loose Vowels. Please excuse Joyce from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday she fell out of a tree and misplaced a hip. Please excuse Sarah for being absent. She had to go to the doctor to have her shot.
Our Father God doesn’t ask for explanations, and we don’t have to make excuses to Him. He already knows all things. He knows what we have need of, and He knows what we’re dealing with in our life. He told us through His Son Jesus that if we make His kingdom our first priority, he will take care of everything else. He just wants us to fulfill the purpose for which He created us. He had two great purposes and plans for all mankind when He created our first parents. Salvation and Sanctification. Last week I spoke about the first great purpose of God: that all men might be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. That’s God’s general, universal plan for us; that all mankind be saved. Being saved or being born anew is a spiritual awakening that every one of us needs to experience in order to have a real relationship with God. Christ said that unless we have that spiritual awakening we cannot enter the kingdom of God. The Father sent us His own Son to provide that awakening, to restore that relationship and reconcile us to Himself. I called last week’s message: “Being Right with God.”. Today’s message is called, “Being Rich with God.’
Once a person has awakened to the fact the he or she is a child of God, then God begins to put His personal plan for that person into operation. He begins the process of sanctification. The Holy Spirit who dwells in the heart of a saved person begins to work to make that person more like God; more like Christ. Romans 8:29 says, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. So God’s personal plan for my life and your life is to not only save us by waking us up to to the fact that we are His children, but to sanctify us; to draw us closer to Himself. ____________________________________ The Bible divides all people into three categories: The Unsaved, The Baby Christians, and The Spiritual Christians. Many people are Unsaved! They have never come to know, believe and receive Jesus Christ. Even some who call themselves Christians are unsaved; because they never personally received Christ as their Savior Then there are some Christians are saved but remain Babies in the faith. They don;t grow up! They don’t allow the Holy Spirit to work in them, and conform them to the image of Christ. They remain Baby Christians all their lives. They are not sanctified. The third group, the Spiritual Christian, allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives, making them into mature Christians.
They are becoming more godly, more like the image of who God originally intended for us. You see, we need to be saved to go to heaven. But we also need to be sanctified in order to be fit for heaven. Listen, the Holy Spirit is preparing each of us for our return Home. Heaven is our real and final Home. We originated from heaven when God first imagined (or imaged) us, even before we were conceived and born. And the Father desires that we will come Home at the end of this life. That we come home dressed in robes of white. John the Evangelist, who was given visions of the end of the world, says this: “After this I looked up and there
before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "Yes, these are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
God is always working in people’s lives to wake them and to work in them his holiness. _______________________________ Let me tell you a story about one such man, a lukewarm Christian, who God is getting ready for heaven. He had a very unusual encounter with… Well, let me just tell you some of the story. Here’s part ONE: Andy Peterson,is a 24 year old park ranger at Roxborough State Park, in Colorado. He loves the out of doors so much that even on some of his days off he would climb the 3 and a half mile trail up to the 7,000 foot summit of Carpenter’s Peak. It’s one secluded trail up, one trail down. No shortcuts. No bypasses. This particular day in April he had clear and warm weather with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. In his own words he said, “I reached the summit where there was a panoramic view of the towering Rockies. I scaled the highest rock and circled around it, a chill running through me as I stopped and gazed on the magnificent horizon in every direction. After a brief rest, I removed my shirt, tying it around my waist. Then I started back down the trail. As I started to go down the trail, I saw something that stopped me cold. There, lying under a pine tree to the left of the trail was a large mountain lion lazily chewing on a small stick. He was blocking the trail and not moving a bit, just looking at me. My legs shook uncontrollably as I
eased backwards, back up the trail as quiet as possible. Instinctively I reached for my knife, which I always carried with me. I knew I had to get past this wild animal in order to get off this mountain. As my brain raced with thoughts and ideas of what to do, my body prepared for war. I looked down at the knife in my hand. The two-inch blade looked too small and inadequate to really be a defense against the lion. When I looked up again, he was gone! My eyes strained through the brush to my right, looking for a glimpse. There he was! He had moved closer. He was slowly coming toward me. His piercing gaze seemed to stare right through me. In the blink of an eye, the cat’s 200 pound frame was directly in front of me, its head rising above my waist. Its eyes again locked on me in a rigid stare. It seemed to be sizing me up before the attack. At 130 pounds, I’m positive I looked like an easy meal. Just then the lion let out a wicked, deep growl, revealing four immense teeth that were three or four inches long. The lion leapt before I could react, paws extended. It slammed into my chest causing us to tumble down the trail, ending up side by side in a rolled up mass of fur, claws and blood. My blood! _____________________________________ Hold on now, there’s more to the story! But let me ask this! If Andy Peterson was going to be killed by that mountain lion that day, was he ready for heaven? Did he have a personal relationship with God? Was he becoming Rich with God, as Jesus asks in today’s gospel?
Today’s gospel story is a parable which Jesus tells about ordering our lives so that we are prepared to go Home to heaven. And He concludes the story by saying about the foolish man who had so much material treasure, and so little spiritual treasure. Jesus says, “How foolish is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” The man had said to himself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' "But God said to him, 'You foolish man! This very night your life will be demanded from you. This will be your last night on earth. And Jesus concludes with those words "This
Are we rich with speaking the Names of Jesus and Father with reverence and praise? And you know what? It’s only the things that make us rich with God that we can take with us into heaven! Only the things that are in our hearts! “What is it you treasure in your heart?” Jesus asked. Am I building up riches for heaven? When I step across that river onto the other side of life, when I walk through that brief tunnel of the shadow of death; will I be rich toward God? Will I have grown spiritually enough so that heaven will not be a foreign and unfamiliar place for me? To think of life only in terms of physical things is both foolish and fatal because life is not measured by material possessions but by spiritual and eternal things. Is Andy Peterson rich with the permanent things of God? If Andy Peterson was going to die by that mountain lion that day, was he ready for heaven? Did he have a personal relationship with God? Was he becoming Rich with God? Here’s part TWO of our story: Andy said, “The lion leapt before I could react, paws extended. It slammed into my chest causing us to tumble down the trail, ending up side by side in a rolled up mass of fur, claws and blood. My blood! I jumped up. The lion leapt at me a second time, barely missing me. Backpedaling, I tumbled
is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." RICH TOWARD GOD!
The question which today’s readings ask you is this: ARE YOU RICH TOWARD GOD? Are you and I spiritually rich, whether we’re materially rich or not? Are we rich in the things of God; the things that are permanent and eternal? Not the things which are passing and temporal. Are we rich in a love for God and others? Are we rich with the Word of God, the Bible? Are we rich with moments of speaking to God in prayer? Are we rich with being honest about our sins and confessing them to God?
down the path, trying to fend off the cat with, of all things, the shirt that had been tied around my waist. Suddenly the lion stopped in its tracks. I was able to make a quick stand. Hanging onto the strap with one hand, I swung my backpack with all the force I could find. Standing still, the cat just drew back. I lashed out at the lion’s face. Again, the cat easily dodged my desperate swing. Once again I started backpedaling, with the cougar staying inches away from my terrified body. He was toying with me, like playing a game which he knew he would ultimately win. I fumbled down the path backwards, tripping over the boulders. The cougar launched into the air and tore into me just as I hit the ground. For a second time we rolled together, down the trail. When we came to a stop, I was on my knees, over the lion that was on its back. The top of my head was in the lion’s mouth. The long dark shape of a tooth hovered an inch in front of my left eye. The lion’s teeth were sunk into the top of my skull! Its jaws loosened slightly, then bit down a second time. Blood poured down over my face. Holding the knife in my right hand, I slashed towards the lion’s neck. The blade wasn’t drawing blood. I tried swinging the knife from a different angle. Raising the knife high over the animal’s head, I plunged it into the back of its neck. Once, Twice. Nothing, not even a whimper from this bloodthirsty beast.
A whipping paw shot toward my face, pulling off the skin below my left eye. New blood began to stream down my face. With the other paw clasped tightly around my neck, its claws began digging in. Why wasn’t my knife cutting into the lion’s head? With an effort, I looked past its head to the knife that I was still holding in my left hand. The knife’s blade had closed on my left index finger, cutting halfway through. Reaching over the cat’s head with my right arm, I managed to pry the knife open. It was at this moment that I realized my right hand was touching one of the cougar’s eyes. Desperately and with all the force I could muster, I plunged my right thumb into its eye, simultaneously sinking the knife into the cat’s skull with my left hand. The lion shrieked, releasing its hold on my head. The claws pulled out from my neck. The lion jumped backwards. I knew I must get down the mountain, now! Blood was gushing from the 8” gash ripped across my forehead. I turned and ran - for my life!
There’s one last amazing part of the story I have to tell you. But I have to ask again? If Andy Peterson was going to die by that mountain lion that day, was he ready for heaven? Did he have a personal relationship with God? Was he becoming Rich with God? Would he ever see his parents and his friends again in heaven? +Are you and I becoming rich with God?
+Are we building up treasures in our hearts that we will take to heaven some day? In the spiritual life we CAN’T stand still; we either are growing forward or sliding backward. The rich man in our gospel story was convinced that he was in control of his life and that wealth gave him control. But God's words to him made it clear that he had no power over the present: "This very night your life will be demanded from you." At this crisis point he discovered a truth that everyone learns sooner or later: God owns our life, and He merely loans us our earthly existence. At any time He can call in His loan. We are sojourners and pilgrims on earth who are returning Home, where we began. Sure, let’s enjoy this life! Let’s enjoy our family and those we love! Let us even enjoy our wealth and security, if we’re so blessed! But seek first the kingdom of God and all other things will be given us besides. Let’s be sure that we are growing in the spiritual Riches of God. Now here’s the last part of our STORY: “The lion shrieked, releasing its hold on my head. The claws pulled out from my neck. The lion jumped backwards. I knew I must get down the mountain, now! Blood was gushing from the 8” gash ripped across my forehead. I turned and ran - for my life!
Halfway down, the trail I glanced over my right shoulder and saw that the lion was back for the final kill and there was nothing I was able to do. I glanced away for a moment, then, I again glanced over my right shoulder, expecting to see him racing after me. But he wasn’t there! Where is he?What was I seeing? What’s happening? Did I faint? Did I pass out? Was I delirious? When I glanced over my shoulder, there was no lion at all, instead, I saw…what I saw…I’ll never forget…I saw what I always imagined to be the face of Jesus. I know this sounds weird, but it’s true! The face of Jesus was in plain view where once the lion had been. And for the first time since I saw the lion, I felt safe and unafraid. All my fear disappeared. I felt completely SAFE! Or should I say, SAVED? Though I wanted to keep staring, I turned my head and continued down the trail. Near the bottom, a group of hikers suddenly appeared. I knew that my nightmare was finally over. I knew that I was SAVED!” ___________________________________________ Andy Peterson received several dozen stitches to his face, neck, upper chest, both shoulders and right leg. He set a record at the Hospital by requiring 70 staples to close his head wounds.Once only a lukewarm Christian, that day was also the day of his spiritual awakening. Jesus saved him in a most unusual way, body and soul, and he became a child of God who is rich with GOD.
The event changed Andy Peterson’s life so radically that he gave his life to the Lord and goes around the country giving his testimony about how the Lord saves. His website is called Lion King Ministries. _____________________________________ You don’t have to encounter a mountain lion to have a personal encounter with Jesus. But you do have to encounter the Lion of Judah, as Jesus is called. Or, more recently the lion Aslan who is Jesus in the movie NARNIA. All we have to do is become a child of God and then let God’s Holy Spirit make us rich with God, make us into mature Spiritual Christians who begin to resemble Christ, the Father’s Son. Let us pray: Father, we want to awakened and become your children. We want to become rich with the things that are lasting and permanent, that never fade or tarnish. Father, we know that if we are rich with You, then, as the choir will sing: We are convinced that
neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, neither the present nor things to come, nor powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank you Lord Jesus, AMEN!
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