Fool

Read Luke 12:13-21
Read Matthew 6:19-21
 
Back in the late 70’s I went to visit my cousin in Southern California.  We took a tour of the Universal Studios backlot.
 
We saw the fishing village and the shark from “Jaws”, the house the Munsters lived in, the street used in the filming of the movie “The Sting” (you have to be pretty old to remember that one) and a town square that had been used in lots of TV shows and movies and would soon become even more famous in the “Back to the Future” movies.
 
I had so much fun that I still remember it today.  But the main thing I remember from that tour was this:  It was all fake!  I could be the Incredible Hulk in Hollywood.  Those huge boulders were styrofoam!  I could have wrestled the “Jaws” shark and won.  He was a rather cheap looking, overgrown mechanical fish!  When our tram made a turn, there was nothing behind all those storefronts on that backlot street.  Nothing was real!  There was no substance to anything there.  It was a facade, all smoke and mirrors.
 
In the passage of scripture mentioned above, the Rich Fool was very wealthy.  He was also greedy.  He had so much he needed more storage for his wealth.  Funny how there’s no thought that he might share from his abundance with those who were in need.  In his heart, he had no thought of God or his fellow man.  In verse 14 Jesus says, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”  His prosperity had choked out the Word of God in his life, it had created a snare and temptation to him, and most of all, given him a false sense of security.
 
He had put his trust in his possessions.  In verse 19 he says, “Then I’ll say to myself, ‘you have many goods stored up for many years.  Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.'”  It’s so easy to allow ourselves to be fooled into putting our trust in a job, bank account, relationships, those tangible things we can see.  These things aren’t bad.  In fact, they are good, even necessary for our earthly existence.  But what happens when we have placed our trust in things of this earth and paid little heed to eternity?  The Rich Fool placed his trust in his financial success and the things he had accumulated. Then in verse 20 we read, “But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your life is demanded of you.  And the things you have prepared–whose will they be?”
 
How sad.  Since the book of Luke was penned, this man who thought he had it all has been known as a Rich Fool.  What about you?  Where are the treasures you have stored?  Will you be labeled like this man was?  A fool?  Verse 21:  “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”  The tragedy of this is that this man left great wealth behind where it could do him no good, and faced an eternity without God.
 
Take inventory of your heart today.  Are you storing up treasure in heaven “where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal”?  Is your life built on a facade (an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.)  Or are you rich toward God, cultivating eternal treasures?
 
 
 
 

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That Three Letter Word

Read Luke 12:22-31
 
Have you ever noticed how the tone of a conversation can change when one little three letter word is used?  
 
For example:  We have a leak in our roof.  It’s not to the point we have to get out the buckets to catch the drips, still its’very annoying.  I asked my husband if he could fix the leak.  “Sure,” he replied.  “I could fix it.  No problem.”  This was just what I wanted to hear!  Until “the word” entered the conversation.  “But, I can’t find it.”
 
There it was.  The game changer.
 
The word “but” is a conjunction.  It connects words, phrases and clauses.  Sometimes it connects two main clauses and sometimes it connects a main clause and a subordinate clause.  It doesn’t really matter if we understand the usage of the word.  It does matter that we understand the importance of what comes after that little conjunction.
 
In the above scripture passage, verses 22-30, Jesus has just told his disciples that they are not to worry about the necessities of life.  He instructs them not to worry about what they will eat or wear.  Then he describes how God provides for the ravens and wildflowers.  Wildflowers don’t spend time working or spinning thread.  (Then my favorite part) “Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these.”
 
Yes!  God will supply all my needs.  I love reading that.  Then there it is.  Take a look at the last verse in the passage.  Verse 31 says, “BUT seek his kingdom, and these things will be provided for you.”  The little conjunction “but”.  God desires that we have our eyes fixed on him.  That we put his kingdom first.  If we are focused on the things of this world, will we spend so much time worrying about losing those things or worrying about not having them or worrying that what we have is not enough that peace will become nonexistent in our lives?
 
God tells us to focus on him and his kingdom.  Seek him.  The word “seek” actually means to continually seek.  Don’t stop.  When we take our eyes off ourselves and turn them to God and his kingdom, then we will begin to look at the things of this world with a different perspective.  They will lose their importance because God and his kingdom will take the prominent place in our lives.  We will gain the peace that God desires us to have.  Worry and peace cannot exist together.  One will rule over the other.  Which would you rather have?
 
One little three letter word, and it is a game changer.  In this passage it reminds us that, yes, our needs are important, and we have a God who can provide for every one of them!  BUT we must seek his kingdom.  Don’t stop.  “And these things will be provided for you.”

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SURE STEPS

Read Isaiah 30:21
Read Psalm 119:105
Read Jeremiah 29:11
 
There are two things my husband really likes. It’s a mystery to me, but to him, they are very important.
 
The first one is the maps app on his cell phone.  With these maps, he can go virtually anywhere and his chances of getting lost are minimal.  It even tells him when there is a backup on the highway and where to turn to detour around it.  When we travel, he will ask me to check the information given on the map and tell him where his next turn is.  Why is it necessary to know that you will need to exit right in 157.9 miles?  Doesn’t he have plenty of time to get in the correct lane?
 
God has a travel plan for us too.  He has a path for us to follow.  It was set in place before we were even born.  That plan will get us where He desires for us to be.  However, He doesn’t show us the end from the beginning. He doesn’t tell us when our next turn will be.  He doesn’t even tell us how long the trip is!  He shows us one step at a time.  Which brings me to the next thing my husband really likes…flashlights.
 
In our home we have big flashlights, small ones, those that are very, very bright and some that are not so bright.  When the power goes off in our house, from the outside you wouldn’t know our power was out.  If he has to go outside at night, his way is clearly lit for several feet in front of him.
 
God lights our way on the path He has chosen for us.  However, He only lights one step at a time.  In the Psalmist’s time they used a clay dish with oil to light their way.  This didn’t provide much light–only enough for a step or two at a time.  Obviously, it was in the best interests of the traveler to take slow, sure steps.  The Psalmist didn’t have a clue about GPS or LED flashlights.  But he did know how God guides us on our journey.
 
Often we are tempted to run ahead of God’s leading.  The situation we are in seems unbearable, and the sooner we get out, the better.  If we think there is a detour around our situation that will make things easier, are we not willing to give it a try?  Even though God knows what is best for us is the path He has planned.  How hard to slow down and take one steady, sure step at a time.  How hard to stay on a path that seems too steep, too difficult.  Yet, God has told us in His Word if we will have faith in Him, trust Him, obey His Word and follow His leading, though it seems impossible, He will lead us through.
 
Steps taken too quickly often lead to a fall.  A detour can extend the length of our trip or cause us to lose sight of the path altogether.  Follow God.  Trust the leading He provides through His Word and time spent in prayer.  He wants what is absolutely best for us.  Remember He works in the realm of PERFECT, and He wants His perfect will to be active in our lives not just for us, but for others to see and for His glory!

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