So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Some of you may be wrestling with the question, “How do I know how much to give to God?” To help you answer that question, I will tell you a story of two different men who had two differing amounts of assets–and they invested those assets in two very different ways with two very different results. We are going to look at those stories this week.
In Luke 12, we see an investor who had more assets than he had time. Jesus had been teaching about the Holy Spirit when suddenly a man in the crowd interrupted him with a question about a topic he thought was much more pressing–his inheritance. Look at verse 13: “Someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’” Have you ever noticed that nothing can divide a family any more than squabbles about money? Apparently, a wealthy man who had a lot of land died. According to the custom, if you had a lot of land, you would leave the land under the management of your oldest son. The land would probably be farmland that produced crops that would be sold every year, and the money would be distributed among the heirs. So the oldest son’s job was to take the father’s place and manage the land, sell the crops, and divide the proceeds among the heirs. But this younger brother wasn’t satisfied with that. He said to his brother, “I don’t want to be in the farming business. I want to sell the land right now and get my cut of my inheritance even if we have to sell it at a bargain-basement price. Let’s get rid of the land so I can get my hunk of money now.” He was thinking more about the short term than he was the long term.
But Jesus said to the disciples around Him, who were watching all of this, that He saw a dangerous attitude in this young man that He wanted to warn His followers about. “He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions’” (v. 15).
What is greed? Simply put, greed is the obsession with having more. The greedy person thinks, “If I can just accumulate a little bit more money, I’ll be satisfied. I will have all the money I need to purchase my every desire and to protect myself against every adversity.” But there is never enough money. The greedy person always wants more and more and more and more.
The problem with greed is that whenever you are obsessed with having more, you find it very difficult to listen to the voice of God. When a greedy person hears messages about giving, he hardens his heart to the voice of God. He starts manufacturing all kinds of reasons why he can’t give and shouldn’t give to God. Suddenly, he finds things in the church that he is not happy with. All because he doesn’t want to let go. That is what greed does to a person’s heart.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Tale of Two Investors” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.