Deuteronomy 31:30-32:27; Luke 12:13-34; Psalms 78:56-59; Proverbs 19:8-9
NT: “He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’ “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?’ “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Then he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing… Don’t strive for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:15-23, 29-34 CSB)
Right in the middle of Jesus giving a sermon on some really important spiritual principles, someone in the crowd shouted out to Jesus, “Tell my brother to share his inheritance with me!” Obviously, that person’s mind was not on spiritual things, which prompted Jesus to tell a parable and teach a very important kingdom truth. If our primary focus is accumulating wealth, then we will not only lose everything we have accumulated when we die, but we will also waste the opportunity to make a lasting eternal impact with our lives. Not being concerned with the necessities of life is hard to do – because they are necessities. But Jesus taught that we shouldn’t be worried or anxious about earthly necessities. That doesn’t mean that we should refuse to hold down a job or do work because we are trusting in God to provide. What it does mean is that we don’t allow the cares and necessities of this life to prevent us from walking in obedience to Jesus and the ways of the kingdom. When we seek first His kingdom, accumulation of wealth, pursuing creature comforts, and aiming for the American Dream is not our primary motivation. In fact, those things begin to fall further and further down the list. God knows what we need better than we know what we need, and if we seek first His kingdom – if we pursue His will and purposes above every other, then He will lead us to the provision that we need. He will provide the nourishment that we need. He will direct us in the career path that we are to take. He will give us sweet and restorative rest when we need it. We may lack material things that others in the world have for now, but we will not lack for what we need; nor will we lack in peace, joy, love, and purpose. And all the while, we will be storing up eternal riches that we will enjoy forever.