Gimme More

June 26th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Robert Ferguson

Today’s scripture: Luke 12:13-21 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

Jesus, I have a problem. I need more.

Yes, I already know that I have more than many others and the very things that I take for granted are the same things that some people would die for. But it’s not enough. Now please don’t think I am selfish. I give to the poor when I can and I honestly don’t have a problem sharing my many good fortunes with others, but think of how much more I could share if you would just give me more. One more thing Jesus, I have learned quite a bit from those life lessons you have brought me through. So, if you wouldn’t mind, no more lessons please, just solve my problem and give me more.

That sounds really bad, doesn’t it? When I read the verses for today that’s how I see the man in the crowd. “Teacher,” he said “tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” As Jesus decided to use this opportunity to discuss coveting and greed, we are able to reason that perhaps he knew something of these brothers and their particular situation. It wasn’t uncommon for people to take their disputes to a respected Rabbi for settlement, but Jesus would not be involved in this dispute about money. All he would offer was a sincere warning to the crowd. “Watch out! Be on your guard against greed. One’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

The man in the crowd came to Jesus for the wrong kind of help. Had he asked Jesus how to save his eternal soul he would have gotten more help than he bargained for. But since he wanted to dispute worldly issues the only advice he could get was, be careful about what you long for and covet in this world. Work for the things which last forever, things which you will not leave behind when you leave this earth. Material possessions are nice but when we spend more time chasing things and less time chasing God we get out of balance.

Jesus tells us to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” We should focus on obeying the will of God and find contentment and peace on that journey. The constant desire to have more, attain more, and keep more will not serve us well in God’s sight. By seeking the treasures of heaven, our hearts will be fixed on heaven; but if we seek the treasures of earth our hearts will be bound to the earth — and eventually, we all must say goodbye to this earthly existence. I read a grim Spanish proverb once that said, “There are no pockets in a death shroud.” All we take to the other side is our soul — and we should hope that it will be in good condition.

Thought for the day:  Jesus said that our life “does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”  Is that true for me?  What does my life consist of?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading.  If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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