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All that truly matters: being "rich toward God"

November 9, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 12:13-21

13 Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus said to him, “Man, who appointed me as judge or referee between you and your brother?”
15 Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “A certain rich man’s land produced a bountiful crop. 17 He said to himself, What will I do? I have no place to store my harvest! 18 Then he thought, Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. That’s where I’ll store all my grain and goods. 19 I’ll say to myself, You have stored up plenty of goods, enough for several years. Take it easy! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 This is the way it will be for those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

A man contesting his brother’s inheritance moved Jesus to tell this short but haunting story. In the story, a rich farmer, reaping a large crop, thought about nothing but how to keep it all, adding it to his already overflowing stock of food and wealth. Fixated on his worldly fortune, he forgot that none of it would do him any good when his earthly life ended. Jesus knew better and urged his hearers to become “rich toward God.”

  • Imagine the rich farmer in this parable (or a modern version of a person you know like him) asking you, “I’ve got more wealth stashed away than I’ll ever need. But sometimes it just doesn’t add much meaning to my life. Got any ideas?” How would you answer? What might that person (or any person) do to become “rich toward God”? In what ways are you aiming to build that kind of eternal wealth?
  • Sadly, one option never seemed to occur to the man in Jesus’ story. He never said anything like, “I’ve got plenty (perhaps because he didn’t feel as though he had quite “enough” yet). I think I’ll give some of it away.” How easy or hard is it for you to be generous with money, time, or other “stuff” you have? What experiences or examples have helped you find the freedom of living more generously?

Lord Jesus, I want to be rich— “rich toward God,” that is. Please shape my heart and my choices in ways that will continue to lead me to that kind of life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas joined the Resurrection staff in 2021 and serves in donor relations. She’s a Boston native and moved to Kansas City in 2020 when her husband Blake accepted a call at Resurrection West to lead their student ministries! Her favorite pastimes include pottery, hiking, frisbee, trying new restaurants, and spending time with Blake and their large orange cat, Tuna.

Today’s parable is a convicting opportunity to check on your priorities, is it not? Did you pause at the same place I did when God said to the man in the story: “Fool, tonight you will die”? I felt this sense of urgency to respond to God and explain myself.

*My conversation with God today:

“Okay, God. What is it that I am storing away for myself? Maybe collecting is a better word for it. I don’t think I am intentionally keeping things for myself, but I also realize that not inviting you into all aspects of my life could also be considered excluding you. What benefit are my “riches” if they are not used to serve your kingdom?”

I love that I belong to a church that invites us to be generous, just as Jesus challenges us throughout Scripture. Jesus knows the barriers that keep us from a deeper relationship with him and it’s up to us to respond and discern the value we place in earthly things. When we get into the habit of this discernment, we’re able to experience how God provides for all of our needs.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.