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“Guard yourself against all kinds of greed”

June 29, 2023

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

Jesus’ sad parable underscored a basic kingdom principle: “One’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions” (verse 15). The day comes for everyone when the only question left is, “Who will get all the ‘stuff’ I’ve worked so hard to accumulate?” Both Colossians 3:5 and Ephesians 5:5 called greed a type of “idolatry,” of loving something else more than God. This life, and any material possessions we enjoy in it, will end. Only God can (and does) offer us eternity.

  • The man in Jesus’ story never asked the question, “How much do I need?” He never said, “Maybe I’ll give away some of this huge harvest I have.” How easy or hard is it for you to be generous with the money, time, or “stuff” you have? What wishes or fears get in the way of living generously? What helps you to avoid letting the stuff you think you “own” actually “own” you?
  • How do you understand Jesus’ challenging phrase about being “rich toward God”? What steps can you take, in your day-to-day life, to become “rich toward God”? What kinds of choices help you focus on the riches that last for eternity? How can you share that approach to life with your children, grandchildren, or other people with whom you have influence?

Lord Jesus, whenever my life ends, I want to have my greatest treasure stored up with you, not left behind for an auctioneer to dispose of. Guide me into the kind of life that is rich toward you. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Ryan Pasley

Ryan Pasley

Ryan Pasley is a Summer Intern at Resurrection in the Resurrection Students Ministry. He currently attends Johnson County Community College and plans to transfer to Kansas State University to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Ryan is the (self-proclaimed) best server on a sand volleyball team that he shares with his friends.

Growing up I always wanted to fit in. So, therefore, I needed the newest toys, the newest clothes, and the newest Xbox. In my mind, if I were to have these things, I would be able to show everyone how cool I was. However, there was one little problem. Everyone else got the exact same things as me at the exact same time. You can see the conundrum I was in–now I would need to get more new stuff, and the cycle would repeat. 

You can see how tiring this would be, especially for my parents’ wallets. Now that I am more mature, I realize that “less is more” is a wise idea. The example that I gave of my childhood is not a unique one.  And there are countless more examples of greed occurring in our world, like a child not sharing their toys or a man amassing wealth for himself only. 

Now that I have grown into an adult (sort of), I have realized that at the end of the day, material possessions are not the end-all be-all for my life. Do they make my life easier? Yes. Do they make my life more comfortable? Of course. Would I be able to survive without them? Yes! 

Often in our lives, we think about the promotion that never came, the car we want to drive, or the salary we’d like to make, but we never think about the best possession we have been given, a relationship with God. It can be frustrating sometimes when we ask God for something and yet are given nothing. I often still find myself asking God for things, and it can feel frustrating sometimes. However, God’s timing doesn’t work in our time. How liberating of a feeling, it is that simply believing with all your heart in God you will be given a gift–eternal life. So therefore, I choose God over the newest toys, clothes, or Xbox any day of the week!

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